The Meaning of Football in New Orleans


Manage episode 295989958 series 2920140
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Prior to the 1967 NFL season, the state of Louisiana did not have a football team. That the city of New Orleans was granted a team was due, in large part, to local sports entrepreneur Dave Dixon, who had petitioned for a permanent team to be assigned to the city with 5 years of exhibition games — which regularly sold out the 80,000 seat Tulane stadium. At the time the National Football League (NFL) and the American Football League (AFL) were in the process of merging, pending congressional approval. What originated as the brainchild of Dixon was brought to life in a backroom deal between Congressman Hale Boggs, Senator Russell Long, and NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, which effectively finalized the merger between the AFL and the NFL — and thus the New Orleans Saints were born. Since then, the legacy was losing and near loss, as a hurricane in 2005 almost destroy city, but not its soul. However, in 2006 the losing ended with one blocked punt and since then the soul of city, in the eyes of many, was reborn into a city of winners and finally, in 2009, champions.

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