Category: jxnqqijc

27
Feb
2021

In Search of the Perfect Workplace

first_imgEach and every day, a multitude of new hires join Dell Technologies worldwide. As a new hire, it is perfectly normal to feel anxious about a new environment. I can still remember my first day and how it took me forever to choose my outfit, and even longer to figure out how I could leave a good first impression on my colleagues and managers. Luckily, though, it wasn’t long before I felt at home in my new workplace, surrounded by so many inspiring people.I felt the need to portrait a sincere and helpful summary of several discoveries I made as “the new guy”, at the Dell Casablanca office, and why I feel I found the perfect place to work.Mentorship At the beginning of my journey with Dell Technologies I had an amazing opportunity to broaden my networking abilities and polish my social skills by meeting a lot of new, interesting and passionate people. Some of these people grew to have a tremendous impact on my career and how I perceived my future role in the company. As expected, certain colleagues grabbed my attention, thanks to their extraordinary life and work balance. One of these people was Naser, who has been working here in the Casablanca office for the grand total of 14 years.It felt natural to seek his advice on both a professional and personal level. Not everyone has the chance to have a mentor or a role model that they can look up to, but Naser has been there for me. I am very grateful for the opportunity to learn from someone more experienced, and to be able to rely on their best practices and knowledge.Being a young professional in a completely new role has its challenges, but knowing I have the support from my colleagues makes me feel very lucky to be a part of the Dell Technologies family.Career DevelopmentOne of my great colleagues, Aztout Nasreddine joined the company after graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Barking College in London. After graduating in 2005, Aztout worked as an Inside Sales Representative for the Spanish market. He later held the position of EMEA Online Help Desk for Spanish and French customers. One year later, he was promoted to the EMEA Catalogue manager and held this position for 8 years. However; this wasn’t the end of his career development, he was promoted once again and currently occupies the position as a TSR for the Nordic market.Aztout’s story wasn’t only impressive to me, it was also inspirational. Knowing that the company I work for supports the career development of their employees is extremely appealing, especially to young, passionate and ambitious millennials like myself.Relationship and Skill BuildingAztout explained that in order to be successful in this line of business, you need to maintain strong relationships with both customers and colleagues.“I’m a pro-active, self-starter, target driven individual, capable of delivering quality results that drive revenue in multifunctional and international environments. I do this by using a balance of analytical and interpersonal skills to optimize business, reduce risk & simplify procedures” said Naser.This left an impactful impression on me, as I now understand that you need to put your priorities in order and treat every request with your ‘arsenal’ of skills. In the last 5 months, I have been a part of an awesome team of Technical Sales Representatives in the Italian Market, where I’ve had the opportunity to develop my technical, communication and problem-solving skills daily.Personal LearningsThere are many things I’ve learned so far which can be used to advise future employees and young professionals:Everyone makes mistakes and you should never be afraid to make one. It’s part of the learning process and each mistake is just another lesson to learn. Be brave!Work on your organizational skills and time management – learn to prioritize and find time for work-life balance.Do more than is expected, making sure you contribute and learn as you go.Observe, learn and adapt – best practices are out there for a reason.In my conversations with colleagues, we came to the same conclusion: Dell Technologies in Casablanca, Morocco is a great place to work. It is a friendly environment and one of the fastest growing companies in the IT industry. Our office offers employees all sorts of benefits like fitness subscriptions, access to health facilities and tuition reimbursement programs. According to Aztout Nasreddine, an employee with 14 years of experience, this is what makes a company stand out.I truthfully feel I found the right place—a company with one of the greatest work environments in the market.I’m excited to see how Dell Technologies and the Moroccan Office will help me develop my career.last_img read more

31
Dec
2020

Pleasant Prairie Plant in Wisconsin Will Close in 2018

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Milwaukee Journal:On Tuesday, Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group announced it was closing the plant permanently in the second quarter of 2018 as the company moves to cheaper natural gas and other energy sources.The decision is the latest sign of coal’s diminishing status as a source of electric generation as utilities turn to natural gas, surplus wholesale power and renewable sources such as wind and solar.Pleasant Prairie is a major source of power in the state. The plant uses an average of 13,000 tons of coal a day, shipped in train cars from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. In full operation, it can supply the electric needs of about 1 million homes.The shift to other fuel options should lead to lower prices for consumers in the future, the company said.Pleasant Prairie has been operating at reduced capacity at times in recent years, underscoring its excess plant capacity and the cheaper energy options available to the company. Pleasant Prairie did not operate for three months this spring, the company said. The plant’s closing also means less air pollution and a smaller carbon footprint for state’s largest utility holding company and should help southeastern Wisconsin address longstanding ozone air emission problems.“We are looking for a clean, reliable energy future for our customers,” said Cathy Schulze, a spokeswoman for the company.The power plant employs 158 people and the company said it will try to keep many of the employees by redeploying them to other facilities.More: We Energies’ coal-fired power plant in Pleasant Prairie to be shut down in 2018 Pleasant Prairie Plant in Wisconsin Will Close in 2018last_img read more

06
Oct
2020

Underwood Queensland’s number one suburb for growth

first_imgThe home at 36 Cascade Drive, Underwood, sold for $930,500 earlier this month.Data has revealed Underwood is Queensland’s top suburb for median value growth.CoreLogic data named the southern suburb as number one, with growth of 22.2 per cent over the past 12 months.Ray White Rochedale selling principal Zishaan Omar credited location, new properties, schools and faith for the boom in the area.He said there were some new estates in Underwood which were larger than some of its counterparts in surrounding suburbs.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 3:17Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -3:17 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels576p576p480p480p256p256p228p228pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenMichelle Hele’s May market wrap03:17“The blocks are quite favourable, with good frontage and they are nice and flat,” Mr Omar said.“Some are up to 500sq m, which are bigger than other nearby estates have to offer.”Mr Omar said the many different churches, mosques and temples in the area made it popular for people of all backgrounds.“Underwood is becoming culturally diverse so the places of worship surrounding it also have a big part to play,” he said.Underwood has easy access to the Pacific Motorway, and Westfield Garden City is less than 15 minutes drive.The home at 113 Birdwood Tce, Auchenflower, sold earlier this year for $1,435,000.Behind Underwood, three of Brisbane’s top five suburbs for median value growth are in Brisbane’s west.Auchenflower sits at number two on the list, with its median value rising by 21.1 per cent, with Ashgrove just behind it at 18.5 per cent.More from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoIndooroopilly experienced growth of 15 per cent.The home at 7 Park Ave, Ashgrove, sold this month for $1,330,000.McGrath Real Estate Agents sales agent Reuben Packer-Hill believes the suburbs have been overlooked for some time and now some of the surrounding suburbs have been becoming more expensive, buyers have been looking for nearby alternatives.“Some of those suburbs in the western corridor have been undervalued and underperformed so it was about time people realised how great some of those suburbs are,” Mr Packer-Hill said.”People have traditionally looked in closer suburbs (and) we’ve seen prices in suburbs like Paddington rise over the past five to ten years, so as people look for better value for money they’ve stepped the next suburb over.”This home at 23 Essex Rd, Indooroopilly, sold for $1,300,000.Mr Packer-Hill said families trying to get children into specific school catchments also had an impact on the growth.“This growing trend for people to get into certain catchments for schools has assisted the growth demand in some areas,” he said.“I personally see that six or seven families out of ten with primary aged children are buying specifically to get into the catchment area.“The demand to get into St Peters (Lutheran College) is also facilitating sensational price drive.”Yeronga came in at fourth with 17.8 per cent.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:34Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:34 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenMarket update: May – Monthly core index00:34last_img read more

29
Sep
2020

Dutch pensions insurer ASR to acquire BNG Asset Management

first_imgAccording to John Reichardt, CFO at BNG, asset management no longer fits within the bank’s core activities.Chris Figee, ASR’s CFO, said the services and staff at BNG AM were a welcome addition to the company’s existing product range.He described the acquisition as a “clear growth accelerator”.ASR recently announced that it would establish a general APF pension fund, the new pensions vehicle that can accommodate various pension plans under a single, independent board.Jack Julicher, CIO at ASR, said: “The combination of BNG Asset Management and ASR will make a strong asset manager for institutional clients, with a good balance between risk and return, as well as great attention to sustainability.”ASR and BNG said they expected to complete the deal during the second quarter, pending regulatory approval.As at the end of June, ASR had €42bn in assets under management. Pensions insurer ASR is to take over the €5bn asset management branch of BNG, the bank for Dutch local councils – including BNG’s 10-strong team – for an undisclosed sum.With the acquisition, ASR said it aimed to strengthen its position in the Dutch market for external asset management, focusing on the pensions industry, as well as the semi-public sector.BNG Asset Management, as a full subsidiary of BNG, offers its services to industry-wide pension funds, as well as lower government, care and educational institutions, care insurers, housing corporations, utility companies and charities.The asset manager offers tailor-made portfolios, investment funds and advice, with a focus on fixed income.last_img read more

24
Sep
2020

Cardinals Boys Basketball Results

first_imgSt. Nicholas 5th Graders defeated The St. Louis Cardinals 22-18.Cardinals Scoring:  Conner Miles – 9 pts, Hank Ritter – 7 pts, Eli Weiler – 2 pts.Courtesy of Cardinals Coach Roell.The St. Louis 6th grade Cardinals faced St. Nicholas Thursday evening at home and came away with a 31-13 win.The Cardinals controlled the tempo of the rematch with their tenacious defense.  The Cardinals worked well offensively sharing the ball and constantly looking for the open man.  A balanced scoring attack helped the Cardinals secure the win – Charlie Schebler (6), Abe Hollins (6), Noah Tuveson (6), Alec Bunselmeier (5), Frank Forbeck (4), Cy Muckerheide (2) and Aidan Geers (2).The Cardinals will be at home this Saturday hosting the St. Louis tournament.  The 5th grade will tip off against St. Michael at 9am and the 6th grade will face St. Michael at 11am.  St. Lawrence and Milan will also be playing in the tournament.Courtesy of Cardinals Coach John Harmeyer.The St. Louis 7th grade boys basketball team pulled out a nail biter on the road and won against a very good Laurel team Thursday December 1. TThe Yellowjackets have always done a great job of controlling the game on their home turf and this game was no different. The well coached team executed every possession on both sides of the ball as well as any team we’ve faced this year.Team focus and effort by the Cardinals and an outstanding game by Thomas Raver provided the slight edge needed for the the visiting team to get the victory. CJ Grote drained a beautiful 3 pointer to get the Cards off a scoring slump. The long defensive reach of Ryan Reder and an exhausting “”chase” defense by Cayden Pohlman led to reversing the momentum in favor of St. Louis. Raver led all scorers for the contest followed by Cody Mohr. In total 7 of the 8 Cardinals made the scoring sheet. Abe Streator iced the game by hitting both ends of a 1 and 1 and a shutdown defense by Adam Vogelsang, Joseph Suttman, Thomas Raver and a block at the buzzer by Mohr to deny the final shot by Laurel made for one of the most exciting finishes of the season for the young Catholics!Courtesy of Cardinals Coach Jim Mohr.The St. Louis Cardinals 8th grade travelled to Laurel last night to play the hometown Laurel Yellow Jackets winning 31-27.It turned out to be a well-played game by both teams.   The Cardinals needed to play good defense in the first half as they had difficulty getting their shots to fall early which allowed the Yellow Jackets to manage a lead at half time by the score of 16-11.   However, the Cardinals applied a little more defensive pressure in the second half and got back on track with their offense as Kurt Siefert and Riley Schebler hit several three point shots baskets to put St. Louis up 23-21 going into the fourth quarter.  In the fourth quarter, the Cardinals managed to control the remainder of the game and went on to win 31-27.The Cardinals had a balanced offensive attack as Kurt Siefert scored 10, Ben Schebler 7, Riley Schebler 8, Lleyton Ratcliffe 8, and Sam Voegele had 6.   Defensively Voegele, Ratcliffe and Wil Freeland played well for St. Louis.The Cardinals travel across town next week to play the Batesville Middle School on Tuesday December 6th.Courtesy of Cardinals Coach Jim Oesterling.last_img read more

24
Sep
2020

February 27, 2018 Police Blotter

first_imgFebruary 27, 2018 Police Blotter022718 Decatur County Fire Report022718 Decatur County EMS Report022718 Decatur County Law Report022718 Decatur County Jail Report022718 Batesville Police Blotterlast_img

23
Sep
2020

Herrick, Dancer, Bond, Jones win on opening night at North Platte

first_imgNORTH PLATTE, Neb. (May 17) – Getting the season started off right Saturday at Lincoln County Raceway were the IMCA quartet of Bryan Herrick, Mikey Dancer, Kyle Bond and Tanner Jones.Herrick led the final five laps of the feature for Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods after starting in the fifth row. Dillon Schultz had snared the lead at the end of lap six from his brother Zach Schultz, who retired from the feature with mechanical issues; Dillon held on to earn runner-up honors.Storming to the front and then being consistent on each and every lap, Dancer captured the checkers in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car division on opening night. He started in the third row, drove around the top to get the lead on the third lap and never looked back.Running away and hiding from the rest of the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock field was Bond. He started in the third row, drove to the lead on the seventh lap and checked out.Starting on the pole and staying up front was the winning combination for Jones in the Mach-1 Sport Compact feature.last_img read more

18
Sep
2020

The Latest: Michigan State’s Panasiuk redshirting this year

first_imgThey were among six players placed on the list in the early days of training camp.Defensive tackle Tyeler Davison, fullback Keith Smith and safety Jamal Carter have yet to be cleared to rejoin the team.Oluokun is expected to take over a full-time starting role this season, while Etling is in the mix to serve as the team’s third quarterback. Hawkins is a fourth-round pick out of California.___Cleveland Browns guard Colby Gossett has opted out of the 2020 season, becoming the fourth player on the team — and third offensive lineman — to decide not play because of the coronavirus pandemic. August 5, 2020 Joyce said he had mild symptoms for six days, and he was frustrated that it took him a month to test negative for the virus. Eighteen of his teammates are now infected following a recent outbreak that halted the Marlins’ season for a week.“Hopefully they have a much better experience than I did with the testing results,” Joyce said.___Eastern Kentucky kicker Landon White has quit the football team in a social media post that accuses the FCS program of being lax in coronavirus testing and following protocols.White says on Instagram that the team’s last test was July 6 and that symptomatic players were still in the building and around other teammates. The junior adds that meeting rooms have had “100+ players and staff crammed into it with zero space and no social distancing rules in sight.” Coach Brian Flores said he supported both players in their decisions.Wilson made four starts and had 43 receptions for 351 yards and one touchdown last season.___Cleveland Browns center and NFLPA president JC Tretter said he’ll push for daily testing for the COVID-19 virus during training camp while the NFL ramps up for the season.Tretter said Wednesday on a Zoom call that he’s been satisfied with the protocols agreed to by the league and players’ union. Tretter said those guidelines will need to continue to evolve and change as more is learned about the virus. The 6-foot-1, 192-pound White also says first-year Colonels coach Walt Wells knows and “does nothing,” adding that he only cares about EKU earning a big payout from West Virginia for playing in Morgantown on Sept. 12.Athletic director Matt Roan said in a statement the department is aware of White’s post. He says “egregiously or willfully ignoring safety guidelines” by staff or students will not be tolerated. Moan also says weekly testing will be done consistent with re-socialization requirements and anyone reporting symptoms will be tested, monitored and quarantined if necessary.___The Detroit Lions have activated wide receiver Kenny Golladay from the reserve/COVID-19 list.The list was created for players who either test positive for COVID-19 or have been in close contact with an infected person. The Lions put Golladay on it last week. More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Associated Press Gossett qualifies for the high-risk opt-out agreed to by the NFLPA and will receive a $350,000 stipend for not playing. He was due to make $675,00 this season.He is the second Browns guard to opt out, following Drew Forbes. The team also will be without offensive tackle Drake Dorbeck and defensive tackle Andrew Billings.The Browns promoted Gossett from the practice squad late last season. His loss will hurt Cleveland’s depth and likely force general manager Andrew Berry to look for free agents.The deadline for players opting out is Thursday at 4 p.m.___ Players are currently being tested each day, but that was supposed to change in two weeks to every other day if teams stayed below a certain percentage of positive cases. Tretter believes daily testing is necessary to avoid the “lag time” that has led to problems in Major League Baseball.Tretter has chosen to play this season while knowing he’s putting himself and his pregnant wife at risk. He’s currently staying in a hotel and not at home to minimize any chance of getting sick.___Louisville has paused workouts for men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey and volleyball after 29 members of those programs tested positive for COVID-19.The school said in a statement the positive tests and exposure were primarily traced to an off-campus party. Teammates and student-athletes from other sports were potentially exposed to the virus and remain quarantined due to contact tracing, the statement said.center_img Panasiuk said on his Twitter account that he intends to come back and finish his senior year at Michigan State.“Our country is facing difficult times with many unanswered questions regarding COVID-19,” Panasiuk said. “Unfortunately, with the uncertainty of the effects of COVID-19, I cannot risk my health and safety in order to play football this season.”Michigan State’s football team just finished a 14-day quarantine period based on testing that took place last month. Team activities resumed Wednesday, and practice is scheduled to start Friday.___The American Athletic Conference says it will keep its eight-game conference football schedule in place and allow its 11 schools to play up to four nonconference games. The governing body decided to delay workouts until Sept. 8, three weeks later than the previously planned start of Aug. 17.A seven-game schedule will start Sept. 25, according to the latest plan. The playoffs will conclude in December. Those teams that don’t make the playoffs will have the option of scheduling an extra game, as long as it happens before Nov. 20. High school stadiums will be limited to no more than 250 people in the stands with social distancing measures in place. Fans will also be required to wear a mask or face covering.___Miami Marlins outfielder Matt Joyce, who missed all of summer camp with the coronavirus, says his antibodies tests have come back negative and he continues to observe protocols for COVID-19.“I’m like: ‘OK, I already had it. Do I really have to wear the mask all the time?’” Joyce said. “But I still want to be mindful and careful, because there’s still so much unknown.” Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Michigan State defensive end Jacub Panasiuk says he’s redshirting this season because of concerns about COVID-19. The Latest: Michigan State’s Panasiuk redshirting this year The AAC also announced it could move the date of its football championship game, scheduled for Dec. 5 at the home stadium of the top-seeded team, back to Dec. 12 or Dec. 19 if needed, due to COVID-19 disruptions.The conference championship game could also be moved to accommodate Navy’s annual game with Army, scheduled for Dec. 12. The conference said it hoped to make a determination on the date of the championship game no earlier than Nov. 1.The AAC has lost at least eight games against Power Five conference opponents that have altered schedules to play all or mostly within their league. More cancellations could come. The conference is allowing its members to find replacement games if possible. Conference play begins Sept. 19 as previously planned.___The South Carolina High School League has pushed back its start date for football practices and games. Golladay was Detroit’s leading receiver last season with 65 catches for 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns.___Albert Wilson became the second Miami Dolphins player — and their second receiver — to opt out of playing this year because of the coronavirus.Wilson announced his decision Wednesday on Twitter. Allen Hurns made a similar announcement Tuesday.“It was a very tough choice,” Wilson wrote, “but since the day I started playing the game it’s always been Faith Family Football. Because of this crazy time I choose to put my family in the best situation I see fit.” “We’ve talked about other schools, we’ve used those examples to educate,” athletic director Vince Tyra said in virtual news conference. “And unfortunately, we fell into the same trap here this past weekend.”Tyra also said the code of conduct within the teams, department and school are being stressed, and repeat violators could face disciplinary options up to dismissal.Suspension of activities began Monday. Team members who have not tested positive or been identified through contract tracing may be permitted to return to on-campus workouts on Aug. 10.___The Atlanta Falcons have activated linebacker Foye Oluokun, quarterback Danny Etling and rookie safety Jaylinn Hawkins from the team’s COVID-19 reserve list.last_img read more

17
Sep
2020

Three Nigerians Named in Genk’s First Season Home Game

first_imgThree Nigeria-eligible players have been named in Racing Genk’s provisional squad list for their first home game of the 2020-2021 season against OH Leuven this afternoon.Racing Genk coach Hannes Wolf has selected Super Eagles striker Paul Onuachu, Belgian-Nigerian striker Cyriel Dessers and Belgium youth international of Nigerian parentage Shawn Adewoye in a 20-man squad.For the second consecutive match, there is no place in the Genk squad for former Mountain of Fire goal poacher Stephen Odey fueling speculation that he’s not in the plans of the manager for the new season. Dessers making the roster is good news as he had been rated as doubtful previously after suffering a head injury during Wednesday evening’s workout but it remains to be seen if he will be named in the starting lineup.If promising center back Adewoye is given a run-out against OH Leuven, it would be his professional debut for the Limburg club.Genk came from behind to beat Zulte-Waregem 2-1 in their opening match of the season last weekend courtesy of goals from Onuachu and Dessers.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

17
Sep
2020

Relief for New Orleans

first_imgSunday Sept. 11, New Orleans Saints fans were supposed to watch the Saints’ first regular season game in their living rooms, or at a sports bar with their friends. The smell of barbequing and tailgating was supposed to fill the humid air. Saints faithful were supposed to parade their Joe Horn and Aaron Brooks jerseys around the French Quarter. Cars were supposed to be decorated with Saints magnets and flags.New Orleans was supposed to come alive on Sunday. Instead, the historical city is still lying underwater. Most New Orleans residents and Saints faithful have fled the city. Families are without their pets, some are missing loved ones and many are in Texas crammed in a shelter with up to 10,000 strangers.The Saints players have also been affected. They too have been separated from the city they call home. They are also separated from their families, friends and homes. A week prior to Hurricane Katrina, the Saints acted on an intuition and quickly relocated camp to the San Francisco Bay Area, where they were scheduled to play the Oakland Raiders. Players, coaches and Saints personnel watched in horror as Katrina ripped apart their Crescent City. Fear for family and friends overwhelmed the team. They were 2,000 miles away and helpless.Still reeling from the tragedy, players initially did not want to play their final preseason game. But after a team discussion, players and coaches decided to play the game with different intentions in mind. From now on, the Saints would dedicate each game to the victims of Katrina. The game went on as scheduled and despite the new team attitude, the Raiders defeated New Orleans 13-6.”It’s happened like that for years, and it’s never stopped, regardless,” Saints wide receiver Joe Horn said in a San Francisco Chronicle interview. “In this business, we have to play the football game. In this business, that’s the way it goes. If your family’s OK, the game must go on, and that’s the way it is.”And the show would go on.Without their city, without their home and without home-team advantage, the Saints decided to continue 2005 season play. Up first were the Carolina Panthers.Playing for the victims of Katrina, the Saints opened Sunday’s game with a vengeance.They took control from opening kickoff, running Deuce McAllister eight times for 25 yards, while quarterback Aaron Brooks completed all seven of his passes for 55 yards. The Saints found themselves at the Panthers’ four, which set up McAllister for a four-yard touchdown run.The Saints were on the board first. A sign of relief quickly dispersed throughout the Saints sidelines. Fans watching from shelters and their new homes finally had a reason for celebration. But the game was not over yet.Carolina quickly tied the game the first time they received the ball. The Panthers drove the ball 83 yards on nine plays. Panther quarterback Jake Delhomme connected with receiver Steve Smith on a 33-yard touchdown pass with 37 seconds remaining in the first quarter.New Orleans responded with 4:37 to go in the second quarter, thanks to a two-yard touchdown run by McAllister, his second touchdown of the game.Following a series of turnovers, the Saints were able to extend their lead following halftime. John Carney kicked a 29-yard field goal with 4:31 remaining in the third quarter as New Orleans extended their lead to 10.Late in the third, Panthers running back Stephen Davis ran in for the score to bring the game within three points.Carney would return once again for his second field goal of the day, a 48-yarder. The Saints were back on top 20-14.Due to a series of penalties on their next possession, Carolina was forced to bring out their kicking team. John Kasay responded for the Panthers, kicking a 39-yard field goal to bring the game back within three.Kasay would return to the field one last time to tie the game, 20-20, with a 49-yard field goal with 1:04 remaining in the game.A series of passes from Brooks set up a 47-yard field goal. With wind gusts up to 23 miles-an-hour, Carney kicked the game-deciding field goal with three seconds left in regulation play.Celebration on the New Orleans sideline quickly erupted and, for a second, fate was finally on their side.”We knew what this game represented,” Carney said in a Sports Illustrated interview. “When the game started, I think the players had their mind on football and the aspects of what they needed to do to get the job done. I’m thinking about place kicking and doing the best job that I can. When the buzzer sounded and the game was over, then I kind of realized what this game had meant to a lot of people.”Carney was right. When does football become more than football?It has been a while since I’ve seen a football team come together to play for a city. The Saints represent New Orleans and they represent the thousands of fans who would have normally crammed into the Superdome to cheer their beloved team.The Saints’ win gave the city of New Orleans hope. And for a second, Saints faithful were able to take their minds off of Katrina and were able to stand up and cheer.There was no drama on the field. There were no cheap shots and no one-man shows. There was no post-game chat about contracts and team feuds. It was simply football. And it was magnificent.The Saints showed great pride in their city. Their win did not come as a shock to me. Not only will the Saints be playing this season closer as a team, they will also be playing with the thoughts of their fans in their hearts.last_img read more