The Saints Haven't Only Built Up a Great Franchise, but a City as Well

Patrick MacCoonContributor IJanuary 25, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 24:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates the Saints 31-28 overtime win against the Minnesota Vikings during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisiana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Finally, after waiting 43 long years for this moment, the New Orleans Saints have made it to their first Super Bowl. 

So I ask myself, "How did they finally get there?" 

The answer to that question is by persevering through tough times and believing in themselves and the city of New Orleans.  It's truly unbelievable what this team has accomplished over the last few years. It's almost a fairytale type story.

This truly remarkable story all began on September 24, 2006. 

The Saints were returning home to New Orleans to play in the Superdome.  It was now only just a year after Katrina which practically left the city in ruins.

I couldn't believe it.

The Superdome had outlasted the devastation. This sent a very strong message to me and I'm sure an even stronger one for the city. That message was, "We are going to rebuild this city together, and build it back up." 

This also marked the day the city of New Orleans fell in love with Dem Saints.

I can remember clearly to this very day watching the Saints play the Falcons on that historic day.  I could see the emotion running through every single Saints player who ran out of the locker room onto the field that day, and especially the fans. 

This sight brought tears to my eyes. 

The Saints that day played inspired football as they won 23 to 3.  This not only marked the beginning of great football play of the Saints but it also marked the day when the New Orleans Saints got set on a mission to carry the city on their backs and build it back up.

The rest of the 2006 season was truly a remarkable one as just one year before they finished with a record of 3-13, but now they were 10-6 and were going to the Playoffs.

Each and every game they played that year boosted the city up more and more, it was truly remarkable to see.  The first game of the playoffs they hosted the Eagles.  The city of New Orleans was ready as they all filed into the Superdome and cheered on the Saints as they beat the Eagles 27 to 24. 

After the game the whole entire city of New Orleans was out in the streets celebrating not only a big playoff win but the coming together of a community.  They were all a family.  The next week though the Saints fell to the Chicago Bears 39 to 14. 

Even though it was a loss they had plenty of reasons to smile. The team had got off to a great start in rebuilding their hometown.

The 2007 and 2008 seasons were not as great as 2006 but the city was still fully behind their Saints and the Saints still would never give up their goal to rebuild the city.  Drew Brees was now the star player of the franchise and one of the best quarterbacks in the game and he was looked at as a leader of the city. 

Brees was ready to lead the city back up and the team to its first franchise's Super Bowl victory.

We are now in 2010 and the Saints have just won the NFC championship and are headed to the Super Bowl.  It's been truly amazing what they have done as they have a 15 and 3 record. 

Brees was runner up for MVP and everything is going right for the Saints and for the city as well.  The Saints fans have rallied up the troops the whole season as the Superdome has been the hardest stadium for opponents to play in because of all the chaos and noise. 

Now they are so close to their dream, just one more win away.

You better believe that Saints fans are going to show up in huge numbers in Miami and will do everything they can to help the Saints win their first Super Bowl.

The players are looking for that too, but they also know that they are only one win away from rebuilding their city completely. 

Who dat nation is the strongest it's ever been and the Colts now are the only thing that stands in New Orleans way of their goal. 

It's been five years since the devastation that hit the city of New Orleans. So to see where the city is now and how they have gotten to this point is truly a miracle.  Brees, his teammates, and the entire city are just one win away from on of the greatest accomplishments ever for a team and its city. 

Who dat said they gonna beat dem Saints? 

No one!