Rouses Everyday - September & October - page 12

There is no way to over-emphasize the power of that moment, that
night. The building, the Superdome, was incandescent, the people
filled with glory and rapture.
The whole country watched it, the whole world heard it; this city
felt it like a tectonic shift below our feet and a starburst above our
heads, goodwill and good cheer reigning down upon us from cosmic
confetti cannons.
It was like every Christmas Carol was true, peace on earth, goodwill
to mankind, a star shines bright in the heavens tonight.
Of course, the next day, everything was back to normal, back to
the same, but it also wasn’t. Sure, there was crime and violence and
sorrow and hurt.
But there was also ... something else. The L was wiped from our
foreheads forever that night. Losers no more. The doubters were
proven wrong, and the proof of our righteousness is evident in what
the city of New Orleans looks like today.
A city on the rise. A destination. A success story.
Buildings rise up in all corners, new streets are laid down, national
retailers swarm in, newspapers, magazines and websites proclaim us
the new Portland, the new Brooklyn, the new frontier.The NewTruth.
It would be foolish and naïve to suggest the Saints are solely
responsible for the miracle rebirth of New Orleans. But it would
also be bull-headed to suggest they didn’t play a vital role in the
swelling of pride that made the citizens of this town dig down, dig
deep, and rebuild this broke down town.
Every city loves its football team, that’s a given. But this is the story
of a team that loved its city back. This is the story of New Orleans.
It’s a story for the ages. It’s a story for posterity.
And it’s the story of now.
Because it’s the dawning of autumn and the heralding of the change
of seasons in most places, but the mark of something bigger in the
Crescent City.
It’s September in the rest of the country. In New Orleans, it’s Game
Day, every day, the day the city becomes one, becomes whole;
differences cast aside for a common goal.
Cars jam the downtown streets and grills and cookers send clouds
of smoke into the dank, crowded spaces of the concrete jungle
under the Interstate, the air smells of burgers, andouille and crab
boil and Abita beer.
The Neville Brothers and Dr. John and Green Day’s “The Saints are
Coming” echo off the urban cavern walls, and families congregate
into mini-homesteaders with their tables and chairs and coolers and
lawn games and even portable toilets, and nobody is a stranger, not
on this blessed day, and the blood of the fans is thicker than the
waters that would pretend to wash us away.
In every corner of the city, all citizens gather in common cause, wear
the colors of pride, make a choice to be part of something bigger
than themselves. And win or lose, playoffs or not, one sentiment
rises above all else, a mantra to carry us through to the next game,
the next season, the next challenge.
Faith, we say.
Shout it from roof tops, let the church bells ring.
Faith, we proclaim.
Because we believe.
Deke Bellavia and Bobby Hebert at the Buddy D. Parade, 2010.
Black & Gold fur fan.
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