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All Saints Day

Dear New Orleans Saints Team,

Well you finally did it!!!  You finally brought the trophy home to live in the great city of New Orleans.  Now I’m not going to pretend that I have been on the Saints’ bandwagon from Day 1, but you are simply the Cinderella story of this season; and every girl loves to see that ‘Happily Ever After’.  You have overcome so much, you have given so many people hope, and who would have thought that one team and one season could do so much for one city.

I can remember years ago watching CNN as Anderson Cooper took viewers on a mini-tour of the underwater city.  If you didn’t know any better you would have thought it was a movie.  I watched men, women and children with no place to go; no place to call home. I saw thousands lie dead in the streets that once held such elaborate celebrations, parties and parades.  I watched people lose their family history, lose their belongings, lose their hope. Things in New Orleans today is not 100%, but Saints you make it a little easier to bear.  

Without sounding like a Lionel Richie song, thanks for the times that you have given the fans this season.  I call Atlanta home and on some occasions I root for the hometown Atlanta Falcons, so it was surely a tough pill to swallow watching our rivals make it to the big dance and actually pull it off.  But other than my Redskins and the Falcons, I was happy cheer you on last night.

To Sean Payton, you took chances on players and plays that many thought couldn’t handle it or couldn’t make it.  You brought in a quarterback that many thought was washed up and was playing his final years in the league.  You took $250,000 from your own salary to keep a defensive coordinator you knew would help you win.  You brought life back to a franchise that for so long was nicknamed the “Ain’ts”. You are you my Coach of the Year.

Drew Brees, you came to New Orleans only a four years ago and added life and compassion, and most importantly wins to this team.  When asked to talk about yourself in a post game interview, you turned the tables and humbly spoke of others.  “We play for so much more than ourselves. We played for our city. We played for the entire Gulf Coast region. We played for the entire Who Dat nation that has been behind us every step of the way.”  Drew you may not have gone undefeated by giving us a perfect season, but you have definitely given us a perfect ending.

To Reggie Bush, ok it’s official you have got to marry Kim Kardashian now, please.  I can’t go on hearing her whine about you any longer.  You stepped –up on the field during so many games, even when you received a number of off-season lucrative financial offers to leave New Orleans to play somewhere else, you turned them down.  Thanks for not turning your back on your team or community.

To Tight End, Jeremy Shockey, I remember when the Giants traded you to the Saints for a draft pick. I remember the anger, the frustration, the tension that you had with the Saints and the NFL, but you saw the bigger picture and turned it around.

To CB, Tracy Porter, who are you, really?  I really don’t know much about you other than what I read in the post game stats report.  But, I will say it was a beautiful sight to see hold your 1 year old daughter and tell her that you are living your dream. 

And finally to Saints Owner, Tom Benson, you did the right thing.  You keep the franchise in the city, you allowed coaches and personnel to rebuild the team with the city and community in mind, and most importantly despite your other misgivings you gave this team hope and motivation to be something bigger than just a football team.

Again, Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints as the winners of Super Bowl XLIV, you have cemented you place in the history books.  Hopefully, we’ll see you in Dallas, Texas next year and for sure in 2013 in New Orleans!

Your JGF,


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