Back Home in the Dome

After being away for nearly two years, The New Orleans Saints returned to the Louisiana Superdome for their home opener versus the Atlanta Falcons. Seeing the team back in the dome and then win in dramatic fashion was a surreal, indescribable experience couldn’t have been written better. I’m glad to say I was there. Mom, Dad, Andrew and I went to the newly reopened Superdome this afternoon for the Saints game. Dad and I more or less planned to go to work today but we never got around to it. At around three, Dad and I left the house to pick up Mom from work and Andrew from school. After getting both of them, we headed down to the dome. With the heavy traffic, it took a little while to get there and parked. Scores of people were already there when we arrived around five. Apparently people had already been around the Superdome since this morning. The Goo Goo Dolls performed outside the dome at 5:30. I had left Mom and Dad for some breathing room by gate C just earlier. After their performance ended it got quite crowded where I was. There was some sort of stage and ceremonies at this gate that I wasn’t really aware of until they took place. After the gates ‘officially’ opened, people didn’t seem to be moving and it took a good bit of effort to escape the crowd. I met up with Dad, Andrew and eventually Mom later on and we entered the stadium. Although I’m sure coming back to the dome for a lot of people was a very emotion experience with all of the tragic context associated with the Superdome. That wasn’t really the case for me though. It’s a familiar place for me because I’ve visited it many times for Tulane football games, which is all that really comes to my mind when I think about the dome. The restoration and renovation has been a big story of late. Seeing the interior, you’d never know anything bad had happened. Everything was clean and familiar, even more polished than I recall from my previous visits. Mom and Dad had suite tickets and Andre and I sat in the terrace in section 624. We were pretty high up but there isn’t a bad seat in the dome for football. We were seated pretty early but the stands were already largely occupied. The pre-game performance with U2 and Green Day was cool. Seeing the floor audience get shuffled in and then shuffled out not long after was kind of amusing. And then there was the game, and what a game it was. Staring with the blocked punt and touchdown return, the Saints set the tone for the whole game, in which the Saints defense dominated and shut down Michael Vick and one of the best offences in the NFL. The Saints double reverse for a touchdown later on was pretty sweet as well. The Saints won 23-3. I think I can skip the box score and let it suffice to say that the game couldn’t have been better if it was scripted. The crowd was definitely an advantage to the home team, making an incredible amount of noise helping out the Saints defense. Early in the game I couldn’t even hear my own screams. All in all the atmosphere was positively electric. I’m not much of a writer so I’m not qualified to adequately describe the significance of the evening. Rest assured, history will take care of that in due course. “The attendance for the game was 70,003. Meanwhile, the broadcast of the game was ESPN's highest-ever rated program to date, with an 11.8 rating, and viewership by 10,850,000 homes. It was the most-watched program for the night, broadcast or cable, and was the second-highest rated cable program of all time.” Wikipedia Andrew and I walked back to the car through cheering crowds after the game. After watching boisterous fans leave the dome for a little while, we drove home and arrived sometime around midnight.

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