A love letter to the New Orleans Saints
Dear Drew, Sean and all of our New Orleans Saints,
That sound you hear is the collective resonance of die hards’ hearts breaking throughout the city, the state, and yes, even throughout the nation.
But it’s not what you think.
There’s a good possibility you’ll have a sleepless night as you replay today’s game in your head, thinking you should have done this or should not have done that, or if only, if only, if only….
Chances are, you’re thinking that you let us, the fans, down.
I know I’m not alone when sharing this sentiment: you have not.
You gave us one hell of a season filled with adrenaline rushes, heart palpitations, Choppa stylin’ and Superdome-shaking chanting. Oh, and so many new League records, proving to others what we already knew—that you are the best of the best, and beyond.
You have given us the joy of tailgating with people we don’t even know—we won’t call them strangers, because in Saintsland, there are no strangers, only people to whom we have not yet been formally introduced.
You’ve helped us teach visitors that just because we’re cheering for opposite teams, that doesn’t mean we can’t buy them a beer or two, or share with them our inside secrets of the best places to eat, to drink and to play while they’re here.
You’re the reason we have Black & Gold Fridays in schools and in offices and gather with family and friends, week after week, to celebrate as only Saints fans can. You’re the reason pots of gumbo are simmering on the stove, king cakes are selling like hot cakes, and adult beverages are free flowing before, during and after the games.
You’re the reason we randomly shout “Who Dat!” when we spot someone we don’t even know dressed in black and gold. And without hesitation, they shout it right back.
You’re the reason the streets of New Orleans and neighboring cities are desolate for three hours every Sunday during football season. Because when it’s game time, the city may as well shut down. Nobody’s goin’ anywhere. And you’re the reason fans line the streets near the airport, in pouring rain or bitter cold, to welcome you home after a game—regardless of the outcome.
Others might call it obsessive insanity. They don’t get it, and chances are, they never will. And truth be told, we like it that way.
So just remember this: no matter what our faith, the Saints are our religion. And we do believe, with every fiber of our being. That’s the gift you have given all of us.
So yeah, today’s outcome was not the one we hoped for. You were robbed. And it sucks.
But it could be worse: you could be the inept refs who are about to be secretly and unknowingly inducted into the Referee Hall of Shame, in the land of Marie Laveau, voodoo and gris gris. So it really, really sucks to be them. (Got pins?)
And long after the fanfare of today’s game has died down, we’ll still have faith. Because you are the New Orleans Saints. OUR Saints.
And we still—and always will–believe.
Rest up, boys. We’ll get ‘em next year.