Oct 12, 200912:00 AM
The Editor's Room
Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde
Errol Laborde: Why the Saints Winning the Super Bowl Would Mean Even More Than You Might Think
For New Orleanians the experience is untested, but we can imagine the benefits of being the home of a Super Bowl champion: pride, morale, a boost in visitors, a push for the economy, a certain swagger — walkin’ a walk that we have never walked before.
There is, however, one more big advantage that could not be experienced by any other team in any other year but the Saints this season.
Consider this: Next year is the fifth anniversary of Katrina. Imagine if the Saints go into the 2010 season as defending champions. Think back how far the team will have come from the horrid 2005 season. Remember the Alamo –– more specifically, San Antonio, the team’s home base that season? Remember that city’s mayor popping off that the Saints wanted to permanently relocate there? Remember Channel 4 reporter Lee Zurik confronting Tom Benson on his front lawn and asking if the comments were true? Remember the games played at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge and the dismal attendance? Remember how poorly the Saints played? (The team only won three games the entire season, one fewer than they have already won this year.) The only person grinning that season was quarterback Aaron Brooks every time he dropped a snap.
Now look where the city will be within five years, even without the big trophy. The Saints have signed a long-term deal with the Superdome. Tom Benson has become a major economic force in the community. He is now the developer of the property next to the Dome, owns a TV station and is building a movie industry. Lee Zurik, according to rumors, will be going to work at WVUE, the station owned by Benson. Saints games are sold out for the third year in a row. Saints quarterback Drew Brees doesn’t drop snaps but rather completes passes. He’s also one of the classiest guys in the league.
Add a Super Bowl championship to this, and you will have something damn close to a miracle — a moment that should be frozen and placed in the Football Hall of Fame or better yet, the Smithsonian. This season could be an inspirational movie in the making.
Hang on, everyone. Even if the Saints lose three or four games along the way (heresy, I know), they’re still in great shape for the playoffs. Once there, the Saints’ chances of getting to the big game are much better than they were for the Arizona Cardinals, who did make it there last season. It is going to be an exciting autumn.
Considering the autumn of 2005, we have paid our dues.
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Krewe: The Early New Orleans Carnival - Comus to Zulu by Errol Laborde is available at all area bookstores. Books can also be ordered via e- mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or (504) 895-2266.
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