The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Peter Drucker

Preface:

I have two sons, Slade and Seth. Seth is my youngest (age 28). Slade is 30. Seth made parenting easy. Slade on the other hand caused us some angst during the process (I hope this public statement doesn't shock him).

About a month ago Seth called and asked, "Do you want the good news or the bad?" I answered, "The Bad." He laughed and said, "I have a tattoo." Seth isn't in the Navy so this revelation shocked me. After a moment he explained that he had, "Who dat?, a Fleur de Lis, and Superbowl XLIV Champions" tattooed on his upper arm.

After an initial reaction that I'll keep to myself, I thought through the person and the process that are this son. Seth is a "Saints Fanatic" and a true believer. The Saints are one of his passions. Being an entrepeneur who follows his heart more than his head - I can relate to Passion. Having been young once and having done stupid things as recently as earlier today, my feelings quickly changed from disappointment to a slight sense of pride. I'll now convert this family moment to Food for Thought on this Eve of History. I offer now the following Jambalaya of Emotions for your consumption. Enjoy!

Rarely do we understand the full significance of a moment in history in advance. A retrospective focus is always more accurate than the prospective glance to the horizon. I’m sure the anticipation of the troops preparing for Normandy was great but they probably did not fully realize the "blood, sweat, and tears" that they would invest in order “to deliver us from evil” on that “longest day.”

I think that most of us on May 25, 1961 doubted our ability to “put a man on the moon” more than we believed JFK’s Vision that we would do it. In August 2005 the euphoria in New Orleans that accompanied “dodging the big one” as Katrina devastated Mississippi was actually the bliss of ignorance of the catastrophe that was yet to follow.

On a note of personal history, George Gros and I attended the first Saint’s game in Tulane Stadium in 1967 against the Los Angeles Rams. We cheered wildly with thousands of other delusional fans as John Gilliam ran back the opening kickoff for a 94 yard touchdown. We were oblivious to the reality of life and our lives.

Little did we know at the time that greatness was not in that play but was a mere 43 years away. In my own mind, I could not have foreseen how long 43 years is when measured one heartbreaking loss at a time and how short it is measured in each of our lives. I would not and could not have believed that 43 years later, I’m here to witness Redemption and George is not. I miss him.

Tomorrow will be historic in the annals of Sports and in the history of “comebacks.” It is a story of faith, endurance, resilience, and belief. It will be a Miracle played out on TV. Earlier Miracles have occurred including the 1969 Mets and the 1980 US Hockey team. These remain notable stories in the history of competitive sports and underdogs.

Both were significant to their fans and the followers that bought into the emotion of the moment. It is sometimes forgotten that the Miracle on Ice was not about a gold medal but was merely for the right to play for the gold. The game was not about Hockey as much as it was about salvation of the spirit of us and U.S. – at a time when we desperately needed good news.

Tomorrow is about Karma – bad luck losers turned inside out – through hard work, great coaching, some lucky breaks (gifts from God – after all we are the Saints!), and a commitment to a city and a people – followers that have earned it. This is about passion focused, emotion leveraged, and energy managed. It’s about liberation in the eyes of the world (for once when all the world is “pulling for us” instead of questioning "what's wrong with those folks in Louisiana?") and more importantly it is about recovery in the eyes of ourselves – we believe again – we are True Believers – we can recover – we can be winners. Change is good.

43 years from now – we won’t remember the score, the players, or even a touchdown on the opening kickoff – our deliverance is not in a series of plays or even the outcome – our redemption is in the Passion of the people and their belief in their team and more importantly in an understanding that YES WE CAN – even against all odds we can and will prevail.

Are we crazy? Yes – but remember “fan” is not just a device for cooling the room – fan is short for fanatic. May this game be a metaphor for our futures – may we always “wake with passion, grow in wisdom, and rest in peace!”

Geaux Saints…

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