NEW ORLEANS - The Saints Super Bowl win is putting the New Orleans area in a good mood. From the coffee shops to the city streets, New Orleanians aren't just happy-- they're exhilarated.
"This is great. That's what's so good about the city!" said Saints fan Charlotte Binnings, who danced around the French Quarter with Fleur de Lis sunglasses and a black and gold parasol. "No matter if you're young, old, rich, poor, black, white, purple, pink-- we're all 'Who Dats!' Go Who Dats!"
"This is New Orleans' mark of restoration," said Saints fan Cody Kingham, as he enjoyed coffee and beignets on Monday morning.
"Oh, yes! They hugged me all night, all morning. I'm serious!" said taxi driver Charles Manel as he drove through the French Quarter.
It turns out, though, the euphoria sweeping through Saints fans could end up having a more permanent effect.
"People are still euphoric. People wanted to come into work. I think they want to share it with people. People are answering their phones - 'Who Dat?'" said Amy Dickson, a clinical psychologist with the LSU Health Sciences Center.
Dickson said the Saints transformation-- from down and out, to underdog status, to outright, undisputed winners-- may be helping their fans go through a similar transformation.
"They're energized," she said. "They just feel great about the city, the Saints, themselves."
While the euphoria of a Saints Super Bowl win may last in New Orleans well after the last Mardi Gras bead is thrown next week, it won't last forever. That's when another Saints message may begin to resonate more deeply-- one about teamwork, unity and overcoming the odds.
"I think people are going to take this fabulous win and continue to celebrate it throughout the Mardi Gras season," Dickson said. "And then, after that, what's left is a sense of optimism-- that with hard work, we're capable of doing great things."
Hard work is something the Saints fan base understands all to well, as they prepare to enter their fifth year of dealing with an ongoing and arduous recovery process.
"I think it's about time that the city of New Orleans have something like this awesome happen to it," said Brant Miranda. "It's just really cool. I can't even believe it, really."
"It's a really awesome time in the city now," said MIchelle Zara. "Everybody's family now. Everybody's friends now."
Psychologists also say the Saints win could have a huge impact on how New Orleans residents view the city, when the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina comes this summer.
"I think the city has believed in the city for so long and I think it's their dreams actualized. You hear people saying, 'I knew it. I knew we could do this,'" Dickson said. "Again, it's not only having that faith, but it's seeing it come to fruition. That's amazing for the city."