"The Soul of New Orleans"
(Click here to see the above video in YouTube)
My sister has lived in New Orleans for 30 years, minus the 5 months spent in Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In the past 15 years I have gone out to see her 4 times, including one visit just after they returned to their house post-Katrina.
As a city, it struck me as being one that has much in common with my own adopted home of 17 of the last 23 years: Liverpool, in that both cities have a very strong identity that singles them out from the rest of their country. An identity borne from struggle and poverty, an identity that is defended with fierce pride, an identity that gets expressed perhaps most forcefully through music, humour, sport and culture in general. Both cities are outsiders, underdogs and seem to revel in that status.
Well, on Feb. 7th, the underdogs of the New Orleans Saints will be playing in their first EVER American Football Superbowl Final. Since Katrina, this team has come to represent the indomitable spirit of the city's people, a team that includes a number of cast-offs and wannabes who never quite made it with their previous teams (I'm sure there'll be a Hollywood film made about them one day!).
So next Sunday night, whether you are an American Football fan or not, have a thought for the people of New Orleans and their team who will be wearing their colours with pride and who will do their city proud, win or lose.