My name is David D. and I’m a Saints fan.
Yeah, I know you are too. Now.
But I’m a lifelong Saints fan. I made it through the “Aint’s” and Mike Ditka years. So this year has been…bizarre. Somehow the Saints became the best team in the NFC and are favorites going in to every game. And I honestly have no clue how to react.
For example, a couple of weeks ago the Saints were up thirty over the Patriots in the 4th quarter and for the life of me I couldn’t step away from the television for fear that the Saints would blow the game. Cubs fans, I’m sure you can relate.
When the Saints lost to the Cowboys, it was eerie. For the first time, I was disappointd and surprised by a Saints loss. Is this what it’s like to cheer for a winning team? Ironically, it took a saints loss for me to realize that I’m now rooting for a top team. This made me reflect on some of my prized memories as a Saints fan. I thought I’d share them with you.
Vs. Carolina Panthers, September 11, 2005 — One day somebody is going to make a movie about this game. Mere weeks after Katrina rocked the city, the boys in black and gold marched up to my undergrad abode of Charlotte and won on a dramatic last-second field goal. Yes, the rest of the season went to the crapper, but tell me you didn’t get goosebumps watching this.
Vs. Atlanta Falcons, September 25, 2006 – This was another post-Katrina moment that I’ll never forget. The first game back in the Superdome pitted the Saints against the heavily favored Falcons. Yes, we had a lot of emotion going to the game but it’s still the Saints we’re talking about so a victory was a long shot. But from the moment this punt was blocked all the way through the rest of the year, 2006 was a season for the ages.
The River City Relay, December 21, 2003 – Seven seconds. 80 yard. Half a dozen or so laterals. This was one of the most remarkable plays in NFL history. So why is it in the “bad” category? John Carney missed the extra point to tie the game! I was in New Orleans when this happened and I swear you could hear a pin drop in the city as this was week 16 and we were in the middle of a playoff race that was eradicated with a missed goddamn extra point. I still can’t talk about this game without the lip quiver.
Two Words: Kyle Turley. November 4, 2001 – Kyle Turley has been in the news lately because he’s worred he may have brain damage from head trauma brought on by the rigors of the NFL. I could have told you that in 2001 when Turley did his best Stone Cold Steve Austin impression and threw a few birds after ripping a Jets player’s head helmet off and tossing it across the field. The problem? The Saints were in the redzone and down a TD with a minute left. The ensuing penalties cost us the game. Kyle Turley is still not welcome in Louisiana.
“The Aints” — You know how when sports teams suck, fans wear paper bags over their heads to protest? Well, we invented that! You know how the Lions are now? We were that through the 80s. This started in 1980 when we lost 14 straight games. No I wasn’t born for this, but the name “Aints” still rings bells and gets brought up by anyone talking trash about my squad.
The Wedding — Ditka is one of the greatest coaches of all times (Of all times! © Kanye). But his worst move was trading all of the Saints 1996 draft picks, two 1997 picks, 3,000 beignets, two Bourbon street transvestites and 32 gallons of Hurricanes to help Ricky Williams move to the Big Easy to sample the city’s best weed. Running joke of the late 90’s: What’s the difference between Ricky Williams and a dollar? Answer: You get four quarters out of a dollar. Oh yeah, dude once wore a wedding dress.