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A Ragin Cajun Night We’ll Never Forget

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

I’ll admit it. I busted my butt. When Brett Baer sent his last second kick through those up rights, and the officials’ arms went into the air, I leapt from the ground like a world class athlete and landed as ungracefully as possible on my backside. But it didn’t matter. I was feeling no pain.


That kick was the culmination of a season Cajun fans will always remember. 41 years in four seconds. The eruption of pure joy and raw emotion that followed turned the Superdome into a tent revival. There were tears, laughter, kisses, and hugs. Shirts were removed and hats tossed. Pictures taken, text messages sent and received. No one left early. No one moved. Everyone was soaking in the moment.


That to me is what made the weekend. Though in our busy, fast paced, technologically advanced lives, we are often guilty of overlooking the present, for Cajun fans this weekend, there was no sense of entitlement. Nothing was overlooked or taken for granted. Every moment savored and stored away.


I’ll never forget the looks on the faces of Cajun fans before and after the game. For the younger generation of Cajun fans, it was a chance to celebrate with friends the memories made in the years spent around the school, a chance to stand up and be proud. For the older fans, the weekend was personal. It was validations for years of service. It was a purging of the system. Letting go of past disappointments, and an ushering in of new hope, a chance to reflect and a chance to move forward.


In the coming weeks, there will be many bowl games. Many teams and fan bases will travel great distances in search of glory. But though there will be bigger games and bigger trophies, I have no problem saying that no single game will mean more to any other team in the country than Saturday night’s New Orleans Bowl victory meant to the Cajuns.


We did it, and we did it with style.

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