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Louisiana football: Saints and LSU surging at the same time after long wait

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NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: Patrons wait outside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome before the Mississippi Rebels take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: Patrons wait outside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome before the Mississippi Rebels take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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With rough starts to both seasons, the New Orleans Saints and the LSU Tigers have truly tested our patience. But after three straight weekends of wins, they have given Louisiana football fans hope.

If you’re from Louisiana, you know this feeling. In fact you’re almost familiar with it now. For three straight weekends both the Saints and LSU have won their games. You are now able to walk into work, class, the barber shop, you name it, with your head held high. You’re proud to be a fan of both teams and with each passing week become more excited for the next weekend.

But it hasn’t always been this fun being a Louisiana football fan. Earlier this year, the Saints seemed to be a team that was going to finish below .500 and LSU had losses to Mississippi State and Troy.

People around Louisiana thought in order to watch a competitive team they were going to have to turn to the New Orleans Baby Cakes for crying out loud. Just kidding. It wasn’t that bad, but the teams certainly tested our patience. 

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Tough Times

On Oct. 1, the Saints beat the Dolphins in London to bring their record to 2-2. But morale was still low in “The Boot” as the Tigers had just suffered an embarrassing loss to Troy in their homecoming game.

The Saints had been dominated the first two games of the season. The two losses overshadowed the recent wins at the time. So bad in fact that it had made it seem as if the other team had beaten themselves and the Saints had gotten lucky. People had started to give up hope. Including myself, as I had written about trades to move Sean Peyton and couldn’t even bear to turn on the TV on Saturdays. It was a dark time for Louisianans.

The Promise

But press conferences were held. Fans were reassured that things would turn around. And the teams held themselves to a brighter tomorrow. From that point on, both teams began to take steps forward, while being sure to never look back.

Today, the Saints are 4-2 and sit at the top of the NFC South. The Tigers are now 6-2 and are third in the SEC West and 23nd in the AP Poll as of today. 

Looking Forward

The Saints face the Bears this Sunday in NFL Week 8. Chicago is fresh off a win over the Panthers. With 2 defensive touchdowns and a new face at quarterback, this 3-4 team will be no cupcake game. Then after that, the Saints will have a tough division battle against the Buccaneers.

As for the Tigers, they are on a bye this week. They will rest up for their tough divisional battle next week. LSU against Alabama. The game every LSU fan looks forward to every year since Saban left. The Tigers will have a unique opportunity in that game to take first place in the SEC West if they can pull off the upset. 

Dreaming

Imagine if the Tigers took first place in the West, and went on to the SEC Championship to face Georgia. That would make for an interesting bowl selection day. And what if the Saints took the NFC South and became a playoff contender yet again>?

Now I know all of this is probably too much for now, but boy it’s fun to dream. Louisiana deserves to have contending football teams again. It has been too long since we’ve seen postseason contention and what better time to start? Especially when everyone else counted us out.

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The last time LSU won a national championship, they had two losses against unranked teams. Who is to say they can’t do it again? Oh, and what is to make of the Who Dat Nation? Well, 2009 started off undefeated but finished with 3 losses. That leaves us with one loss to spare so far!

Obviously, that is all very optimistic, but it all stems from these teams giving us something to root for again. They didn’t quit when it seemed easy. I am not sure exactly how the teams will end up, but one thing is for certain. There is life back in the state of Louisiana. So go ahead, hold your head high. Smack talk your coworker, buddy, or Uber driver. Because these teams have given us something to be prideful in again. 

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