Now That the Saints are Marching In, Can the Rest of New Orleans Follow?

Matt StephensContributor IDecember 27, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 19:  A detailed picture of the New Orleans Saints helmet before the Saints take on the Dallas Cowboys at Louisiana Superdome on December 19, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The city that care forgot. 

The city that the nation seemingly forgot.

The Baghdad in the Swamp.

New Orleans.

While media outlets nationwide are making sure to crank out headlines profiling the rejuvenating effects that the Saints are providing to the "Crescent City,"  it's all really just a circus fun-house full of smoke and mirrors.  The very reality is this:  nothing has changed other than the need to get a bigger axle for everyone that's piling on the black and gold bandwagon.

Before and during the NFL Network's coverage of the Saturday night game versus the Dallas Cowboys, the same humbling images of an ocean full of flooded rooftops and people literally on the verge of complete ruin flashed across the screen that have been recycled over and over again for the past four years. 

Why, after such a large amount of time, are we not showing images of progress, change, and hope that everyone from the local papers all the way to ESPN want you to believe are happening across the area? 

Because progress, change, and hope aren't happening. Because this city is stuck in a very literal time-warp.  Because the people in charge both locally and federally are content to let the house of cards fall much in the same way the house came crashing down at the end of August, 2005.

Every time Drew Brees throws another touchdown to his litany of receivers , surely the whole city gets right off of it's FEMA enhanced rear-ends to rebuild another house, right? When the Saints defense picks off another ill-advised pass, there is some big corporate suit who donates a fixed amount of money to a local charity that is dedicated to making a difference, correct?

The entire region uses the momentum gained on Sundays to stay focused and steer the city back to prominence, doesn't it?

Keep dreaming.

There's every opportunity in this city to foster a sense of change during the work week, yet the rest of the world would have you foolishly believe that it all starts on Sunday afternoons at 12:00 in the Louisiana Superdome.

Admittedly, the spotlight will be briefly placed on New Orleans until the Saints are either eliminated from the playoffs or hoist the Lombardi Trophy into the air in Miami come February.

Shortly thereafter, the bulb will burn out and the city will again slowly implode upon itself through continual acts of senseless violence, corrupt politicians that make even the worst of the worst in Detroit cringe, and general acceptance by the populace of the status quo being the only answer.

Until all the feel good stories end and the whole country is genuinely outraged by what is really happening here in New Orleans, we will never truly recover.  Not even a Superbowl victory can change that.

So jump on the bandwagon America, seats are filling up fast for the first time in a while!  Just remember, we don't care enough to fix our own city.  We promise to put the 'Aints paper bags back over our heads once the first signs of spring come.

At this rate, the only thing that looks to be standing in the way of both the Saints and the city of New Orleans are the same thing...