Monday, September 25, 2006

More than a game

I don't plan on moving from the television tonight.

I plan to watch every minute of Monday Night Football tonight. Haven't done so for the first two weeks, but will definitely watch tonight.

Part of me is excited to see the Saints back in New Orleans, for the home opener, against the Falcons, their longtime rival. That part isn't sure who to root for - the Falcons are now my hometown team, but it's hard not to root for the Saints. It's good to see the hometown team return, after a summer that was not as bad as we all feared, and hope it is a harbinger of good things to come as more people return. It's good to hope that the recovery continues, and it's good to feel like things continue to return to normal.

Part of me is also not remotely ready to watch this game. Not ready to move on, not ready to forget, not ready to fall into the trap of thinking everything will be OK in the area with so much - Chalmette, New Orleans East, Lakeview - still looking like parts of Iraq, with many industries and business still shut down, with many people still far-flung across the country. I don't really know how I will react when they show the Superdome for the first time. I don't really know how I'll react to the references of everything from last year. And I don't know if I'll be able to sit through those tributes and flashbacks.

But I suppose if the Saints win this game to go to 3-0 and sole possession of first place, then anything truly is possible. Even if the Saints get blown out, it's still a victory that the game can be played in New Orleans at all.

Tonight's feature really is more than just a game.

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