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Why The Saints Mean So Much To New Orleans


SaintRay
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  • Don't bother reading this if you think Katrina didn't have an impact on the City of New Orleans. But this article isn't really about Katrina.

  • Don't bother reading this if you think the Falcons are being picked on....they aren't.

  • Don't bother reading this if you think it was a NFL setup.....it wasn't.

  • This is the story of what a magical moment meant to the City of New Orleans provided by the team they love.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nfl--bar-none--steve-gleason-s-block-vs--falcons-greatest-moment-in-new-orleans-sports-history-063812159.html

Something was growing that day the dome re-opened. It built through a morning suffused with anticipation. It broiled in the afternoon sun. The dome had been rebuilt in nine months, which had seemed impossible. Everyone wanted to celebrate. People walked out of work, they filled the bars of the French Quarter and surged over Poydras Street, the main avenue that goes by the dome.

There was a power in the throng. Something bigger than anyone had seen. Never in the months after Katrina had everyone come back together like this. The mob closed Poydras then slowly surged toward the stadium. Inside they wept. The stadium dome smelled new. The building New Orleans had left behind with its hole in the roof and torn turf and ruined seats, shined. U2 and Green Day played an opening show, unveiling a song called "The Saints Are Coming." Across the field a line of local New Orleans musicians backed them in a blast of brass.

A roar climbed to the roof, rattling through the girders and bouncing to the field. It boomed through the kickoff and reached a deafening pitch when Falcons quarterback Michael Vick dropped the ball before falling on it. Then Atlanta lined up to punt. Koenen stood just inside his 20. The snap came. The roar so loud now. He caught the ball, swung his leg. Gleason flew in …

"That night was so important," says New Orleans resident Patty Glaser, who was at the game with her family. "It was one of the most powerful symbols in the rebuilding after Katrina. Everyone was asking: 'Is the dome re-opening?' Having the dome open and winning that game was the thing that told us we cold do it too. We could rebuild our homes."

"It was like a big [expletive] you to Katrina,"

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The Saints were pretty loved through the years, even the bad ones. They were the only Pro franchise in town, except for a short while during the JazzNdays, but they left. Now we have the Pelicans, but make no mistake, New Orleans is a football town first and foremost.

Pre-Katrina the support was good, but not like today. Jim Haslett had worn out his welcome and needed to go, then Katrina hit. The team left for the 2005 season and Tom Benson made a few errors in judgement. Fans reacted to his talk of relocation by showing their love to the team. Benson responded by working with the NFL, including Hiz Honor and Tags, and they made the transition necessary to rebuild and stay.

Mickey Loomis hired Sean Payton and the team finally resembled a winning franchise.

it was touch and go in 2005, but regardless of the success they've enjoyed, I believe the team would still be there, albeit through state subsidies. Those aren't necessary any longer.

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what it comes down to is not many cities have residents that connect so deeply with the city or the team. I literally get a lump in my throat when I watch the highlights from the return to the Superdome, Hartley's OT kick against the Vikings, or Porter's pick 6

the crowd in the Dome reached 120 decibels on that first game back...that is incredible. That is the same level of sound produced by a thunderclap

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