Six Months On: Smoke, Saints, and Saigon

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Six Months On: Smoke, Saints, and Saigon
Skip Bolen/Getty Images

The dust and memories of Angkor Wat were still fresh in my mind as I woke up that morning just as the sun was rising.

It had been a tense night after a long trip into neighboring Cambodia. The butterflies had invited their friends and kept at me almost the whole night.

The sound of the alarm on my phone was a blessing because it meant that the time was now.  So I rose quickly, washed up, dressed, and hit the still fresh feeling streets when most people were just getting up.

I enjoyed the calm breezes that passed me and the dapple of the dewdrops as I made my way down one of the largest streets in the city.

Finally I saw the sign, "Phatty's" on the corner of Ton Duc Thang and Ton Duc Thanh.

I walked into the bar and even at 6:00 A.M, it was filled with sound, smoke, and a scarcity of Saints' fans.

I sought out the other faithful, here, in Saigon, literally halfway across the world from home in New Orleans.

We nervously watched as a son of New Orleans was leading the Colts to a lead that most thought would crush the soul of the city.

And in an instant, it all changed. The coach decided that initiative goes only to those that take it and the roller coaster of feelings began.

Every pass, every stop, and every call made me teeter on the brink of celebration and sorrow.

And just as Coach had taken the initiative earlier, a little known cornerback from Louisiana took it for the ages. Mere minutes later, the teetering was done, and I roared simply for celebration.

So six months I still think of that smokey bar in Saigon, and six months on I still feel like celebrating.

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