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SmashMouth 08-06-2012 03:30 PM

New Orleans Saints finally enjoy some good vibrations after ugly offseason
 
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Canton, Ohio - Most NFL teams would rather run gassers in the mid-day sun than play the NFL Hall of Fame Game. The league's annual exhibition kickoff event isn't high on most NFL teams' priority list. After all, who wants to travel to middle Ohio in early August to play an exhibition game on a hard field in a high school stadium?

http://media.nola.com/tpphotos/photo...6325-large.jpg
New Orleans Saints linebackers Nate Bussey (59) and Kadarron Anderson (46) wrap up Arizona running back Thomas Clayton (31) during the Hall of Fame game at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio on Sunday, August 5, 2012.
Yet, here were the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night, three hours before kickoff, bouncing around like a bunch of over-caffeinated teenagers on the Fawcett Stadium field. Not even the dreary Midwestern sky could dampen their sunny dispositions. You could see the joy through their face masks and catch the spirit in their bounding gaits.

No team on the planet was more ready for some football than these New Orleans Saints.

It didn't matter that the game was a meaningless exhibition against a non-descript opponent, the Arizona Cardinals. Or that Drew Brees and the offensive starters would spend less time on the field than the barbershop quartet that sang the national anthem.

Heck, it wouldn't have even mattered if the Saints had lost by seven touchdowns and looked like extras from "The Longest Yard."

This was football --- finally.

For the first time in seven months, the Saints blocked, tackled, punted, passed and kicked. For three-and-a-half joyous hours, they frolicked in the cocoon of competition free from bounty talk, contract negotiations or litigation.


MICHAEL DeMOCKER / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE
Arizona Cardinals running back Anthony Sherman (35) loses his helmet as New Orleans Saints kick returner Laron Scott (34) returns a second quarter kick off 67 yards during the Hall of Fame game at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio on Sunday, August 5, 2012.
History might one day record it as the most celebrated 17-10 exhibition victory in league history, a much-needed tonic for the ugliest offseason in club annals.

"Oh, man, I think everybody's kind of relieved to finally have everything be about football," safety Malcolm Jenkins said. "We're excited about the season. I know the fans are excited about this season. We've got a lot to look forward to."

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ScottF 08-06-2012 03:45 PM

The article makes a great point. The Saints needed this game so they could focus on football and football only, the earlier the better.

QBREES9 08-06-2012 04:18 PM

That was just the first step. We still have a long way to go.

The Dude 08-06-2012 04:47 PM

We still have over 20 games to go too.

homerj07 08-07-2012 05:06 PM

It was good to see the boys on the field

Rugby Saint II 08-07-2012 05:28 PM

FUGLY!!!

RailBoss 08-09-2012 07:59 AM

Some good some bad typical for the first outing.

QBREES9 08-09-2012 09:29 AM

Now up the New England Patriots.


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