Sep 8, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; The New Orleans Saints players celebrate with defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and head coach Sean Payton following a fourth down interception against the Atlanta Falcons during a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Falcons 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Yesterday officially made nine weeks until the return of New Orleans Saints football. To think that we’re now just 62 days away from seeing our boys return on Sundays brings on feelings of excitement. In honor of this mark, we’ll look at nine reasons why Who Dat Nation is ready for Saints football to return.
9. Social Media Frenzy
Whether you Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Vine, there’s limitless opportunities to keep up with the New Orleans Saints organization. You get to join hundreds of thousands (dare I say millions?) of crazed Who Dat’s to root for ‘Our Boys’ on Game Day. We also get to band together and get in some great trash talk, mainly about the Falcons. Oh, and let’s not forget how many ‘heart attacks’ we have when we watch the Saints play, especially in the final few minutes.
8. Facing former foes
Lance Moore, Roman Harper, Brian de la Puente, Jed Collins, Tom Johnson, and Reggie Bush are just some of the former players the Saints will face this season. It’s not that we wish ill feelings on any of these players, but you know as well as I do that these will be storylines to flourish when the Saints play these players’ new team. We’ll also check in on the Philadelphia Eagles this season from time to time to see how Darren Sproles and Malcolm Jenkins fare.
7. Get your week(end) back to normal
When Saints football is coming on, it’s like you don’t have to plan the day out. You already have a rough idea of what’s going to happen. You’ll cook, barbecue, tailgate, go to your favorite sports bar/restaurant, and do whatever else is on your Saints game day routine. For at least seventeen weeks out of the year, we have our Sundays planned for football.
6. Rob Ryan’s defense
We were already anticipating what the second season will bring under defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. With the new additions of safety Jairus Byrd and cornerback Champ Bailey, it makes us salivate with the potential this season’s defense has. Not having veterans Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Malcolm Jenkins, Will Herring, and Jabari Greer will be a slight change, but the future of the defense looks extremely promising. Speaking of defense, we’re ready for turnovers!
5. Drew Brees touchdowns, or just touchdowns
It’s another year for Drew Brees and the Saints. Did you know that Brees has thrown for 30+ touchdowns in each season since 2008? We love touchdowns, especially in New Orleans. There’s nothing like a touchdown celebration in the Superdome like hearing ‘When the Saints Go Marching In‘ by Fats Domino. Then, you follow that up with ‘Half Time‘ by the Ying Yang Twins (not Stand Up & Get Crunk folks). It’s a tradition that is as synonymous as eating peanut butter with grape jelly.
4. The Rookie Class / Youth Movement
Who will emerge as that player we see in preseason that will ‘wow‘ us on game day? We have Brandin Cooks and Stanley Jean-Baptiste headlining the rookie class, while we eagerly await what second-year stars Kenny Stills, Kenny Vaccaro, Khiry Robinson, and Terron Armstead (to name a few) will bring to the table. The team has a ton of youthful talent, and should only get better as the years go by.
3. Popeye’s Chicken
If you live in Louisiana, it’s not like you need an excuse to buy Popeye’s Chicken. However, it’s simply heralded as a tradition.
2. Jimmy Graham Dunks
Penalty or not, Graham will be dunking plenty this season. I’ll be more interested to see if Roger Goodell tries to implement suspension from being a repeat offender. The rule is stupid, and of all of the things the NFL could have fixed this offseason, they chose something that has been around for decades.
1. To Play and Beat the Falcons In Week 1
Falcons Hate Week is in full effect, and has been for quite some time. Depending on what source of craziness you choose to listen to, the Falcons are power ranked all over the board heading into 2014. They were ranked as high as #10 by CBS. I’ve talked about it before, but I don’t buy it. I’m just ready to embarrass the Falcons in Week 1, and you should be too.
What else excites you about Saints football returning? Let us know below!