What could have been, and what many thought should have been, the greatest time ever to be a Saints and Tigers fan turned out to be anything but great. Since January 9th 2012 things have not been so peachy down here in Louisiana.
LSU was undefeated and #1 in the country basically hosting the BCS National title game in the very same Superdome that they had won their last two national titles. The New Orleans Saints were fresh off a blowout win over the Detroit Lions and a rare road favorite against San Francisco in the NFC Divisional Round of the 2012 Playoffs.
Monday January 9th things began to go downhill for both the Tigers and the Saints. LSU was embarrassed in a 21-0 “taking to the woodshed” that was all Roll Tide in the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
That win for the Tide to this day stings like none other in the history of LSU Football. And then, just when we thought that the Black and Gold were going to make us feel a little better about ourselves, here come the 49ers.
After turning the ball over five times, our beloved Black and Gold took a late lead over San Francisco, only to have gigantic holes punched in our hearts less than ninety seconds later as Vernon Davis hauled in a TD pass to give Frisco a 36-32 win over New Orleans, ending the Saints’ history making season.
Then the Saints loss only felt worse as on the very next day, January 15th, as the New York Giants went into Green Bay and knocked off the Packers, which would have given the Saints the right to host the NFC Title Game on January 22nd.
And speaking of January 22nd, that would be the day that the team that the Saints dismantled earlier in the season (NY Giants) beat San Francisco to advance to the Super Bowl to take on the AFC Champ New England Patriots.
Then two weeks later even more upsetting news would come toward the Tigers and Saints. As we sat on Radio Row in Indianapolis prior during Super Bowl Week, the first Wednesday of February was National Signing Day. We (Bobby and I) were way up in Indianapolis when we got word that Coach Les Miles called out a young man for not signing with the LSU Football Team. Miles questioned the “chest” of one of the nation’s top recruits in QB Gunner Keel. Aside from the national media talking about the future of Peyton Manning and the battle between the Pats and G-Men, the other hot topic was Miles, and the talk was not very positive towards Miles and LSU.
Then on that Sunday (February 5th) the underdog Giants beat the Patriots to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy which many, including myself, felt like should have been in the hands of the New Orleans Saints and not the New York Giants.
OK, so after we all seemingly got over that bad whirlwind of disappointing news we then pointed towards the month of March in which we were hoping to get the great news of a new long-term contract with the greatest Saint ever, we got the complete opposite.
Where were you on the weekend of March 3rd? I was at home getting ready to go to the dentist when K-Dog (Kristian Garic) called me. When I saw K-Dog’s number pop up on my phone I was kind of excited, because that weekend was the deadline to get the deal done with Drew before the Saints had the option of placing the Franchise Tag on Drew. Thinking that K-dog was going to give me the details of Drew’s new deal, I found myself moments later cancelling my dentist appointment as the news that Kristian dropped on me was sort of like a bomb!
Kristian told me of news he had learned was that of an investigation by the NFL into the Saints and what was dubbed a “bounty” system that had been in place for years under former Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams.
I was like, “What the hell is this all about?” Then, less than 24 hours later the hopes of a hearing that the Saint and Brees had come to terms before the deadline went flat as the Saints had announced that they had place the dreaded franchise tag on Drew, leaving Saints fans in total disarray that weekend.
I mean, a “bounty” system and no new Drew contract in the same span of hours is an awful lot for any fan base to have to deal with, much less the world famous Who Dat Nation! But the Who Dat Nation was still in store for more disappointing news.
With now the world watching to see what the most powerful man in sports would do to the Saints and their higher-ups, the mighty Roger Goddell would simply lay the smack down on the Saints.
On March 21st the commissioner let us know that he gave Sean Payton a lot of time off, while GM Mickey Loomis and Assistant Head Coach Joe Vitt were given much shorter vacations. Saints Fans were hoping maybe Williams’ suspension would have began back on January 14th when he allowed his defense to get beat deep against the 49ers costing the Black and Gold a shot at another World Title!
Then on March 30th Coach Payton, Coach Vitt and Mickey Loomis, all made appeals in front of Roger only to have all three of their appeals denied on April 9th. Then the Saints had to wait all the way until May 2nd to learn that two former Saints, along with current players Will Smith and Jonathan Vilma, were given their suspensions that have since been appealed as well.
But all has not been bad news. The Saints had a very good off season in the form of signing OG Ben Grubbs, LB’s David Hawthrone and Curtis Lofton along with Defensive Linemen Brodrick Bunkley and Remi Ayodele.
Mr. Tom Benson added some more good news when it was announced that he was not only “in” but he bought the Hornets. Once the news of Mr. Benson buying the Hornets hit the airwaves a sense of excitement about the Hornets was felt around the area. That excitement has only grown with the Hornets’ future looking brighter in the Big Easy, and that brightness could get even brighter on May 30th when the NBA Draft Lottery is announced for the 2012 NBA Draft.
Plus, the LSU Tigers basketball program has one of their own now leading the way with former Tiger, and now Head Coach, Johnny Jones. The Tigers baseball team looks to be in position to host a regional and super regional this post-season. And, the Tigers fan base is excited about the upcoming football season with new QB Zach Mettenberger under center.
And as far as the Saints, the news that we are all hoping that comes to light very soon is that of a new long term deal for our beloved #9, Drew Brees. So to say that this has been an unusual, very busy and sometimes disturbing off season would be an understatement.
SO WHEN ARE WE SIGNING BREES??? ITS PRETTY IMPORTANT!!!!
Okay, give me the contact info to Mr Benson and Mr Loomis!!! We are going mano a mano here!!!! We got the money to buy a basketball team but not enough to sign the best QB and most loyal and upright guy in football and beyond!!! Come on now!!!! Is Mr Benson ready to sell the Saints franchise again!?!?!? Cause it isn't worth much right now with no Drew!!! Just sayin'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If u want the saints to sign Brees then stop buying tickets until they do..... Organize a boycott against the saints for they stupidity toward Brees...
Brees contract with M. Lomiss
Its hard to make a contract with a dishonest management.Loomis lied to Mr. Benson,the NFL, and to his coaches. Why hold Loomis is high esteme? Brees is the untimante contrast to Saints Management.
Open letter to Mickey Loomis and Tom Benson:
Open letter to Mickey Loomis and Tom Benson: Loyal Saints fans have filled the Dome since its inception. Sure, for some games, the last 300 tickets sold were usually last minute during the lean years, but the house was always packed no matter what. It did not matter who was in the uniforms, we cheered for them, anyway. Even when fans were protesting ownership and management by wearing bags, we, the Saints fans, still came. Mr. Benson, the concept, from days long gone by of you making money, and not caring what product you put on the field are a distant memory to all Saints fans. When it is time for Drew Brees to retire and the team has to transition into rebuilding, we, the Saints fans can accept that kind of transition. We, the Saints fans, want you to sign Drew Brews, now. And yes, Mr. Loomis, he is bigger than the team, the Saints organization, the owner, and of course, you, sir. Do not under estimate the level of the fans' patience. For a lot of the Saints' Nation, we follow Mr. Brees. If it is true, that you, did not inform the players and coaches about bounty warnings, then you, sir, should be grateful, you are still employed. Now, sign Drew, now. The pitch forks and torches are waiting in the wings to run you right out of town.