Thursday, February 4, 2010
“Oh, When the Saints’ go marchin’ in...”
Who dat drew dat! Do not the Saints seem destined for victory?
Like many Mississippians, I am a die-hard Saints fan. Many of my ancestors came from New Orleans. New Orleans is one of the many great things about living in Mississippi. The perfect weekend getaway. It’s like going to another country. Best food in the world.
A few years ago, a survey was done to determine the greatest football fans in the country. Mississippi came in first. Is it any wonder that so many great quarterbacks have Mississippi roots?
I had the pleasure of being at the Arizona playoff game. I will never go to the Superdome again without earplugs. The roar started when the players took the field and never let up for four hours. (Except after the opening play of the game when the Cardinals scored on a 70-yard run.)
I saw television footage of a decibel meter measuring the crowd volume during the Vikings game. The meter read 105 decibels. More than five minutes of that can cause hearing loss.
The decibel level was pretty high Sunday night at Bob and Kay Archer’s house, where the Emmerich family was enjoying true paradise - Bob’s hamburgers and a Saints victory.
My son Lawrence and I came close to hurting Bob for rooting for the Vikings. “I just want to enjoy a close game,” he protested.
Close indeed. That field goal kicker must have nerves of steel.
The Emmerichs were whooping so much that I felt the need to apologize to Kay Archer’s mother, Elizabeth McIlwain. She turned her head slowly and told me she had watched every Saints game this season. Nuff said.
My son Lawrence loves to play tennis but he loves to watch football. Thanks to his generation’s amazing video games, he knows the intricacies of the game. He is a virtual encyclopedia of stats. This inclination will serve him well in the future. Once he develops a taste for beer, he will be perfectly adapted to modern male American habitat.
Let’s face it: Football is the best spectator sport bar none. It’s an organized riot rife with unpredictability.
The Saints are the Red Sox of football - a true Cinderella story. Surely, destiny is in their favor.
Here’s an interesting football factoid. Who played in the last pro football exhibition game in Jackson? The Saints and the Colts. That was Lawrence’s first time to watch football.
Speaking of coincidences, what are the odds the Saints would face two hometown boys in a row - Favre and Manning - en route to their first Super Bowl.
Mississippi is the hospitality state. It has readily adopted New Orleans and its Saints.
I’m not so sure the feeling works as much the other way around. New Orleans is isolated by a huge swamp that breeds a strong sense of insularity among its citizens.
A few years back, Ginny and I were in New Orleans out to dinner with a big group of her friends from when she lived there.
The Emmerichs didn’t get much attention until we mentioned that we had visited my great-great-grandparents’ ancestral home in the city.
Like magic, we were transformed from Mississippi crackers to New Orleans blue blood royalty.
New Orleans is special. There is just something unique and mystical about the city. How appropriate that the Saints’ first Super Bowl continues this tradition.
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