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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saints - Declaring War on New Orleans?

Resolve and the perils of declaring war on the city of New Orleans.

My ancestors first arrived in the port of New Orleans in the late 1700s. The earliest one on record was Victor David from Bordeaux, France whom at age 16 founded his own mercantile hardware store in what would be considered Jackson Square and in spite of the many challenges of the day, managed to excel in his trade. The Victor David house still stands as a historic moniker, a testament to his ingenuity & ambition, next to Le Petit Theater and just a stone toss from the nearby St. Louis Cathedral.

 On the other side of town, in Bayou St. John, my grandfather thrice times removed, Christoval Morel, was an established attorney of the day and taught sword fighting in what is known now as the bloody oaks of City Park. He was what you might consider a refined scallywag, a true swashbuckler shrouded in linen suits, and in actuality was the legal counsel for pirate Jean Lafitte himself, the most gloriously renowned adventurer ever to grace our Cajun coast.

 To say that adventure, mystique and penchant desire for rebellion is in my blood would be an understatement.
It was indeed known that the King of France presented the Fleur de Lis to the Morel family in their home in Bayou St. John and this symbol, this icon talisman, would later become our own personal seal of identity not only for ourselves, as New Orleanians, but also bestowed upon our professional football franchise, established in 1967.

 Hurricane Katrina did not define who we were, it merely exposed our tenacity and our resolve to the world on a public scale. People of New Orleans are some of the most feverishly proud, deeply spirited & most resolute citizens of this planet. This culture is not for the faint of heart. It is bold, spicy and untamed - deeply rooted in its own twisted past of lore spanning a myriad of races, ethnicities & styles, but it is all New Orleans. Carrying a bite equal to its jazzy bark if shown disrespect to its intention, or its people. Its soft-underbelly is merely the gentile nature of its inhabitants. We would rather respectfully nod and share a drink than quarrel, but if your aim is to battle, we don't back down either.

 Fast-forward to 2012. The Saints. Some might consider the recent decision of the commissioner to punish our franchise, its head coach, players & management to be a coup de grĂ¢ce to our 2012 football season. A heavy-handed way to extinguish any chance for a Superbowl victory at Home in the Dome. I believe this action just may grow to become larger than the aforementioned tragedies of Katrina, igniting the passions of the feverishly loyal, insanely proud & notoriously underestimated city and its hallowed gridiron gods.

This, my friends is our time for a WHO DAT NATION battle cry of epic proportions. This is US versus the world, not just mother nature, FEMA nor City Hall. Not just the 9th Ward, Garden District, Lakeview nor Marrero, this is all of us united. The entire nation of NFL rivals including the executives of this very sport have declared war on our team for transgressions of our recent past. Punishment should fit the crime and the allegations are indeed heinous, but our collective past never should have justified this level of damnation. This was personal, and we all know it. Roger Goodell could have cancelled Mardi Gras and received less incensement from the people of New Orleans.

If history of living as a true New Orleanian has taught us anything, it is that we always recover, we always get back up to fight another day. We have a deeper layer of grit, pride and determination than most and this is going to be unleashed in the upcoming 2012 football season on our opponents. Bounties? Nothing new for people descending from blood lines of pirates. Declaring War on our Saints? A epic showdown of rebellion and pride from a city more united than ever.

Goodell should have been more careful in his methods. You simply don't declare war on the people of New Orleans and expect us to surrender in peace. Blue tarps or not, our foundation has been shaken once again. Now "Let's make it Right" WhoDat Nation. Let's bring home the ultimate bounty in the Dome on February 3, 2013.

See you back on the ship.... Section 638.