I can't really put "We Dat!!!" because for pretty much this entire season I have not felt any emotional investment in the Saints. The last team I cared about, the Houston Oilers (and the coolest, most original name in NFL franchise history!) moved, and I haven't been able to get into the Texans. I was also never a Cowboys fan, in spite of the fact that my husband was and still is. I've felt like an outsider watching this all play out, most of the time feeling bemused by it all.
One thing that is pretty obvious when you live here, is that people from New Orleans LOVE THEIR SAINTS! And they loved the Saints when they lost, when they were considered an embarrassment, so there's no escaping the air of joy in the city right now that they are the best team in the country. I don't actually live in New Orleans, my husband and I live in a quiet little bedroom community on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain, but I work downtown, right next to the French Quarter. Even in my sleepy little town, the celebrating was crazy! You could hear the victory whoops coming from almost every single house in the neighborhood, fireworks were going off, and they were BIG, not just the kind that you buy from a stand at New Years!!! People were driving through the streets honking theirs horns, car alarms were going off... it was totally nuts. I can only imagine how wild it was in the French Quarter last night.
Its really hard not to feel something when you see all of that! I've been here for two years now, and it just broke my heart when the natives would say wistfully "It would be so good for the city if the Saints win the Superbowl..." or "Its so good for the city that we are getting the Superbowl in 2012...". New Orleans was in a decline before Katrina, and its kind of doubtful that it will ever be the booming city it was in the 70s. Everyone knows about the crime problem, its dirty, its run down, half of the buildings are empty, and the only businesses thriving are the kinds you find on Bourbon street, but you can't forget that with all of its problems that it's their home town. They want it to come back, they don't want its glory days to be over, and they still think that its possible that the city's best days are ahead of it!
So for all of the natives who were "proud to swim home", Bless You Boys!!! I'm so thankful that I got to be here for this :).