NEW ORLEANS — The Super Bowl has returned to New Orleans this week and it is an event, for now at least, that is the last act of a magnificent comeback by a truly great American city. New Orleans officially shows the country and the world that is all the way back now from Katrina, which did even worse here than Sandy did in Staten Island and Breezy Point and the Jersey Shore.
So the big game comes back here for the first time since 2002, since Adam Vinatieri kicked a field goal and beat the Rams for a kid named Tom Brady and the Patriots. But no Super Bowl game, not Patriots vs. Rams or even this game between the Ravens and 49ers on Sunday, can ever be the biggest game of football ever played in this city, because that will always be the one the Saints played — and won because of a blocked punt by a Saints player named Steve Gleason, now suffering from ALS — in September of 2006 after Katrina.
That was the night when a national television audience saw New Orleans get up.
“There will never be,” James Carville, the chairman of the host committee for this Super Bowl, was saying on Thursday, “a more important sports event than that in this city or in this state.”