I blamed New Orleans for killing my best friend. The city with its crime, decadence and loose ways, its cemetaries floating atop thin layers of dirt and sod, struck me as the perfect breeding ground for a disease that could wither and destroy a promising, young lawyer.

In the last year, though, I've had an opportunity to work in New Orleans and spend time with friends there. The city today is as dauntless and stubborn as one might expect of a place perched on a tenuous crust of earth. Their food and music and spirit are helping them to heal and rebuild.

And now for the first time ever, the Saints are going to the Super Bowl. In the aftermath of the game last weekend, the Times Picayune sold out two editions. Our friends who live there wrote, "You must be thinking, it's just a football game. No, it's not just a football game. It's New Orleans." 

If you're wondering who to root for, consider the Cinderella team. And serve a good gumbo.

Never made it? Take a tip from how New Orlans is rebuilding its city: First you make a roux.

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