Q: Why does the notion of the Saints winning the Superbowl make a body so emotional?
A: Who cares. WHO DAT.
Yes, football is humanity’s way of exercising its bloodlust and warring instinct in a harmless and entertaining way. We knew all this before — before we were proud immigrants in da Who Dat Nation — but knew it only in a university-type way. Now we can feel it in our meat and bones. For reasons somewhat inexplicable, the Saints’ blood is our blood. Their war is our war.
The “Unknown Whodat” – photo by Alison O’Keefe
It’s an exciting time to be a New Orleanian — even a recent transplant, like this writer and her friends. Everyone in the City, everyone in the Who Dat Nation, and everyone in TV Land knows that this Superbowl is about much more than sports.
This is the rarest and best kind of competitive event in American history: The underdog, slashed and bleeding, emerges victorious. Power is restored, symbolically even, to the Little Guy. Goliath loses; David wins. David becomes Goliath, and uses his powers for good instead of evil.
The Saints, more than any team in any place we’ve ever lived, have broken down social walls all across this already-friendly swath of swampland. The momentum behind the team is burning off Katrina mold, clearing the mud from the spotlights, and transforming the city’s main drag into Electric Avenue.
Football fans and muggle-detractors alike stand on common ground, cheering the warriors to victory. The football team — nay, the idea of “The Saints” — transcends the game, leaving every citizen of the Crescent City buzzing about in a state of contented excitability.
And this Sunday, we will be there when this Superbowl victory cuts loose, shoots sparks, and lands on top of Mardi Gras like a live wire on gasoline-soaked pavement.
p.s. WHO DAT
Follow Summer Burkes on Twitter.