Standing in his back yard under a blue sky, Remy explained the euphoria.
"When we were going through the poor years, it's a beautiful day like this, and it's in the third quarter, and they're losing 35-3, half the people are gone, the other people are drunk in the stands, and I got two small children at home, my wife's at the park with them. You get my picture? And you say, 'Why am I here?' We had so many of those Sundays.
"You say to yourself, 'Let's make our way through this.' And of course, it all does (pay off) on Sunday night."
Ever the keeper of Saints history, Remy, tipsy on beer like everyone else, and his stats crew went down to the field after the game. He kneeled at the 30-yard line, pointed down at the hash mark where Hartley planted his foot. Snap. He'll frame that photo.
New Orleans is changed. Stunned. In the throes of love and hope.
At the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, Kenny "Kool Breez" Battiste, a deejay by profession, shakes his head. "It's like they said: We'd never have a black president, we'd never make it to the Super Bowl. Now, we got a black president and we're going to the Super Bowl!"
At the Impressive Hair Design, a neighborhood barber shop, old friends met up for the first time since the game and hollered Tuesday morning.
"Who Dat nation!" ... "Black and gold to the Super Bowl!"
"The violence is going to stop!" Fabian Pace shouted. "No love. But the love is coming back. We need this win. We need this sense of hope. Just when we thought there was no daylight. It's not a black and white city. It's a black and gold city!"
Farther along on the street, Beverly Netter, a retired hospital worker, said she'd frame her Times-Picayune newspaper from the day after "the kick."
"We kick butts!" the elderly woman said, grinning.
"Who Dat! Who Dat!" Catherine Tate, her friend, said. The Saints, Tate hoped, would inspire the young, the "lost generation," in her words. She was thinking about her 17-year-old grandson shot down and killed: "He loved sports."
In the French Quarter, Ray and Karen Baker waved from their balcony, where a banner reads: "Announcing: Hell freezing over," a reference to the late Saints sportscaster Bernard "Buddy D." Diliberto, a legend in these parts. He said the Saints would make it to the Super Bowl when hell froze over. He was the first to wear a bag over his head.
Karen, 66 and ardently religious, said: "I believe (Drew Brees) has been empowered by God to lead us out of the wilderness. I really do."
Out at Musicians' Village in the 9th Ward, where rows of homes were built after Katrina for displaced musicians, one with the help of Brees and students from his old fraternity house at Purdue University, trumpeter Shamarr Allen played his instrument, adorned with a fleur-de-lis and Brees' signature.
"Forty-plus years, it's time. It was written for it to happen," Allen said.
"If you take a look back and remember that the Saints had to play in Mississippi (a preseason game in 2006) and practice in a school yard," he said, searching for the moral of the story, "it's one of those things that make you realize, man, look how far they came in a short period of time. My situation is bad, but it can always get better."
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