Who Dat...dat don't like dem New Orleans Saints fans?

I read a lot of Saints, NFC South, and general NFL blogs. I do this because I love football, I love the Saints, and I enjoy engaging other like minded people in conversation…with some occasional trash talking.

Lately, though, most of those conversations have degraded to mindless drivel. No one wants to talk football anymore.

On one side, you have people choosing to focus on what they believe is the education level of people from the state of Louisiana, the Saint’s new wealth of fans (from all over the world, no less), and how God somehow thought that a Superbowl win would be a suitable break-even for Hurricane Katrina. And on the other, you have some overzealous Saints fans who feel that our team is infallible, even with me in at running back.

The truth is folks, nobody’s used to the recent string of success the Saints have been experiencing…fans and non-fans alike. And as responsible adults, what do we do when faced with something we’re not used to? Resort to name-calling!

In an attempt to add civility to the conversation, I’ll try to explain the current state of the New Orleans Saints. Hopefully it’ll explain why there are some extreme acts of fandom by Saints fans, and also give logical reasons for others to not like the team…and not this other nonsensical crap that they come up with.

Those of us fans who’ve been around for a while knew that empty feeling from last Saturday all too well, the gut turning realization that this season was ending prematurely. It’s happened before, after all. Remember the 2002 season?

When going into Week 15, the Saints only needed to win 1 of the last 3 games to get into the playoffs? And proceeded to lay gold bricks against the Vikings, Bengals, and Panthers? Yeah. We were pretty good that year too, beating the Bucs twice before they went on to win the Super Bowl.

The difference now, though, is when we look forward to next year, its not with cautious optimism. We know our team has a solid core that is capable of competing with the best of the NFL.

Everybody else knows it too, they just can’t understand why they know it. Its like when you watch someone bouncing a basketball on the other side of the gym, and you hear the bounce way after you’ve seen the ball hit the court. You know that light travels faster than sound, but try explaining the specifics to yourself. See, confusing right?

Since the Division realignment in 2002, New Orleans has the best overall record of all NFC South teams (77-67), slightly edging the Falcons (77-66-1) because no professional game should ever end in a tie (my biased opinion, I am aware of that).

After the debacle of the 2005 season (no need in rehashing it here, we all know what happened that year), the Saints have gone to two NFC Championship games, one Super Bowl, and are the only team in the division so far to appear in the Playoffs in consecutive seasons (2009, 2010).

So for you outsiders: NO, we are no longer the Aint’s. But if that’s how you want to refer to the team, fine. Just realize your team is probably not doing a better job, so what does that make them? And for Saints fans: Yeah, its gonna take some getting used to, but Drew really isn’t Superman (bummer, I know) and we should start displaying some realistic expectations of the team. That way, we don’t come off as being new to this “winning” stuff. Honestly, even after a loss, who has a better time than us anyway?

P.S. “Who Dat” has been a part of this franchise’s identity for a VERY long time, even when the answer was “Everybody.” Its not going anywhere any time soon. Don’t like it? Think it’s annoying? Good, just how we like it! Now get over yourselves and find a slogan of your own.

Check out Keith Null’s weekly article about the Saints on NFL.com by clicking here.

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  • http://www.thedailyhattrick.info Ech

    All of the wise crackers from the outside can talk all day. Football is played on the field and as long as the saints do their talking there, it doesn’t matter what people say.

    • Ade Herbert

      True, I just needed to get some things off my chest.

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  • http://www.moooseandspy.bandcamp.com Anthony “M. Harris” Daniels aka Superdome Beerman

    This is a nice accessment man. Yeah this is all new, like out of towners coming to the French Quarter for the first time, especially during Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest. It all takes a little getting used to. I know cause I moved to New Orleans to attend UNO at 18. Now NOLA is 2nd nature 2 me, and that’s what we want the rest of American Football fans (Saints fans and others alike) to feel about the 2nd most personal team in the NFL (I still give it to the Packers cause the citizens of the city own them!)

    • Ade Herbert

      Amen, brother! Amen.

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  • Linda Anderson

    As a Saint’s fan, through all the good and bad seasons, I have to say this was very well-written and I really enjoyed reading it!

    Last years fortune was not only enjoyed by the people of the city of New Orleans, but a whole state rejoiced and reveled in the good feelings brought about by our boys in black and gold. That feeling has carried over to this season also. Although we didn’t make it to the “big one” this year, we still had a remarkable season and I, for one, still love the Saints. I loved them when they were the “aints” also and will continue to be a die-hard fan.

    We have some of the most civic-minded, classy players and coaches that I would put up against any sports team in any state.

    Continue the great work (on and off the field) team and we will forevermore be your “WHO DAT NATION”!

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  • http://www.hero-farm.com Shaun

    Excellent article. Many things I’ve been thinking and saying. Good job on voicing it all.

    • Ade Herbert

      Most appreciated! I’m sure many of us feel this way.