Today’s Editorial January 23: Chants of ‘Who dat’ silenced

Well John Foster, our Saints couldn’t pull it out.

But what a great ride getting to the championship game.

It was a fairytale story, really; the worst team in the league rising from a stricken city to bring hope and joy to all.

Real life happy endings like that usually end only on the big screen.

But for the Saints to just get to the national champions game was a fairytale in itself.

When the Saints took that wet, snowy field in Chicago to take on the Bears the players carried with them the frustrations and hopes of all who have been faithful for 40 years.

The faithful are the people, like John Foster and the editor of this newspaper, who have suffered great disappointment over the life of the team, but still hung in there.

Most of the faithful were and still are the people of New Orleans; people who were dealt a cruel blow by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

The Saints’ battle with the Bears was about faith, redemption and triumph over adversity.

It was a difficult battle.

They were literally the underdog playing a well-seasoned team experienced in the big wins.

The chances of winning were stacked against them.

But you really can’t feel all that bad that the Saints lost. They got closer to a Super Bowl game than they ever have.

And the Aints (as the faithful have dubbed the over the years) have done much to bolster a badly bruised and disenchanted city.

Katrina took the lives of almost 1,500 people in Louisiana; most of them in New Orleans. Much of the city still hasn’t recovered from the storm.

While many of us felt frustrated after Hurricane Ivan battered our own Grand Cayman in 2004, we quickly rallied.

But in New Orleans there seems to be an overwhelming sense of loss and despair.

Much of the recovery in New Orleans has come from the Saints; be it from team members lending a hand or the organization holding fundraisers.

The people of New Orleans need something to believe in, to pin their hopes on.

Watching the New Orleans Saints make it to a championship game gave them a glimmer of hope.

The chants of Who dat? have died for this year. But there’s always next year (a favourite mantra of any good Saints fan).

Who dat say goin’ beat dem Saints and the spirit of hope they represent for New Orleans and any city or country that has experienced anything like Katrina?

Nobody, cher.