I never thought I’d see the day. My New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl. I know I speak for every native New Orleanian (and even some folks who just love to root for the underdog) when I say I can’t remember a more joyous time in the city. I’ve lived through 32 Mardi Gras and have never felt the pure love and celebration that I have felt during this entire football season.
I live in Dallas now, but anyone who knows me knows that my heart belongs to my hometown, New Orleans, and thanks to my Southwest Employee privileges, I was able to fly home for some games and be in the city for the NFC Championship...and of course the Super bowl XLIV. I wouldn’t have missed any of these occasions for the world. I lost my voice, hugged too many strangers, and cried tears of joy over the last few weeks, and I loved every second of it. I can’t describe what an awesome feeling it was to look out over Bourbon Street on a Sunday afternoon in February to a sea of black, gold, and fleur de lis-- with “Black and Gold to the Super Bowl,” “I Believe,” and “Get Crunk” providing the soundtrack.
I may be missing “Lombardi Gras” today, but I’m wearing my Super Bowl Championship T-shirt at Southwest Headquarters with pride, and I’ll be back home for Mardi Gras next weekend to jump right back in to the celebration I left yesterday with Coach Payton holding the Lombardi Trophy out the sunroof of his car as he left the airport.
I’ve been a proud Saints fan my entire life; we believed in the "Bless You Boys" and they did it! Thank you Sean Payton; thank you Drew Brees; thank you to all the players and the entire New Orleans Saints organization; and thank you everyone who has supported our team and our city—the heart of New Orleans is beating strong again. I don’t think we had any doubt we would bounce back after Katrina, but this just seals the deal.