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I couldn't believe my eyes. There I was, sitting in front of a TV at a friends super bowl party and it finally hit me. I was supporting my HOME TEAM. The Saints were actually in Miami, playing in the Superbowl. I've always had faith, but it seemed surreal that the moment millions of Saints fans prayed for every year was really here.
My family has been a part of "Who Dat Nation" before the phrase even existed. My dad had a variety of black and gold Polo's. My mom always made sure to keep her gold jewelry collection close by for the games. We even had a Saintsmobile. Embarrassingly enough, my parents went through a period of time driving around a large black and gold van- complete with a fleur de lis tire cover. Please refrain from any immediate feelings of jealousy.
Every year, I would wait for my turn to go to the "Kids game". My dad is a genius. He told my little sister and I that there was only one Saints game per year that kids were allowed to go. Since there were other kids there when we went, we totally bought into it. It wasn't til a few years later that we discovered our friends going to games that were not on 'kid day'. (I'll never let you live that down, dad. But it is etched in my memory for use with my future kids.)
The point is that we love the Saints with a passion despite their history of a predisposition to lose. We always believed that one day maybe, just maybe, we would be in the Super Bowl. But every year we would end the season with a hopeful "we will be there next year! Next year is OUR YEAR!!"
But on February 7th as I was sitting on my friends couch, tears came to my eyes thinking of all of the years the city of New Orleans has believed in this team. I wasn't emotional about the heartbreak that NOLA has had, because I knew that this event was symbolic for overcoming tragedy with triumph. I was overcome with pure happiness for this team and for our city. I was happy for our coach who is so young yet so intelligent, and saw something special in every one of his players. I was happy that someone like Drew Brees, (who does so many philanthropic things in his spare time it would make Mother Theresa proud) could lead his team to success over and over this season. I was happy that Kim Kardashian might finally get a proposal from Reggie.
And I can't lie, I was happy that Peyton threw one of his last passes on one of their final drives right into the hands of Tracy Porter. (The same defensive player who caught Bret Favre's career-ending pass). It was a magic game, and I knew what the outcome was going to be from the moment we won the NFC championship.
I was and still am SO happy for the Saints and for the entire "Who Dat Nation"!
BLESS YOU BOYS!!!!
[All images via NOLA]