30 September 2006

The Return of the NEW ORLEANS Saints and Reopening of the Louisiana Superdome

Mr. Dar Dar did his usual superb job recapping the Falcons/Saints game--from a football persepective. I don't think the Saints have ever been that imtimidating and dominating in a meaningful game--at least not since Jim Mora late 1980's Dome Patrol era. The key in my opinion was the containment of Michael Vick. How many times in previous games did he run wild on the Saints? In this game (with one exception) he had no where to run even when he did ducked and juked the rush. The Saints coaching staff actually outcoached Atlanta's--and the linebacking corps, non-existent for the Saints since 1993 or so, made the difference. When's the last time a New Orleans Saints coaching staff outcoached anyone?

The day and night was emotional for me personally as a year ago it seemed as if none of this would ever happen again. (Same thing for Deutsches Haus Oktoberfest.) For me, going to the Saints games is a ritual--and has been for 22 years. Yes, its a football game--but is something I do with my father. And for the first 5 or 6 years I went with my father and grandfather until he died. So the normally 10-time trek to the Dome each Fall has more meaning to me than just a football game.

The Dominion Tower and the Hyatt remain shuttered as does the New Orleans Centre. Macy's has decided to for the time being not to reopen their store here. The former Lord and Taylor store is being used as hospital space for the time being. As tailgating and good times were being enjoyed, these very visible scars remind all that all is still not well with New Orleans.

The official reopening of the Louisiana Superdome.

Dome Sweet Dome. These guys have been sitting a section over from our seats for over 15 years. The front page of the Times-Picayune featured this guy and his sign on the morning after the game.

Gov. Blanco about to be interviewed by the NFL Network.

The team gets fired up after final warmups.

Spike Lee being interviewed by the NFL Network.

Green Day, U2, et. al perform "The Saints are Coming." I do think the sound system in the Dome is better than the previous one, but it wasn't until I watched my PVR'ed copy of the game that I heard of all of the lyrics.

The team takes the field as a line of Katrina first-responders line their path.

Rob Ninkovich getting helped off the field after suffering a knee injury.

One of Atlanta's deepest penetrations of the night--which ended with . . .

Morten Anderson's chipshot field goal about to be blocked.

Then my camera crapped out . . . .

TAGS: Katrina, New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans, NOLA, Louisiana Superdome


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