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New Orleans needs the Saints

Michael Smith, who grew up in New Orleans, reflects on his first trip back since Katrina and what it means to have the Saints back in the Superdome.

Updated: September 26, 2006, 12:34 AM ET
By Michael Smith | ESPN.com

NEW ORLEANS -- My grandfather wasn't just a Baptist minister but a church pastor here for most of his life. Which means he could talk for a while. Grandpa never was one to check his watch during Sunday morning services. Except in the fall. In by 10, out by 12:30, maybe a few minutes earlier, plenty of time to make it to, most Sundays, my grandparents' home for the last three quarters of the Saints game. In the car on the way, we'd watch through Jim Henderson's eyes.

We'd stop at the Popeyes ...

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