What if this is the New Orleans Saints ‘Last Dance’
As ESPN chronicles the final run of the Chicago Bulls dynasty in the ’90s, could this be the end of the New Orleans Saints run as well?
While there is no question the Chicago Bulls were the team of the ’90s, the New Orleans Saints have had an impressive run themselves under head coach Sean Payton and Drew Brees. A
nd while the accolades don’t exactly measure up to the Bulls success, the Saints have gone from NFL cellar dwellers to NFL contenders under Payton’s watch.
The Saints are tied for second in the NFC with the most conference championship game appearances since 2006. Saints fans should appreciate this while it lasts because it may never look the same again.
New Orleans Saints fans have become a spoiled bunch. How quickly we forget the paper bags, the appropriate Aints moniker given, and the downright putrid play on the field the Saints exhibited.
Before coach Payton’s arrival, the team had only won one playoff game in its franchise’s history.
Since Payton’s arrival in 2006, he’s done nothing but win over 60% of his games, win eight postseason games, claim six division titles, and have eight ten or more win seasons, and claim the franchises only Super Bowl appearance and victory in Super Bowl XLIV.
Payton has proven to be a sort of Zen Master that former Bulls’ coach Phil Jackson was. Payton, like Jackson, knew how to push the right buttons to get optimum success out of a player.
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Couple that with Payton’s almost near-genius schemes week in and week out and Payton is definitely one of the best in the business. Saints fans need to appreciate these glory years of the franchise.
While Sean Payton very well may coach another 10 plus years with the team, one staple of the franchise will definitely not be in the same capacity at that time frame, and that’s future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees.
While Brees is the face of the franchise like MJ was for the Bulls, Brees did not have the same team success that Jordan did. The individual accolades and sheer importance to the city and franchise are neck and neck, however.
Name a quarterback record and chances are Brees either has it or its within his grasp.
To just highlight a few, Brees is currently the NFL all-time record holder in career touchdown passes, completions, yardage, completion percentage, and is the first player in NFL history to pass for 4,000 yards in 12 straight seasons.
Brees truly is “His Airness” when it comes to throwing the football. Brees is one of a kind and Saints fans should appreciate him while he still is putting the helmet and pads on every Sunday.
The Bulls never again reached the NBA finals following the years after Jordan, coach Phil Jackson, and the rest of the team that made them a dynasty departed following the end of the 1998 season.
While management truly was the villain in the Bulls case, the saying all good things must come to an end holds true is almost every circumstance.
Yes, it’s been hard to watch the New Orleans Saints exit the playoffs in excruciating fashion the past three years.
Even if the team never reaches the pinnacle they did in the 2009-2010 season, the team, city, and fans have so much to be proud of. We may never see another time like this in Saints’ history. If this is the “Last Dance”, let’s appreciate the ride we’ve had.