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Tuesday, 29 May 2012 09:26

Saints Without Brees, New Orleans paper-thin, popular team floats with Ivory

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payton2blueNew Orleans Saints, without Drew Brees?

A wounded team without a head coach (Sean Payton), no fulltime head coach (Joe Vitt who will be suspended for a large part of the season), no General manager, Mickey Loomis, for a stint, again “bounty-hit”.

Is that the worse that can happen to this New Orleans Saints team?

Nope.  According to one writer, the absolute worse would be the loss of Drew Brees who is still at odds with the Saints over his contract.

Could things get any worse?

Believe it or sneer, the Saints are seventh in the NFL despite the bountygate and suspensions, according to the latest ESPN Sports Poll.

 Per ESPN columnist Pat Yasinskas, when asked to name their favorite team, 4.1 per cent of fans pointed to the Saints. The Cowboys led the way at 8.8 per cent.  The Packers, Giants, Steelers. Patriots and Bears occupied the next spots.

 ESPN Sports Poll conducts 1,500 monthly telephone interviews with a national representative sample of Americans age 12 or older. These results here are from the first quarter of 2012.

 Yasinskas writes he's not at all surprised the Saints are the most popular team in the NFC South. They've been very good in recent years and have a lot of diehard fans.

 The Saints narrowly edged out some pretty popular teams like the 49ers, Eagles and Broncos. But the rest of the NFC South didn't fare nearly as well. 

The Falcons and the Bucs tied with the Texans at No. 24 with 1.2 per cent of the respondents listing them as their favorite team. The Panthers came in at No. 28 with 1.0 per cent of those polled listed them as their favorite team. Only the Cardinals, Bengals, Rams and Jaguars came in below the Panthers.

From's Peter King: "So many of us in the journalism business have had to get used to new things. New age of versatility that has to do with us in print. Internet, radio and TV, Twitter. THE 24-hour news cycle. The whole business has changed, and we all probably knew this day was coming. But it'll be an eerie day this fall. The storied The Times-Picayune will stop publishing seven days a week this fall. It'll publish three days a week -- Wednesday. Friday and Sunday.

"The Saints are the biggest story in the city, all fall. But you won't read about them away from a computer until Wednesday every week. There'll be a Super Bowl in New Orleans in February. Will those folks not inclined to read online have to wait 'til Wednesday to read about the biggest game in America? The paper will cut about 50 jobs from the 150-member staff and begin devoting most of it's energy to the online product. This cannot be good for journalism, no matter which way it is handled. On Friday, one of the best NFL reporters in our business. the T-P's Jeff Duncan, was mulling his future. He'll find out soon if he still has a job, or if he'll have to re-interview for it, just like the rest of the 150 journalists on staff. He hopes the paper's love for sports gives him a path to stay."...

IVORY GETS NEW CONTRACT: The Saints have re-structured running back Chris Ivory's contract. giving him a signing bonus that essentially makes the player whole for the time lost during the 2011 season. 

Ivory, the team's leading rusher in 2010, missed 10 games last season because of injuries. Ivory rounds out what is an excellent position group for the Saints, joining Darren Sharper, Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram in the backfield.

LSU (43-16) will host the NCAA Baseball Regional, earned the No. 7 national seed, and will face Louisiana-Monroe (31-28) on Friday at 7 p.m. in Alex Box Stadium. 

LSU holds a 38-8 all-time record against the Warhawks darting back to `1959. 

The tournament begins Friday at  2 p.m. as No. 2 seed  Oregon State faces No. 3 seed Belmont in Alex Box Stadium. 

The winner of the regional advances to the June 8-11 NCAA Super Regional, a best-of-three series that the Tigers are in line to host should they advance through the double elimination four-team regional. 

Regional tickets will remain on sale to season ticket holders until 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Regional ticket booklets, good for all seven games, are $100 to $50.

by Ed Staton and Bayoubuzz Staff

(Get your LSU SEC baseball champs shirts at La. Sports Talk)


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.