Monday, June 7, 2010

The Joy of New Orleans Winning

"I'm going to Albertson's to improve my business casual wardrobe."

I gave voice to that sentence today, the first time in my life that particular statement has passed my lips.  Now that I think about it, it's probably the first time that sentence has ever been spoken anywhere, by anybody.

One of the best things about the undeniable and eternal fact that the New Orleans Saints (the greatest football team ever in the history of the mankind) are Super Bowl Champions, is that this lifelong Saints fan can finally find Saints stuff for sale.  When I was a kid, I wanted a Saints t-shirt, but I had trouble finding one. If I wanted a cap, I might have to special-order it. Posters were impossible to find in my neck of the woods. Today, on the other hand... if I want something as obscure as a limited-edition-collectible-Saints-Super-Bowl-Express trainset, I can get it quickly and easily for only three easy payments of $23.32, plus shipping and handling.

Hence, my desire to go to Albertson's, one of the many grocery stores in town with a large assortment of Saints merchandise in the front of the check-out area.  They have nice polos there, and I feel a strong force compelling me to beef up my Saints attire in advance of my move to Atlanta, home of the Atlanta Falcons, who, as everyone knows are Not Half The Team The Saints Are.

It's hard to explain to anybody who didn't grow up in Louisiana what it was like the night the Saints won... after forty years of utter, utter failure (as the Great Gonzo would say, "If at first you don't succeed, fail, fail again!") we in the New Orleans area finally had something to celebrate. Traffic was stopped on the interstate because we were dancing on top of our cars.  You couldn't walk down the street without a stranger hugging you and asking you about your momma. For one magical night there was no crime in the city... everyone was celebrating together.  Sandwiched between two Gulf Coast disasters as it was (though we still liked BP at the time), it's one of the truly great sports stories for the ages.

Of course, Barack Obama had picked the Colts to win.  There's something there for the examining, I think. I'll bet Kenny Chesney picked the Colts, too.

But somehow, despite all the cool Saints merchandise I'm finally inundated with... despite the shirts, shorts, hats, glasses, steins, posters, signs, wastebaskets, luggage tags, drink-warmers, flags, windsocks, bobbleheads, train sets, footballs, baseball bats, special-edition Monopoly games, and even sexual novelties, I can't help thinking that something was left out.  Something that would be a fantastic addition to our office desks and our children's toychests:

Action Figures.

Here's the starting line-up as I see it, keeping in mind that every toy set needs some good guys and some bad guys:
  • Drew Brees:  With quick-firing arm action, the Drew figure comes with a football accessory which, when placed into the patented Arm Launcher, can be propelled over 30 feet forward with enough forward momentum to break a six-inch board of balsa wood.
  • Marques Colston:  Right out of the packaging, this figure's hands are covered with super glue. Like Gorilla Glue. The first thing he touches, that figure's going to be stuck to for the rest of your natural life.
  • Tom Benson:  No action features... doesn't really do much of anything anymore... thank God his daughter took over. Comes with a clipboard that references trading Reggie Bush and Drew Brees to Cleveland for a Big Mac and fries, and a miniature tassled parasol.
  • Peyton Manning:  With new Peyton-Pout technology, this figure's face can go from determined football hero to sulky grumpy five-year-old at the touch of a button!  This figure comes with a Reebok shoe, a Mastercard, a pack of Oreos, a bottle of Gatorade, and a box of Wheaties.
  • Brett Favre: No real action features on this one, but on impact the leg joints will bend any way imaginable on a three hundred sixty degree axis.  Accessories: a waffle.  Unlike the other figures, the Favre figure is specifically made to lay flat rather than stand, as in the following classic portrait:

Okay, that was a cheap shot, I admit.

Seriously, though, I hope Favre's back for the rematch that opens the season. I think the Vikings have a really good shot with him at the helm, but I'll still put my money on the black and gold.  It's a great time to be a Saints fan... how many times in our lives have we had the opportunity to say that?

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