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Cool Runnings February 5, 2010

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, New Orleans Saints, NOLA, Toulouse Street.

It’s bad form to quote yourself, but three years later it seems enough time has elapsed and it’s the perfect way to begin this post:

A few years ago at work, the almost entirely female office crew where I worked put up one of those silly white board quizzes that the office morale officer is in charge of. The question: what movie makes you cry.

I knew I had to post up an answer: Cool Runnings.

Any guy who watches this film and doesn’t start to tear up when the Jamacian bobsled team stand up after their crash and carry their shattered sled the final yards down the run, and the hard-assed European team leader starts clapping, is either suffering from a tear duct disorder, or something slightly more fatal.

I wrote the Cool Runnings piece in January 2007 after we lost to the Bears. I wanted to remind everyone, most of all myself, that sometimes in defeat there is victory. I wanted to remember that imaginary moment when the four outsiders picked themselves up from defeat and near death and carried their broken bobsled across the finish line. I want to remember that was the moment in which they became Olympians.

I wanted to remember that sometimes its is OK to cry for joy.

I don’t know what will happen Sunday on the field and in the end I know it will only matter to those who live and die by sports talk radio and the betting line. For most of us, for those of us who remember why they are called the Saints, who parked at Ursulines and walked into Tulane Stadium long ago, who have seen it all come and go over 44 years, I know what will happen in New Orleans and in a hundred thousand rooms around the country where people who lived here in early August 2005 live today: a moment that will eclipse VE Day, the moon landing of Apollo 11 and Obama’s election. Grown men will weep in front of their wive and children, the dying will gladly give up the ghost late that night because they made it to that day, and thousands of children will be conceived who will all be named after Saint’s players.

And people in Miami at the game shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here.


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