Fair. Balanced. American.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Orleans Saints fans' biggest conundrum

Party here or party there?
For those like Curtis Paulina of Abita Springs, who's roughing it at a state park in North Miami Beach with a satellite dish and a flat screen, getting tickets is not even the priority.

"It feels like I've got to be with them in that town, whether I'm at the game or not," he said.

Yet many Saints loyalists stood their ground, wondering how any party in South Florida could measure up to a hometown bash during the heart of Carnival season, where brass bands and impromptu street parades are a given. For them, it's less about the actual game and more about feeling the indomitable spirit of the city behind the team.

"You can give me tickets and I wouldn't go," said Dean Kliebert of Mandeville, finishing up a late lunch at Parkway Bakery and Tavern in Mid-City. "We've been through so much " and now it's here. It's like, I wouldn't want to be in any other place." [...]

One of the skeptics was Uptown resident Tim Duncan, Paulina's co-worker at a New Orleans engineering firm.

Over a long lunch at a packed Parkway Tavern Monday afternoon, Duncan and his family said they knew the real party would be in New Orleans. They simply want a redo of last week's NFC Championship game, a potluck with friends in their living room near Audubon Park. Miami, he said, won't have a chance to compete.

"It's a catharsis," Duncan said. "For everyone to hunker home or go to friends' houses and say, 'Look, we rebuilt our house, this is where we are, we're watching the Super Bowl five years after Katrina. We're back.' That's a big deal."
It surely is.

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