Monday, October 26, 2009

The Saints are for real

Something has happened to our New Orleans Saints. Under the helm of Sean Payton's leadership, the play of the upstart NFL performers has gone from good or lackluster to great and formidable. Despite a laughable franchise history from its inception in 1967, the Saints fans have been characterized as being rabid beyond all expectations. They did have a couple of good years including that run at the NFC Championship two years ago - a juggernaut that froze on Soldier's Field at the hands of the Chicago Bears. After impressive wins in their first five games this season the Saints never trailed to any team. Until yesterday. That was when the uppity Miami Dolphins, rested after a bye week in which they were able to prepare for their contest, piled on the points and dazzled the boys in gold with a 24-3 first quarter shellacking. When the half ended, the Drew Brees-led offense had closed the gap, trailing 24-10 after a controversial decision by Miami coach Sorano led to a one-yard Saints touchdown run instead of a sure field goal with five seconds left on the clock and no time outs. To a lesser team the numbers might have been daunting. The Saints returned to the field with purpose and posted two additional touchdowns in the third quarter, but Miami answered with another 10 points, leading 34-14 at the end of the third quarter. A lesser team would have been derailed, but the Saints defense held firm and their offense exploded. Miami watched in disbelief as the Saints added another 22 unanswerd points on the scoreboard that lifted the team to an unbelievable 46-34 comeback victory. It was quite simply the most inspired comeback in Saints history, snatching victory from the hands of defeat and keeping their record unblemished. The team next takes on arch-rivals Atlanta a week from tonight in the Superdome wtih coverage on ESPN.
In the meantime, the New York Yankees head to the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies after their 40th American League pennant was captured yesterday with a win over the Califorina Angels. While this may not make any Boston Red Sox fans happy, it does lift my spirits and along with the Saints win makes me quite happy as we head toward the annual classic. Does anybody else think this baseball season has been stretched out a bit too far? It won't be long before we're talking about a player being "Mr. November."

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