Recently, I traveled to New Orleans for the National Plasterers Council’s annual conference.
Unfortunately, I had to leave the Friday before the Super Bowl, but I still had the pleasure of seeing the whole city celebrating its beloved Saints. Every single story in the local newspaper was devoted to the upcoming game, including the international section, which had a lengthy piece on soldiers in Afghanistan rooting for the team from the Big Easy.
People on the streets yelled, “Who Dat!” And when I was leaving, an employee at the hotel told me to root for the Saints from home, his voice filled with so much significance it felt as if he were giving me instructions for a crucial mission.
No doubt the Saints’ victory was especially meaningful to New Orleans. It was just five years ago that Hurricane Katrina hit, and upwards of 20,000 people took shelter in the Superdome, where they were forced to live for days under increasingly squalid conditions. Those unfortunate residents, as well as the Superdome itself, become a national symbol for the incompetence of government.
Then, while the city was struggling to get back on its feet, speculation arose that the Saints might leave.
Could New Orleans still support a football team? Would they recover from their disastrous ’05 season?
Super Bowl Sunday answered those questions with a resounding “Yes!” It was a stunning example of what can be accomplished with resilience, grit and a fighting spirit. I know it sounds cliché, but the Saints’ stupendous win shows us all what’s possible when people believe in their team.
Now, the pool and spa industry is experiencing its own Katrina. We’ve been battered by circumstances largely beyond our control, and many of our refugees are treading water hoping, with just seconds left on the clock, for a miraculous save.
But during these times, just as New Orleanians never gave up on their Saints, we’ve got to rally around our own teams in the industry.
When the California legislature tries to run a no-huddle offense, SPEC is there to call a timeout. We need to join in and show our support.
When NESPA, IPSSA, APSP and NPC work tirelessly on our behalf, they act as our warriors. They are fighting for us. Believe in them.