Residents must create winning image for state

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 7, 2012

It is a big weekend for sports fans in Louisiana.

Today the New Orleans Saints begin their quest for a second Super Bowl ring in just three years. On Monday the LSU Tigers will play in New Orleans for their second BCS National Championship under head coach Les Miles.

Because of these two momentous occasions, the eyes of the nation will be on the region over the next few days.

Now, there are some who rail against the amount of importance Americans place on sports and athletes.

Regardless of whether these arguments have any validity or not, one simple fact remains. In light of all the negative attention the region has received lately, thanks mostly to the astronomical crime rate in New Orleans, these events offer the region a chance to showcase its best.

Moreover, in this instance “best” does not merely refer to the amount of athletic ability the region’s athletes possess because in reality it is not only the athletes who will be in the spotlight.

This weekend will bring many visitors to the area. Show them more than just simple courtesy. Show them the warmth and hospitality for which this region is known.

Out-of-town visitors are sure to love the area’s food, sights and nightlife, but they will not return if they do not feel welcome. And with tourism being one of the lifelines of the state’s economy, the region cannot afford to lose tourism dollars.

So this weekend, regardless of the outcomes on the football field, showing the nation what a great place south Louisiana is to visit will ensure a winning outcome.