Monday, January 25, 2010

The Saints are in the Superbowl!

For those of you who maybe don't own a TV or have been living in a distant land without access to the outside world, guess what?

The impossible has happened.

Or in the words of local commentator, Jim Henderson, "Pigs have flown, hell has frozen over, and the Saints are going to the Super Bowl!"

After 43 years, nearly 4 hours of play and a perfect 40 yard field goal in overtime, the New Orleans Saints, one of the oldest teams in the NFL to never make it to the Super Bowl, earned that right last night...
and they got to do it at home in the Dome!

It was a long, emotionally wearing and, at times, frustrating game. And though I tried to remind myself that "It's just a game. It's just a game.", it really felt like so much more.

Growing up a Saints fan, I don't ever remember feeling like we were missing something by not going to the Super Bowl. Sure, it would have been nice, but they were our Saints win or lose. Our families gathered to watch the games on Sunday. Our radio stations played countless Saints tribute songs. And we sported our black and gold all year long. Even as a small child, I knew who Tom Dempsey was and truly believed that Archie Manning was the greatest QB of all time. I loved the Saints because they were our Team and because of the memories we made as a family cheering them on.

Even all through this amazing season, I never really thought about the Super Bowl, I just enjoyed the ride! But this past week leading up to the game, all of that changed. Here we were, in a place we'd been only one other time before, at home no less, one game away from the biggest game of the year...or, for most of us (fans and players included), the biggest game of our lives. And then, the tears started to fall.

Now, I've never cried over football before, but, the team I love has never been this close to greatness and to finally getting the admiration and recognition they deserve. Or so I thought...

As emotional and excited as I am about our win last night, I am equally disheartened reading what others continue to say about us. Still, after the season we've had, our victories are basically deemed the other team's fault. Much is being made about how heroically Farve played in the NFC Championship Game last night and some even go so far as to say that the Saints didn't win...the Vikes lost or gave up the game to us.


What about the fact that we went toe-to-toe with Mr. Wonderful, Brett Farve and won...despite the fact that we had the ball less than they did, were subject to some very disappointing and just plain biased calls/penalties and made some serious mistakes on our own that basically gift wrapped the game for the Vikes? What about all the effort our defense put into the game getting to Farve, forcing fumbles and turnovers and making interceptions. What about Drew Brees who threw the ball around a lot less than Farve and still managed to keep the game tied? What about our offensive line who actually protected our QB? What about a 23 year old kicker who messed up a chip shot not too long ago, scoring the winning points for his team to go to the Super Bowl? What about winning our first 12 games? What about beating Tom Brady, Kurt Warner and now Farve? What about 43 years of waiting? What about 4 years of working and training and building up a team that is actually a contender when it was once a joke? What about a Coach and QB who jumped in and made their adopted city their home at one of the worst times in that city's history? And, what about the fact that, when all is said and done and you tally up the bad calls, missed calls, mis cues, and mess ups on each side, it really comes down to which team was able to pull out a win in spite of all of that.

Say what you like, this time that team was the New Orleans Saints.


In a couple of weeks, the Saints will be marching into the Super Bowl to the beat of their own jazz band and by the sweat of their own brow to take on our 4th Future Hall-of-Fame Quarterback. We didn't get here by luck, by playing bad teams or because of other people's mistakes, we got here because we won the most games in our Division and put Brett Farve's pants on the ground a whole heck of a lot. So, folks/doubters/biased sports writers and commentators, stop making excuses for your favorites, accept reality, and deal with it!

The Saints are comin'!

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