Haiti remains in great need and destitute. People are asking for donations but you really aren’t too sure how your money will be used. Help support a group who is bringing clean water to Haiti now and in the future. You will know where your money is going, who is using it and how it is being used. Several years ago, New Orleans had too much water in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. All was thought to be lost, especially the football team. But, as a beacon to Haiti that recovery is possible, the Saints stand on the doorstep to the Super Bowl. If they make it, Hell will certainly freeze over.
A great new song about the New Orleans Saints and their quest for the elusive Super Bowl is out. It’s called, The Night We Drank That Dixie Down and is fabulous. To truly appreciate it, one might want to know the history of the Saints.
New Orleans was awarded a franchise on November 1, 1966, which is All-Saints Day. They went 5-1 in the preseason of 1967 and on the opening kickoff of the first game in Saints history, the kick-off was returned for a touchdown. But, that first game kinda set the stage for the franchise. Hope rises every year followed by disappointment. The Saints lost that first game, but did manage to win 3 games that year. The next two years saw improvement with 4 wins followed by 5 wins in 1969. Their 1970 first round draft pick became a star for…the Houston Oilers. The team fell to two wins but the season included the most celebrated event in Saints’ history for years to come. Tom Dempsey kicked an NFL record 63 yard field goal(video) to beat the Detroit Lions. That record has been tied by Jason Elam of Denver kicking at the Mile High altitude of Denver, but it has not been surpassed.
In the 1970′s, the Saints won a total of 42 games…an average of just 4 per year. 1979 was the first non-losing season in team history as they finished 8-8. The first 5 years of the 1980′s were a little better with 29 wins. By that time, the Saints had gone through several big name players such as Billy Kilmer, Jim Taylor, Archie Manning, George Rogers, Earl Campbell and Ken Stabler. They also had headline coaches such as Dick Nolan, Hank Stram and Bum Phillips. Still the highlight of the Saints remained Dempsey’s 63 yard field goal. The team then went from sad sacks to not too bad and hope was born when Jim Mora took over in 1986.
After going 7-9 in Mora’s first season, the Saints won 12 games and made the playoffs. Both the win total and the playoff appearance were firsts for New Orleans. But, they lost in the playoffs. The next two years were teasers with 9 wins coming in ’88 and ’89 but they did not make the playoffs. Still, Saint’s fans were optimistic. In 1990, they were a .500 team but still made the playoffs and promtly lost. Double-digit wins in 1991 and 1992 led to first round playoff losses. Saints fans though, remained loyal. For the next few years, the Saints were mediocre, did not make the playoffs and when the team began 1996 at 2-6, the loyal fans still showed up, but did so wearing bags on their heads that said “Aints”. That was it for Mora.
Mike Ditka showed up and Saints’ fans once again were optimistic. The team went 6-10 in Iron Mike’s first two years, but after Ditka traded all of the team’s draft picks in 1999 for RB Ricky Williams and the team tumbled to just 3 wins, the Aints bags were back out and Ditka was sent packing. The 2000′s showed improvement but still, they were back to being almost good enough. It was the make the playoffs and out routine or just missing the playoffs routine. Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005 and the Saints were forced to play their home games in San Antonio, TX. Rumors were that owner Tom Benson, who was from San Antonio, would move the team. The population of New Orleans fell by the thousands and there was question as to the city could still support the team. But, those naysayers underestimated the heart of a Saints fan.
I can tell you…if you live anywhere in the state of Louisiana, there is no other game on TV besides the Saints, regardless of their record. Well, in 2006, Drew Brees led the Saints all the way to the NFC Championship game where they lost, again. After a couple of good but disappointing years, the Saints now find themselves with home field advantage in the NFC Championship Game again. They play the Minnesota Vikings who have a soap-opera storyline themselves with 4 Superbowl losses in the 1970′s. And this year they have the journeyman future Hall of Famer Bret Favre. But at least the Vikings have made it to the Super Bowl. The Saints are one of only three teams to not be in the big game or an NFL Championship game. The other two are the Jacksonville Jaguars who did not enter the league until 1995 and the Houston Texans who only have been around since 2002.
So, let us all hoist a Dixie Beer to the Saints and their loyal but long suffering fans and see what fate befalls the team after 43 years of futility.
Weather Bottom Line: We did not get any sunshine today but it was still rather mild with highs in the mid 50′s…sorry you had to go to Bowling Green to find 60. I will give you one certainty. It will be colder next week. Beyond that, it gets kinda muddled. Saturday night will be a good chance for rain and possible t’storms, though nothing too exciting. Same is true on Sunday. A cold front comes through on Monday and then a secondary trof may bring some snow late Monday with some flurries or light snow. I think the snow total comes to about an inch on the most aggressive model and that is over about 36 hours. The ground probably won’t be cold enough for much accumulation initially so it really wont be that big of a deal though driving may be tough Tuesday morning. After that, we have another system by Thursday or Friday. Some data suggests a guy coming from the Gulf and other ideas are it comes across the southern tier of states. We may get above freezing from time to time during the week but not much and by late Thursday or early Friday, the issue of the track of the next system will determine how much snow we get. I can draw a scenario of 6 inches and another of rain with a little snow and then another with some ice mixed in, which I don’t like. So, we’ll have to wait and see.