That summer after the Saints beat Indianapolis, I found myself with one of those women on one of those verandas that hang off one of those shotgun shacks on Chippewa Street. Half a dozen blocks away was the mansion in the Garden District where then Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning grew up. Half a dozen blocks the other way was the Mississippi river. Somewhere in between was the housing project where Sister Helen Prejean wrote letters to the death row inmates Elmo Patrick Sonnier and Robert Lee Willie. And somewhere near the housing project was a corner where the woman’s fiancé had been shot to death in the lead up to the Super Bowl. The veranda smelled like cigarettes and whiskey, and rain fell so hard that you couldn’t see the park across the street, where the National Guard had sporadically rappeled from helicopters after Katrina, advising her to leave, and if she wasn’t going to leave, to get some kind of a weapon and fill up a cart at the grocery store down the street before everything had been looted. “You can walk that way,” she told me, pointing towards Magazine Street, and the Garden District mansions. “But please don’t walk that way,” she said, her words drowned out in the rain, as she gave me a set of keys, and I gave her $150 for my first week’s rent. And an hour did not seem like just an hour, and I wondered how to ask her about the flood and shooting. I’m not so dense to think that real life has anything to do with the contrived miracles on a football field.