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foreverfan 09-17-2010 04:58 AM

Being a Saints Fan in 2010.
 
I found this on another board. :bng:
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I hate myself for saying this. I think. Eh, maybe itís a good thing. But after waiting my whole life for something I was convinced would never happen, we now live in the alternate universe where there is life after a Saints Championship. People still carry on, whether or not they care as much as we do. But they still have to acknowledge that it happened. Thatís the weird part. We are now World Champions, and are just simply expected to win.

As most of you know, a tradition of winning has yet to be established for the New Orleans Saints. Even in our highest moments in franchise history, back in the Dome Patrol days at the time, we still couldnít make even the slightest dent in the playoffs. Regardless if we should have won the game or not. Even when we had the replacement Aaron Brooks lead us to our first ever Saints playoff victory, we got crushed by Minnesota and dangled with mediocrity and disappointment years after that.

Sean Paytonís brilliance in assembling a team from scratch, post-Katrina, taking it to new heights than the franchise has ever seen, and then losing soundly to a Chicago Bears team that used the elements to its advantage gave the city hope. Hope, reminiscent of the Haslett era, when he too won Coach of the Year as a rookie head coach and lead the team deeper into the playoffs than itís ever been before. But much like the Haslett era, the following two years were mired with mediocrity and disappointment, and it was easy to succumb to the acceptance that this team has been cursed from the start.

But a funny thing happened along the way to insignificance. The Saints vaporized the curse through the only conceivable way howóthey addressed the weaknesses of the team and continued to improve them better than any other team in the NFL. They instilled an attitude and energy into each member of the team necessary to outplay, outhustle, and outperform every other team in the NFL. Loomis, Payton and Co. were not able to do this not over night. However, throughout the four year process since Payton accepted the head coaching position, the ability to address the weaknesses, and the willingness to fix them took a level of intelligence, cohesiveness, and humility rarely experienced within the other franchises.

We were left last year with the dream season. A 13-0 start. Home Field advantage throughout the playoffs. And knocking off the giants of the NFL (Warner, Favre, Manning) to claim the ultimate prize without equivocation. I would venture to say that a majority of us have waited our whole lives for this season to transpire. Not to say that the bandwagoners or those more recently acquainted diehards who havenít lived long enough to endure the struggle didnít appreciate the victory as much. Just understand that it is a different appreciation the longer youíve followed intently on this team.

That being said, last year was the jackpot. The MegaMillions. The pot at the end of the rainbow. Mentally, you canít hit the jackpot and then play dollar slots and expect to care about the result of each pull as much as you did on your journey to hit the jackpot.

So here I stand, not really caring whatís going on in the league anymore. Donít care which teams moved up or down in the power rankings. Donít care what the talking heads have to say about our team (we know more about the Saints then they ever will anyway). Donít care about fantasy football anymore for some reason. Donít care about non-division or conference games. Donít really care if I watch football all day on Sunday if the Saints arenít playing that day.

Ultimately what Iím worried about is that we as fans arenít conditioned to accept life after Superbowl. The team is conditioned. They have received the motivational tools necessary to recognize the importance of not settling for the first championship, and reaching the next one. I donít think we as fans have a similar understanding.

One could argue why should we? New Orleans got what so few ever thought possible, at the most opportune time given the cityís recovery efforts with every disaster that continues to strike the Gulf Region. Most people outside of New Orleans are sick of the Katrina talk. Sick of the oil spill talk. Sick of wanting to tune into sports, and hearing about how a football team is healing a city from the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.

Most people are sick of hearing it, because they have no idea it is actually true.

The problem now, from a fan standpoint, is that we have been officially cured from this disease of suffering. We are no longer cursed by perpetual ineptitude. We finally can shout with pride, ďWho Dat!Ē knowing nobody, in the end, was able to last year. All of the months, or years, or decades of eternal damnation and frustration for a team we loved so much and were so loyal to finally washed away.

Our souls were cleansed. Our slate was clean. Our minds at peace. Our anxiety put to rest.

It was shocking for me to see the malaise of the Superdome crowd exiting the ramps and the escalators last Thursday night. No ďWho Dat!Ē chants. No dancing up the hallways. No chatting, clapping, hugging, or hollering. Just walking to the car. Satisfied (but not necessarily happy) with the win.

This is who weíve become. A fanbase that will continue to stand by and support, but expects to always win. And if that win isnít by double-digits, and we donít score at least 30 points, the win just isnít good enough anymore.

Saint_LB 09-17-2010 05:27 AM

I want to step in and defend the coaches that walked the sidelines pre-Payton. Any coach pre-Payton simply was not given the tools he needed to win.

It is my opinion that the ownership of the Saints finally allowed the team to start winning. I believe, and I know a few of you have heard this before out of me, that drafting Reggie and signing Brees after hiring Payton was the sign we had all been hoping for...for over 40 years.

To be honest, I thought the hiring of Payton was just another sign of the franchise's desire to save money and didn't believe that it was a stroke of genius that it turned out to be. I wanted a big-name, proven winner...like Jimmy Johnson or something.

Whether he was lucky or smart I will never know, but I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he was smart...because, after all...look where he is today!

SmashMouth 09-17-2010 06:23 AM

Not sure the fans are complacent already as the post suggests ... Alex Brown had to cover his ears during the Viqueens game .... not buying it right now.

Rather, it might be the opposite and the Who Dat nation is going global. The Saints are now after all "The World's Team".

strato 09-17-2010 09:44 AM

Not to mention all the bandwagon accusing we have to take ..i have to defend my fanhood all the time...'So how long you been a Saints fan"..i laugh and show my tat..and that seems to break their spirit..lol


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