Saints cancel fancy luncheon; will visit oil spill-ravaged area

These days, it seems like the Saints are in the business of providing hope to people affected by natural disasters, every bit as much as they're in the business of playing football.

They had a luncheon scheduled Tuesday at the governor's mansion, but they've cancelled that in favor of taking a trip down to Plaquemines Parish, a coastal city currently soaked in BP's wayward oil.

Jeremy Shockey(notes) tells us what it's all about. Via the AP:

"It's just a tragedy. I know the people in that area are devastated," he said. "It's hard for them because there are a lot of local fishermen and oystermen and everything. As far as the environment, it's sad to see.

"We want to offer hope, ask questions," Shockey continued. "This trip is going to be us out there interacting with everyone from that area, with the governor, the fishermen. Hopefully we can give a little bit more awareness. I know it's been publicized around the nation and the world already, but hopefully we can give people in that area a little more hope."

They'll be taking the Lombardi Trophy with them on their visit.

I hope the trip accomplishes everything Shockey hopes it will, and the Saints are real sweethearts for doing it. As Super Bowl champions, I'm sure they've had plenty of lavish luncheons with lobster salads and multiple forks.

It'll be much more rewarding for everyone involved if they take a day, visit some people who need a ray of sunshine, and perhaps get the nation's eyeballs to look even harder at the disaster that's still unfolding in the gulf. Go Saints.

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