Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lord, I Want to Be in That Number

Rev. Sykes: Jean Louise. Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passing.
"To Kill a Mockingbird", Harper Lee

We, too, will be standing, in reverent respect, this evening as our Saints go into that southeastern stadium to play the game of their lives - and ours. But no matter the outcome, the original game is already won. We have arrived. We are there. That was the main goal, the first, the original one, the one that took us so many years to reach, the one that is sufficient unto itself. Win or not the final game, we have already won the historical challenge.

For two generations, New Orleans and its football team have been a source of deprecating humor, sometimes scorn, across the face of the nation, and often across our own lips, as well. Still, under the blanket of inattention, a rowdy pack of underdogs and nominal underachievers have outscored and outplayed the best of the rest of the seemingly best.

And we are there.

We have been reading so much lately of the genius of Peyton Manning (a New Orleans boy) and the invincible drive of his Colts team. At the same time, so few people seem to have taken the trouble to discover the charisma, the gifts, of our new son, Drew Brees, who has worked unstintingly for the revival of this broken city he now calls home, or for his teammates who can be found any day on one New Orleans street or other, wielding a hammer or saw, rebuilding a devastated city, while, at the same time, defending the rights of the disenfranchised or begging for dollars to help restore the broken island-nation of Haiti.

As it is obvious to see, these New Orleans Saints are not just a football team. They represent the best of what the city of New Orleans can offer the rest of the world: self-reliance, self-respect, and pride - pride of place, pride of culture, pride of history - and above all else, compassion for others.

Tonight, there is no game to lose; the game's afoot, but long since won.

Bless you, boys! You are the Saints.

8 comments:

  1. Amen. But, you know, winning would still be kind of awesome.

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  2. Winning would be beyond awesome. But could the pumps handle that much water coming from so many eyes?

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  3. Well, this is just one of my favorite posts ever. Nice job.

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  4. Hey Glenn,
    I'm at work "watching" via ESPN's gamecast (play by play, no video). Interception! 3 minutes, 14 point lead!! Rock out, buddy!

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  5. @LSL: You're so sweet. I'd have answered sooner, but I was otherwise engaged.

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  6. Eloquent. Today I'm proud and humbled to be one of New Orleans' sons.

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