Now that the Super Bowl match-up is set, and we wait two more weeks for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers to lay it on the line in Dallas, it is important for Saints fans to not take this season for granted.
Sure, it’s easy to wallow in the fact that the Saints lost to probably the worst Wildcard team in history. And sure, we didn’t TWO DAT! But has one Super Bowl spoiled us so much that we have forgotten what it means to be Saints fans?
About a week and a half after the Saints’ abysmal display on the turf in Qwest Field, I found myself in Chattanooga, TN, leaving a local brewpub after having lunch and a few craft beers with good friends.
As we stepped into the snow-filled street, a man in a gray Saints Championship long-sleeve T was walking into the brewpub, and I gave him a ‘passing Who Dat’*.
*Note: A ‘passing Who Dat’ is the proper etiquette for Saints fans to acknowledge Saints fandom in another, usually a stranger, and preferably outside of the Greater New Orleans Area.
“Who Dat! Wish we could be Dat! Or I wouldn’t be here!” he said, smiling and motioning to the newly browned snow on the side of the street.
We shared a laugh and parted, and I’m not sure if it was the beer or the conversation, but my mood skyrocketed. I felt a sense of camaraderie for the Saints and the city of New Orleans, and this just over a week after watching the defending Super Bowl champs play like the Carolina Panthers.
While it would be great to win the Super Bowl every year, as Saints fans we know that we can’t have it all. We also know that while we win together, we also lose together.
Sports create and intensify communities, and the knowledge that millions of Saints fans across the country all received the same kick in the gut during the Seattle game is largely comforting.
While the 2010 season was disappointing to most, I appreciate the season we had, because we were in it together, 100%, and nobody can take that away from us.