Wednesday, February 10, 2010
The Saints Win the Super Bowl: My Conversion
I have always hated football. I grew up in Tallahassee, went to school in Gainesville. I feel like the football teams of FSU and UF have been unwelcomed shadows over my entire youth - because I just wasn't into it. In fact, I still have a loathing for FSU's team and the hold it has over my hometown and the negative impact I see it having on Florida's state universities.
I was even going to write a whole post about how much I hate football - until it started to look like the Saints might really go to the Super Bowl. Then I thought it might be a bad idea to go on hating football so much. I knew I would be missing out on something big, something historic for this city that I love so much. I have always felt a sadness that I can't enjoy football, like I'm missing out on my own Southern culture, which in other aspects I really adore.
This Super Bowl game was the only televised game I've ever watched start to finish (I'd been dragged to a few FSU games when I was little, and watched the band and the dance teams the entire time, hot and miserable). I don't understand all of the plays, but I do understand how a touch down works so I was able to cheer appropriately. My heart was really in it for these last two games, I really cared if the Saints won or not - mostly because I knew what it would mean to the city. And I feel like the team knew what it would mean for the city too. They knew it would be a victory for more than just the team. They knew the whole city was behind them.
People from out of town still ask me "How is it down there, after the storm?" As if five years later it would still be underwater. I get the sense that people who had visited the city before August 2005 are afraid to come back, they seem afraid it will be too sad. I'm telling you, the city is back, it bears it's scars well, and it needs you to come back and eat in it's restaurants, drink in it's bars, listen to it's music. And it would be cool if you shared in the city's joy over this victory too!
I don't know if I will ever love football. I don't think I will ever be able cheer for FSU or UF even though I love Florida and I'm very proud of being from there. But the Saints somehow won my heart, just like New Orleans has.
Proof I actually watched the game.
Reactions on Chartres St.
Friends at the Victory Parade.