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(Big) Easy Angle

I'm no economist, but I'm always mystified when the stories come out, declaring an underdog city is the rebound, thanks to their team winning a championship.

This time it's New Orleans, following the Saints' Super Bowl win over the Colts.

Good for them. I was glad to see it.

But how this means the city has put its troubles behind it?

Does winning a championship really make anything better — for longer than a few days? If I lost my house, or worse, to a hurricane, I can't see how winning a championship is going to help all that much.

It happens every time a down-and-out city sports team makes a run. The Tigers make it to the World Series and what happens? Someone writes a story about how the auto industry is in the dumps, the town is depressed — but the good news is the Tigers are on top. Did the Pistons' NBA titles really make things better in Detroit?

Conversely, does that mean it's a terrible place to be if your team is a loser? News flash: San Diego is great, whether the Chargers stink or not.

There are probably some economic benefits to winning titles, but overall I can't see the Saints winning the Super Bowl has much to do with New Orleans' turnaround. Beyond that, I don't believe most athletes dedicate their seasons to their cities. A lot of players end up saying, "We did this for our fans!" and "We did this for our city!"

No, they did it for themselves. Or maybe for their team.

Their city is usually pretty far down the priority list.

Pro athletes are a lot of things, but invested in their communities isn't often one of them.