Black & Gold Magic

Superdome reopens! Steve Gleason blocks punt!
Superdome reopens! Steve Gleason blocks punt!

My maiden name is LeBourgeois. My family was part of the Acadian migration to Louisiana during the 18th century. At the age of 21, I became a Saints season ticket holder.  With very little success as a franchise and only one playoff victory, tickets were cheap.  Seats were empty and losses were plenty, but we showed up every Sunday hopeful.  

In 2005, things dramatically changed in the place we gathered on Sundays.  The Superdome became a shelter for New Orleanians to escape the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina. 

A year later, things back home started to improve and lives were starting to rebuild..... including the Superdome.  The doors were set to reopen against the hated, division rival Atlanta Falcons.  That night people gathered by the thousands.  Those empty seats I once saw empty were full.  People hugged.  People cried.  People knew this football team brought us back together.  

It was a night like no one had expected.  We had a new Coach, a new quarterback and a new start.  We were New Orleans.  We were back! Better than ever! 

There must have been a little black and gold magic in the Superdome that night.  Steve Gleason’s blocked punt for a score had fans erupt and is now remembered as the most electrifying play.  It set the tone for what was to be expected by that Coach and Quarterback. 

Those days which were soon followed by a Super Bowl victory were days of unity.  The City of New Orleans was the happiest I had ever seen.  We were not defined by race, gender or religion.  We were defined by the fluer de lis.  

Here’s to hoping 2018 brings back a little of that black and gold magic back! ⚜️

Place(s): New Orleans
Year: 1900

– Shannon Nevels

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more