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Lombardi Trophy not just about football in New Orleans

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Lombardi Trophy not just about football in New Orleans By Peter Finney, Times-Picayune June 06, 2010, 10:17AM There it sat Saturday, out at New Orleans Saints headquarters, the Vince Lombardi Trophy, a sterling-silver Tiffany football weighing in at 7 pounds. ...

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Old 06-06-2010, 09:08 PM   #1
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Lombardi Trophy not just about football in New Orleans

Lombardi Trophy not just about football in New Orleans
By Peter Finney, Times-Picayune
June 06, 2010, 10:17AM
There it sat Saturday, out at New Orleans Saints headquarters, the Vince Lombardi Trophy, a sterling-silver Tiffany football weighing in at 7 pounds.

The Lombardi Trophy is guarded by members of the U.S. Marine Corps' Recruiting Station Baton Rouge at New Orleans Saints minicamp Saturday.
Young and old, infants to super-seniors, were in line for a close-up look at the spoils of victory, as in, Super Bowl XLIV: Saints 31, Colts 17.
Since the first Sunday in February, professional football's most famous hood-ornament seemed welded to the torso of Sean Payton, held aloft on a parade float, peeking out of the window of a limousine, carried by a guy oozing euphoria from every pore as he made his way through crowds shouting, "touch it, touch it, touch it.''
On Saturday, while the coach of the Saints was out on the practice field, occupied with mini-camp business, the Lombardi was being ogled by a passing parade of Who Dats.
Cradled in her mother's arms was Breigha Leal, a month-old Who Dat, whose picture next to the silver football will soon be on its way to dad, Sgt. Warren Leal, on duty in Iraq.
Then there was Debbie LaMarca, accompanied by husband George. Debbie was a diehard Saint since the day in 1967 she sat in a $1 end zone seat in Tulane Stadium watching John Gilliam's touchdown return on the opening kickoff of the opening game.
Forty-two years later, Debbie and George were watching the Super Bowl in Dallas, of all places, which is where their grandchild, Jack, was born shortly before history was made in Miami.
'"The Cowboy fans we met could not have been nicer,'' said Debbie. "I told them we were planning to be back in Dallas in February to see Jack and watch the Saints win another Super Bowl.''
And what did Debbie think of the trophy?
"It's great looking at something that has given so many people in our city and state so much pleasure,'' she said. "It's so much nicer than looking at the pictures of what's going on down below.''
Down below was 5,000 feet down, below the water surface in the Gulf of Mexico, where life for many was suddenly changed on April 20 by one of the greatest oil spills in history.
As work by robots failed, Gulf waters were turning different shades of black, with goo beginning to invade the marshes, leaving us with the horrific pictures of oiled pelicans, dead and dying.
From winter into summer, it reminded you how the headlines changed.
Remember?
First it was storybook time:
"Dat's Incredible''
"At Heaven's Gate''
"Super Saints''
"Amen''
Then it was creeping catastrophe:
"Well Capped But Oil Sprews''
"78-ton Box Lowered To Catch Leaking Oil''
"BP Revs Up New Plans''
"Frustration Mounting Over BP Delays''
"Oil's Coastal Invasion Could Last For Years.''
It made you wonder: Was this a new challenge for that 7-pound Tiffany football?
I thought of Sean Payton in the good ol' days, going to sleep with the prize the night after winning it, parading around with it as if it packed some voodoo charm.
In the afterglow of a well-earned victory, Payton liked comparing it to a city and a team, how they rescued one another, how they could not have done it alone.
I asked Payton how he'll remember the Lombardi trophy.
"I'll remember how the fans embraced it because of what it represented,'' he said. "To some, it became a sort of Holy Grail. It took on a personality of its own.''
If I were Gov. Jindal, I'd call Tom Benson asking permission to suit up the Lombardi for one of those feel-good tours of parishes whose lives were turned upside down on April 20.
It's mute, yet eloquent.
A beacon of hope.

Lombardi Trophy not just about football in New Orleans | - NOLA.com



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