Last year, after a sort of recovery from my Katrina and federal flood related post-traumatic stress, I began to watch the Saints again. The year before, with them on the road every week (and with Aaron Brooks at QB), I couldn't bear to watch.
I went to the game at the Meadowlands against the Giants courtesy of one of my great friends up here, and I remember watching a Green Bay game one Monday night at a local club. (The bartender and I were the only two people in the place, and he fed me beer until I was cross-eyed. We talked about New Orleans, what I had been through, what my mom was going through, all my friends, etc. [He has since taken a new, non-adult beverage related job, and I really don't go there any more because of that.])
I didn't go to the local sports bar to watch in 2005. I was dealing with my own demons, and we were newlyweds. I felt that I had a duty to try to be here for my wife who didn't need me to be here. It was I who needed her to be here for me. Weird how that all works out.
Last year, I decided that I was going to watch the Saints again. I was going to the sports bar on Sundays again. Listening to the games on Sirius was just not going to be enough. I had to see it. I had to see the new offense of Sean Payton, the dynamic play of Reggie Bush, and the great decision making of Drew Brees for myself. I figured a first year coach would make a few boneheaded mistakes that would cost us some games or that the players would not live up to their potential.
But it didn't happen. I found a second Saints fan here in Easton. Almost every Sunday, we met and drank and talked and watched the Saints. And the Saints won. And won. And beat the shit out of Atlanta on Monday Night Football in the Superdome. I cried, and I yelled, and I cheered. This was not the Saints of my youth. This was the Saints that we were supposed to have in the late 80s and 90s and early 2000s. This team was for real. And they kept winning.
Now, this year, with the the NFL Man of the Year and Mr. Marketability, the Saints are starting the entire season on Thursday night against last year's SuperBowl Champions.
This year my sports bar closed. (Sort of, they are now some swanky martini bar. Before it was a total dive/hobo bar. Suited me perfectly. It was called Drinky Drinkersons for chrissakes.) So now I have to find a new place to watch the season unfold. My Saints buddy has done some scouting, and it looks like we are going to have to go a block or so over. The location is not so much a problem as is the fact that they only have 2 or 3 TVs in there. Looks like I am going to have to get there early and demand that they take the Giants/Jets/Eagles off and put on the damn Saints game.
I believe. I have faith. And I have Reggie, Drew, Marques, Deuce, Terance, Devery, John, Robert, Pierre, Scott, Will, Eric, and the rest of the incredible athletes that play professional football in New Orleans to get my back. Could this be the year we go all the way? Could this be history in the making?
I don't know. We will see how things work out. It's almost weird to have the expectation of greatness thrust upon my favorite team. I like this feeling a little too much, and I hope that it continues.
But the best part of all this is that I can again end every post like this:
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