Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Vindication

I have been circumspect lately. There is a lot going on in my life and much of it has to do with external influences. One of those many influences over which I have no control has to do with the New Orleans Saints football team. The game that the Saints played last week against the reputedly-lowly Cleveland Browns turned out to be one of the worst ever played by a team in the Sean Payton era. At times it looked like the Keystone Follies with one thing after another happening to the Saints and the Browns prevailing in an unanticipated win. Drew Brees threw five interceptions in that one game and he had only thrown five in his previous six games. So, the mention of a "Superbowl Hangover" or a "curse" had been bandied about with greater frequency on TV sports shows and on talk radio. The winning 2009 season buoyed the hopes and dreams of the general populace. Conversely, this year's poor start (4-3) was almost untenable for those of us accustomed to winning games and by lopsided margins. There was a pall upon the city and tonight's game was a must-win for so many reasons, not the least of which was to get back the city's football mojo. Indeed, the Pittsburgh Steelers came prepared to put it to the Saints in their own home field, on Halloween night. The 6-3 halftime score showed how pitched the defensive battle was between the two teams and the gutsiest call was when Coach Sean Payton questioned whether a Pittsburgh Steeler had crossed the plane of the goal and actually scored a touchdown. After a challenge on the field, the referees determined the coach was right. He hadn't scored, but they put the ball on the six-inch line and gave Pittsburgh an opportunity to score again. Miraculously (maybe in was black and gold magic), the Steelers tried to cross the goal on three separate occasions, but were denied on each attempt, finally settling for a field goal. Drew Brees was impressive and his offensive line gave him multiple opportunities to find receivers downfield. In the end the score was 20-10 with the Saints on top. The Saints proved to the NFL they still have it and they proved to the city they still deserve all their support. I am beginning to feel the funk lift from my shoulders. Is it the Saints or some sort of voodoo that's now working? I can't truly say, but whatever it is, I like it.

No comments: