Feel-good story travels beyond Superdome (1 Viewer)

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BY MARK CURNUTTE | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER

As an NFL head coach, Sean Payton gets more cards and e-mails than he could possibly answer.

But he still has plenty of contact with fans of the New Orleans Saints.

And he hears of how much the team means to the city, especially now as the rebuilding of New Orleans is under way in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

The Saints job, at least this season, isn't like any other NFL head coach position. The success of the Saints is tied directly to the psyche of a city trying to come back from the greatest natural disaster in U.S. history. Some 1,570 people died in Louisiana, most in New Orleans, and property damage estimates range from $100 billion to $200 billion. More than 80 percent of New Orleans flooded.

A dozen deaths were reported in the Louisiana Superdome, where nearly 30,000 people took refuge before evacuation to Houston. As a result of $139 million in damages to the building, the Saints played no games in New Orleans and finished 3-13. Payton was hired to replace the fired Jim Haslett.

Full Story - Cincinnati Enquirer
 

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