Sunday, January 24, 2010

Saints in the Super Bowl; or, It's Snowing in Hell (or New Orleans, Same Thing)

So the Saints, the team that used to be the epitome of NFL ineptitude, are going to the Super Bowl, thanks partly to some more Brett Favre "magic" in an NFC championship game. For a kid who spent nine of my formative years in Louisiana – albeit in the north part, a world away from N'awlins – who was quite familiar with the grocery bag-headed shame of Saints fans and the inability of them to win in the playoffs the few times they made it there, this is a stunning development.

This is almost like the Cubs winning the World Series, except that's actually been done before. So this is more like Paris Hilton grasping the Pythagorean theorem, or Uncle Kracker putting out a song that doesn't make me want to rip out my eyeballs, or Mark May making a valid point, or Miley Cyrus winning an Oscar, or Phil Fulmer passing on the buffet, or a Hollywood marriage lasting 50 years. Heck, four years ago the Saints were playing their "home" games in San Antonio and New York. Plus, they're the Saints. When they reached the NFC title game three years ago, that figured to be the zenith of their existence.

This is the team that normally turned in the kind of performance that once caused former coach Jim Mora to go off like this. Losing was in their DNA, and it kind of fit with the city that's long been the rectum of the South (for the record, Jackson, Miss., is the armpit). This was a team the freaks could embrace. They were destined to be losers for life.

Then Sean Payton came to town, and then Drew Brees, and voƮla, a real offense. Then they went 8-8 last year, and oh yeah, it's the Saints. Duh. So I sure as heck didn't see this coming, and it still doesn't make sense.

I've been hearing and reading the phrase "WHO DAT!" countless times over the past week, which means the next person that says it will likely receive an envelope full of anthrax from yours truly (just a joke, Mr. FBI agent!). But lots of my Louisiana friends are in a state of euphoria – and probably a state of extreme drunkenness – and I am happy for them. And I'm happy for the Saints, a team that I used to hate for reasons I now can't recall. I'm all about a team from the deep South representin'.

Following the game, Saints running back Reggie Bush said of the celebrating fans, "Hopefully, they won't destroy this place." Hopefully not, but I wouldn't be surprised if a few snowflakes fell in the Crescent City. It'd make about as much sense as the Saints going to the Super Bowl.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Drew metro