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Who Dat Done Fixed New Orleans ?
Feb 6th, 2010 by JuannyCinco

Today is Superbowl Sunday.  Today is the day that the New Orleans Saints take on the Indianapolis Colts in the biggest game in the world.  (Apologies to the one or two non-American readers of this blog.  I know the World Cup is bigger really… but play along for now… the winner is WORLD champion, so it’s almost as big).

Isn’t it more than a game?

Of course.  It’s the final evidence that New Orleans has not only survived the destruction wreaked upon it by Katrina but has come out of it unscathed.  It wasn’t a federal grant that saved N’awlins, it wasn’t the use of otherwise unengaged military that brought NOLA back from the brink, it wasn’t even that it was declared an emergency, it wasn’t even the outstanding efforts George Bush’s government.  Nor has it apparently been a result of Obama’s pledge to

[we] will partner with the people of the Gulf Coast to rebuild now, stronger than ever.

It was in fact none of these things.  It wasn’t even Reggie Bush.. (although it could be argued he saved Kim K’s career.. )

Drew Brees saved the Big Easy1

That’s right.  Drew Brees.  If you don’t believe me watch the Superbowl.  You will hear this amazing truth on a number of occasions.  You will hear about how the whole Crescent City rallied around the ‘Aints.  You will hear how the entire city, without exception, is Geaux’ing for the Saints.

Who Dat who Loves a Feelgood Story?

The success of the team has been forefront of the news.  Every week since the Saints opened with 45-27 pounding of the hapless Detroit Lions the news has paralleled the success of the Saints with the rebuilding of Reggie Bush’s relationship with Kim Kardashian the city, the Lower 9th and the entire mentality that comes with living and breathing New Orleans.  This wonderful story is wonderful for everyone – in particular, the NFL who loves any emotive story that can put the discussions of a lockout into the dirty shadows of shame. What did the Colts center have to say about what players needed to do in case of a lockout?

We’ve told them, ‘Don’t go out and buy a new boat. Don’t go out and buy a new car.

That’s not a feelgood story.  New Orleans having a Party or  New Orleans being saved by the NFL – those are stories. That’s the news (Goodell wants you to hear).  The NFL really wants to support the rebuilding of New Orleans by…actively discouraging encouraging the sales of who dat merchandise.  Beyond the NFL? Well who wants to read that the Corps of Engineers was determined to be negligent?  I mean… who needs to look at real issues and scars opened up by Katrina?   Who needs to see if New Orleans still needs help?

Who Owns Who Dat?

Yes. The NFL, desperate to prove its love for New Orleans has made it official – despite sending cease and desist notices, they are now allowing anyone to sell merchandise with Who Dat or the Fleur-de-Lis and who says this is the No Fun League?    Local sellers… the NFL Loves YOU now that someone in a legal department clarified trademark law to them.

But New Orleans …

I do like you….I admit it.  I love chicory coffee. I love beignets at midnight. I love the feeling that it embraces every quirk that makes it what it is.

It’s a GREAT city.  But what makes it great is not Drew Brees and it’s not the ‘Aints and it’s certainly not the NFL.

It has great places to visit – and don’t stay in-and-around Bourbon Street , which is incidentally, the only place that people are happy to see Hurricanes and Hand Grenades.   I say visit it.  I say enjoy it. I say, see it for yourself.  I say, don’t rely on some commentator to inform you of the state of the recovery and the NFL’s role in it’s rising from the ashes.

Finally..

I don’t want to hear from the NFL how they fixed New Orleans.  I just want the people of New Orleans to be able to show that there is some civic pride left in America.  That there is some hope left in America for things that could otherwise be left in tatters and ruins.  I want the PEOPLE of New Orleans to show that things ARE FIXED and things still ARE BROKEN.  It’s not as black and it’s not as white an issue as the media leads us to believe – either figuratively, or,  literally.

I’ll give the NFL credit for creating the biggest opportunity for the people of the Crescent City/the Big Easy/N’awlins  to share their city.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Here’s hoping the Detroit get their shot at being fixed by the NFL next year.  Are you reading this Matthew Stafford?

1 I don’t mean to belittle what Drew Brees really has done.. he has a foundation that works directly with the local communities

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