Jim Henderson / Sports Director
NEWORLEANS-- On this first Monday in over six months with no next Saints' game to look forward to, the sounds surrounding this weekend past begin to fade.
In San Francisco, where Saints fans were treated exceptionally rudely by the many accounts I received on yesterday's flight home, we hadn't heard the 49ers and Alex Smith cheered in a long time.
In Green Bay, where Saints fans were expected to travel this weekend, we hadn't heard the Packers and Aaron Rodgers booed, probably ever.
And here in New Orleans, the sounds of silence in the Superdome where one more game would have been played this Sunday are the most discordant of all.
The prospect of a college football national championship and a National Football League Championship that we pondered just one week ago will result in neither.
But, as we put our Black and Gold and Purple and Gold attire back on the hangers in the last row of our closets, we bring our Purple, Green and Gold finery back to its yearly prominence. And the end of the football season mask of sadness that we wear will soon be replaced by the beginning of Carnival season mask of joy.
Elsewhere around the NFL, fans may be talking about reloading or replacing or re-organizing.
In New Orleans, we simply recover.
We sleep it off and re-charge. A long, cold winter still looms ahead in Green Bay where there is little else but the Packers to celebrate. In New Orleans, Spring is right around the corner in a city where there is too much to celebrate to linger too long in the sadness of the moment.
On a personal note, I'm reminding myself of that as well. For more than three decades in this space you've allowed me to come into your homes on Monday amidst the smell of red beans and rice to reflect on the last game and anticipate the next.
It has been my opportunity to speak to you and to perhaps occasionally speak for you.
And for both, I thank you for what has been more than an opportunity. It's been a privilege.