The significance for Nola landing the Super Bowl in 2013 cannot be understated. I joined Saints owner Tom Benson for breakfast this morning at the NFL Spring Meeting. I asked him, “If you get it …” but he stopped me right there and said, “There’s no ‘if’ about it.”
He was very confident — as if trying to will the other NFL owners to award Super Bowl XLVII to his home town.
I was the only reporter privileged to sit in on the Super Bowl host presentations (Arizona and South Florida also bid for the event). New Orleans’ presentation featured videos with images of what the renovated Superdome will look like. It also featured a few celebrities to help “pitch” the city … such as Drew Brees, Governor Bobby Jindal, Emerill Lagasse … and native sons Peyton and Eli Manning!
Seriously … how could the Colts and Giants not vote for Nola?!?
Some eight hours after that confident breakfast with Benson — when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the results of the secret ballot (Nola won on the second vote, with at least 24 of the 32 teams voting for them) — Benson jumped up from his chair and let out a “whoop!!”
In 2005, New Orleans was unwillingly thrust upon the world’s stage. In 2013, they willingly put themselves there again.
Congrats to the city and the entire region. Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!
– Scott Hanson