Wednesday, 02 February 2011 18:03

America’s team, America team, NFL, America’s Team: Dallas, Saints, Steelers, Packers?

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Ed Staton--Louisiana SportsTHE Saints belong in the argument about "who is America's team." Many of the national writers say that title belongs to the Steelers or the Packers. The Cowboys used to hold this title back when were still relevant, which was more than a decade ago, Green Bay and Pittsburgh have been been around forever and that's created fan-bases that span generations. At the very least, the Saints are the closes thing the NFC South has to being a national team.

Maybe the Saints would have been in the argument if the argument was coming a  year ago when the Saints were playing in the Super Bowl. They had the spotlight then and the Who Dat Nation was out in full force. Last year's Super Bowl victory added a lot to the lore of the Saints. Drew Brees ranks up there with any quarterback in the league. Maybe the Saints don't have enough tradition to take the title away from those other three teams, but in the NFC South, they have the highest national profile...

HERE'S a look at the coaching staff of the Packers and Steelers that have ties to the Saints:

Green Bay -- Mike McCarthy, assistant coach with Saints, 1987-88; James Campen, offensive line, played with Saints, 1995-98; Tom Clements, quarterbacks, assistant coach for Saints, 1997-99; Ben McAdoo, tight ends, assistant coach for Saints, 2004; Chad Morton, special teams assistant, played for Saints, 2000; Winston Moss, assistant head coach, assistant coach with Saints, 2000-05;  Darren Perry, defensive backs, played for Saints, 2000.

Pittsburgh -- Al Everest,special teams, assistant with Saints, 2000-05; Brian Arians, offensive coordinator, assistant with Saints, 1996.

SOME hither, others yon: Joint statement from the NFL-NFLPA: "DeMarcus Smith and Roger Goodell met on Monday in New York to discuss s range of issues related to the new CBA. As part of the process to intensify negotiations, they agree to hold a formal bargaining session with both negotiating teams Saturday in Dallas. They also agreed to a series of meetings over the next few weeks, both formal bargaining sessions and smaller group meetings in an effort to reach a new agreement by early March."...

Sean Payton is going to the Super Bowl. Well, he's going to Texas where he'll be working for ESPN, not the Saints. The coach will serve as an analyst in Super Bowl coverage...From 2001 through 2010, the Super Bowl has accounted for more than seven hours of commercial time, res presenting more than 850  announcements and $1.62 billion of network advertising sales. Nielsen found last year that 51 per cent of those polled tuned in more to watch the commercials than the Super Bowl...

Bears running back Matt Forte said it takes a half to figure out the Packers defense. The former Tulane standout gained 311 yards from scrimmage in his two meetings with Green Bay, an incredible figure for a running back on a team that scored 17 points in two combined points in two losses. "The Packers are tough to figure out," said Forte. "They do so many different things and really it takes a half to figure out what we can do against them." Forte said the Bears were able to "settle down" against the Packers in the NFC Championship after halftime. Staying patient is easier said than Deon. "The tough thing is they have a good offense," said Forte. "If you are trying to figure out Whit to do against them while they're scoring points, you get behind easily." The Steelers don't want to wait until halftime to start figuring the Packers offense out."...

Coldest Super Bowl ever? Tom Landry and the Cowboys prevailed in Super Bowl VI when they defeated Miami 24-3 in New Orleans in what was the coldest Super Bowl ever played. Game-time temperature in Tulane Stadium at kickoff was 30 degrees. Future Super Bowl sites: Indianapolis had a low of 17 with ice on Tuesday, and New York will have a low of 19 on Thursday....Matt Forte said he wants the Steelers to win the Super Bowl: "I don't want to go back to Lambeau Field next season and see that Super Bowl banner waving."...Drew Brees' sports idols growing up? "I had a lot of them," said the quarterback. "I also played baseball growing up, and one of my idols was Ted Williams. I knew every one of his statistics. That's why I wear No. 9. I also idolized Ken Griffy Jr, I tried to emulate his swing. I had a chance to play golf with him a few years ago and I was in awe. In terms of football, my heroes were Joe Montana and Troy Aikman."...

Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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