New Orleans celebrates as Vikings, Saints kick off NFL season

NEW ORLEANS — The Saints’ first Super Bowl title was so big in New Orleans that Mardi Gras, a revered local institution dating back well more than a century, became popularly known as, “Lombardi Gras.” In the hours before the defending champs kick off the NFL season against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night, the Big Easy will host a concert, a parade and a citywide bash for which some schools and businesses have already decided to shut down. “It’s like the Super Bowl all over again,” Saints running back Reggie Bush said.

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