Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Saints going to Superbowl...I must be dreaming.

I don't have enough time to tell you of my entire relationship with the Saints football team so here's just a few highlights and low lights. My family moved here in 1974...before the Superdome was open. When it did in 1975 my first game was against the Houston Oilers (a team I supported since we moved from Houston just months prior). We (Saints) lost I believe by the score of 13 to 7. It didn't get much better after that. Our team was hapless, had coaching and player issues for years. If I heard it was a "rebuilding year" once I heard it a thousand times. Fact was they made some very odd personnel choices throughout the years...most of whom went on to great things after leaving the organization.

My dad had 5 season tickets for as long as I can remember. Throughout college, if he had extras he'd give them to me. Knowing they were going to lose I'd do a drive by at the dome and sell them for beer money that week. As my broadcast career took off I was forced to follow them and I recall some very exciting games and good times in those seats. I also remember boycotting them for 2 years because the Atlanta Falcons beat us twice one year with a pair of hail Mary's to win the game on the last play. Suckers!

I recall if we played a team that hadn't won a game yet we would always hand them their first win. Or if there was a record to be set on the other team it would happen while they were playing us. I was in Pro-Player Stadium one year (yes, the same place the Superbowl is being played in Miami) and Dan Marino tossed his 300th TD or something. You could always count on the Saints to give that kind of thing up. I vowed to travel to at least one away game per year a few years back. Charlotte was a kick and their stadium was brand new at the time. San Fransisco had its charm...we actually won that game; I cried and ate dungeoness crab. Chicago was interesting. It was October of 1999 and the last season the Bears would play in Soldier field. I was mere weeks away from having my second back surgery so I was furiously "numbing" my pain and becoming quite a pain in the ass to the home fans. We were winning 14 nothing with 2 minutes to go. We all lit Cuban cigars and cursed their fans until they scored two TD's and a field goal to win it in regulation. Since that day I don't celebrate until I see all zero's on the time clock.

I guess my biggest memory would have to be September 28th 1992. I was working at a radio station that was connected to the Superdome. I'd planned on going to the game right after my shift but would have to meet my friends and (soon to be) wife. They stopped by on their way to the dome and waved at me in the "fishbowl." I told them I'd be there shortly. I had a couple beers on the walk over to catch up with the gang...they tailgated and started a bit earlier than I did. A few more dome-foams later we were in position to win the game. We had the ball inside the 20 and Bobby Hebert (the Cajun Cannon) rares back and lets one fly into the end zone. My seats were on the first row of that end zone and I couldn't see so I jumped up assuming we scored a touchdown but instead found myself falling over the rail of the terrace (highest level) and into the Lodge (directly below me). I woke up bleeding on a large black man who saved my life; or at least kept me from hitting the seats below at terminal velocity. I was badly bruised, fat lip, few abrasions but none the worse for wear. I signed the paperwork on my house the next day fully medicated so that closing was much less painful than this last one. Now when I go to games I tie off but I figured I'm good from 30 feet or so.

My saints went 13-0 then dropped a big game to the Cowboys who were on a huge comeback and almost made it through the playoffs. The next loss to Tampa because of a missed field goal was heartbreaking and I feared the wheels had come off. They decided to rest their starters for the final Carolina game so we finished the season with home field advantage and were 13-3. We demolished the Cardinals and had several really nice breaks against the Vikings before our kicker redeemed himself in OT to kick the game winner. We're off to the Superbowl with Americas team. I'm hoping this magical season continues with a win because this town deserves a little something after suffering through the bags-on-head years with the "Aints."

If you're team didn't make it, rot for the Saints cause I feel I have some skin in this game...literally! Who Dat!


  1. This was nice to read you post and about your relation to the Saits team. This is right that Saint is now in super bowl race so you are not dreamming. So enjoy the game of saints.

  2. Since I don't have a specific team in the Bowl...we all know what happened to MY team this year (argh!!!)...I'll be rootin' for your Saints! :)