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Word just arrived that "tier 1" status and first wave reentry "placards" for next year's hurricane season are now available with early purchase of Saints 2009 season tickets.

For the impaired: that's a joke.

But seriously, I wonder if the brief but still gratuitous reminder of the Katrina  exodus many of us experienced this week will translate into any of that homecoming magic that made the Saints 2006 season opener against Atlanta such a palpable force.

Gustav and Katrina are not comparable, of course, but I know many New Orleans people will exult this weekend in the relief of being home again. Maybe the Saints can tap that energy in the Dome on Sunday when the Buccaneers visit. We don't need all of it from that night in 2006, but even a little dose of raw, audacious New Orleans elation at having escaped catastrophe and getting back to the rhythm of our city could be just the thing to turn a few key plays in our favor.

And speaking of jokes, despite whatever lame attempts at blasé humor our mayor tries to float, I will be very glad to see Buccaneers fans visiting our city this weekend, patronizing our businesses and enjoying the New Orleans allure that makes our community worth all the trouble.

-- Ian McNulty

P.S. - Who Dat?

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