Preparing to root for the Saints this afternoon has already stirred memories of the days I spent in New Orleans researching Hurricane Season…
Six months before Katrina, the Patriots of John Curtis Christian School had lost the state championship game. In the Superdome locker room after the game, head coach J.T. Curtis gave a speech that epitomized his decades-long philosophy on football and on life, and sums up the message of Hurricane Season – a message that applies as well to the Saints.
He said, “Any time you set a goal in your life, you don’t always know if you’re gonna make that goal, but what you have to do is give it your best shot every day…If you give that commitment from now ’til the day you die, you’ll be a successful person, no matter what you do.” J.T. often reminds his kids that “things in your life aren’t always gonna go well. You’re gonna have to learn to get up, dust yourself off, and go again.” Today, the dusted-off Saints have a chance today to make their still-wounded city proud.
[footnote: One of the main characters in Hurricane Season was Joe McKnight, who went on to play for USC. Joe’s coach at USC, Pete Carroll, recently became coach of my beleaguered backup team, the Seahawks. (I’ll always be an NY Giants fan.) And Joe recently declared for NFL draft. I’m hoping the winds that blew Joe west from NO to LA will blow him to the Pacific Northwest and to Pete's Carroll's Seahawks. Here's a story I did about Joe, excerpted from Hurricane Season, for Sports Illustrated.]