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New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts are more similar than in record

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts are two of just eight teams in NFL history to start a season by winning their first 12 games. The cities and teams share other similarities beyond their glitzy records. They play in ...

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Old 12-13-2009, 09:38 PM   #1
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The New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts are two of just eight teams in NFL history to start a season by winning their first 12 games.
The cities and teams share other similarities beyond their glitzy records.
They play in similar-sized markets.
Their coaches are the frontrunners for NFL coach of the Year honors and their quarterbacks the leading candidates for MVP. One plays in Indiana but once played in Louisiana. The other plays in Louisiana but once played in Indiana.
In New Orleans, where the Saints are boldly going where no New Orleans team has gone before, there is catharsis. In Indianapolis, where the Colts have won 12 or more games for an NFL-record seven consecutive seasons, there is caution.
In New Orleans, they're throwing Mardi Gras-style celebrations every Sunday. In Indy, they're throwing wet blankets on the unbeaten start. There are no block parties or rap anthems. Colts fans still swarm the Luc in droves on game days. They tailgate in their Manning No. 18 jerseys and play cornhole in the parking lots outside, but the scene, energy and atmosphere are not much different than any other NFL town on game day.
"I think people up here appreciate the body of work and I think they understand how remarkable this is, but there's definitely a 'been there, done that" element to it," said Indianapolis Star sports columnist Bob Kravitz, who has covered the Colts throughout the Peyton Manning era. "It's not where you guys are, where it's still novel. Of course, in New Orleans you celebrate the sunrise. Indianapolis is a Midwestern conservative family-values kind of place. We deal with things differently."
The same can be and has been said of New Orleans.
New Orleanians are treating the Saints' 12-0 like they do everything in life: By overindulging. They pen anthems, songs and poems in the Saints' honor. They buy merchandise by the bushel and dress in costume for games at the Superdome. And when the team hits the road, they huddle in front of TV sets to watch the Saints in record numbers. Then they brave frigid temperatures and late hours to gather by the thousands along Veterans Drive in Kenner to welcome the team home at Atlantic Aviation in Kenner.
Saints defensive end Jeff Charleston has a unique perspective on the two cities. He played for the Colts in 2007, when Indy won its first seven games and finished 13-3. Colts fans love their team every bit as much as Saints do. They just don't express it as overtly.
"The cultures are just completely different," Charleston said. "It's a lot more conservative up there. Down here, it's the Big Easy. You can go get a drive-through daiquiri. You've got the Who Dat chant. What have you got in Indianapolis? Go Blue?!"
The RCA Dome was packed for every game, Charleston said. But the Superdome crowds literally reach another level - on the decibel meter.
"The level of support here is amazing," Charleston said. "I don't think there the fans would be standing the entire game. You don't have tailgaters at 6 a.m. They were more under control in Indianapolis. It was kind of expected that we do that. Definitely the level of energy is a lot higher here."
The Saints lead the NFL in local TV ratings. In fact, they are setting records at an unprecedented rate. Last week's game in Landover, Md., drew a 74 share, which represents the number of TVs in the local market in use that are tuned to the game. The previous week the Saints earned an off-the-charts 84 share for the Monday night game against the Patriots.
"That 84 share ... is incredible and is similar to what Super Bowl competing teams get in their home cities," NFL spokesman Dan Masonson said.
The frenzy spilled from the living rooms into the streets last Sunday when an unprecedented crowd descended upon Atlantic Aviation in Kenner to welcome the team home from Washington D.C. The throngs lined the street for more than two miles. Fans brought coolers, grills and boom boxes.
"It was amazing," running Mike Bell said. "I've never been a part of anything like it. I want to share with the fans how special this is. They feel the same way that we do - that this is truly special."
It's not as special or crazy in Indianapolis. Twelve-win seasons are old hat for Naptown residents. The Colts have won a 21 consecutive regular-season games and at least 12 games for seven consecutive seasons. Both are NFL records. If they beat the Broncos on Sunday, they will eclipse the 49ers' record for most wins in a decade. San Francisco went 113-47 from 1990 to 1999. The Colts are 113-43 the past 10 years.
"We love our Colts, but we expect them to win," said Susan Hazzard, a former member of the sports information staff at LSU who now works at USA Track and Field. "At this point, it's old hat. ... We expect it to go on and on and on."
Despite their spectacular regular-season success, the Colts have only one Super Bowl title to show for it. Eight consecutive times they've been to the playoffs. Five times they've lost in the first game. For all his brilliance, Peyton Manning is only 7-8 in the playoffs.
Indianapolis experienced a similar airport scene. But it happened three years ago, when they won the Super Bowl, and 14 years ago, when the Colts won their first playoff games in franchise history. Since then, there've been isolated instances of Colts fever but the team's sustained success has tempered the enthusiasm.
"All the euphoria that might be surrounding this current run is tempered by what's happened in the past," said Bill Bender, communications director for the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Other than the Super Bowl year, they don't have a glittering track record. Twenty-one straight wins is hard to believe but this is the prologue."
"I think people here are afraid to let themselves go," said Kravitz, who calls the Colts "the Atlanta Braves of the NFL. "They've seen this movie before."
Indeed, New Orleans and Indianapolis have emerged as unlikely rivals in this Animal House of an NFL season. Guess which one is the Deltas and which one is the Omegas?

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Old 12-13-2009, 11:35 PM   #2
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Re: New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts are more similar than in record

I live just outside Indy and you can interchange "Colts" and "Saints" in conversations. It's amazing. "Well the Colts did win but it wasn't a "quality" win." ect. ect. ect.
Sound familiar?
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Old 12-14-2009, 04:57 PM   #3
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Re: New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts are more similar than in record

A win is a win. I do wish the Defense was playing better & I hope everyone is healthy by the playoffs!!

But quality vs quantity - I will take the win every time!!
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:23 PM   #4
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Re: New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts are more similar than in record

That was worth the read. I guess there are a lot of similarities and a lot of cultural differences.
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