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Saints Return Another Step Closer

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Saints' return another step closer NFL.com wire reports NEW ORLEANS (Aug. 10, 2006) -- Calvin Ellis' home bears little resemblance to the one he fled almost a year ago, when Hurricane Katrina chased him and thousands of others from New ...

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Old 08-11-2006, 11:43 AM   #1
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Saints Return Another Step Closer

Saints' return another step closer

NFL.com wire reports



NEW ORLEANS (Aug. 10, 2006) -- Calvin Ellis' home bears little resemblance to the one he fled almost a year ago, when Hurricane Katrina chased him and thousands of others from New Orleans.

The walls are the only thing salvageable, and it will be weeks, if not months, before his house is rebuilt. Home these days is a doublewide trailer parked on his front lawn. Much of his Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood, hit hardest by the hurricane nearly a year ago, remains a wasteland of debris piles, crumpled houses, weeds and bulldozed lots. The traffic lights aren't working, and most of the street signs are handmade.

With challenges like these remaining across the city, talk of the New Orleans Saints coming back to town seems almost trivial. For residents, though, the return of their beloved football team is a blessed bit of normalcy.

"We need that. We really need that," Ellis said. "It's an uplifting thing. It's excitement. I want to see something from New Orleans come back."

The Saints, who open the preseason Aug. 12 in Nashville, already have sold a record 55,000 season tickets, and no single-game tickets are expected to be available. Reggie Bush jerseys are the hottest item in town.

When the Saints march into the rebuilt Superdome on Sept. 25 for a Monday night game, residents say it will be a sign to the entire world that the city is on its way back.

"This season is going to be about more than just football," said Bush, who set off celebrations around the city when he was drafted and is already so popular he's known simply by his first name.

"It's going to be about the city," Bush said. "Playing for the people here, trying to bring some sort of happiness back to the city and give them something to be proud about."

Look no further than the Superdome itself, ravaged by wind, water and the 30,000 people who used it for shelter when Hurricane Katrina ripped through the city last Aug. 29. Today its roof, a symbol of Katrina's horror with its gaping holes, is gleaming white again, bright enough to be seen for miles.

A banner on the side of the arena announces, "Reopening 9-25-2006. Go Saints."

"It was the poster child for misery and suffering," said Doug Thornton, the regional vice president of SMG, the company that manages the Superdome. "If they see the dome being rebuilt, they're going to have confidence that the city is going to come back. That my neighborhood, my home can be rebuilt."

That might sound like a tall order for a building and a bunch of guys who run, pass and tackle. But New Orleans always has had a unique -- if somewhat tortured -- relationship with its favorite team.

Despite having Archie Manning, the Saints didn't have a winning season until 1987, and have had a grand total of seven in their 39 years. New Orleans has hosted nine Super Bowls; six were at the Superdome, with the most recent in 2002, when New England won its first title.

But the Saints never came close to making any of them. They've been to the playoffs five times, winning one game.

The Saints were so bad in the early years that fans took to calling them the "Aints." Legend has it the tradition of embarrassed fans putting paper bags over their heads began in New Orleans.

Still, the Saints are New Orleans' team.

"I sometimes feel like I'm going to give up on them, but I never do," said Mike Alaimo, a fan from suburban Metairie. "It's part of our heritage in New Orleans."

That fleur-de-lis on the Saints' helmet is taken from the city's logo -- a symbol now seen throughout town on bright blue flags touting the restoration effort. Cars around town sport bumper stickers with the Saints logo, including one that simply says, "FAITH."


Story continues....
http://www.nfl.com/teams/story/NO/9595226


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Old 08-11-2006, 01:49 PM   #2
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RE: Saints Return Another Step Closer

That fleur-de-lis on the Saints' helmet is taken from the city's logo -- a symbol now seen throughout town on bright blue flags touting the restoration effort. Cars around town sport bumper stickers with the Saints logo, including one that simply says, "FAITH."
I HAVE MY FAITH STICKER !!! AND SAINTS HELMET ON MY ANTENNA....... WITH A SAINTS LISCENCE PLATE......... GOOOO SAINTS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-11-2006, 02:15 PM   #3
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I live in the Los Angeles area and have the Fleur de Lis Saints' logo on my rear windshield. Nothing but Raiders and a sudden surge in Steelers logos out here. I doubt anyone even knows what it is.
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:59 AM   #4
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LA-LA-Land is Fad-Land-man when it comes to the NFL. Feel sorry for you. College only town. They talk alot, but never been able to hold onto a NFL team. At least you do not have alot die hard local fans to bother you. Wait till black goes out of style and the raider and steeler t-shirts will disappear.
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