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More Than a Game

My fellow Boilermaker, Drew Brees with the Lombardi trophy

Dang.  So I had this long post-Super Bowl entry ready about sports and how I don’t enjoy trophy presentations after the game and the plantation model in professional sports and everything, but I just can’t post something like that right now.  Not this morning.  Not when there are people still partying in the French Quarter.

One of the most difficult things for me to become accustomed to when I moved to Chicago and started graduate school was the level of disinterest in sports amongst my new colleagues.  I’d bring up March Madness, and some folks would look at me as if I was speaking Martian.  Fortunately, I eventually found a few friends that enjoyed having a drink and going nuts over a last second shot.  Still, I have some homies who just don’t get the allure of sports, of athletic competition, of watching the dangerous, violent, football–despite its obvious homoeroticism.  Not even that aroused their interest.

I hoped they watched the game last night.  Admittedly, I ended up cheering for my home team, and it stung a little when Peyton threw that interception.  I winced at every foot of that 74-yard return.  But I’m happy for the Saints and their fans.  Last night’s game carried so much symbolic meaning for NOLA, for Louisiana, for the country.  So much so that someone with not even a passing interest in the game of football might have sat down to watch.  In what other arena of American life could we find that many people agreeing on–and happy about– one really good thing?

I think a Super Bowl win wouldn’t have meant as much to the city of Indianapolis, the state of Indiana, or Colts fans like myself.  So in a way, I’m okay with my team losing this time.  I know last night’s win meant a lot for the people of New Orleans.  Sure, it doesn’t change many of the city’s problems, but maybe it changes–if only briefly–its outlook.

So from a New Orleans loving native of the Hoosier state, congratulations to the Saints.

Who Dat!