The right teams are in the Superbowl

The New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts will play in the Superbowl, as seems fitting. Both teams came close to having perfect seasons until the very end. That would have set up the most remarkable Superbowl ever. But still, though my own favorites didn’t make it, I have to say that these two teams being in the big game seems cosmically just, for once. Cosmic justice would end with New Orleans winning–making up for Hurricane Katrina and all that–but I pick the Colts.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Jonathan

    I think cosmic justice would have been Brett Favre representing all us 40 somethings. Oh well, maybe he will do it next year.

  • Jonathan

    I think cosmic justice would have been Brett Favre representing all us 40 somethings. Oh well, maybe he will do it next year.

  • Dan Kempin

    What? “Cosmic justice?” “Making up for hurricane Katrina?” Am I on the right blog?

    I like Drew Brees and the Saints, too, (though my enthusiasm is ameliorated by their strategy of trying to take out quarterbacks), but Sunday’s game proved that they are not the truly elite. They were dominated by the Vikings, who handed the game away by their own mistakes. They won, and so they deserve to go, but they will get demolished in the superbowl.

  • Dan Kempin

    What? “Cosmic justice?” “Making up for hurricane Katrina?” Am I on the right blog?

    I like Drew Brees and the Saints, too, (though my enthusiasm is ameliorated by their strategy of trying to take out quarterbacks), but Sunday’s game proved that they are not the truly elite. They were dominated by the Vikings, who handed the game away by their own mistakes. They won, and so they deserve to go, but they will get demolished in the superbowl.

  • CRB

    Looking at the Vikings loss to the Saints game as a Minnesotan,
    I have to say that I was disappointed. But looking at the game
    from a theological perspective, I am glad the saints beat the vikings!

  • CRB

    Looking at the Vikings loss to the Saints game as a Minnesotan,
    I have to say that I was disappointed. But looking at the game
    from a theological perspective, I am glad the saints beat the vikings!

  • Joe

    Are we required to mention Katrina in regard to every New Orleans sports story? Katrina was 4 years ago, I mean it’s not like the Saints are going to the Super Bowl the season after. There is too much time for this to be a feel good story about the ravaged city’s team defying the odds and making it to the big game will their stadium is in ruins and their fans make time to watch the game in between reinforcing the dikes and rebuilding the streets. The storyline has a 4 year gap in it that just kills it. This is not New York underdog Sarah Hughes winning gold at the 2002 winter Olympics.

    Right now, I’m pulling for the Saints but, if this Katrina story gets legs, I’m gonna switch to the Colts.

  • Joe

    Are we required to mention Katrina in regard to every New Orleans sports story? Katrina was 4 years ago, I mean it’s not like the Saints are going to the Super Bowl the season after. There is too much time for this to be a feel good story about the ravaged city’s team defying the odds and making it to the big game will their stadium is in ruins and their fans make time to watch the game in between reinforcing the dikes and rebuilding the streets. The storyline has a 4 year gap in it that just kills it. This is not New York underdog Sarah Hughes winning gold at the 2002 winter Olympics.

    Right now, I’m pulling for the Saints but, if this Katrina story gets legs, I’m gonna switch to the Colts.

  • Carl Vehse

    “Cosmic justice?”

    Dan’s right! What’s that?

  • Carl Vehse

    “Cosmic justice?”

    Dan’s right! What’s that?

  • http://thejcalebjones.tumblr.com The Jones

    People,

    Let me explain the Saints to you. I live in Louisiana, and yesterday, I listened to sports radio shows where grown men called in and almost cried over the airwaves because the Saints made it to the Super Bowl. This is a big, big deal. When the Saints Franchise radio announcer screams after the winning field goal, “It’s good! It’s good! It’s good! Pigs have flown! Hell is frozen over! Saints win! Saints win!” then you know it’s a big deal.

    This is not mainly about Katrina. This is about the Saints NEVER being good. Not too long ago, even before Katrina, Saints fans were ecstatic because the Saints made it to…. ….the second round of the playoffs: the farthest they had ever advanced. When fans who identify so strongly with a team see them fail again and again, it gets ingrained in the psyche. It doesn’t feel good. The Saints were typified by moments like this in 2003: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTGco82JKHo where in the final play of the game, the Saints, down by 7, get 75 yards and a touchdown with monumental effort and several lateral passes only to miss the extra point and lose the game. That was dubbed “Classic New Orleans Saints.” It hurts being a Saint. In the league since 1967 and only seven playoff APPEARANCES? Yikes.

    Add to this Katrina, where the team that was down (but getting better. Hey, we made it to the second round of the playoffs, you know), got hit hard by one of the biggest natural disasters in U.S. history. Not only was their stadium destroyed, but their city, their market, their morale, and many of their fans (quite literally), too. It’s like kicking a man when he’s down. At the time, it really looked like the Saints were going to be packed up and moved to L.A. which has been screaming for an NFL team ever since the Raiders got swiped up by Oakland. It was going to be a sad ending to a sad team.

    Then, the rebuilding of the Saints began. And you know that story. It went along with rebuilding N.O., but it also preceded that story, too. And you’re right, Dan and Carl, this is not cosmic justice. It’s cosmic mercy, which is even better that cosmic justice. Die-hard fans who have been waiting (literally) all their lives for this now get a chance to see it actually happen. The Saints are in the Super Bowl. The trials of this team seem to have been lifted right at the moment when they were most pressing, almost fatal. After Katrina, we can look back over the past 4 years and say this is a wonderful chapter. But we can look back over the past 40 years and say it is even more.

    This is absolutely incredible; it is unbelievable; it is deus ex machina. It’s something that we’re having a hard time believing even after it has already happened. Even in Saints land, no one is talking about WINNING the Super Bowl. We’ve known too much hardship, and we don’t want to jinx our chances. Right now, just being there is good enough. We’re living in the moment and soaking in every good thing about this NFC championship that we’ve never had before.

    Cosmic Mercy. We’ve been begging for scraps from the table, and now we’re at the feast. This is bigger than Cosmic Justice. Geaux Saints.

    -The Jones

  • http://thejcalebjones.tumblr.com The Jones

    People,

    Let me explain the Saints to you. I live in Louisiana, and yesterday, I listened to sports radio shows where grown men called in and almost cried over the airwaves because the Saints made it to the Super Bowl. This is a big, big deal. When the Saints Franchise radio announcer screams after the winning field goal, “It’s good! It’s good! It’s good! Pigs have flown! Hell is frozen over! Saints win! Saints win!” then you know it’s a big deal.

    This is not mainly about Katrina. This is about the Saints NEVER being good. Not too long ago, even before Katrina, Saints fans were ecstatic because the Saints made it to…. ….the second round of the playoffs: the farthest they had ever advanced. When fans who identify so strongly with a team see them fail again and again, it gets ingrained in the psyche. It doesn’t feel good. The Saints were typified by moments like this in 2003: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTGco82JKHo where in the final play of the game, the Saints, down by 7, get 75 yards and a touchdown with monumental effort and several lateral passes only to miss the extra point and lose the game. That was dubbed “Classic New Orleans Saints.” It hurts being a Saint. In the league since 1967 and only seven playoff APPEARANCES? Yikes.

    Add to this Katrina, where the team that was down (but getting better. Hey, we made it to the second round of the playoffs, you know), got hit hard by one of the biggest natural disasters in U.S. history. Not only was their stadium destroyed, but their city, their market, their morale, and many of their fans (quite literally), too. It’s like kicking a man when he’s down. At the time, it really looked like the Saints were going to be packed up and moved to L.A. which has been screaming for an NFL team ever since the Raiders got swiped up by Oakland. It was going to be a sad ending to a sad team.

    Then, the rebuilding of the Saints began. And you know that story. It went along with rebuilding N.O., but it also preceded that story, too. And you’re right, Dan and Carl, this is not cosmic justice. It’s cosmic mercy, which is even better that cosmic justice. Die-hard fans who have been waiting (literally) all their lives for this now get a chance to see it actually happen. The Saints are in the Super Bowl. The trials of this team seem to have been lifted right at the moment when they were most pressing, almost fatal. After Katrina, we can look back over the past 4 years and say this is a wonderful chapter. But we can look back over the past 40 years and say it is even more.

    This is absolutely incredible; it is unbelievable; it is deus ex machina. It’s something that we’re having a hard time believing even after it has already happened. Even in Saints land, no one is talking about WINNING the Super Bowl. We’ve known too much hardship, and we don’t want to jinx our chances. Right now, just being there is good enough. We’re living in the moment and soaking in every good thing about this NFC championship that we’ve never had before.

    Cosmic Mercy. We’ve been begging for scraps from the table, and now we’re at the feast. This is bigger than Cosmic Justice. Geaux Saints.

    -The Jones

  • Joe

    The Jones – I get the never won anything/ Who Dat aspect of it all. It is one of the reasons I am currently routing for the Saints. But the Katrina aspect is just lame, very, very lame. It was four years ago and as far as football goes – it is probably the biggest reason the team is still in the Big Easy. Benson was on his way out the door until the he realized the PR nightmare that abandoning the city post-Katrina would have been. He (or his daughter – doesn’t she actually run things) had no choice but to stay. I am glad they stayed and they seem to be recommitted to the city now.

    Like I said, I am pro-Saint unless and until the Katrina aspect of it all pushes me to the Colts, who I have decided are the most unexciting great team of all time.

  • Joe

    The Jones – I get the never won anything/ Who Dat aspect of it all. It is one of the reasons I am currently routing for the Saints. But the Katrina aspect is just lame, very, very lame. It was four years ago and as far as football goes – it is probably the biggest reason the team is still in the Big Easy. Benson was on his way out the door until the he realized the PR nightmare that abandoning the city post-Katrina would have been. He (or his daughter – doesn’t she actually run things) had no choice but to stay. I am glad they stayed and they seem to be recommitted to the city now.

    Like I said, I am pro-Saint unless and until the Katrina aspect of it all pushes me to the Colts, who I have decided are the most unexciting great team of all time.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe’s right (@7). When will these people quit their pathetic whining about “Oh, boo-hoo, my home was destroyed and my family members died.” Waaaah. Mourning over loved ones takes one year, tops, and you can rebuild a house in a month. I don’t know why these people are still going on about it four years later. I mean, think back to 2005. Was anybody in the U.S. still talking about 9/11? No! We’d all completely gotten over it. No hard feelings. New Orleans needs to learn from the rest of the nation.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe’s right (@7). When will these people quit their pathetic whining about “Oh, boo-hoo, my home was destroyed and my family members died.” Waaaah. Mourning over loved ones takes one year, tops, and you can rebuild a house in a month. I don’t know why these people are still going on about it four years later. I mean, think back to 2005. Was anybody in the U.S. still talking about 9/11? No! We’d all completely gotten over it. No hard feelings. New Orleans needs to learn from the rest of the nation.

  • Joe

    Come on tODD – I am talking about the football angle of it. I don’t expect the entire city to be done mourning over their personal loses but the feel good football aspect is just too attenuated.

  • Joe

    Come on tODD – I am talking about the football angle of it. I don’t expect the entire city to be done mourning over their personal loses but the feel good football aspect is just too attenuated.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Well clearly, Joe (@9), it’s your call to make for the people of New Orleans. Who are they to feel good when you say no?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Well clearly, Joe (@9), it’s your call to make for the people of New Orleans. Who are they to feel good when you say no?

  • Hippocrates

    tODD @ 8: that is quite harsh. I hate sentimentality as much as you seem to do, but you oughtn’t to preach about getting over it if you weren’t a part of it. When was the last time most of your city, along with over a thousand of your fellow citizens, and possibly some of your own family/friends, and your home and place of work were destroyed in a natural disaster? Would you be “over it” ? I still weep for the friends I lost–yes, even a whole four years later! Shocking, isn’t it?

  • Hippocrates

    tODD @ 8: that is quite harsh. I hate sentimentality as much as you seem to do, but you oughtn’t to preach about getting over it if you weren’t a part of it. When was the last time most of your city, along with over a thousand of your fellow citizens, and possibly some of your own family/friends, and your home and place of work were destroyed in a natural disaster? Would you be “over it” ? I still weep for the friends I lost–yes, even a whole four years later! Shocking, isn’t it?


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