More Smiles Dental Spa Dentistry Blog | James A. Moreau, Jr., D.D.S.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

GO SAINTS! (non-dental)

Sorry, but please indulge me while I relish in football revelry.

What a fun season it's been, college and pro, at my house! We're fortunate to have 2 strong SEC allegiances at my house, so except for one particular Saturday in the fall, we get to enjoy twice the football and get excited about twice as many games. Who in South Louisiana DIDN'T enjoy watching LSU's exciting season, and while my beloved Tide didn't perform up to Bear Bryant standards, well, let's just say the post-season activity give us a hope and a future. Living and working in Louisiana, I'll have to leave it at that.

And even to casual viewers, there were some pretty thrilling finishes to otherwise mundane games between teams I'd normally not even notice. Woo-hoo, what fun!

And that brings me to the Saints' dream season. We here in the metro New Orleans area still live our lives looking through a Katrina filter. Everything we see, do, say is different post-Katrina than it was before the storm simply by the experience of what we've been through, and for many, are still going through.

Who would have thought a year ago that the heart of this city would start to beat again at the resuscitating hands of the NFL Saints? Last year was disastrous in so many ways, and the Saints organization, no different, only compounded the misery we all felt. If our spirits were blue in the wake of the storm, our hearts were blackened by the prospect of losing our precious Saints to San Antonio, the seeming insensitivity of the ownership and management, and the understandable inability of the team, like all the rest of us, to recover quickly and go on as if Katrina never happened.

In so many ways, it has taken the "outsiders" who have come from across the country to help lift us and carry us until we can recover our senses and do it on our own. Even now (15 months post-K), there are volunteers and paid construction crews from virtually every state who give of their valuable time and resources to be here lending a hand and pushing us, pulling us forward. So it seems appropriate that the Saints roster partners the unlikely names of our new best friends Drew Brees, Marques Colston and Reggie Bush with our old best friends Deuce McAllister and Joe Horn.

It's been said that Coach Sean Peyton was the right man at the right time. He recognized the opportunity to impact our community in a positive way and orchestrate a rally on and off the field as well. He set the tone from the beginning and Drew Brees never missed a beat. So from the top to the bottom, Marques Colston, no mistakes were made in the assembling of a group of individuals who would line up in constellation for the rebirth of a soggy, spiritless city.

I say "the bottom" in reference to Colston only because he was almost an afterthought in the NFL draft and seemed destined, by the oversight of every other team, to end up in the exact place he was meant to be...with the Saints. According to a Times-Picayune article today, it took even an inexplicable time clock change to seemingly suppress the perceived talents of this young man and keep him in reserve until the Saints were left with no choice but to draft him. (see "Colston's draft fall, Saints rise no eay equation", C-6, The Times Picayune, Wednesday, Januray 10, 2007.)

What a wonderful surprise he's turned out to be and a sheer joy to watch. We're accustomed to seeing balls dropped (when we had the bags off our heads long enough) so it's completely exhilirating every time we see Colston launch into the air and wrap his fingers around the football and pull it down to his chest like a frog on the bayou plucking mosquitos from mid-flight. It was fun to read in a sidebar story to the afore-mentioned feature, how Colston's college coach drilled him for a time such as this to focus by forcing him to read colors and numbers off the football as it spirals towards him.

We New Orleanians, set in our ways and unmoved by conventional wisdom, don't usually take too well to outsiders, and our acceptance so quickly of this new line-up in the locker room is not merely because they happen to be succesful on the field and have produced such exciting results. It is because from the day they all set foot in New Orleans, they became "ours" by saying the right things and doing the right things to lock arms with the community and pull us along.

Local sports anchor Jim Henderson said it so well:

"Aaron Brooks, who as an Oakland Raider was asked about Katrina. He replied that he just wanted to be ‘cleansed’ of the Katrina experience. As he was ‘cleansing’ himself, while never the quarterback of a winning game in Oakland, Drew Brees, Reggie Bush and their teammates were embracing the situation here.

"Reggie Bush was feeding the children with two tractor-trailers full of food. Drew Brees and Mike McKenzie gave away 300 bikes to children. John Carney bought 75 underprivileged kids two pairs of shoes and school supplies. Deuce McAllister hosted shopping trips.

"These are players among many who have opened not only their wallets, but their hearts. The result has been the bonding of players and fans, the likes of which hasn’t happened here since perhaps the founding of the franchise."

I like to think it's a bonding of players and fans, the likes of which has never happened before, anywhere. As unique as we are here in NOLA, why shouldn't we be extraordinarily unique in NFL?

And while a missing piece of this perfection is the inimiatable Buddy B, it's comforting to have our old friends Bobby Hebert and Steve Korte presiding over the airwaves, infecting us with their love and understanding of the game and the Saints, in particular. It's appropriate. It's a heart-warming tie between our previous heroes and our new ones.

Thank you Coach Peyton. Thank you Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, Joe Horn, Duece McAllister, Marques Colston. Thanks to you all. Thanks for showing us the love. Thanks for being winners in the Dome and in the home. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Toothbrushes all around, on the house!


posted by MoreSmiles at 6:21 AM


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