Since when did the New Orleans Saints become "America’s Team"?
This is a question that Dallasites have not been provided a satisfactory answer for. Not surprisingly, the campaign has been heralded by the worldwide leader in sports. (Sorry ESPN, who is the greatest team of all-time again? 0 for 2 in our predictions of this are we?) Yet, there are some that have asked the Cowboys fans to gracefully turn in their crown and smile about it.
Should we really be all that upset?
After all, I had no problem with the Seattle Seahawks allegedly infringing on Texas a&m's cherished "12th Man" phrase. I simply found it humorous that the Seahawks had been using it, and retired the number 12 jersey, almost 20 years before a&m started to cry foul. It was only when the Seahawks garnered the Super Bowl limelight that the aggies decided to take their whining publicly. But, this feels different. Perhaps it's because I have stronger ties to the Cowboys than I do to the aggies. But, then again, maybe it’s because this is more of a perception driven by the media instead of a marketing ploy by the city of New Orleans.
I cannot imagine the emotional aftermath of a hurricane devastation. When I visited New Orleans last April on business, I saw areas that were completely reduced to piles of wood and concrete. Lives were completely destroyed and no amount of money can replace the memories and heirlooms that were lost. My heart goes out to the victims and families who cannot return to life as they knew it.
But, the New Orleans Saints making a strong playoff case does not cure all ails like the media would have you believe.
Instead of attending to people living in sub-standard living conditions, the city of New Orleans shelled more than 100 million dollars into refurbishing a football stadium so that millionaire athletes would have a place to call home. If the Saints would have gone on to win the Super Bowl, their fans would not be any richer nor would their quality of life improve. Instead of a victory parade, give your residents the victory of sleeping in a place with central heating. In the end, that would be much more gratifying.
Have our priorities really become this deluded?
After the 9/11 attacks, the eyes of the nation were fixated on the city of New York. Coincidently, the New York Yankees were in midst of making a strong playoff run. Much like this NFL season, the media tried to instill a "if your team can’t make it become a Yankee fan if you are patriotic" sense of self-entitlement. I'm sorry but rooting for a disaster stricken area’s sports teams does nothing to ease the pain of the situation. It may boost the spirits of their fans, but it does not transcend into the realm of human sympathy. As a Cowboys fan (mainly), my heart would go out to the residents of Philadelphia if they were the target of a hostile terrorist attack. But, I certainly would not root for the Eagles to exude the image of being an American.
With the Saints' loss yesterday, the America’s Team label can finally be brought back to its proper home…at least until the next national disaster.