Tuesday, February 9, 2010
DISCLAIMER: I am not claiming this as my own. I only wish I could have written this. Take note I am NOT passing this off as an original.
OK, now that we have your attention-good game huh?-there's a few things we'd like to clear up. First of all, you may as well get used to seeing us at the Super Bowl. Because about 100 million TV people saw something during the game Sunday night that countless national media "experts" couldn't see before:
We also hate to miss a good party. And you know what? The Super Bowl is one hell of a party. And that was true before the public address announcer cranked up "Iko Iko" on the stadium loudspeakers after the Lombardi Trophy presentation ceremony.
One other thing.
We know what sticklers you are for legal documentation, so please consider this our formal written notice of resignation as the unofficial whipping boys of the National Football League.
You're going to have to find a new whipping boy now. May we suggest the Atlanta Falcons?
We know how hard this is for you. We know that for 43 years, whenever you needed a team to hold up as an example of a perennial loser, whenever you needed some team to make all the other teams and their fans feel better about themselves, we have been your go-to guys.
"It could be worse. We could be the Saints." That has been out role, and we have filled it well.
Not anymore. We are the champions, my friends. And as such, we expect to be granted all the rights and privileges afforded to fans of other championship teams.
So starting today, whenever you refer to the Saints, you're going to have to start referring to- and I quote-"New Orleans' winning tradition."
We've been waiting a long time to hear someone use that particular phase to describe us. The term fits. We'll expect you to use it often.
It means that you'll have to permanently retire the term "Aints" as a nickname for this (ahem) proud, storied franchise.
If you mention the "bagheads," it should be only in the context of ancient history. It has been 30 years since anyone in this town wore a bag to a Saints game. So we will henceforth insist that you stop talking about that like it was last year, and start talking instead about the Finish Strong T-shirts donned by seemingly millions of Saints fans in the run-up to the Super Bowl.
The bottom line is that you're going to have to stop referring to the Saints and their fans as a "great story," and start referring to us as what we are:
A great football team.
We know that this will take some getting used to-for you as well as for us.
After all, for the 43 years we have defined ourselves by the 1-15 seasons.
And the Hail Mary passes.
And the quarterbacks named Billy Joe.
And the holes in the Superdome roof.
Starting tonight we define ourselves by a different set of memories.
By a recovered onside kick.
By a 74-yard interception return.
By an MVP quarterback holding the Lombardi Trophy in his hand and pumping it skyward.
After 43 years of being treated as America's experts on losing, we're ready to become the new national role models for passion and perseverance.
Just to show there are no hard feelings for all the years you made fun of us, we're going to open up membership in the Who Dat Nation to you, our counterparts in all 31 other NFL cities.
Consider this your formal invitation to the Saints parade Tuesday, which will make every previous Super Bowl victory parade look like a long line at the supermarket checkout counter. You can stick around for the unofficial victory parades: Tom Benson in Endymion, Drew Brees in Bacchus , Sean Payton in Orpheus.
Think of it as one of the perks of membership. In New Orleans, football season never ends. It just changes venues.
So, come on down, hit the parade route and do the new dance craze that's sweeping New Orleans.
It's called The Championship Swagger. The steps are easy:
Hold your head up high. Get crunk. And whenever the spirit moves you-which will be often-dig deep down into your soul and say the thee words on this glorious night in Miami became synonymous with success:
Who Dat, baby.
Proudly, passionately, winningly yours,
THE WHO DAT NATION
by Mark Lorando-Features editor-The Times Picayune
Thanks for caring,