Monday, January 25, 2010

The Reminders of Katrina

More than last night’s win to put them in the Super Bowl, when I think of the New Orleans Saints, I think of this play.

Unquestionably, it was the most emotional, if not physically scintillating football play ever televised.

You’re going to hear plenty about the Saints’ connection to the Bayou region for the next thirteen days. You are also going to hear plenty about how the region is still reeling post-Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.

My greatest hope among the excessive banter about Super Bowl XXIV is that the team’s appearance reminds this country that there are still issues in the area that the federal government forgot four+ years ago.

It is completely understandable that the tragedy in Haiti is fresh on everyone’s minds and that there will be a concerted effort from the NFL, NBC and its advertising partners to prominently speak on relief efforts.

It is also understandable that many of you have been unable to assist for various reasons; an inability to make a donation because of financial constraints or unwillingness because of lessons learned in the weeks after Katrina made landfall.

It may seem rather unfair to bring up the post-Katrina struggles when you consider that every team represents a city, town or region that is going through some sort of travail. We may never see a sports promotion that involves giving urban homeless a chance to rejoin mainstream society. I doubt that there will be some player that brings light to unemployment or that the Super Bowl MVP would turn down the Cadillac he wins because General Motors took TARP funds. No league will dare take on alcoholism, gambling or drug use; threats to the integrity of their games in their own rights.

However, in light of the public outpouring and concerns for Haiti – a nation with inordinate amounts of economic strife before the earthquake rocked Port-Au-Prince – I wonder if anything will be done, if not at least said, from the official league and team channels encouraging people to remember the Gulf Coast.

We have just less than thirteen days of non-news and uber-analysis. That’s plenty of time for something.

Video credit to b4mvfan68

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