LMU Expert: Super Bowl Could Revive New Orleans Spirit

Feb 03, 2010, 14:16 ET from Loyola Marymount University

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the New Orleans Saints just days away from their first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, the team is looking to achieve success that has eluded their predecessors. But what of New Orleans itself, a city battered by natural disaster more than four years ago and still struggling to return to its former glory? Can the Saints' Super Bowl berth do something for New Orleans that years spent rebuilding infrastructure cannot?


Wenner is considered one of the foremost scholars in the world of sports research. His books include MediaSport, Critical Approaches to Television (2nd edition with Leah VandeBerg and Bruce Gronbeck), and Sport, Beer, and Gender: Promotional Culture and Contemporary Social Life (with Steven Jackson). Coverage of his work has appeared on CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, The Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, Boston Herald, Sports Illustrated, Daily Variety, and numerous other outlets.

QUOTABLE: "The Super Bowl is an event that has come to define the American culture, and we often think that success of a sports team can have a transformative effect on the city or community where it is based. Intuitively, it seems likely that making it to the Super Bowl, or even winning, can  lift the spirits of a depressed community, and often it does. Fans who strongly identify with the team often bask in a euphoria that comes with winning. Thus, many fans in New Orleans are looking forward to rallying around the Saints in a huge way. Still, once the game is over, the Saints' achievement of going to the Super Bowl won't restore the city's physical structures. In the end, it can only revitalize the spirit of New Orleans for so long before the challenges of everyday life resume."

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SOURCE Loyola Marymount University