Much has been made of this accomplishment, both before and after the Super Bowl, as a huge morale boost for a city that has still never fully recovered from Hurricane Katrina. Certainly, while it does not do anything to change the lasting effects of the hurricane, it’s nice to see the images of New Orleans celebrating (and just in time for Mardi Gras). This is sure to become a “Where were you when…” moment for many people in that region.
A sports team is never more than a symbol in the real world, yet for so many places, that symbol can mean something real to the people that live there. Five years ago, New Orleans became a reminder of this nation’s many failures in protecting our most vulnerable people. That reminder is still there throughout the difficult rebuilding process and the city has a long way to go before we could truly say New Orleans is “back.” For now, cheers to a team and a city that gets to hold its head a little higher today.