The purpose of this blog is to talk about the New Orleans Saints, the NFL, and fantasy football. I'll still talk about those topics on occasion on CrabAppleLane Blog but this blog will be devoted to it.
First, an introduction and a little of my Saints history.
My love for the Saints began when the franchise was awarded to the City of New Orleans on November 1, 1966 ... aka All Saints Day. I was at the first game in 1967 at Tulane Stadium with my dad. They played the Los Angeles Rams who had Roman Gabriel on offense and the fearsome foursome on defense. We saw John Gilliam run back the opening kickoff for a touchdown that day. It was so wide open that I've heard people say it was fixed. I don't believe that. That game ended in a loss. It was the first of way too many.
Dad and I had seasons tickets for the Saints at Tulane Stadium from 1968 to1974, South Endzone. We saw a lot of the greats. They all played for the other team. :) Johnny Unitas, Gale Sayers, Sam Huff, and Roger Staubach to name just a few. The Saints moved into the brand new Louisiana SuperDome in 1975. I was tired of going to the games by then and Dad didn't like the seat assignment he got in the transition from Tulane Stadium to the SuperDome (He was a little tired of going to the games, too) so he gave his tickets up.
I got married in 1981. I got seasons tickets again in 1982, this time for my wife, Patsy, and I, first in the terrace and then later in the club. Patsy stopped going to every game soon and stopped going altogether by 1990. I kept the tickets through the 1999 season, though. In 2000, the last of the Mike Ditka years, I was hit with a 40% price increase on those tickets. I was totally dissatisfied with the direction the team was taking under Mike Ditka, it was getting harder and harder to find anyone willing to spend a day at a Saints game and, coming on the heels of back-to-back 6-10 seasons, I decided I had other things I could be doing with my limited disposable income. I did not renew and, naturally, they finally turned things around. First, under Jim Haslett, and then, spectacularly under Sean Payton. I firmly believe that would not have happened while I was still going. I take some credit for my sacrifice. :)
It took 20 years for the Saints to post a winning season. I had seasons tickets the year (1987) they finally did. They won 9 games in a row to close out the season and earn their first ever playoff appearance. I was there for that, too. Naturally, it ended in disaster as Wade Wilson and the Vikings pummeled them, 44-10, and that was after the Saints took a 7-0 lead. Many, many years of up and down seasons followed, but no championships. Then, Hurricane Katrina.
Hurricane Katrina was a life-changing event. Ask anyone who survived and rebuilt. Louisiana and the Saints were also on the ropes with each other. The damage the SuperDome endured is well-documented and provided owner Tom Benson with cover to either move the team or extract a better deal with the State of Louisiana. At least, that's how I saw it at the time. I now give Mr Benson a pass for his erratic behavior in that aftermath. Mine was erratic, too. I blame it on Katrina and I close the book on that.
Saints fans are a hardy lot. We've endured a lot of heartache and I'll delve into that some later but not now because the tide turned a few years ago when owner Tom Benson let GM Randy Mueller go and promoted Mickey Loomis. At the time, no one knew that Loomis would blossom into one of the NFL's best GMs. Mickey brought Sean Payton in and the two of them brought in Drew Brees, who is currently the best free agent signing in NFL history. Loomis, Payton, and Brees changed everything here.
Welcome to the CrabAppleLane Saints Blog. Hope it's worth your time. Suggestions are welcome.