Something new happened in our household yesterday. We cared about a football game.
Imagine my surprise when, caught in the throngs of fans approaching the Superdome at 4pm, a lump suddenly appeared in my throat. Will and Kate were in the back, watching horsebuggies and foot traffic wind around the waiting cars, everyone decked in gold and black. “Where they going, Mommy?” Will asked. “They are going to a football game Will. A very important and special… football game.” The last two words stuck as I worked to swallow down that lump, blinking away the mist growing in my eyes.
A football game? Important? Could I really feel that way about football? Even in my most nostalgic, home-team supporting, proud-of-my-school moment, I have never really, truly cared about a football game. It’s not that I don’t like football. I have a general respect for how well-loved it is and the importance it holds for others. Still, the armchair quarterback, the shouting living room conversations with the television, the lost Sunday afternoons… these annoy me enough that “does not watch football” was a key characteristic I sought out in potential partners.
But yesterday, as the Superdome reopened for the New Orleans Saints, I found myself caught up in it all. Children came to Abeona in mini-jerseys. Everyone was wearing t-shirts supporting either the City, the Saints, or both, as yesterday the two issues seemed intertwined. The Superdome was completed, ready before schedule and against odds, and the Saints were home. The symbolism seemed clear, it’s message loud: New Orleans is worth it; New Orleans has survived.
Cheered on by local artists (including Theresa Anderson, remember her from the Children’s Museum?) and stars like U2 and Greenday, the Saints won. Even the most diehard Falcon fans had to have a little part of them cheering for the Saints. Yesterday was their day, our day.