1. Drew Brees Saves New Orleans
I’m a guy who loves feel good stories and the Saints winning Super Bowl XLIV was the best story of the year. When Drew Brees signed with the Saints as a free agent, he had been cast aside by the San Diego Chargers for Philip Rivers, and no other teams wanted to pay him top money because they believed that Brees lacked the size to be a commanding NFL quarterback, and also because he was coming off an injury to his throwing arm. Hell, the Miami Dolphins chose Daunte Culpepper’s destroyed knee over him. So for Brees to win, it was an incredible triumph in the face of people who just suck at their jobs.
This was really about a city that needed to feel alive again, and it worked. It was exponentially more effective than Sean Penn riding around in a boat with a shotgun. New Orleans may not be fixed, it may still smell awful in some places, and tourism is down because people think that Hurricane Katrina wiped it off the map and the BP oil spill turned the wildlife into mutants with laser beam eyes. But they’re wrong, and as Rome wasn’t built in a day, New Orleans won’t be fixed in a day. The Saints, though, are the Band-Aid over the bullet wound. Sure it won’t solve the problem, but it has stopped the bleeding just long enough for us to chug a hand grenade and go to a strip club. Damn, I love that city.