Eric on The Road

Journeys into the offbeat, off the beaten path, overlooked and forgotten - by Eric Model

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

More Than a Game: Superdome Reopens

Yes - there have been more than a few sports entries recently at this blog. But somehow they all seemed appropriate. And, none more than this one.

The re-opening of the Superdome in New Orleans must be noted. There was something at once haunting and liberating about the occasion.

We are burdened by the memories of the scenes of devastation, desparation and death that occurred there last year. They will not be nor should they be ever forgotten. They are harsh reminders of the many ways we as a society (those "in control" in Washington, etc.) came up and tend to come up short because we choose not to look until we have no choice but to look.

The return of the Saints and of the NFL to New Orleans is also worth contemplation. It is heartening to see citizens of the Crescent City celebrate with unabashed and spontaneous joy. Yes, there was Mardis Gras and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, but when the Saints scored that early touchdown - well that was authentic emotion - as if someone finally said to the locals "let it all go" - after a year of grief and stress we're all going to bond together and have some fun.

It must also be noted that the 13 month turnaround of the Superdome should also serve as a lesson to us all of just we are capable of doing - if only we choose to commit our minds & dollars to it.

There is so much more that needs to be done along the Gulf Coast - especially in New Orleans. In so many ways so many were treated unfairly. So, at least for one night it felt so heart-warming to watch and rootfor the New Orleans Saints fans as they rooted for their team and their city.


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