by Jim Miller The Pelicans' hiring of David Griffin as GM and head of basketball operations has a chance to be the best hire for a New Orleans sports team since Jim Finks in 1986. The reason? Because Griffin is the first GM since Finks to come to New Orleans with a proven record at assembling championship teams.
I’ve known quite a few owners of professional sports teams over the years. Like any cluster of human beings with similar interests, owners run the gamut from solid citizens to those who compel you to count your fingers after you shake their hand. I bring this up after Bob Kraft, owner of the six-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, was charged last week with frequenting a massage parlor where, for the bargain price of $79 an hour, he apparently enjoyed the pleasures of ladies specially trained in pleasuring horny old men. For an even better bargain price of zero, local sporting fans are taking great pleasure in Kraft’s dilemma, only because it puts their favorite sports commissioner, Roger Goodell, in a precarious position.
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.
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.
The Saints have never been here before after nine games, and I am not talking about wins and losses. Their current 8-1 record stands second to the 9-0 start run off by the eventual Super Bowl champions in 2009, but that’s not the HERE I am talking about. At this point of the season, no Saints player has been the leading candidate for NFL Most Valuable Player. Not even during the magical Super Bowl year was QB Drew Brees given as much consideration for the honor as previous winners Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
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.