I honestly never thought I would live to see this.
All those years of watching Archie Manning getting sacked back when I was a kid, and now Drew Brees has all day to throw a pass to every other offensive player except the front line. It was a joy to see. And for once in my life, I knew the Saints were going to kick some ass when they went up 13-10. Knowing the Saints couldn't be beaten with just a 3 point lead in the third quarter - what a weird feeling.
I also never would have dreamed a Superbowl victory could matter this much. Had the Saints not stayed in New Orleans after Katrina, the already underused Superdome right in the center of town might not have been restored at all. German media, which televised the game live, did a special 10-minute segment on the team and the city - and did it well.
As I can attest from my recent visit, the Saints' success this year was inspiring to everyone. People who did not care about football and never really watched Saints games were tuning in. Outsiders should not misunderstand their Super Bowl victory as a frivolous sports event that only distracts from the real problems. The Saints inspired New Orleans this year. It's about more than just sports.
The game made one other thing clear -- New Orleans has a greater sense of family and place than the rest of the US. Peyton Manning is part of the only family quarterback dynasty in NFL history, but the Manning family dynasty is not the only one in New Orleans. The Marsalis family is without a doubt the greatest family dynasty in jazz, but it is also not the only other family dynasty from New Orleans. New Orleanians don't do mobility.
I could also add all of the political family dynasties, but then we end up with all of the corruption and nepotism. For better or worse, that's who we are -- people with a sense of place and belonging.
And for one year, we're number one.