The League

Michael Kun
Author

Michael Kun

Co-author of The Football Uncyclopedia. He is also the author of six other books and is a practicing attorney.

Katrina changes everything

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Sports fans like to play the "what if" game. What if the Red Sox hadn't sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees? Why, the Sox would have won 25 pennants! What if the Blazers had selected Michael Jordan instead of Sam Bowie? They would have won 12 championships! What if steroids had never existed? Hank Aaron would still hold the career home run record! Roger Maris would still hold the single-season record! Mark McGwire's skin would be clearer!

What if Peyton Manning had come out of college after his junior season instead of going back to Tennessee for one more year? He would have been drafted by the Jets, and the Colts would have taken Ryan Leaf with the first pick the following year!

What if the NHL hadn't lost an entire season to a labor dispute? We might still talk about hockey once in a while! But here's a new one: What if Hurricane Katrina had never hit New Orleans?

I don't mean to be insensitive in any way by mentioning the hurricane. Just the opposite. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina is well-documented, and it is something all of us will remember for the rest of our lives. Completely understandably, it is mentioned in nearly every article written about the New Orleans Saints and their incredible season's impact upon the region and its citizens.

The Saints have given the region a much-needed lift. Something to cheer about.
To the extent that a sports team can give people hope, the Saints have done that.

Hundreds of articles have been written about this subject over the course of this NFL season. Hundreds more will be written in the next couple weeks -- and, should the Saints prevail on Super Bowl Sunday, thousands more will be written, along with a book or two.

There are no articles written about what the Colts mean to the city of Indianapolis, and no books about that subject will be hitting amazon.com this summer, even if the Colts beat the Saints 54-0.

The Colts mean a great deal to their city. Having been a contributing writer to Indy Mens Magazine for several years, I can tell you that Indianapolis loves the Colts just as much as any city loves their football team. It's just that winning the Super Bowl this year won't mean as much to Indianapolis as winning it will mean to New Orleans.

If the Colts win, they win a championship. If the Saints win, they win something more. And we all know that. In fact, we know it so well that it's almost improper for anyone other than a citizen of Indianapolis to root against the Saints this year.

Unless you have a real rooting interest in the Colts, it's considered almost un-American to root against the Saints. It has nothing to do with the players or the coaches. Swap the rosters, put Manning on the Saints and Brees on the Colts, and it would change nothing.

The country would still want the Saints to win, save for the people in Indianapolis. Sorry, Colts and Colts fans, but it's true. It has nothing to do with you. You're not playing against the Saints in a couple weeks. You're playing against America. You're playing against Katrina. You're playing against everyone's emotions. You're playing against the notions of rebirth and hope. You're playing against concepts and beliefs. It isn't fair, I know. But it also isn't fair that you ended up with Peyton Manning, instead of my Jets. Because if the Jets had gotten Manning back in 1997, they'd have won 8 Super Bowls!

By Michael Kun  |  January 27, 2010; 12:35 PM ET  | Category:  Indianapolis Colts Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Interesting take, Michael. And if I might add:

"What if the airport, train, and bus stations in New Orleans did not close 2 days before the storm and a day before the evacuation?"

"What if Bush (George W., not Reggie) had heeded the dire warnings given to him by Max Mayfield of the Hurricane Center the day before the storm (uncovered on video), instead of denying that such warnings were ever given to him and FEMA?"

"What if the media had verified the rumors about murders and rapes in the Superdome and rampant shootings at helicopters, prior to reporting them as fact?"

"What if the Army Corps of Engineers had done their job by building the levees and maintaining them properly and not been negligent as a court recently ruled?"

Regardless, I think the Colts will still have tons of fans since there are still plenty out there who don't know the facts about Katrina and the vast majority of great New Orleans ciitiizens, and don't want to know them, as it would fly in face of everything they want to believe.

Paul Harris
Author, "Diary From the Dome, Reflections on Fear and Privilege During Katrina"

Posted by: patriotpaul | January 28, 2010 3:44 AM

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