Friday, October 27, 2006
The Mailbox hasn’t written much about the New Orleans Saints this year, because the Mailbox can’t believe the Saints are as good as they are.
This, so far, has been a dream season: 5-1, second place in the NFC. The Saints are winning games that they would have blown in the past. They are well-coached, making good play-calling decisions and showing character during tough times. Most importantly, they are playing with heart.
The Mailbox imagines it's pretty easy for anyone to get behind the Saints right now. Brian Billick, coach of the Baltimore Ravens, said it best when talking about their upcoming game against the Saints this Saturday:
"They are the sweethearts of the league. Everybody loves them, and deservedly so. You go in and beat them, you might as well go and beat up on Mother Teresa."
As a lifelong Saints fan, the Mailbox is always skeptical how the Saints will do every week. As a young boy, the Mailbox remembers a night in 1979 where the Saints took a huge lead over the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football (Chuck Muncie relives the game in this article). Jack, official father of the Mailbox, sent us to bed at halftime, leaving the Mailbox to dream of such a great win. The next morning, the Mailbox discovers the awful truth: The Saints blew a three-TD lead and lost.
But, darned if that old optimism hasn't resurfaced. The Mailbox is thinking that anything less than a playoff berth will be a disappointment. Not bad, considering this team was in shambles after Hurricane Katrina. The Mailbox won't tap its kegs early: In 2001, the Saints started 6-1 only to blow it--they played cupcakes in the last three weeks of the season, where they needed one win to clinch, and blew every gorram game.
However, it's been well-documented that the Saints are a crucial part of New Orleans. They are symbolic: If the Saints can rebuild, repair and reclaim past glory, then so can the rest of the city.
Enjoy the new links to the side: Those Web sites are filled with some of the best Saints-related info.
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