Returning from Miami after a 31-17 Super Bowl victory over the Indianapolis Colts, the New Orleans Saints were welcomed by thousands of cheering fans who decked in black-and-gold lining the road. They were welcoming the champions and greeting a team of heroes who have kept hope alive in this city.
Wearing Saints jerseys, they just came from the all-night party celebrating the Saints’ first Super Bowl victory in 43 years of history. At first fans even had trouble believing the win, but soon threw a huge “Lombardi Party” with pride and ecstasy. Four years after the Hurricane Katrina flooded 80 percent of the city and destroyed thousands of homes and small businesses, something really worth excitement really happened. Long-suffering fans throughout the city shot off fireworks, danced in the streets and second-lined down the St. Charles Avenue streetcar tracks.
“After Katrina everyone was hurting,” said Derek Stevens, 27, who was still on Bourbon Street at dawn. “The Saints was the one thing we had that was positive, that made us hopeful.”
Yeah, people in New Orleans seemed crazy all the day and night, but everyone aware of the pain they suffered understands their feeling and knows they should be so.