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Curb Your Enthusiasm? Curb Schmurb!

It’s just the preseason… these wins don’t count… it’s not the regular season…

Just curb your enthusiasm?

CURB SCHMURB!!!

This is south Louisiana… the Gulf Coast… and the only game in town. We can use all of the good news we can get. And we’ll take it.

So when does the fan base of the New Orleans Saints finally get the ‘OK’ to get excited about our football team? Do we have to wait until we are 8-0 before we are allowed? Do we have to wait until we finally clinch a playoff spot? Are we not allowed until the Saints win a playoff game in 2009? Or do we have to wait until the final whistle blows to end the Super Bowl with our New Orleans Saints standing victorious?
Every year, there is only one Super Bowl winner. And everyone else gets to feel bad because the ultimate goal was not met. And even the Steelers… last year’s Super Bowl champions… have to ‘curb their enthusiasm’ until the final whistle blows in this year’s Super Bowl.

Of course, once you get that ring on your finger, a team and a city can be proud for the rest of their lives. This is the case for 17 cities (areas) in National Football League history whose teams won the Vince Lombardi trophy:

Green Bay
New York
Kansas City
Baltimore
Dallas
Miami
Pittsburgh
Oakland
San Francisco
Washington
Los Angeles
Chicago
Denver
St. Louis
New England
Tampa Bay
Indianapolis

Those guys are the only ones who can say, “Our team was the best that year”.

Pride in your team and your team’s accomplishments has to come from some other place if your team doesn’t hail from the 17 areas I mentioned above. Pride has to come in some inferior form.

It could be the lesser accomplishment of Conference Champions… those guys who actually made a Super Bowl. This is still a great feat, and it is a sentiment felt in 10 other cities (areas) not already mentioned:

Minnesota
Philadelphia
Cincinnati
Buffalo
San Diego
Atlanta
Tennessee
Carolina
Seattle
Arizona

You only have to look at the 2009 NFL Hall of Fame inductees to realize how great a team like the Buffalo Bills were in the early 90s when they went to four straight Super Bowls only to lose all four. It’s a lineage that a city can be proud of… yet it still isn’t the same as the pride felt in those 17 cities who actually won it all.

But it’s certainly greater than the pride one can feel from simply having a bunch of winning records or Division titles only to lose everytime in the playoffs… and it’s certainly greater than the pride a city can feel for its team when its team has never even been to a Super Bowl. That list is far shorter than the above-mentioned guys:

Detroit
Houston
Jacksonville
Cleveland

and yes…

New Orleans.

Technically, the Houston Texans have the worst winning percentage in NFL history followed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers AND THEN the New Orleans Saints… but the Texans have only been around for seven years (this season will be their eighth), and the Bucs have 10 playoff appearences (and six playoff games won) in 33 years, including that magical 2002 Super Bowl run when they destroyed every other team in the NFC in the postseason.

The Saints have eight winning seasons in 42 years… six playoff appearences… three Division titles… two playoff games won… one Conference Championship game attended.

So when are we allowed to get excited about our franchise? Is it when we are guaranteed a few-and-far-between winning season? Is it when we notch that ever-elusive playoff clinch? Is it when we lock up that once-every-fifteen years Divisional crown? Is it when we get that oh-so-rare playoff game victory? Is it when the Black and Gold FINALLY reach that dare-to-dream Super Bowl by winning the NFC Conference? Or can we finally get excited when the Saints geaux marching in AND WIN the Super Bowl?

Hey… I’m not from Green Bay or New York or Dallas or Pittsburgh or San Francisco or Washington or New England. I’m not even from Minnesota or Cincinnati or Buffalo.

I’m from the great state of Louisiana. I have one professional sports love… the New Orleans Saints. And I’ll be proud when I dang well feel like it.

The Dome Patrol is gone… the only real era of winning Saints football (when the team posted five winning seasons in six years). The soon-to-be Hall of Fame greats like Rickey Jackson, Morten Andersen, and Willie Roaf are gone. Let’s get real… we’ve only had three winning seasons in the last 16 years.

I have to look long and hard for happiness and pride in my professional football team.

It can be in one play… like in 1967 when John Gilliam returned the opening kickoff in franchise history 94 yards for a TD… or in 1970 when Tom Dempsy kicked the longest FG in NFL history to defeat the Detroit Lions, 19-17.

It can be in one victory… like in 1971 when the Saints (who finished the year 4-8-2) beat the eventual Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys (who finished the year 11-3), 24-14… or in 1987 when the Saints beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-16 to clinch their first-ever winning season… or when the Saints defeated the defending Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams 31-28 to clinch their first-ever playoff victory.

Or it can be in one season out of 42.. and every single one of them suffers the same setback… no Super Bowl title.

So don’t tell me to ‘curb my enthusiasm’. I’ll be proud of my Bless You Boys when I dang well feel like it.

Right now, on the heels of a 45-7 crushing of the Oakland Raiders in the third preseason game of 2009, the Saints are looking great in just about every aspect. Our NFL rankings in per-game average through three meaningless preseason games are as follows:

Offense

1st/Points (33.3)
1st/Yards (424.0)
5th/Passing (260.3)
2nd/Rushing (163.7)

Defense
3rd/Points (9.3)
19th/Yards (331.0)
30th/ Pass (260.3)
1st/Rush (70.7)

We’ve gained 74 first downs while allowing only 44 (out of 175 total plays). We have a turnover ratio of +5 after forcing 3 turnovers in each of the three games we’ve played. We’ve allowed a total of 212 rushing yards combined through three games (we rushed for 232 against Oakland alone). We’ve scored 13 TDs and allowed only 4. We’ve run the ball 103 times and passed it 96 times.

When is a good time to get excited about our New Orleans Saints?

I’d say, “Right now!”

Are we ready? Who are we? SAINTS!!! THIS IS NEW ORLEANS!!! Who Dat?


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4 Responses to “Curb Your Enthusiasm? Curb Schmurb!”

  1. Robert says:

    I understand being excited about the 2009 edition of our beloved New Orleans Saints. I want to finally celebrate being one of those cities on the list that had a Super Bowl Championship team. This year’s team looks like they can make a serious run through the playoffs but as a long-time Saints fan, I have learned the bitter lessons of having high expectations for the boys in Black & Gold. So many years we looked like we were going to have a great season only to have injuries, poor execution and/or poor coaching decisions sabotage our dreams of playoff success.

    So while I am excited to see how well our Saints will do this season, I must remain cautiously optimistic and keep my emotions in check until we do make an 8-0 run or go 12-4 winning the division, getting home field advantage through the playoffs so the NFC road to the Super Bowl must go through the Superdome. If this year’s edition of the Saints do live up to their potential and win the NFC title here in The Dome, the fans will take to the streets to make Mardi Gras look like a tea party. If we go to Miami and take out the AFC Champs (New England, Pittsburgh, San Diego) to win the NFL World Championship, then just go ahead and shut down the city because we will take to the streets to celebrate a modern day football miracle. I dream that is how our season will go but based on previous disappointments, I have to temper my excitement but it is simmering there just under the surface ready to explode when the Saints on-field performance warrants such behavior.

    So let’s Geaux Saints and make our run to our football destiny.

  2. Pattiejustine says:

    I say get excited now. Joy and fun are our purpose, so celebrate what is happening now! They’re playing with intensity and it’s wonderful to join with them in enjoying their success now. We have time to be cautious later.

    • Joseph Guidry says:

      Excellent attitude, Pattiejustine. Exactly what I am trying to say. We need good news in Louisiana. And I’m excited as ever for our Bless You Boys this season. I’ll start worrying when we’re using complicated math to figure out a playoff scenario. Until then, I’m celebrating. Right now, we look like the best team in the league… and that has rarely – if ever – happened before.

  3. TaeZ says:

    Just catching up on past articles Joe.

    But heck I get excited every time I think about the Saints in any way at any time of the year. I get excited during free agency when new faces appear and you wonder what kind of impact they will make. I get excited when I read about all the draft prospects and wonder who will the Saints target and will they get a rookie stud. I get excited for the freaking OTA’s when I hear the guys are working real hard and have great % of participants. I get excited during camp especially when you finally see how the team looks on the field….Bottom line any aspect of the Saints any time of year keeps my interest and gets me jazzed for the time when the season does finally start and the games do count.And this year I am Hella excited 1/4 of the way through, sure there’s a lot of football to play, things change every week, but no matter what, no matter how, the New Orleans Saints are my favorite team in any sport and will be till my black and gold blood congeals in my then still heart……

    GEAUX GET EM SAINTS!!!!!!
    2009 Is Our Time To Shine!

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