What else would I post about today but the Saints winning the Super Bowl. Who Dat!
I wasn’t a Saints fan from the beginning like so many others down here. I moved to the New Orleans area in 1986 and certainly became a fan then. And the Saints had some good years at that time under Coach Jim Mora. Mora always had great defenses and generally less than stellar offenses, and we won quite a few games but could never get over the hurdle of winning our first playoff game.
That first playoff win came under Coach Jim Haslett, but while we had a pretty exciting offense over the next couple of years it seemed like the team got out from under Haslett’s control and we just couldn’t be consistent. In fact, that lack of consistency has been a consistent trademark of the Saints during the years that I’ve been a fan. Too often it seemed to me, that when we needed someone to step up, many players took a step back instead. Rooting for a team like that can be agony year in and year out.
But when Sean Payton came things took a turn for the better. He put together a staff and a team in which there were lots of players ready to step forward when needed. Not only ready, but eager to step forward. The culture sure has changed for the Saints over the last four years. Now you don’t hear people saying that: “The Saints found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.” Now, even when the Saints are down, as they were in the first quarter against the Colts, you still think, and ‘feel,’ “we can do this. This team may lose at times, and they may make mistakes, but they just don’t give up.
The Super Bowl showed, too, that this is as genuine of a “team” as I’ve ever seen in the NFL. Sure Brees was the MVP for the game and I would never say he didn’t deserve it, but every player on that team did their part. Pierre Thomas made a great run for a touchdown. Bush got a couple of needed big runs. Colston made some hard catches. Lance Moore made an incredible grab for that 2-point conversion. Porter got the interception. Greer played so well they didn’t even throw in his direction. Vilma crushed some runners. Shanle and Fujita did too. The offensive and defensive lines played their hearts out. Shockey caught a touchdown. David Thomas caught a ball. Bell made a good run. Hartley set a field goal record. Our special teams covered well and recovered that onside kick.
And the coaching staff did a wonderful job. Payton and his crew came to either win or lose, not merely to show. They coached an aggressive game that paid off with this young and aggressive team
This team definitely deserves the recognition as “Super Saints.”