Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Final Chapter Of A Wonderful Season

This is the day we have all been waiting for. I have never seen the city this excited about anything. This week people have been randomly shouting “WHO DAT!” to total strangers and giving one another high fives. I love it. I don’t know how long it’s going to last but if things get out of hand and people start bickering at least we have a point of reference to remind them of how it feels to be unified about something. It’s been very hard for me to get the same nervous and paranoid feeling that I usually have for a big Saints game. I really wanted the team to play in the Superbowl and I never really changed my agenda to winning it. I am already so satisfied that I can’t get it going for today. I hope the team isn’t feeling the same way I do.

Some people in the national media really got upset when we beat Brett Favre and have refused to give us any respect for being in the championship. If you listen to some of them it was like the Vikings were ahead in the game 28-0 and Brett’s intercept was worth 28 points at the end. For years I have listened to these experts give good teams credit for not beating themselves and taking advantage of the other team’s mistakes. The Saints did it to Brett Favre and suddenly they are not worthy of being in the game. That kind of stuff has made me not watch a lot of pregame coverage. I wasn’t letting their sour grapes take my joy.

I don’t think our team has gotten enough credit. Football is a team sport. No one player can be so good that he can make up for the other 52 guys. It just doesn’t happen. If that was the case Peyton Manning would have 8 Superbowl rings by now. Other guys have to step up. That’s what made this season special for the Saints. There hasn’t been enough mention of the fact that we played a full season with an untested backup left tackle after Jamaal Brown was injured. That usually spells doom for a team and he more than held his own. There hasn’t been enough mentioned that one of our starting defensive tackles was hurt early on and that there was a stretch in the middle of the season where both starters were hurt and a bunch of guys no one heard of played their hearts out and held up just enough for us to win those games. It was around this same time that both of our starting cornerbacks were hurt too and we fought through it with Randall Gay, a rookie, and some guys we had to sign off the street. We beat New England on Monday night with this lineup. I would for someone to mention that our fullback Heath Evans got hurt and our leading receiver from last year only played in a few games yet we still managed to lead the league in scoring. We didn’t have one running back with 2000 yards but we had three backs combine for over 1800 yards. Don’t get me started on Anthony Hargrove. We have had the ultimate example of 53 guys working together to do something special and these groupies want to make it seem like we are a charity case. We are a really good team and there’s no reason we can’t beat the Colts.

We are in the big game. Rickey Jackson made the Hall of Fame. The city feels good about itself. I can’t ask for much more. Let’s finish strong and see what happens. I’m going to light this grill and get my food ready. We’ll talk when it’s over.


K. said...

Hey, the Saints earned this. It's not like Favre handed the ball to your man or that the Vikes were in FG range anyway. Anyway, you don't go 13-3 without being an awfully good team who beat some good clubs and who fought through injuries.

Good luck today! You must be climbing the walls...

Deb said...

" I wasn’t letting their sour grapes take my joy.

And rightfully so, Cliff! Nobody can block the blessing - but you! Congratulations, Man!

Tim said...

SAINTS WIN! I'm loving all the comments on TV--the owner, the coach and every single player is saying this victory belongs to NEW ORLEANS. Yeah you rite!

We've had the brains, the brawn, the talent and the tools for decades--and I'm not talking about the game of football here, I'm talking about the great city of New Orleans. I really think all we've been lacking is a vision of success.

And now, we have that, too.