Those of us who live in Louisana, part time like me or full time like others, can't wait for the New Orleans Saints to have their day. It's been a long time coming.
I spoke with Lani-Maggio Adkins, an administrative assistant at the Chamber of Commerce in Natchitoches, by phone on Friday to find out what's happening there in the town where I live half the year.. She said its" geaux Saints" everywhere. The spelling, of course, is the cutesy way folks in Louisiana show they are part of a special "in" group, with the French humorous spelling; of an ordinary word. Everyone goes right along with the joke. As an outsider who became an insider of sorts, I am now brought into the fun.
It's time for the Saints, folks are hoping. Here''s a history of the great team you can read right here
. by the official numbers with highlights about the team. Those in New Orleans are said to have longed for this day when the focus will be on their beloved Saints football team and not the images of Hurricane Katrina
with disaster victims crying for help. A win for the Saints could replace those images with a joyous one of folks happy and positive and a renewed energy to continue rebuilding efforts to bring back the tired, often sad, sometimes forgotten, but always beloved New Orleans, whose tattered garments need a few sparkles these days in order to get on the dance floor again.
And dance it will be for the folks around town, and out in the bayous as well. Most people outside Louisiana don't understand that Louisiana is culturally three parts, folks to the North from Shreveport to Alexandria with their West European,ways derived from early English and Scottish settlers, the folks on the bayous from Alexandria to Lafayette and Baton Rouge as well with their mixture of ancestries, and the folks from the Canada French. Then there is the City of New Orleans, the flagship city of the State whose life-blood was nearly drained by the strom that hit nearly five years ago.
I've been a part of Louisiana since the great hurricane hit along the Gulf Coast only a handful of years past, watched the pain and the sorrow and watched people leave. The Saints win could bring new hope to the State of Louisiana at a time when folks have felt torn asunder by political divisions, blacks on one side and whites on the other, mostly on social issues and political issues surrounding the election and tenure so far of President Obama. Only three parishes, predominantly black, voted for Obama in the general election in 2009. A win for the Saints will be a relief from the hurt that hits home to some folks who want New Orleans to be seen for more than corrupt politics, crime and dreadful storms that have battered New Orleans and still threaten.
Many people, including those people of New Orleans and the rest of the State of Louisiana, don't know all of the lyrics that Louis Armstrong
, the great jazz artist of old always sang. The final verse is this:
When our leaders learn to cry
When our leaders learn to cry
Oh lord I want to be in that number
When the saints go marching in
And that's a message that echoes what folks think even as politics seems so removed. The song has more depth than the celebration folks think, but a message to party as well.
So it's "geaux Saints" from here as I watch and I wait with my Louisiana brothers and sisters so far away. This blue state liberal longs to be there now when the Saints go marching in like the old jazz march song declares.. And perhaps when politicians cry it will be like when pigs fly, and the rare, but blessed reality, with a win for the Saints will make a lot of folks proud.