(Photo from the Times-Picayune)Right now, though, I'm happy to turn my attention to tomorrow night's NFL season opener, featuring the Saints and the Colts.
Non-New Orleanians probably know that Archie Manning piloted the Saints back in the day, but Peyton Manning is a product of Isidore Newman here in uptown New Orleans. So this game is going to captivate anyone in this area. Native son vs. native team?
You just know that the broadcast is going to start out with Katrina footage - aerial views of a soggy New Orleans, inundated by water - dramatic music - montages of Peyton Manning and Reggie Bush - the millionth replay of U2's and Green Day's "The Saints are Coming" (I can't knock it too much, as it's one of the ringtones on my phone) - footage of Brees and Colston and the near Super Bowl appearance - and of COURSE the collapse of the Saints at Soldier Field in January.
New Orleans will be electric tomorrow night. People may even refrain from grill-stealing temporarily to fill sports bars and living rooms to catch a glimpse of the future of our Saints.
Sadly, I won't be here to watch the game, as I'll be in Kansas City, but my friend Kariann (from Des Moines) and I are scouting out sports bars in northern Missouri so that I can proudly wear my Deuce jersey and shout "Who Dat?" annoyingly and repeatedly at a big screen TV in a bar populated by downtrodden and depressed Chiefs fans.
I'm extremely excited about the 2007 season - obviously, our defense is a major concern, but Payton has shown a knack for making decisions that fit the team...such as signing undrafted rookie Pierre Thomas (my preseason hero) and cutting fourth-round pick Antonio Pittman. Thomas plays with such heart and speed that you can't help but root for him to move up the depth chart - even though he has to contend with the likes of Reggie Bush before he'll see playing time.
Tomorrow night, Indianapolis will likewise be insane with football frenzy - and why wouldn't they be? They're the defending champions. They knocked off Sexy Rexy (dirty Gator) and his compadres in a glorious Super Bowl victory, and they made Tom Brady cry. I can't wait to watch the results of tomorrow's contest. Here's a great article from NOLA.com (from T-P staff writer Jeff Duncan) on the game: