Big Weekend in The Big Easy

New Orleans Saints and LSU Tigers have a lot to play for this weekend.

Friday, January 6, 2012 - 4:14pm

NEW ORLEANS (WNTZ) - New Orleans will see plenty of action this weekend, the kind of action that could rival Mardi Gras, only a few weeks away.  The Mercedes Benz Superdome is ground zero for the excitement.

Saturday night, the NFC Wild Card round between the New Orleans Saints and the Detroit Lions will start the frenzy.  The Saints, pulling off an impressive 13-3 record and winning the NFC South Division, will play the Lions, who finished their season 10-6, in second place behind the conference leader, Green Bay, in the NFC North.

Lead by quarterback Drew Brees, who this season broke Dan Marino's record of most passing yards in a single season, a healthy Saints team is looking to make to make another postseason run to its second Super Bowl in three years.

Monday night, football in the Dome shift from the pros to college, as the #1 ranked LSU Tigers plays SEC West rival #2 ranked Alabama for the BCS National Championship.  Coined as the "Biggest Game Ever," the Tigers and Crimson Tide met on November 5 in their first matchup this season, with the Tigers winning 9-6 in a overtime game where no touchdowns were made in regulation, and Alabama missed key field goals which would have shifted the game in the Tide's favor.

Some can argue that this game will be even bigger, as former LSU head coach Nick Saban leads Alabama into the Dome to attempt to win his third BCS title (one with LSU in 2003, and the other at Alabama in 2009).  Others argue that the Tigers can't be denied after going undefeated this season at 13-0 and winning the SEC Championship against Georgia.  LSU head coach Les Miles, who succeeded Saban, is going for his second BCS title.  The Tigers are looking to win their third straight BCS title in New Orleans and fourth national title overall (1958, 2003 and 2007 respectively).

Fans of both the Saints and Tigers have plenty to cheer about.  However, more importantly, the city of New Orleans will be cheering louder, as the economic impact of both games could reach the hundreds of millions of dollars with hotels booked to capacity, restaurants with waiting lines and sidewalks bursting with tourists.

After this weekend, the party in New Orleans will not be settling down any time soon.  Mardi Gras, the SEC men's baskeball tournament, the NCAA men's Final Four, the bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, next year's New Orleans and Sugar Bowls, the 2013 Super Bowl and 2013 NCAA women's Final Four will keep the city busy well into the next new year.

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