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Tonights Saints Game: A Reflection

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posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 04:07 PM
I wake up every day to a city that a little more than a year ago was centered in the eyes and minds of americans for a few days. My window remains open every night so that I may be awoken by the morning sun, its warmth and brilliance in my bed room with its interplay of shadows chasing across my wall. No, I do not wake up to the beating of hammers or the sounds of buzzsaws however if I lived in a part of town not a mile away I would. Walking outside in the mornings these days hits you with humidity that is almost breath taking (in a bad way). Yes, I leave my nebighorhood and see the many trucks going to their work for the day, air conditioning services, window instlation, dump trucks hauling debris, and of course a few large 4 door trucks carrying 8 hispanic workers pulling a trailer with loosely secured tools.

You walk around the city, you walk around anywhere, someone is telling thier story still and someone is inevitablly talking about "Rebirth" or "Rebuilding". The news paper speaks of the failures and sucess of the City of New Orelans in the recent year. The news casters love to say how "New Orleans is comming back". I see these things and turn my head in shame. Its all a lie I tell you. Don't get me wrong I love New Orleans. I know the city streets better than any of my friends, I know where to get the best gumbo and new orleans coffee. Ive been a jazz musicain most of my life and have seen hundredes of preformances from the Marsalias brothers to Pete Fountain. But alas I shake my head. Why? people ask me. "You love the city" they say. However I am a studnet of histroy, one who denys ignorance, someone always looking for truth (what is truth?). I remember all the citys of antiquity that have fallen to natural loss, how desperatly the people worked to save their cities and failed in the end. Am I a pessimist? no Im quite the realist. No, im not saying new orleans cant come back, it quite can. I think of cities in ancient Sumer that fell to flodding, I think of Pompei and many other places ravaged by natural disaster, Jericho built on a fault etc... People need to realize that this is not soemthing specail, its happend throughout human history. We make mistakes we build our cities where tehy shouldnt be and eventually it catches up. I come to grips that New Orleans will not exist in the nest 150 years but so many of my fellow people have not.

Yes, people speak of rebirth and how they love new orleans. Why? becasue it now has value in the eyes of america? I know numbers of people who talked ill of new orleans before the storm but once it happend and they returned it was a city adorned in gold. "The city with the most character!" I hear on the streets. but what I hear more than that and what you dont hear outside the city is "the city goverment is run by fools!" "They cant do that!" "The crime rate is beyone comparision this is a hellish place!". My sister moved to texas after the stom and has seince returned with a texas drivers liscence. I have heard too many times her asked "Do you like new orlenas?" with that hint of disgust. That slight hint of disaproval and mallintent towards the city. Yeah, things are geting back to normal. People hate the city again.

But what about now? we are back in the eye of all america and everyone is proud to be from New Orleans. NPR aired a story this morning that was a short lecture on the game tonight. Somethign was mentioned that tongiht when they show secnes of the French Qutr or of someone geting some raw oysters New Orleans natives wont turn their heads but instead lift them up in pride as that symbolizes the strength of the people here and their spirit of "rebirth". My point illustrated beuatifully.

Tonight the nation watches our team. Our pitufil discgraceful team. But tonight they are heroes to New Orleans natives. Why? I cant seem to find out. They have let us down so many times. Ticket sales have threatned to sell the saints for years but alas they are now sold out for every game. SO many times has that ball been fumbled on the 1 yard line or a 20 yard feild goal missed. So many times have we said "Dat's DEM AINTS!" But now they are the Knights of Katrnia. Fighting for what? A city no one loved? A team no one liked?

Its all hype if you ask me. We are popular and "stylish" to be new orleans related. And no one wants to be the sore thumb. Hasn't this game gone too far already? A national pre game show and enoug flair to make it seem like the superbowl. I drove around today and saw hundreds of people wearing saints apperal. I have heard their are fairs in the city jsut for the game and bars giving outragesous specails because of it. Its all hype. Yeah its important that the saints are finally back home in the dome but is it really all this big? Is it that big of a deal that all of the city and a great portion of america will stop for 4 hours to watch? No its really not, its gone too far. People are making a big deal about a city they never loved and a team they never liked. People are seeing the wrong things and for the wrong reasons. Its all hype I tell you. People outside the city have the entirely wrong idea of just what is going on here and the media is showing that immage creating a hype that shouldnt be. Im glad and Im tolerant that people are now somewhat in love with New Orleans. Its better than them commiting crimes or doing other wrong acts. But its for the wrong reasons.

Tonight I will drime my jeep to Magizine street in new orleans and proceed to Loyola. I will park my car and take an evening stroll through Audbon park and enjoy the night, I will listen to the church bells toll for 7 oclock at Holy Name of Jesus Church, I will walk through the pathways admiring the French architecture of the park and I will know that I am admireing New Orleans for its history and its heritage something that has always made new orleans what it is. And all the while New Orleanians will be glued to their TV's wathing the part of new orleans that no one ever loved.

- Mizar

posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 05:17 PM
We don't always see eye to eye, but I have to let you know how well done I thought this was.
Very good man, very good.

However, I am rooting for the Aint's tonight, and will watch the game. Why? Because New Orleans does one thing better than all the rest, and that is party. Not because we're out of touch with reality, not because we're ignorant, but mostly because of this: we need a break to enjoy our lives a little with our fellow New Orleanians.

And that is realism. When I am seeing destruction every day, I embrace these breaks from the day-to-day crap, and hold on tightly to my night of celebration.

That said, enjoy Audubon Park, but be sure to stop at Fat Harry's on the way back for a $1 well drink, and get yourself a po-boy!


*Edit - oh, don't mind the avatar...

[edit on 9/25/06 by niteboy82]

posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 06:47 PM
I'll be rooting for the Saints, too. I have to admit that when I moved to New Orleans in 1976, I thought that nothing could make me not give a hoot about football, but a season of buying tickets to see players fall over their own feet made me feel that way. The good thing about it was that it saved me all those bipolar fits that New Orleanians had for all those years through Bum Phillips and Jim Mora and the promises that Tom Benson made about a winning team.

However, in times such as those that New Orleans is enduring now, symbols of rebirth are what is needed to give hope where they may be little and to send a message to the world that New Orleans is going to give it a shot.

I loved New Orleans. It really did have a character that few other cities can claim. The waves of immigrants, who settled there and who brought their cultures to be blended, created food that is hard to compare and a language that is unique and totally out of place in the Deep South.

In the end, however, it was the relentless humidity and the violent crime that touched me too many times and almost everyone I knew that got to me. When murder becomes as commonplace as it was in the last decade that I lived there, it is time to make some arrangements and lacking the influence to change the city, I did the only thing that I could. I moved.

I'm afraid that the massive damage that New Orleans suffered will forever change the demographic mix that made New Orleans so special, but then a lot of those kinds of changes have been taking place for decades.

In many ways, New Orleans had become a caricature of itself. Poor Boy sandwiches became small and misspelled to make tourists say it right. "Nawlins," a pronunciation only used by tourists became a billboard icon and if you wanted chicory coffee in a restaurant except Café Du Monde or Antoine's, you had to ask for it.

And the crime, there was just no escaping the senseless barbarism that engulfed the city in the eighties and nineties.

If New Orleans is lucky, it will survive and we can all hope that the forces that turned one of the most beautiful and charming cities in the world into what it was the day before Katrina will be eradicated so that a new New Orleans can emerge that will be both different and uniquely special.

[edit on 2006/9/26 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 08:58 PM

You have voted GradyPhilpott for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have used all of your votes for this month.

Grady, thank you for that post, it brought a smile to my face, along with a gentle reminder of why I love this city so much.

The crime is horrific, and we know how that goes here. Fortunately, they have caught one of the guys involved with the string of bar robberies in my area (you know the one), and he quickly gave up the names of his comrades. They are out looking, and we are lucky to have a sensible seargant running around now that was demoted from his previous position (which was AWESOME), and is now looking out big time. Definitely a good cop.

He told Riley's assistant that he needed to learn people skills if he was going to go out and speak to citizens at neighborhood groups, instead of treating us like numbskulls and acting like there was no crime in the first place. He won me over, and he is quite ruthless in tracking down offenders, and I have seen him sit in a cafe for 5 hours, just speaking to whoever came up to him, and he followed up on each and every report.

We need more like him, and less like the others. Change is going to come, one way or the other, and we can't avoid that, I just hope we have some strategically placed people that will be able to push it in a better direction.

Thanks again Grady, I needed that smile.

posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 05:32 PM
Well, the game is over the Saints won! and the crowd was very enthusiatic and supportive to have their team back!

Nawlins needed that. Good for them!

[edit on 28-9-2006 by jsobecky]

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