Monday, December 14, 2009

Quien Dat?

Quien Dat? Quien Dat? Quien dat dice que va a conquistar a los Santos? Quien dat? Quien dat?

Highlights here.

This is a charmed season for the Saints. It really seems like they can't lose no matter what.

Interesting story in the Times-Picayune about some Saints Fan Icons and a new calendar featuring twelve of these characters whose sale proceeds will go to charity.

One item of note: The character known as "Da Pope" is my mother's brother, in other words my uncle. The story calls him Lionel "Da Pope" Alphonso. We simply call him LJ. Here's a bit on LJ from the story:

Lionel "Da Pope" Alphonso of Violet has been praying for the Saints since 1987.

"The real Pope came to New Orleans and did a youth Mass in the Superdome, and we won the next game," he said. "So I decided the Pope should be at every game."

Alphonso, 62, rebuilt his home and his business after losing them both to Hurricane Katrina, and through everything he endured after the storm, he never lost his faith in New Orleans or the Saints.

"I had quadruple bypass surgery, and two weeks later I was sitting in the Dome," he said. "I'll be at the Super Bowl when we get there."
I'm reluctantly revealing my roots out in Da Parish. Yes, half my extended family hails from Chalmette, dawlin' -- but all I can say is Thank God my folks had the sense to escape that sink hole. Sure, there are some decent folk out in Da Parish; but it's really like a foreign country out there, whose residents live in relative isolation.

Let me tell you a true story that captures what I'm getting at. And remember that St. Bernard Parish is only about 5-10 miles from downtown New Orleans. For my brother's wedding, which took place some 15 years ago, some of my relatives from Da Parish were invited to the wedding ceremony and reception. Well, some of these relatives, having never really ventured beyond Da Parish all that much, managed to get on the I-10 heading west and were halfway to Baton Rouge before realizing that they had maybe gone too far and missed one of the many exits to downtown New Orleans. Needless to say, they missed the ceremony, but managed to make it to the reception! And this is not the only time this kind of thing has happened.

But this is neither here nor there relative to the story of Da Pope. Rest assured that we're all proud of Da Pope and are happy for him. And let's hope that his blessings on the Saints keep coming!

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