Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Thermostat

Two weeks ago was a cold day in Hell. Tonight it's 40 below.

In retrospect the Colts never had a chance. Oh, it looked like they had things well in hand in the first half of the game, but that was just to keep people watching. The Saints have been a 'team of destiny' the whole season, and that wasn't about to end on Super Bowl Sunday. The team from Indianapolis wasn't just playing against the men on the field, but the whole population of the Who Dat Nation.

Those fans are spread across the globe, and, from what I hear, even hold positions in the Vatican. I didn't see any Colts colors in the pews at morning mass, but I was proud to see people attending in jerseys and t-shirts matching those my family of 3 were wearing. According to sources who witnessed it, the priest in Egan, LA stood before his flock - and removed his robes. Beneath his vestments was a shirt revealing where his loyalties lay, and a horseshoe was nowhere near it. He delivered his entire homily, proudly displaying his fleur-de-lis, and re-robed before performing the rest of the mass.

I read a tweet this week that said, "Unless you're from Indianapolis, if you aren't pulling for the Saints, you have no heart." That could be a little strong, but this country loves an underdog, and the Saints were mainly given lip-service when discussing their chances for the win.

I'm too young to remember the Archie Manning years, but realized in the last two weeks that it doesn't matter. This is the Drew Brees era, and I count myself lucky to play witness to the Manning of my generation. It is a story that will grow into legend. A man who was injured and looking to rebuild joins a team in a city that is broken and looking to rebuild. In the process he realizes why God's hand has led him to this point in his life. He has come to New Orleans to give the people of the city hope. Not the empty hope for a 'change' that others have promised in recent years, but true hope that the impossible is just a word in a dictionary.

The residents of the Crescent City have a symbiotic relationship with the team, and this accomplishment will give them a surge of energy that will do more for bringing the city back, better than ever, than anything the federal government could ever offer. It's a spiritual energy that will sustain itself with each rebuilt home and life.

On Sunday night the streets of the city were nearly empty. Everyone had a line-of-sight position near a television screen to watch the miracle unfold, and when it was over they flooded the streets in a torrent of good will and happiness to begin a party that won't stop until midnight on Ash Wednesday. Sober or drunk, old men wept like babies and kisses and hugs were shared among the married and the single, along with the gay and the straight.

Tonight it doesn't matter, and there's nothing wrong with that.