Monday, January 25, 2010

Sitting On My Porch....With A Halas Trophy

There's a nurse that works in my office building who is one of the most upbeat people you will ever meet in the morning. Her face is usually full of life. This morning I got on the elevator with her and she looked like she had never been to sleep. As she was yawning and trying to get herself together I couldn't help but making a comment..."You haven't been to sleep either have you?" Turns out she was down in the French Quarters last night and had to get up this morning for work. I started with this story to prove that New Orleans is home to the people who can party real hard and grind out 8 -12 hour work days afterward with no problem. That's how we roll. I have never seen people look so tired and be so happy at the same time.

When I was seven years old I watched my first Saints home game on television. Back then the games never sold out so if you didn't have enough money to go you had to listen to the radio or follow the scores while watching another game if they were at home. We played the Falcons and I was real excited to see the home team actually play at home. The final score was 41-10 Atlanta. I don't know if the Falcons were running up the score but we sure didn't do much to stop them. This is my first solid memory of dozens that didn't end well. I could name them all but it doesn't matter now. If you follow the team you should realize like I do that the game last night played out exactly the way it needed to in order to close all the open wounds of things that went wrong.

It had to be the Vikings because the two of the Saints dream seasons were ended by them. I love Minneapolis as a city. I want to go there again but this morning I hope they feel just like we did after that playoff game in 1987. I hope all their fans tossed and turned thinking about every call and they have to avoid ESPN so they won't have to see Hartley's kick go through again and again and again. It had to be the Vikings.

How many times would something like the Reggie Bush muffed punt live on for years because it turned the game around and we lost? How many times did Jim Mora's teams dominate games in time of possession and statistics only to lose on a few mental mistakes? The botched hand off at the end of the first half had to happen.

How many games did the other team get the ball and drive for a winning score and we sat back praying for our defense to just make one play but it never came and we had to sit there and take the stomach punch? Tracey Porter's intercept had to happen.

How many times did referees call penalties on us that changed games and we couldn't see them even after watching the replay 20 times? A few of those happen last night. The interference call in overtime was legit and we paid dues for the referee to throw that flag.

How many times since Morten Anderson left have we been haunted by horrible field goal attempts? Anyone remember the River City Relay extra point try? Garret Hartley's kick had to happen.

How many times have the Saints signed free agents that couldn't play, made trades for people that never came through, gave up on draft picks too soon or had someone playing that no one ever heard of and they sucked? Jabari Greer, Darren Sharper, Jonathan Vilma, Devery Henderson, and Pierre Thomas all had to contribute to this win.

This may sound corny but I don't know what New Orleans would look like right now if the team would have moved. The Saints are the one thing that everybody connects with. The Colts and Archie's son are next. Win or lose this team doesn't owe me anything else. All I want to see is those shiny gold helmets run out of that tunnel in Miami. It's going to be a beautiful sight.


oyster said...

Perfectly put! Demons were indeed exorcized last night.

I'm not the biggest believer in destiny, but you make a great case.

DebC said...

"It's going to be a beautiful sight."


I'm a little conflicted because I love "The Colts and Archie's son" as well - just differently. Though I'm not a New Orleanian, there's so much deep inside my heart that binds me to that city since my first trip there as a young-er Naval officer in the early 90s (took the round-about route getting there, so I was older than most of my peers by that time). I'm tellin' you Man, had we not just signed a rental contract this month on our house in South Florida, I'd be right there for the Big Dance in 13 days: 4 hours : 30 minutes!!!

Great, great post Cliff! It's the one I was waiting for! Thanks for all the background with a personal twist! :-) There's no doubt your "heart beats New Orleans!"

K. said...

Who Dat?! Congratulations to the Saints and their fans. I've been there with other teams so I know exactly what Cliff is talking about. As for the SB, just hope that they play well and get decent officiating. In the meantime, if you haven't check this out, what are you waiting for?

How about Pierre Thomas' leap for glory on that 4th-and-1 in OT? That was one of the most heroic individual efforts I've seen in a football game.

Superdeformed said...

Good stuff man.

All I could think of was crying in my Granny's living room after the Saints lost to the Vikings in 87.

One childhood trauma resolved.

Editilla~New Orleans Ladder said...

Ho'yeah! I'm only now getting out and around to congratulate.
You'ves helped me keep the Faith together with so many post, and this one seals the deal.
Yeah, this is just so fucking great!

Bernadine Harris said...

The Saints have truly "came marching in" this time. They played aggressive like they wanted a victory. GO SAINTS! Even though I now reside in Memphis, Tn, with all these Titan and Dallas fans,I am still black and gold and will always be. I got ribbed when the Saints lost to Dallas but I told them that was their practice game.Now they can watch us on TV and see how we really play. Of course I want them to win the Superbowl,but it's seeing them there that will be worth a lot. BLESS YOU BOYS!! ITS BEEN A LONG TIME COMING. Good thing come to those who wait. Buddy D must be turning over in his grave.

Anonymous said...

Black and Gold to the Superbowl!!!! It was destined for us to go to the Superbowl. So many things were lined up that were an indication that all of the faithful Saints fans would see their team in the big Game. Personally when they bought Deuce back I said we are going, when I realize it was Superbowl 44 I said we are going, during the game I spoke upm that Favre pick and we got it, in OT I said we will when the toss and we won it. It was our time to go Who Dats. I too partied well into the A.M. and went to work. Honestly the day seemed to move along quickly. I can't wait to celebrate after the Superbowl as well at the Saints parade. Guess what? We are FINALLY off the list of teams who have never won a championship game and moved on to the Superbowl. This has been a GREAT season and I have enjoyed it. The SAINTS have really bonded us fanatics together. It was great that the city of New Orleans partied without violent incidents. Way to go New Orleanians!!!!!