Big day: And may Saints go marching to victory

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 7, 2010

It’s a big day for fans of the New Orleans Saints, including the fans who have long kept the faith while enduring many a dismal season as well as newly converted supporters of the black and gold.

It’s a big day for those of us who live in the South, too. Super Bowls more frequently feature teams up north or out west. We watch NFL’s big show, but often just for the commercials.

This time things are different. There is drama on the field and off. Archie Manning, one of the icons of Mississippi sports, will watch his son Peyton guide the Indianapolis Colts against the team for which Manning was an early (and lonely) star. Much will be made of the spirit of the Saints franchise, rising as it has since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina less than five years ago.

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New Orleans has problems not limited to weather. It has been the murder capital of the nation. It has a legacy of dysfunctional and corrupt public officials. But it’s also a party town —not only are Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras celebrated there, but any day is a good day for a festival — and it’s a world renown destination for fine dining.

The Saints and their fans have enjoyed a season of success following success. For 13 weeks it even appeared an undefeated season might go in the record books. That won’t, but the team’s first Super Bowl appearance will.

Today’s a big day. Some will say it’s just a game, but they will be an extremely small minority. Our hopes go to Miami and with the Saints. May they go marching in for the 5:25 kickoff and come marching out with a victory.