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Saints Fans are the Best

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Saints diehards gear up for another season 08/07/2003 By MARY FOSTER / AP Sports Writer They are among the most wonderful of emotions -- love, faith, hope. They're praised by spiritual leaders, emotional gurus, and New Orleans Saints sales people. ...

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Old 08-07-2003, 02:48 PM   #1
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Saints Fans are the Best

Saints diehards gear up for another season

By MARY FOSTER / AP Sports Writer

They are among the most wonderful of emotions -- love, faith, hope.

They're praised by spiritual leaders, emotional gurus, and New Orleans Saints sales people.

It's that time of year when those feelings bubble over among Saints fans. The first game has yet to be played, the Super Bowl is anyone's for the taking, and just watching a pass completion at practice can cause unlimited optimism to bubble up.

This summer the feelings are running rampant about the Saints.

Diehard Saints fans are ready for another year
Hundreds to thousands turn out to watch the sweltering practices at the Saints facility, undeterred by the brutal sun.

When rain fell during the end of practice one day this week, many stayed rooted to their seats until practice ended.

The Black & Gold Scrimmage, a practice with a brief scrimmage tacked onto it, drew just over 18,000 people in Lafayette.

This is for a team that has not been to the playoffs in two years. A team that finished the last two seasons with dismal collapses that drove fans crazy with frustration.

It doesn't matter.

"I love them," said Robert Anderson of Metairie. "I always have, I mean, even when they were really bad. But now, they're not bad. In fact, I think they will be very good. I can just feel it."

Anderson isn't the only one.

Outside the practice field on Airline Drive, is a thermometer painting, very much like the one used on United Way fund raising campaigns. It shows the mercury rising to the magic number of 53,312, the franchise record for season tick sales set in 1988.

As of midweek the Saints were less than 500 tickets away from beating the old mark.

Even more astounding, the Saints were less than 2,000 tickers away from a sellout of their first preseason game. That's right -- preseason. A game that isn't really a game. One that is more of an audition for players trying to make the team. A game that doesn't count.

Of course, fans are optimistic every year before the season begins. But this year, Saints fans can, and obviously do, feel the optimism is justified.

The Saints appear to be loaded with talent. There are a lot of new people and a lot of new speed on the team.

No draft picks and only two free agents -- center Jerry Fontenot and defensive lineman Willie Whitehead -- were on the team before coach Jim Haslett took over.

Haslett built this team and believes in it. The fans are just following his example.

So if the Saints can just make it through December, something they haven't been able to do for the past two years, the long-suffering fans may finally have their faith justified.

As one fan watching practice this past week put it, Saints fans have to take their pleasure when they can get it. And if something should actually happen this year, no one would want to miss it.

"We've stuck with them since the beginning," said David Smith. "I deserve to feel good while I have the chance. Anything after that is just gravy."

BillyCarpenter1 is offline  
Old 08-07-2003, 03:30 PM   #2
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Saints Fans are the Best

I have to agree. If there is one city in the world where hope springs eternal, especially as summer wanes every year, it is New Orleans.

We just can\'t help it. We are SAINTS fans. We\'ll never admit that we don\'t have a legitimate shot at winning the Superbowl or the division or conference or at least beating .500. We\'re just optomists. And I think that\'s a good thing to be.

I\'ve spent twelve years in Houston and in that time I have watched the Rockets win back-to-back NBA championships (as well as make the playoffs other seasons), the Aeros win several Turner Cup championships (IHL minor league hockey), the Astros fold more than once in the playoffs, the Hotshots (CISL -- professional indoor soccer) lose in the league championship two years in a row and the Oilers (now the Titans) have a couple of pretty good seasons. But in all that time, I have never seen the city rise up together and embrace any team the way New Orleaneans (both at home and transplants) rally around the SAINTS.

The SAINTS are New Orleans and everything it represents. They are the avreage Joe that works as hard or harder than the next guy, but never seems to get that one big break he needs to be really successful. They are the overlooked, under-rated and underappreciated. They are the guys that will party and have fun no matter how bad things get. They are the guys that never get the respect they deserve, but are always feared at least somewhat because you never know when you might push them too far and they just might snap and rip your head off.

The SAINTS are everyman and I\'m proud to call myself a fan and to keep beleiving that sooner than later, their day in the sun will come.

Go SAINTS!!!!!

David in Houston

Go SAINTS!!!!!

David in Houston
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Old 08-07-2003, 05:20 PM   #3
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Saints Fans are the Best

Well said David.
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Old 08-07-2003, 11:37 PM   #4
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Saints Fans are the Best

I\'m also very proud to call myself a Saints fan!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GEAUX SAINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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