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Saints Spearhead New Orleans Rebirth After Hurricane Katrina


September 25, 2006 represented a new day in the city of New Orleans, the beginning of a long journey, a sense of renewal.

In the days after Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana Superdome became a symbol of the suffering that was taking place all over the Gulf Coast region.

The television and print images of the destruction in and around the Crescent City certainly werent’ going away anytime soon, but for one night in September, people forgot about insurance battles, flooded homes, and ruined possessions, and became normal Americans again.

“Well, this is huge. This is like the Super Bowl. It’s amazing. A great spirit here, but it still has to be tempered a bit. Because when the game’s over, the Lower Ninth Ward still is not gonna have gas. Still not have electricity. Still not gonna have water. So for four hours it’s gonna be great,” filmmaker Spike Lee told NFL Network before the game.

On the fourth play of the game, Saints special teams guru Steve Gleason broke though the line and blocked a punt which was then recovered for a touchdown by then-Saint Curtis Deloatch for the first Superdome score since Katrina.

The Dome’s new roof nearly popped off.

“Hands down, the loudest I’ve ever heard,” NFL Network’s Rich Eisen said.

Now, almost four years later to the day, the Saints are once again preparing for a Week 3 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons in the Dome.

But much has changed.

For starters, a banner hangs from the Superdome rafters.

It isn’t simply any banner, no, that banner tells America and all of the world that both New Orleans and the Saints have finally climbed the hill, got over the hump and now know it can be done because it’s been done before — a Super Bowl Championship.

“The Saints have transformed into a new team as their city has also been reborn,” Saints fan Ricky Tiernan says.

“It’s like Sean Payton is a miracle worker. The Saints used to be the joke of the NFL until Sean came and turned everything around,” fan Kyle Carson adds.

Out of the rubble, both the team and the city have risen and they’re both striving to be better, way better than ever before.

Check out Keith Null’s weekly article about the Saints on by clicking here.

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