Much has been made of the New Orleans Saints’ prolific offense and riverboat gambling defense. But the real story of the Saints is a four-year saga that is intricately woven into the tapestry of the Crescent City’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina. That the Saints have earned two trips to the NFC Championship Game in as many years is lagniappe.

Several national media outlets, not to mention countless stories in The Times-Picayune and other NOLA publications, have covered the poignant story of the love affair between the city and its football franchise. ESPN The Magazine’s Jan. 25 cover story, “How New Orleans Saved Drew Brees,” (available on-line as a premium, so no link) details how Brees believes his winding up a Saint is an act of providence. Most recently, a story in USA Today“Lifting up New Orleans: City rising in unison with Saints” — reports on the financial and emotional contributions marquee players like Brees and Reggie Bush have made to the city since both signed with the team in 2006, just months after Katrina.

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