Monday, January 25, 2010

Popping in to say Im still alive, and Blake muses on the Saints...

I'm spending lots of time on the couch, just staying still.
Thank God for my laptop, books, and ON DEMAND.

I technically can go back to work on Feb 1st, but we will see whats up with that since I can't lift anything heavier than 15lbs till March 1st.
I am allowed to fly so I will be going to visit my dad in Las Vegas on Valentines Day, Blake will be joining me and Im sure he's anxious to see me in person and make sure that yes, I am ok.

I saw my surgeon today for my followup appointment and he told me that the biopsy of my gall bladder came back reporting that parts of it were gangrenous...yes, gangrenous.
So I'm glad that it isn't inside of me anymore, you know.

And that's about it from me.

Blake wrote a lovely piece on his blog/site about being a native Louisianian and being a Saints fan and the fact that the Saints are headed to the Big Dance...


I am not, as most people who know me will tell you, much of a sports fan. I don’t follow teams, I can barely recognize most players, and I will never understand how a baseball game can have more runs than hits in a single game. I mean, that’s just physics, people.

But for several years now, there has been an exception. The New Orleans Saints. Having grown up in southern Louisiana, just minutes from New Orleans, the Saints have always been a part of my life, through the leanest of years to the greatest. And for most of my youth, while I hoped the team would win, I was never particularly passionate about it. What I was passionate about, as always, were stories. Stories of heroes and villains, success and triumph, faith and redemption. And while there were some sports stories I enjoyed (I still rank Field of Dreams along my all-time favorite movies), it was hard to get into it as it was happening.

Then Katrina happened.

I don’t know if I can explain to you how Katrina changed things. I don’t know if you can understand if you haven’t been through something like it yourself. And I don’t mean that in any sort of elitist, “You just don’t get it” way. I mean I don’t know if it’s physically possible to comprehend what it’s like to be part of a community that’s suffered that kind of devestation unless it happens to you. The people of New York knew it after 9/11. The people of San Diego felt it after the earthquake. And us? Katrina nearly destroyed us.


I like stories about faith, and here’s something I believe: cities have spirits. Maybe not a living, conscious spirit like a soul, but the collective power and energy of a city is something real. And the spirit of a city resides wherever the people of that city choose to place it. The people of New Orleans, after Katrina, chose to give their spirit to the Saints. The rest of that season, of course, was a disaster, but the next season something changed. Sean Peyton took over the team. He brought in Drew Brees. And when the team returned to the dome for the first time since the storm, facing the Atlanta Falcolns, something happened.

The earth shook.

Part of it was a dome full of football-hungry fans thirsting for blood on their home turf. But more than that, we had an entire city — an entire region of the country — that desperately needed something to believe in. Millions of people had been through absolute hell, millions were still struggling to get back on their feet. And even if it was just for one night, millions of people needed something to put their heart into besides their own troubles. And in case you don’t remember… that night… the Saints brought it. It was perhaps the most important game in franchise history.

Until last night.

The boys in black and gold went on to the NFC Championship game that year, and lost hard to the Chicago Bears. The next few seasons were roller coasters, up and down. This year, they started 13-0, but when they dropped the last three games of the regular season, those naysayers who had discounted them since the beginning of the season acted as though it was evidence that the Saints weren’t for real. Then they faced Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings, the man many in the media seemed to have preordained would get one more Super Bowl ring before he retired (again). And for most of the game, he had a damn good chance. Had the overtime coin toss not gone the Saints’ way, I may be writing a very different blog post today.

But it did.

Sean Peyton and Drew Brees both dedicated the win to the people of New Orleans. Although neither of them are natives of the city, they’ve become intrinsically linked to the spirit the people gave them. Peyton, Brees, Reggie Bush, Deuce McAllister (maybe just honorary at this point, but still)… they’ve been embraced by New Orleans and they’ve given of themselves both on and off the field. They’ve become the keepers of spirit of the city. As they rose, the city has begun to rise with them.

They have made us believe.

Saints fans have the greatest dilemma they’ve ever faced this week: do we buy the sure-thing NFC Champs t-shirts, or wait for the Super Bowl Champ shirts that are dangling so tantalizingly close? I’m not arrogant enough to claim the big dance in two weeks is a lock. But I also think that anyone who thinks the Colts have it wrapped up haven’t paid the slightest bit of attention to this team, to what they’ve done, and to what they mean. And even if they don’t win, I don’t think there’s any way this city could be prouder of them, of who they are, of what they’ve meant to us and what they’ve done.

Sometimes you just need something to believe in.

So you do. You believe in Santa Claus. You believe in fairy tales. You believe in the Easter Bunny, Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati, even when you can’t make up your mind about Toledo.

And you believe in the New Orleans Saints.

1 comment:

bluzdude said...

Mark me down as totally behind the Saints.

Who Dat?