Though there is no evidence to suggest that Flannery O'Connor ever saw a game of football in her life, I suspect that this Sunday she would be sitting in front of her little black and white tv set (a gift from the sisters at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Free Cancer Home in Atlanta) to watch the contest between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints. Why would she be interested in this year's Super Bowl, you ask, and which team would she be pulling for? With apologies to our friends in the Hoosier State, there is little doubt that Flannery would be rooting for the Saints. Having visited New Orleans in 1962 where she gave a lecture at Loyola University (and met Walker Percy), Flannery had a great affection for the city. In a letter to John Hawkes she declared, "If I had to live in a city I think I would prefer New Orleans to any other - both Southern and Catholic and with indications that the Devil's existence is freely recognized." (Habit of Being, p. 500) This colorful city, populated by characters that could have walked off the pages of an O'Connor story, chose for the name of its football team the Saints. Flannery would have loved that.
Out here at Andalusia on Sunday we will be hosting the first of our 2010 February lectures. Don Rooney, curator of Urban History at the Atlanta History Center, will be discussing the operations and programs at the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum. The lecture begins at 3:00 and there will be refreshments served afterwards. Come join us. You'll get home in plenty of time to catch the Super Bowl.