You know, I'm not even going to lie, I cried when the play timer ended and read final. When there were 45 seconds left and the team chose to run the clock out I didn't cry because who knows, New Orleans has awful luck and I've learned you don't count your chickens before they hatch. But when it flashed final? Tears. Big tears.
I know even before the game had started a lot of people were tired of hearing about the Saints and how important of a game this was for New Orleans. The problem was that unless you're from New Orleans, or have some very strong ties to the city, you really can't understand why it mattered this much. I know it's just a game but to New Orleans it was a way of reminding everyone that we are more than just a destroyed city. We cannot be written off as losers anymore. We are Super Bowl Champions.
Today police estimated somewhere between 8,000 to 10,000 people were at the airport to greet the Saints as they landed. Tomorrow schools are closing so families can attend the Saints' parade. 11 people met the Colts at their airport and I've heard nothing about a parade in their honor. Our parade was rolling win or lose because just playing in the Super Bowl was more than enough for us. You might think your town loves its team, but people in New Orleans love their Saints more. They are more than just football to us, they are so ingrained in the city that we wouldn't be us without them.
Bless you boys!