Sunday, February 07, 2010

New Orleans Wins Super Bowl 37-17

The Super Bowl has ended, and the New Orleans Saints (at right, TED JACKSON / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE) won, defeating the much more heralded Indianapolis Colts 37-17. They ain't the Ain'ts (remember that era) any more. I watched bits and pieces of the game as I was reading school-related stories, and prepping for my new class, tomorrow (the novella-writing adventure!), so I missed nearly all the commercials that I didn't actively tune out, which I usually cannot do. These included the controversial Focus on the Family's Tim Tebow anti-abortion advocacy ad, which CBS chose to run while refusing (and lying about) gay dating company's site's ad. I did catch the wheezing, out of tune members of The Who (Roger Daltry, Pete Townshend), whom I thought weren't going to be performing because of Townshend's child-porn scandal, but for some reason or another, CBS and the NFL thought these folks, who were known back when I was a little kid for singing about drugs and the counterculture would be the best choice for 2010. What about the children, for real? After the orgy of consumerism and stereotyping the commercials projected, the anti-establishment message the Who geezed out was a bit refreshing, I think; did anyone else catch it?

Back to the game, New Orleans came through in the second quarter, controlling the ball for long stretches and racking up a near tie with two field goals, which turned the game around. That, followed by the daring offside kick to start the second half, and Drew Brees's 288 yards passing and 2 TDs, put the Saints in the lead, but the backbreaker was Tracy Porter's late 4th quarter inception of Peyton Manning (who was, as always, being proclaimed as the greatest ever before the game), who was leading a dramatic final drive to tie the score.  That gave New Orleans breathing room and the win. It was wonderful to see a team that has never won the Super Bowl, and which has had such a checkered history, finally walk away with the trophy. It helps too that the team comes from a city that was left to drown, before the country's and world's eyes, just five years ago, and which has been treated pretty shabbily since then.

I saw some folks posting on Twitter about how this victory might "help" New Orleans, but it realistically won't do squat for the many hundreds of thousands of people who're still feeling the aftereffects of Hurricane Katrina, half a decade on. But it may give them a temporary good feeling, and might spur on more interest in the city and its ongoing problems. Its people still need the country's help, and we still need to be listening, and working with them, wherever they are.


  1. I watched it ..mainly for the ads...Was rooting for the Saints to win all along..i love the underdog

  2. I think a number of people did watch it primarily for the ads. What did you think of the FOF ad? I've also come across some blogs that have criticized the misogyny, and in one case, misandry, of the ads. Did you perceive that? I too am glad the Saints won.

  3. RE: the idea that the win will "help" New Orleans. I think this is an idea people have gotten from sports movies. In an attempt to add weight, drama, tension and importance to the outcome of a game, it's become ridiculously common, almost expected, for sports films to focus on a broken community rallying around a local sports team. The community itself, not just an intangible win is at stake; the team's win validates the broken community's existence and spirit, and proves to them that they can, and will, pull through. It's a dramatic device, and I think it's crept into our thinking, in a weird sort of fiction influencing reality way, and most of the time there isn't a lot of truth to it. It plays a lot better when you're talking about a high school or community college team rather than a professional one, for one thing. Rooting for the Saints was an easy way for people to feel like they were "supporting" New Orleans in some abstract way. The sense of being on the right side without the inconvenience of doing anything about it.

    On the other hand, as my 13 year old cousin said somewhat plaintively before the game "I just want people in New Orleans to be happy." I do think there is also a real desire to see something, anything GOOD happen to the city. The problem is that a football win, in the scheme of things, is pretty small, as good things go. (Just hung out and reminisced with two of the Fiction people a few days ago, so my temptation to make A Small, Good Thing joke here is overpowering. I resisted, though.)

    Mostly though, I blame the whole thing on sports movies.