It’s a ’30-day long party” in New Orleans

By Bryan Burwell

In NFL cities such as St. Louis, where the thrill of victory has become a faint and distant memory, the notion of a week-long football party in February is too difficult to imagine.

A decade ago, it seemed as if trips to the frenzy of Super Bowl week would become a wonderful habit for the Rams. But as time went by, well, things changed. Dynasties were replaced by despair. Consistent success was exchanged for repeated failure, and now a new generation of Rams loyalists (a rapidly dwindling species) are wondering what kind of miracle it will take to get back on top.

Well, then, Super Bowl XLIV ought to do your fatalistic instincts a world of good, because the New Orleans Saints — as star-crossed and woebegone an NFL franchise as there ever was — are descending on Florida this week one game away from an NFL championship.

“People have to pinch themselves because they can’t believe the Saints are going to the Super Bowl,” said Bobby Hebert, the Cajun native son who spent 11 years in the NFL, five as a Saints quarterback. “Some people thought this wouldn’t happen in their lifetime.”

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