by Jim Miller
Only New Orleans can turn abject disappointment into a party.
Of course, just about anything that happens in New Orleans is reason enough for a party. Even deaths are celebrated by jazz funerals in which the sorrow of passing is replaced by a celebration of a life well lived. And that’s what happened Sunday when thousands of fans turned off their televisions and descended downtown to protest the game they should have been in. The impromptu Blackout and Gold parade marchers second-lined at Jackson Square, down Canal and Poydras streets and gathered at Fulton Street in a massive display of anger. And the world noticed, especially after a relatively dull Super Bowl that featured the least points and the most punts in the game’s 53-year history.
The New Orleans Saints have been in operation for 51 years and have only delivered one Super Bowl championship to their faithful fans. Nevertheless, the most loyal fans in the world still bleed black and gold and are passionate about supporting their team. Maybe it was because of the fact the team was announced on All-Saints Day in 1966 but supporting the team has become a religious experience.
There are three ways to lose a game. First, you get beat by a better team. You can understand that and you go back to the drawing board to get better. Second, you can lose a game with poor execution or an ill-timed mistake. But stuff happens and you can understand that. Third and the worst of all is when you do nothing wrong, your execution is good enough to win but you get it taken away from you. And that’s the one you can’t understand nor forgive. And that’s what happened to the Saints Sunday in the Superdome.
Saints must win, ‘cause I really hate the Eagles!
I hate the Philadelphia Eagles, I really do. I know it’s fashionable in New Orleans to dislike any team that dares to think they can beat the Saints. After all, our local heroes are the top-ranked, first-seed, most wonderfullest team in our National Football League playoff pantheon. Just ax anybody! So Who Dat Say Dey Gonna Beat Dem Saints? Who Dat? Who dat, indeed!
The Sports Illustrated jinx may be alive and well, as the New Orleans Saints learned last week. The Saints’ 10-game winning streak and chatter about QB Drew Brees being the hands-down favorite to win the NFL MVP award prompted the magazine to put Brees on the cover. Well, we all know the peculiar things that happen to athletes or teams that are featured on the magazine’s cover. Most of us say we don’t believe in jinxes, but we are the same folks who avoid walking under ladders or who turn the other way after a black cat crosses our path. But then there is this …
If your buddy in a bar asked you to name the top offensive teams in the NFL, you would probably press the bet, get the stakes as high as you could and then figure out how you were going to spend your winnings. It’s an easy question when you consider the Saints and QB Drew Brees seem to be setting new standards at scoring points while the Rams and Chiefs are as proficient in their own schemes as evidenced by last Monday night’s 115-110 Rams victory. Excuse me, that was the Warriors and Lakers score, but whatever the final tally (54-51), both teams proved they are right up there with New Orleans offensively.
When you hear players and coaches say it takes individuals to make a team, you probably think they are talking about the various personalities who man critical playing positions.But those who are fortunate enough to be around a professional sports franchise know that many anonymous individuals help make up the team. Like Glennon “Silky” Powell, the Saints long-time assistant equipment manager who died last week a few days before his 72nd birthday.
Question: What do you get when a Fried Chicken, two New Orleans City Councilpersons, a Louisiana State legislator, a Jefferson Parish Coroner, a New Orleans music and TV personality and a New Orleans TV sports commentator cross the road?
Answer: You'll have to check it out Thursday night at Politics with a Punch.
After all, with mid-term elections in the air, and footballs flying around the dome, and chicken frying becoming a New Orleans fall festival, and with local politics always percolating and crime in the street always in the news, what’s more is there to do?
Kentucky win calmed an aggravated Saints fan
Yeah, I watched the Saints get pulverized Sunday by Tulane – or was it Nicholls? - but I wasn’t devastated. Why? Two reasons. Reason One, it was the first game of a long season, and how many times have we seen the better teams at the end of the season sleepwalking in September? In fact, last year the Saints lost their first two games, and Who Dat Nation was about to second-line off the Crescent City Connection when the team rocketed back into contention.
The Times Picayune reported last week that the New Orleans Saints may ask the state to pay for a $350 million upgrade to the Superdome before the 2024 Super bowl. That’s a huge taxpayer commitment for a state that can’t even fund education at all levels and basic healthcare for hundreds of thousands of its citizens. So how should any upgrade be paid for?