How the Saints Will Lose the Super Bowl

Bush a key to the Saints season

If you have been watching the New Orleans Saints for awhile, you’ve gotten used to disappointment: twenty years before the first winning season, five playoff games before the first victory, only needing to win one more game out of the last four to get into the playoffs. Their history is full of times where they got the special guy (be it coach or player) who was going to make the difference. “This time, I know we’re gonna make it!”

The team is better now, maybe the best they’ve ever had. Drew Brees has shown that he is an exceptional quarterback. Marques Colston has come from nowhere to put up two solid seasons. Some of you may think that Reggie Bush is over-hyped but I say that the challenge is figuring out the best way to use his talents. Deuce McAlister (may his knees still work once he has left us) has better stats than any of our running backs ever. The defense is a little different, but has shown promise and the talent has improved.

Last year, the conventional wisdom was that the Saints would make it to the Super Bowl. Everyone knew that Chicago would not be as lucky to get in again with Rex Grossman at the helm and the NFC had few other contenders. As you know, the Saints didn’t even make it to the playoffs. The team that surprised everyone in 2006 surprised everyone again in 2007.

I was never one of those people that thought that the team was cursed. If that was the case, how could you explain the amazing win over Atlanta when the dome reopened? The Saints are starting the season with the same record as everyone else. They have the same opportunity to get to the Super Bowl as any other team. Maybe better.

What this article is about is a reminder of how to blow it.

One of the things that always stuck in my mind from the Jim Haslett era was the mantra that the Saints had to learn how to handle success. This was one of three things that he said the team needed to do (I forgot the other two – something about never forgetting or always remembering something). I think that this lesson is also true for the Saints now. The Saints are good but they are not the best. We saw the best team ever last year and they blew it. When you start thinking that they’re going to give you the championship because of how good you look on paper, forget it. You have to earn your place in every game. The Saints need to keep their perspective. When you win, you earned it. When you lose, you earned it.

I know that Coach Payton buried the 2006 season and, conceptually, I see where he was going. The trouble was that they didn’t really. You could see it in the lack of strong roster moves like they made in 2006, endlessly tweaking to get the right group of players. In 2007, we thought we only need one or two pieces. They weren’t wrong. The team had been in the NFC championship game the year before after all. However, there was a stubborn refusal to acknowledge that things weren’t working like they planned.

There is no team that can’t be defeated. There is no player that is so talented that he can’t be shut down. There is no coach that is so brilliant that he can always outfox the other guy.

The way for the Saints to lose the Super Bowl is the same way that the Saints have lost before – thinking that they have it sewn up before they’ve finished playing the game. They are going to have setbacks. They are going to have injuries. They are going to have to reach deep inside themselves to get the season that leads to the promised land. Winning will not be easy.

I can sum up what the team needs in one word: patience, dedication, tenacity, commitment, humility, leadership, character (big kudos to you if you know where I stole that joke from). To be champions, they have to give it their best.

I want the Saints to win badly. I hope that the title of this article is wrong. I’m trying to be realistic about how hard it is to be the best. I hope the Saints are too.

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2 Responses to “How the Saints Will Lose the Super Bowl”

  1. MissNomer says:


  2. blessedsaint says:

    well written, very impressive and true. Geaux Saints

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