I never cared for football...even growing up in an area of the country where football is a religion.
I was never an athletic kid. While I was not overweight, I was one of those rock solid kids who could weigh than 20 pounds more than the next kid my size. Running and jumping were never my forte. Mom never encouraged my joining sports teams, preferring to keep our weekends free to travel.
High school football games were about the band. I belonged to elite band - always going to competitions. The games were always about showing up the band across the field and about a rockin' halftime show. Who cared about the game? It was simply a vehicle to show off the band!
College meant boys and showing off for the boys. Football games were about seeing and being seen. That meant wardrobe. Saturdays were spent at the mall picking out the right outfit. And the game??? The end of it signaled that it was time for the party to start. That's it.
Adulthood brought no reason to ever care about football. I always seemed to like a man a little better if he wasn't all that into sports. I've worked with lots of professional athletes and often had to create "cheat sheets" to even know who they were!
And while I confess to watching the Superbowl, it really was to watch the commercials! I often worked on those little mini art films. I remember one year, I had seven running in the Superbowl and parked myself on a pull out sofa bed to enjoy the commercials and read a book during the game!
But this year... well, I must admit the Saints got even my attention. I did have some mild affection for the team as a child and got such a kick out the Unknown Fan years -when the team was so bad, people were embarrassed to be fans and wore paper bags over their heads. And the years where the team was so awful, folks call them "the 'aints."
When Hurricane Katrina hit and the Superdome was nearly destroyed, there was talk of sending the Saints to San Antonio. I knew that would be a grave blow to the city that was my part time home during childhood.
That New Orleans could not only rise from the swamps in just a few short years but have a winning football team on top of it... that's the kind of stuff that makes me well up with pride. That a football team could bring throngs of tourists back to a city I love makes me so happy.
And while city natives may have been flung far and wide by that Hurricane, their hearts lie deep in the Crescent City. And the hearts of all with ties to the region are full with love and gratitude. Our boys done us proud!