Friday, January 26, 2007

Boilin' up from the past...

December blizzard moving through...this is actually 2 pictures stitched together manually

January 21st, 2007, my beloved Saints were set to play the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago. I, at the time, was working diligently from Las Vegas to Chicago. I was working in the front, so as passengers got on board, the first they saw was me proudly sporting my New Orleans Saints Lanyard strung around my neck.

One after the other, Rex Grossman, Brian Urlacher, and Walter Payton all boarded my plane. Well, their jersey's did.

During the flight, I tried to poke a little fun at the Bears, earnestly hoping they would play along, that we would have a good flight, everything good natured. Unfortunately, it was not the mood they were in.

"Go find a personality and then come see me" is what I thought...I did not say it.

Upon deplaning, passengers were informing me that the score was 16-14 bears upon Reggie Bush's 88yrd TD reception. Wasn't what I was wanting, but we weren't getting blown out.

At this point, I was honestly nervous, butterflies and all. I didn't want to eat, I couldn't stop thinking about the game. I left the airplane to cheers from the sports bar next door....not a good sign.

I raced down to the flight attendant lounge to find a plethora of flight attendants gathered around the tv, some with bears scarves draped around their necks. I couldn't concentrate on my post-flight duties, I nervously had to sit down with the minons of chicago.

As soon as they walked in they noticed my lanyard and made comments on how they were killing us, how the game was practically over, and it started to get under my skin.

If any of you knew me in High School, I had a small temper. (My mom, after I told her this story, said "HAD???") I was very competitive, and didn't take losing well. I once tripped my dad in a friendly flag football game because he was beating me. Well all these temperments started to come back. Comment after comment, I felt it boiling up. The guy next to me, after Brees threw his first pick of the second quarter, said "thats ball game" and I wanted to turn around and slug him. I tried explaining what this game means to the city, to us as saints fans (bears fans dont whine about 16 years of futility, try 40). I said we won't give up until theres 0:00 on the clock.

Still, little comments here and there, and I almost told the guy "hey buddy, watch it or I'm gonna sock you right here and now."

And I wanted to OHH SO BADLY. I could see glances from people around at me, how they could tell that I was NOT happy. Like those "oh my gosh this kids gonna blow his top right now."

Brees threw his second INT and I couldn't take it anymore. I told my friends that I had to go, cuz it might get ugly, and I don't mean the game.

I walked outside into the cool weather, took a deep breath, and headed to my crash pad. If I had hit that guy instead of cooling off, I most definitely would have been fired.

Then things got crazier. At my crash pad, watching post game comments (including "the saints have been built up all year, but in the end, they're just the Saints. - WGN Sports) I decided that this crappy night couldn't get any crappier, so I called up a girl that I've wanted to ask out, and kind of rashly asked her. She humored me and said yes. So the evening wasn't a total loss. (we did go out, and in the end decided to stay friends, which wasn't COMPLETELY mutual, but I'm ok with it. :) )

I later met my dad who was covering the game and he presented me with a souvenier from the game: A Banner that read "Black and Gold to the Super Bowl." It WILL go on my wall.

Because of the 21st of January, I will have a disdain for the Chicago Bears for approximately 1 year. And especially because of some stories that I've heard about signs that were shown during the game, most specifically "Bears: Finish what Katrina Started."

I'll leave this with a quote from a story I read today by Chicago Tribune's John Kass about New Orleanean TV reporter Glen Boyd, who had a bad experience at the game.

"Chicago fans may feel relieved. But Boyd warned that New Orleans isn't finished with Chicago."

'"There's another New Orleanian that Bears fans should worry about," Boyd said. "His name is Peyton Manning."'

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Nephew,
God only knows how much I hate Chicago.... (Ask your dad what I told him about the fans and their ball team) Between their rude signs at the game, plus let's not forget what their congressman Dennis Hastert (Who was Speaker of the House for Our Nation at the time) thoughts were about rebuilding New Orleans as people were still dying down here.
Yes, the Saints lose to the Bears, that's fine, but the comments and signs about New Orleans is unforgivable. I will never ever forgive the city or people of Chicago
Uncle Don