You can’t even begin to understand why the Super Bowl is a big deal

7 02 2010

Today is HUGE.  Today is the day when the city of New Orleans can be esteemed as doing well, being exceptional in their skill and athleticism, being ridiculously loyal in their fanfare and support.  Today is when the nation and the world see New Orleans for what it is… New.

We have been renewed since the floodwaters came into the city about 53 months ago.  This renewal may not have been expected at the time, but we have done what we can with what we have.

The Super Bowl is not just another Sunday to us no matter how many news posts and blogs make a humorous commentary on our ability to celebrate.

This may sound off, but the Super Bowl is our time to show the world that we are strong and that we can bounce back from a terrible set-back like Hurricane Katrina to even better shape and better vibrancy.

I’m not so sure that the people of New Orleans NEED this as much as others have said we do… I am positive that people outside of our communities NEED this to be reminded of our incredible recovery efforts.

I think the nation NEEDS New Orleans to win.  The Saints tell the story that we all feel deep within… we want our efforts to be recognized and celebrated.  A nation trying to re-create a national health care plan… a nation rebounding from a tremendous financial disaster… a nation still struggling with racism and poverty… we want our efforts to be recognized… how we are making strides amidst, party lines, to have better governmental support for working families… how we are no longer in a recession/depression and the economy can heal itself over the next handful of years… how there are tons of good people and good companies offering assistance to those working with the least of these…

The nation NEEDS New Orleans to be our example of recovery… if New Orleans can recovery from complete tragedy, then perhaps our neighborhoods can as well… and perhaps we can be better at helping others in their time of need.

The role of athletes can be grossly understated during times of intense  suffering and displeasure.  Yet, just like the Saints today, we have got a chance this April to do our best to offer our own encouragement and hope for this city and the many nooks and crannies that have yet to see a better everyday.

Training these next few months is not just for ourselves… it’s for a whole slew of people who can be inspired and motivated by your hard work, commitment, and perseverance.

So athletes, when it gets tough to get that run in or to get to the gym, remember why you are racing in the first place.  If it helps, watch the sheer joy on the fans faces this Super Bowl to get you pumped to work out.  When you feel connected to something bigger than yourself, you’ll be more likely to push yourself so that the people of New Orleans do not go forgotten as they steadily and surely put their city back together one piece at a time.

Jocelyn A. Sideco, Spiritual Coach and Executive Director of Contemplatives in Action

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