The Louisiana Superdome

nflIn a little over a year, the Louisiana Superdome has gone from unspeakable horrors to hosting tonight's Monday night clash between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons.

In that entry from September 1, 2005, I wondered how they would ever return to playing football in the Louisiana Superdome. The Seattle Times described what was happening at the time where the Saints of football play.

A 2-year-old girl slept in a pool of urine. Crack vials littered the restroom. Blood stains the walls next to vending machines smashed by teenagers.

"We pee on the floor. We are like animals," Taffany Smith, 25, said as she cradled her 3-week-old son, Terry. In her right hand she carried a half-full bottle of formula provided by rescuers. Baby supplies are running low; one mother said she was given two diapers and told to scrape them off when they got dirty and use them again.

At least two people, including a child, have been raped as the arena darkened at night. At least three people have died, including one man who jumped 50 feet to his death, saying he had nothing left to live for.

There is no sanitation. The stench is overwhelming. The city's water supply, which had held up since Sunday, gave out early yesterday, and toilets in the Dome became inoperable and began to overflow. "There is feces on the walls," said Bryan Hebert, 43, who arrived at the dome Monday. "There is feces all over the place."

I recently watched Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts". Lee suggests humanity has failed the victims of hurricane Katrina. They are still rebuilding, many have been chased out of their city for good. I now know why the Superdome can once again host something "as frivolous as a football game". The alternative is not acceptable. New Orleans deserves this, and a great deal more.


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