Get ready for a flood of stories about how much the Saints run to the Super Bowl will help New Orleans. I’ve already read a few, and every article leaves me with the same baffled reaction.
Yes, the residents of New Orleans were lifted for a few hours when the Saints somehow defeated the bumbling Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Title Game.
But the game – any game – only offers a few hours of escape from reality. A football team isn’t going to save New Orleans, and it’s silly – it’s somewhere far beyond silly – to suggest the Saints have some sort of magical power to truly change a city.
A few years back, there was all kind of talk about how much Michigan State’s run in the Final Four provided comfort to the unemployed in Michigan.
And that’s true. The Spartans run did inspire comfort.
For a couple hours.
The Spartans didn’t provide any permanent jobs. The Spartans didn’t boost anyone’s unemployment benefits.
Sport is a diversion. Sport is a great conversation starter for those who can’t something else to talk about. Sports can brighten a gloomy night. Sport is a great escape from what really matters.
Sport is not what really matters.
The Saints are plotting for ways to defeat the Colts in the Super Bowl, and that’s great.
The Saints are not plotting for ways to rescue a tattered, fading city.
Here’s a story from The New York Times that talks about all the wonderful things the Saints are doing for, yes, the city of New Orleans.