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Sportscaster Jim Henderson gives an exclusive play-by-play on 30-plus years of covering Saints

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Sportscaster Jim Henderson gives an exclusive play-by-play on 30-plus years of covering Saints football, flying pigs and life on the North Shore It’s not every day that you see pigs fly. In his three decades of calling Saints games, no ...

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Old 12-02-2010, 11:59 AM   #1
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Sportscaster Jim Henderson gives an exclusive play-by-play on 30-plus years of covering Saints football, flying pigs and life on the North Shore



It’s not every day that you see pigs fly. In his three decades of calling Saints games, no one knows that better than Jim Henderson.
“I’d often thought of what I’d say if the Saints ever won the Super Bowl. I’d seen a sign in the Superdome once saying, ‘Pigs fly. Hell freezes.’ So I said if the Saints ever win the Super Bowl, that’s what I’d say.”

But when Garrett Hartley’s 40-yard kick soared straight through the uprights in the final seconds of the NFC Championship game against the Minnesota Vikings, Henderson impulsively seized the moment.
“The moment was so great, so climactic when Hartley kicked the winning field goal, I thought, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t press my luck.’”

In the weeks and months that followed, ESPN and countless other broadcasts would replay the clip: “Pigs have flown! Hell has frozen over! The Saints are on their way to the Super Bowl!”
Henderson defines Hartley’s winning field goal as the most exciting moment of the historic 2009 Saints season.

“It’s amazing what being a part of that moment has done. To have your voice associated with a moment that’s going to live forever among Saints fans is really special,” he says.

But even more, last season was the pinnacle of Henderson’s 30-plus year career of covering Saints football for WWL TV and radio. He’s witnessed it all: The losing seasons. The Bagheads. The first playoff game.
The way Hurricane Katrina almost sent the team packing. And then how a new coach and players breathed new life into a battered city and its football franchise.
“It’s been a tremendous whirlwind,” Henderson says. “It’s been extremely exciting, sometimes exhausting. But for the most part, it’s the most incredible thing I’ve been a part of in the almost 40 years I’ve been in this business.”
‘Best move’
Even in the age of 60-inch high-definition plasma screens with Dolby Surround Sound, there’s a tradition that prevails in the Who Dat Nation: Mute the TV, and turn up Jim Henderson on the radio.
Henderson is as much a fixture of New Orleans and Saints football as the fleur de lis and the Superdome.





Who Dat Hero
Henderson’s ability to capture a moment through excitement, volume and humor has made him a broadcast legend among Saints fans, players and team officials.
That includes Saints owner and executive vice president Rita Benson LeBlanc, who has known Henderson since her first Saints training camp in the 1990s.
“Jim has the unique distinction of being that voice - that radio call that puts you in the moment and allows you to relive some of the greatest moments in Saints history,” LeBlanc says.
In recent years, Henderson has shared the booth with former Saints running back Hokie Gajan, a resident of Mandeville who has been a friend of his since Gajan’s days as a player in the 1980s.
From hearing Henderson’s calls as a player to working alongside him in the booth, Gajan says he has always respected Henderson for his straightforward commentary.
“He’s always fair and honest, and that to me is what makes him the professional that he is. He tells the truth, but he doesn’t do it in a degrading fashion,” Gajan says.
Starting in February, Henderson will have one more year on his two-year contract with WWL. The station has told him they would like him to come back.
» Sportscaster Jim Henderson gives an exclusive play-by-play on 30-plus years of covering Saints football, flying pigs and life on the North Shore

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Old 12-02-2010, 12:14 PM   #2
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:22 PM   #3
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Love Jim. He may be a little nerdy with some of his comments but he's a great announcer. He calls the game and leaves the rhetoric to someone else. The pigs and hell comment though; perfect.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:41 PM   #4
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As a child, and on through my adult years and even to this day, my dad and I have hunted in North Louisiana. Sundays are usually our travel day back home. We always would try to be in front of the TV for the Saints, but as an avid outdoorsman, that's not always easy.

So my memories of Jim Henderson calling the Saints game go as far back as any memory I have. I can remember laying in the back of my dad's old Bronco, listening to the Saints (and praying to God my dad didn't have a heart-attack over the game).

I love Jim Henderson. And, when I can't watch my Saints, listening to him on the radio is just about as good as the real thing.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:50 PM   #5
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Gotta love Jim Henderson, hes a great Announcer and the part where it says "he is fair and always tells the truth" is right on the money. Henderson gives other team their do's if they make a play, he just flat out makes amazing calls and screams when we make a big play which gets me fired up.
The two i will never ever forget -

"Pigs have flown, hell has frozen over, the saints are on their way to the superbowl"

"ITS PICKED OFF!! ITS PICKED OFF!!! ITS TRACY PORTER AGAIN, HES RUNNING FREE, HES GUNNA GO ALL THE WAY!!!"

I never get tired of hearing that commentary and it gives me goosebumps every single time i hear them!! Everyone loves you jim!!

"Ryan......INTERCEPTED....going back the other way with Jabari Greer......TOUCHDOWN....KILLER TOUCHDOWN for the saints!!!"
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:18 PM   #6
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So, I watched these...and started crying like a baby...again. I will NEVER get tired of these, and Henderson's calls are perfect.



...and lets not forget this one either...

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Old 12-02-2010, 01:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by saintfan View Post
So, I watched these...and started crying like a baby...again. I will NEVER get tired of these, and Henderson's calls are perfect.

YouTube - Best call ever

Did you really have to do this to me again? i just watched it 5 times in a row again and once again got overwhelmed. So glad Henderson is ours.. i haven't heard many other local commentators for other franchises that are as passionate and can commentate on his level.. many cities tried to steal him away from us.
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:46 PM   #8
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Don't forget "Hakeem drops the Ball"!!

I wish I could pick up the broadcasts here in Houston. I had to purchase the Field Pass to listen to their bradcasts of the game when it wasn't on T.V.

Listening to it really put me into the game and he didn't miss a thing. Plus the sideline reports were pretty good too. I might go back to Field Pass next year.
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Old 12-02-2010, 03:39 PM   #9
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I get goosebumps everytime I watch these clips. Just great stuff!
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:20 PM   #10
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Hakim drops the ball... man, I was there... that was the most electricity I've ever felt in my life, anywhere.

Jim used to be an English teacher. The funniest thing I've ever heard him say was something to the effect of "His eyes lit up like the multi-colored strands on the Gajan family Christmas tree". Hilarious.

I also love that WWL will intersperse Jim or Bobby with filthy gangster rap outros. Only in New Orleans.
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