Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Jazz Fest

Okay, based on what I see, I think I want to go to JazzFest on Sunday, April 25th and Saturday, May 1st (depending on weather conditions, monetary conditions, etc.)

Friday, April 23
Lionel Richie, Black Crowes, Dr. John, George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic, Elvin Bishop, Steel Pulse, Baaba Maal, Chocolate Milk, Jon Cleary, Frankie Ford, Deacon John, Joe Lovano, Bob French & the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band’s 100 Year Celebration, Irma Thomas’ Tribute to Mahalia Jackson, The Joe Krown Trio with Walter “Wolfman” Washington and Russell Batiste Jr., Lena Prima, Anders Osborne, John Fohl & Johnny Sansone, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers’ Tribute to Rockin’ Dopsie Sr., Maurice Brown Effect, Kenny Neal, Glen David Andrews, Mia X, Cheeky Blakk, and Ms. Tee, OTRA, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas, Leah Chase, Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, Little Freddie King Blues Band, The Revivalists, Leroy Jones & New Orleans Finest, Tommy Sancton New Orleans Quintet, Lost Bayou Ramblers, New Orleans Night Crawlers, The Revealers, Rotary Downs, James Rivers Movement, Spencer Bohren, Jesse McBride presents the Next Generation, Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys, David Egan, Kipori Woods, Semolian Warriors and Comanche Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Mas Mamones, Shades of Praise, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church Mass Choir, Clive Wilson’s New Orleans Serenaders feat. Butch Thompson, Jambalaya Cajun Band with special guest Merlin Fontenot, Real Untouchables Brass Band, Beth Patterson, June Gardner & the Fellas, Kevin Thompson & the Sensational Six, Native Nations Intertribal, Chip & Polly Radke with the God’s House Choir, Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Ensemble, Mount Hermon Mass Choir, Alexis Marceaux Band, Smitty Dee’s Brass Band, Black Mohawk Mardi Gras Indians, Kat Walker Jazz Combo, Natasha Richard of Canada, Delgado Community College Jazz Ensemble, John Lee & the Heralds of Christ, The Bester Singers with the Dynamic Smooth Family Gospel Singers, Keep N It Real and Single Ladies Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Grey Hawk, Brass Band Throwdown with the Behrman Charter & O. Perry Walker School Bands, Family Ties and Big Nine Social Aid & Pleasure Club, McDonogh #42 Elementary School Performers…

Saturday, April 24
Simon & Garfunkel, My Morning Jacket, Drake, Better Than Ezra, Ledisi, , Cowboy Mouth, the funky Meters, Sam Bush, Campbell Brothers, Smokie Norful, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Walter “Wolfman” Wahington & the Roadmasters, Papa Grows Funk, Tab Benoit, Sax for Stax feat. Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum, and Jeff Lorber, Terence Blanchard, Davell Crawford and One Foot in the Blues with special guests Dr. John and Jon Cleary, Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters, Savoy Center of Eunice Saturday Cajun Jam, Bonerama, Bounce Extravanganza feat. Big Freedia, Sissy Nobby, Katey Red, and Magnolia Shorty with DJ Poppa, The Wiseguys, Jewel Brown with the Heritage Hall Band, Dr. Michael White & the Original Liberty Jazz Band feat. Thais Clark, New Orleans Bingo! Show, Treme Brass Band, Bill Summers & Jazalsa, George French & the Original Storyville Jazz Band, Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes, Lil’ Buck Sinegal Blues Band, Guitar Woodshed feat. Steve Masakowski, Todd Duke, and Jake Eckert, Roddie Romero & the Hub City Allstars, Midnite Disturbers, Kirk Joseph & the Sousaphone Symphony Parade honoring Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen, Tin Men, Judy Spellman, Mahogany Brass Band, Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians, D.L. Menard & the Louisiana Aces, Rockie Charles & the Staxx of Love, Kirk Joseph & Tuba Tuba, Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble, Andrew Duhon & the Lonesome Crows, Panorama Jazz Band, Red Stick Ramblers, Blessed, Patrice Fisher & Arpa and the Honduran Connection, Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble, Chris Clifton, Bleu Orleans, Tonia Scott & the Anointed Voices, Leo Jackson & the Melody Clouds, N.O.C.C.A. Jazz Ensemble, Black Feathers, Wild Mohicans, and Red, White & Blue Mardi Gras Indians, Da Souljas Brass Band, Culu Children’s Traditional African Dance Ensemble, Loyola University Jazz Ensemble, Resurrection Mass Choir, Greater Antioch Full Baptist Church Mass Choir, Betsy McGovern & Patrick O’Flaherty, Lindsay Mendez, Ladies of Unity, Dumaine Gang, and Divine Ladies Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Golden Comanche and Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians, Native Nations Intertribal, Johnette Downing, Archdiocese of New Orleans Mass Gospel Choir, Golden Voices Community Choir, Curtis Pierre & Samba Kids, RRAAMS Drum and Dance, Single Men and Nine Times Men Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs…

Sunday, April 25
Allman Brothers Band, Anita Baker, Darius Rucker, The Levon Helm Band, Marcia Ball, Shawn Colvin, , Louisiana LeRoux feat. Tab Benoit, The Radiators, Wayne Toups & Zydecajun, Jonny Lang, Pre-War Blues, Juan Luis Guerra y 440, Imagination Movers, Keely Smith, King Sunny Ade & His African Beats, Blind Boys of Alabama, Donald Harrison, Voice of the Wetlands All Stars, Theresa AnderssonThe Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong feat. Wycliffe Gordon, James Andrews, and Victor Goines, Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Jeremy Davenport, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indians, Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience, Preservation Hall with special guests Jim James and Terence Blanchard, James Andrews & the Crescent City Allstars, New Orleans Klezmer Allstars, Susan Cowsill Band, Grayson Capps, Mark Braud’s New Orleans Jazz Giants, Guitar Slim, Jr., Tribute to Juanita Brooks feat. Germaine Bazzle, Leah Chase, and Betty Shirley, Storyville Stompers Brass Band, Lionel Ferbos & the Palm Court Jazz Band, The Electrifying Crown Seekers, Watson Memorial Music Ministries, Honey Island Swamp Band, Seguenon Kone & L’Ivoire Spectacle, Marc Stone, Free Agents Brass Band, Kim Carson, Michael Ward, Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Miss Sophie Lee, Sammy Rimington’s Jubilee Band, Goldman Thibodeaux & the Lawtell Playboys, Sonny Bourg & the Bayou Blues Band, Nineveh Mass Choir, Gospel Soul Children, Rumba Buena, Minister Jai Reed, Robert “One String” Gibson, Julio y Cesar, Golden Star Hunters and Carrollton Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Untouchables, Furious Five, and Big Steppers Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Young Pinstripe Brass Band, Gospel Stars, Voices of Distinction, University of New Orleans Jazz Ensemble, Big Chief Kevin Goodman & the Flaming Arrows Mardi Gras Indians, Olympia Aid, New Look, and the First Division Social Aid & Pleasure Club, Young Audiences presents Gal Holiday & the Honky Tonk Revue, Angela the Yarnspinner, New Orleans Traditional Brass Band with the Heel to Toe Steppers, Golden Blade and Ninth Ward Navajo Mardi Gras Indians, Red Hot Brass Band, Native Nations Intertribal, Kai Knight’s Dance Academy, Guardians of the Flame…

Thursday, April 29
Widespread Panic, Elvis Costello & the Sugarcanes, Gov’t Mule, Average White Band, Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers, Blues Traveler, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Dee Dee Bridgewater: A Celebration of “Lady Day”, Bernard Allison, Martin Sexton, Four Freshmen, Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys, C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band, Soul Rebels, Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots, Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove, Inspirational Souls of Chicago, Paul Sanchez & the Rolling Road Show, Shannon Powell’s Organ Combo feat. Charlie Gabriel, David Torkanowsky, and Peter Bernstein, Bobby Lonero’s Tribute to Louis Prima with Johnny Pennino & the New Orleans Express, Orange Kellin’s New Orleans Deluxe Orchestra, Elysian Fieldz, Derek Miller, Willis Prudhomme & Zydeco Express, GROUPA – Nordic Folk Fusion, The Roots of Music Marching Crusaders Band, Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony, Dala, Walter Payton with Snapbeans & Gumbo FilĂ©, Vivaz!, Jazz Ladies Sing the Blues feat. Gina Brown, Angela H. Bell, Tereasa B., and Heather Rothstein, R. Scully Rough 7, Coco Robicheaux & the Swamp Monsters, Classie Ballou & the Family Band, Mark Adam Miller, Grupo Sensacion, 101 Runners, Paulin Brothers Brass Band, Mario Abney Quintet, Lafayette Rhythm Devils, Loose Marbles, Hot Club of New Orleans, Joe Hall & the Cane Cutters, Lucky 7, Bonsoir Catin, Sean Johnson & the Wild Lotus Band, McDonogh #35, O. Perry Walker, and McMain High School Gospel Choirs, Lyle Henderson & Emmanuel, Black Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians, Eddie “ChopChops” Paris, Tulane University Jazz Ensembles, Thunder Hill, The Wright Brothers, Dillard University Jazz Ensemble, Red Hawk Mardi Gras Indians, Heavenly Melodies, Pastor Terry Gullage & the Greater Mount Calvary Voices of Redemption Choir, Tornado Brass Band, VIP Ladies and Bon Temps Roulez Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, David & Roselyn, Miss Claudia & her Traveling Troubador, Geronimo Hunters and Creole Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Jazz Fest Residency Showcase with Seva Venet and the Wilson Charter School, OPSB Talented in Theatre feat. McMain Secondary, Bethune, and Franklin Elementary Schools…

Friday, April 30
Aretha Franklin, Allen Toussaint, Gipsy Kings, Kirk Franklin, Jose Feliciano, Take 6, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, The Dixie Cups, Stanley Clarke Band feat. Hiromi, the subdudes, John Mooney & Bluesiana, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, Buckwheat Zydeco, Eric Lindell, Nicholas Payton Sextet, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Louis Prima, Jr., The Iguanas, Nadirah Shakoor, Fredy Omar con su Banda, PJ Morton, New Orleans Spiritualettes, Astral Project, John BouttĂ©, Kent Jordan, The Jon Batiste Band, Mardi Gras Indian Orchestra, Onward Brass Band, New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra, The Selvys, Big Al Carson, Hadley J. Castille Family & the Sharecroppers Cajun Band, Fi Yi Yi & the Mandingo Warriors, Jimmy Robinson, The Rocks of Harmony, Connie & Dwight with the St. Raymond/St. Leo the Great Choir, Papa Blue Viking Jazz Band of Sweden, Dee-1, Thomas “Big Hat” Fields, Julliard Jazz Ensemble, Pfister Sisters, Ray Abshire, Kid Simmons’ Local International Allstars, Brother Tyrone, J. Monque’D Blues Band, Forgotten Souls Brass Band, Bamboula 2000, Kristin Diable, Creole String Beans, Rev. Jermaine Landrum and Ebenezer Baptist Church Choir, Kora Konnection feat. Morikeba Kouyate of Senegal and Thierno Dioubate of Guinea, Marisa y Mariachi Agave, First Ladies Brass Band, N’Fungola Sibo West African Dance Company, Voices of Peter Claver, Gospel Inspirations of Boutte, Heritage School of Music Band, Gloria Bell & the Revelation Gospel Singers, Nashville Children’s Choir, Thunder Hill, New Wave Brass Band, New Orleans Indian Rhythm Section, Original Big Seven and Original Four Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Adella Adella the Storyteller, KIDsmART and ISL Circus Arts Program, Young Magnolias Mardi Gras Indians, Scene Boosters, Ole N Nu Fellas, and Secondline Jammers Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, KIDsmART Artist Troupe, The Jazz Cats Marionettes…

Saturday, May 1
Pearl Jam, Jeff Beck, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Galactic, Sugarfoot’s Ohio Players, Rebirth Brass Band, The Allen Toussaint Jazzity Project, Cyril Neville & Tribe 13, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Anders Osborne, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, Chris Thomas King, Sonny Landreth, Henry Butler, Old Crow Medicine Show, Marcus Miller, Teena Marie, Pete Fountain, Band of Horses, Sagbohan Danialou of Benin, Brian Blade & the Fellowship Band, Shamarr Allen & the Underdawgs, MyNameIsJohnMichael, Charmaine Neville Band, Aaron Neville, Banu Gibson with Swing Out & Tap!, Bobby Lounge, Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band, New Birth Brass Band, Germaine Bazzle, The Johnson Extension, Betty Winn & One A-Chord, Pine Leaf Boys, Gregg Stafford & the Young Tuxedo Brass Band, Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone & the XL Band, Mem Shannon & the Membership, Russell Batiste & Friends feat. Jason Neville, Driskill Mountain Boys, DJ Soul Sister, Pinstripe Brass Band, Jockimo’s Groove feat. War Chief Juan & Billy Iuso, Lynn Drury, Evan Christopher and Tom McDermott, AsheSon, White Cloud Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Zion Trinity, Kenny Bill Stinson & the ARK-LA-Mystics, Roderick Paulin & the Big Easy Groovers feat. Nicole Slack-Jones: A Tribute to Julian “Cannonball” Adderly, New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra, Connie Jones & the Crescent City Jazz Band, Trouble Nation and Ninth Ward Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, New Generation, First Emmanuel Baptist Church Choir, Arthur Clayton & Purposely Anointed, Paula & the Pontiacs, Xavier University Jazz Ensemble, Baby Boyz Brass Band, Jonno’s Cajun Experience, Jamil Sharif, Ayla Miller, Undefeated Divas, and Lady Jetsetters Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Saltimbanqui of Mexico, Stephen Foster’s Foster Family Program, Cherokee Hunters, Wild Red Flame, and Mohawk Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Donnie Bolden, Jr. & the Spirit of Elijah, Tyronne Foster & the Arc Singers, Thunder Hill, Craig Adams & Higher Dimensions of Praise, Westbank Steppers, Valley of Silent Men, and Pigeon Steppers Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Alana Villavaso…

Sunday, May 2
The Neville Brothers, Van Morrison, B.B. King, Irma Thomas, The Radiators, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Ellis Marsalis, Clarence “Frogman” Henry, The Dead Weather, Maze feat. Frankie Beverly, Richie Havens, Clarence Carter, Juvenile & DJ Mannie Fresh, Wayne Shorter Quartet feat. Brian Blade, John Patitucci, and Danilo Perez, Tye Tribbett, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, DJ Captain Charles, The Davell Crawford Singers, Ruthie Foster, Sagbohan Danialou of Benin, Luther Kent, Sherman Washington & the Zion Harmonizers, The Preservation Hallstar Revue, Mia Borders, Jimmy Johnson Band, Benny Grunch & the Bunch, Tribute to Juanita Brooks feat. Wanda Rouzan, Barbara Shorts, and Topsy Chapman, Big Chief Bo Dollis & the Wild Magnolias, Delfeayo Marsalis & the Uptown Jazz Orchestra, John Rankin, Tim Laughlin, Don Vappie & the Creole Jazz Serenaders, Val & the Love Alive Fellowship Choir, Willie Tee, Warren Storm & Cypress, Feufollet, Reggie Hall & The Twilighters, Ernie Vincent & the Top Notes, Phillip Manuel, TBC Brass Band, Los Po-Boy-Citos, Dukes of Dixieland, Margie Perez, Keith Franks, Gal Holiday & the Honky Tonk Revue, Goldman Thibodeaux & the Lawtell Playboys, Blodie’s Jazz Jam, Nova NOLA feat. Sasha Masakowski, Jonno & Bayou DeVille, Kumbuka African Drum & Dance Collective, Some Like It Hot, Jo “Cool” Davis, St. Joseph the Worker Choir, Franklin IV, Hazel & the Delta Ramblers, N’Kafu African Dance Ensemble, Wild Tchoupitoulas, Black Eagles and Wild Apaches Mardi Gras Indians, Morikeba Kouyate & Friends, Highsteppers Brass Band, Original Lady Buckjumpers and Original Prince of Wales Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Ven Pa’ Ca, Zulu Male Ensemble, Golden Sioux and Apache Hunters Mardi Gras Hunters, Thunder Hill, O. Perry Walker Kuumba Players, Hobgoblin Hill Puppet Theater, Lady Rollers, Original CTC, and Nine Times Ladies Social Aid & Pleasure Club, Morning Star Mass Choir, KIDsmART Performer Showcase…

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

January Barometer

OK. I am sitting here on the last business day of the month of January (the 29th) and the market is down again today, the S&P is down 41 points for the month of January, or about -3.7%. That brought to mind the "January Barometer" which is based on the old saying "As goes January so goes the year." Well, this actually works about 69% of the time. Think of it as starting a race with a head start. But you've got to remember that 69% is not the same as 100%. For instance, the market was down in January 2009 (S&P 500 -8.43%) and rallied throughout the year and finished up for the year 2009 (S&P 500 26.46%). So, it isn't foolproof. And as the affable and somewhat bombastic Jim Cramer of Mad Money on CNBC rightfully says. there's always a bull market in something, somewhere. However, anything that is right about 69% of the time should at least given some consideration.

So be careful investing in 2010.

From Shit My Dad Says

"I am not a pessimist. At some time the world shits on everybody. Pretending it ain't shit makes you and idiot, not an optimist." ShitMyDadSays

George's Deer

Just picked up deer meat from Bergeron's Meak Market. Gonna have deer sausage, grits & eggs for supper.

The Bagpiper

As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a
funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man.
He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper's
cemetery in the Kentucky backcountry.

As I was not familiar with the rural roads, I got lost;
and being a typical man I didn't stop for directions.

I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral director
had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight.

There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.
I felt bad and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side
of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place.
I didn't know what else to do, so I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around.
Embarrassed about being late, and feeling sad for this poor man
with no family and friends, I put my heart and soul into the music.
Overcome with emotion, I played like I've never played before for this forgotten homeless man.

And as I played "Amazing Grace," the workers began to weep.
They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished I
packed up my bagpipes and started for my car.
Though my head hung low, my heart was full.

As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say,
"Sweet Mother of Jesus, I never seen nothing like that before,
and I've been putting in septic tanks for years."

Ground Hog's Day

I wonder how you cook a ground hog? Does it taste like pork? My guess is you need a gravy, maybe a sauce piquant to overcome the game taste.

Where Floodwaters Once Stood

It is sometimes hard for people who are not from around here to grasp what the Saints mean to New Orleans. It is not about passionate fans, all pro sports teams have passionate fans. It's about what the team symbolizes to the people, to the city. It's about hope. It's about faith. It's about the belief in a better life, a better future. I think that this piece captures that better than any other I have read.

John Broussard

Where floodwaters once stood, a tide of emotion rises in New OrleansBy Sally JenkinsWashington Post Staff WriterMonday, January 25, 2010; D01

It was a contact drunk. You didn't have to swallow a drop for this NFC championship game to make you feel totally inebriated, like you'd been swilling the cheap well whiskey of Bourbon Street all night. When the action finally ceased, after nearly four hours, the wrenching swings and lead changes, dramatic spirals and swoons left you staggering amid the great geysers of horn music and confetti. The New Orleans Saints, dragging a whole metropolis on their backs, had advanced to the Super Bowl, but only in overtime after one man, Brett Favre, tried to take down the entire city.

The Superdome crowd of 71,276 was incoherent with madness; it was the loudest noise ever, a hurricane in your head. But when you thought it couldn't get any louder, it went up another notch, into a great shrill stratosphere as Garrett Hartley stepped up to a 40-yard field goal with 10 minutes 15 seconds left in overtime. Behind the uprights was a large fleur-de-lis emblazoned on an upper deck of the Superdome, that storm-ravaged facility. Saints Coach Sean Payton told Hartley, "Why don't you just hit that fleur-de-lis dead center?" Hartley did exactly that, sailed the ball through the uprights toward that ornate emblem of a team and a city, to give them the 31-28 victory over the MinnesotaVikings and the greatest moment in franchise history.

Make no mistake: They won for love of their city. They won for all the neighborhoods where the benighted old mansions now peel and sag, like old ladies who have misapplied their makeup. For all the buskers and panhandlers and street dancers, working under shabby, old oaks and palms. They won for the poor, flooded districts where the horns lament on street corners, Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans, I miss it both night and day. Had a town ever craved a victory more than New Orleans? All across the city, people who had lost everything needed so desperately to win something. Even the cops on street corners chanted, "WHO DAT?" The local paper, the Times-Picayune, threw away all dispassion and ran a banner headline Sunday morning: "Our Team. Our Town. Our Time." One Saints fan outside the Superdome even stamped a fleur-de-lis on the side of his great Dane. Party wagons with Klaxons barreled down the boulevards, imbibers hanging from the windows.

"Four years ago there were holes in this roof," Payton said. "The fans in this region and this city deserve this."

This time, the wreckage on the field and in the streets was sweet, beads and feathers and streamers, as opposed to the flotsam and detritus of the flood. The references were inescapable, and the Saints didn't shy from them. All season, they had announced they were playing for something much larger than themselves. "It's a calling," quarterback Drew Brees said. After all, their home stadium had been the last refuge in the city for 30,000 residents during Hurricane Katrina, and an earthly version of hell during the storm-flood afterwards, strewn with debris and with breaches in the roof. The damage was so heavy, and so emblematic of New Orleans's sense of trauma and abandonment, that city officials nearly decided to tear it down.

Instead it underwent a $200 million renovation, and when the Saints returned to it in 2006, they did so with a new head coach in Payton, and a quarterback the rest of the league had given up on in the sore-shouldered Brees. The renovated dome was a charmless edifice, all gray cinder block, but it was filled with the ghosts of Katrina, and the men who played inside the building never once flinched from the responsibility of that. On the contrary, they took specific, enormous pride in it. "Ninety percent of people who come up to me on the street don't say, 'Great game,' " Brees said back in 2006, when he first got to town. "They say, 'Thank you for being part of the city.' "

Brees and Payton became the guys who came to New Orleans when no one else would. They arrived when the city was still destroyed and there was still junk in the streets. When Payton moved to the city, it was nearly empty, and the franchise was so lacking in facilities it had to hold training camp in Jackson, Miss. "There was a lot of traffic going the other direction, not much going in," Payton recalled. Businesses were so shuttered that at one point, he had to stand in line for two hours at a Walgreen's drug store to get an antibiotic for his daughter, and could only get half the prescription filled. "In other words, it was different," he said. "It was hard to explain if you weren't here."

Brees was looking for a new team after the San Diego Chargers had no use for him. He committed to a city still partly underwater. "There were still boats in living rooms and trucks flipped upside down on top of houses," he said earlier this week. "Some houses just off the foundation and totally gone. You just say, 'Man, what happened here? It looks like a nuclear bomb went off.' For me, I looked at that as an opportunity. An opportunity to be part of the rebuilding process. How many people get that opportunity in their life to be a part of something like that?"

One of these days, football will just be football again in New Orleans, but on this night, it was much more. Everything seemed to have outsize meaning, from the stakes to the noise. Then, as if the game needed anything more, the 40-year-old Favre delivered a living-legend performance. Time and again, Favre choked off the crowd and the momentum as he directed scoring drives downfield. He struck at the Saints repeatedly, like a rattlesnake, as he threw for 310 yards with an assortment of lasers and fades while enduring a succession of shuddering blows. Gimpy and grizzled, he just kept slinging it downfield. In the final minute of regulation he threatened to bring the entire building down as he drove the Vikings once more, this time to the Saints 38. Finally, with 19 seconds left in regulation, Favre made a fatal mistake. Facing third down and 15 yards to go, he rolled right, then whirled and threw back to his left toward Sidney Rice -- but right into the hands of cornerback Tracy Porter. That effectively sent the game into overtime.

After all that, it came down to a coin toss. That was the break the Saints needed to close the deal. Favre would never return to the field; overtime belonged to the Saints, who won the toss, then got a blazing 40-yard kick return from Pierre Thomas. From there, the Saints inched their way into field goal position. Hartley took aim at that fleur-de-lis and sent the ball up, and the sound came down from theupper reaches of the Superdome like a landslide.

"It's surreal," Brees said. "Coming here four years ago, post-Katrina. . . It's unbelievable, it's unbelievable. You can draw so many parallels between our team and our city. In reality we've had to lean on each other in order to survive. The city is on its way to recovery. We've used the strength and resilience of our fans to go out and play with confidence on Sundays. It's been one step at a time, and we've had to play through plenty of adversity. Just like this town has."