Saints

Monday, January 4, 2016

Y@ Speak: Carnival cruise

Posted By on Mon, Jan 4, 2016 at 3:31 PM

Now that you're bloated and round from holiday glut, you can roll right into Carnival alongside the St. Charles streetcar, as children point and laugh and roll you around like a hoop pushed by a stick. You're the spirit of Mardi Gras. This week: welcoming 2016, released from the prison of the New Orleans Saints, and Trump does Mississippi.

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Saints have a chance to start 2016 right playing against the Atlanta Falcons

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2015 at 12:02 PM

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Jonathan Vilma and Drew Brees look on during the coin toss of a Saints/Falcons game in 2009.
CREATIVE COMMONS

Saints-Falcons games are never meaningless. 

Both teams have been eliminated from playoff competition, but, really, Sunday's contest is a playoff game all its own: it's a chance for the Saints to sweep the Falcons for the 14th time since 1967, bringing the all-time series record to 49-45 in favor of Atlanta; it's also a chance for the Falcons to avoid a sweep and establish, under head coach Dan Quinn, that the Saints will not extend the dominance they enjoyed over former coach Mike Smith.

Anyway, you know all that. The real chance we have here is to start the 2016 football calendar year off about as well as you can start off a football calendar year: by beating Atlanta. 

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A fond farewell to Jerry Romig, the "voice of the Saints" for 44 seasons

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Jerry Romig, the "voice of the Saints," who died Dec. 23.
  • Jerry Romig, the "voice of the Saints," who died Dec. 23.
New Orleans lost a great friend when Jerry Romig, the iconic “voice of the Saints” for 44 seasons, died at his home on Dec. 23 surrounded by his family. He was 86. Generations knew Jerry for his “First down … SAAAAAAINTS!” cry that was more a cheer than a play-by-play call. I had the privilege of knowing Jerry as a mentor and friend.


What I remember most about Jerry are his terrific sense of humor, his consummate professionalism, and his love of family and sports. He was one of the few people on earth who had both a Super Bowl ring (a gift from the Saints upon his retirement) and a genuine sense of humility.

I first met Jerry in the 1970s when his son Mark and I became fraternity brothers at UNO. Jerry and his wife Janice were everybody’s favorite parents; they tolerated more than a few of our raucous parties in their Lakeview backyard.

A few years later I got to know him better when I got involved in the local Gridiron Show. The show had fallen on hard times and needed a reboot. Jerry took the lead and was perfect for the job. He not only got the show running again, but he also brought a new level of professionalism to it. For years he opened the show with a Johnny Carson-like monologue that was consistently a hit. He also wrote many of the funniest scripts of that era.

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Y@ Speak: 12 tweets of Christmas

Posted By on Mon, Dec 28, 2015 at 3:16 PM

Twelve poison ice creams, 11 humid sweaters, 10 "goodbye" letters, nine Saints a-losing, eight pieces spicy,
seven thousand termites, six Chads a-Krewing, fiiiiiiiive Ronnielogues, four Confederates, three boil orders, two Jindal terms, and a Bronze Tom's wine and ice cream.

See you in 2016.

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NFL team with $33 million in dead money thinks Hall of Fame QB's contract caused lack of talent

Posted By on Mon, Dec 28, 2015 at 9:39 AM

Lord of the Sunday morning splash report Ian Rapoport kicked off the third day of Christmas with a gem about Drew Brees' contract. And to think just a few days ago in this space I wrote the Saints should resist the urge to go crazy over the coming off-season. Seems it's too late; the crazy is already there, running the team.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

New Orleans Saints should resist the urge to go crazy this off-season

Posted By on Tue, Dec 22, 2015 at 3:14 PM

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The CJ Spiller signing didn't work out. Let's not make that sort of mistake again.
Last night, the New Orleans Saints' offense started poorly but rallied and produced 27 points — but because it is paired with the Saints' defense, the result was only a quarter's worth of something resembling fun. Nothing new happened, in other words. In the end, the Saints were imperfect but good enough to win on offense and spectacularly bad on defense, so they lost.

Change the point total and you can use that summary for a lot of games this year, so let's move on.

NFL teams skew towards .500 in close games — games decided by a touchdown or less. Often, teams that fall below that mark one year improve dramatically the next. For example, the 2008 Saints went 3-6 in one-score games, but the 2009 ones went 5-2 in them, including the playoffs. 

The 2014 Saints went 3-5 in one-score games — 2-5 if you don't include the season finale win over Tampa Bay that looked suspiciously like a Bucs draft positioning conspiracy. So what happened this year? Why haven't the Saints improved?

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Y@ Speak: the end of sports and monuments

Posted By on Mon, Dec 21, 2015 at 12:38 PM

A bronze Tom Benson remains while a playoff-forbidden Saints soldier on and Confederate monuments do not. Drew Brees' biggest problem last week involved a Star Wars drone and Elf on the Shelf, while the city rallies around removing four controversial monuments, Royal Street is a restaurant-designated terror target, and, as per tradition, a mysteriously lonely Bunny Bread bunny signals the beginning of Christmas. 

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Friday, December 18, 2015

For the Saints, the grass probably isn't greener beyond Sean Payton after all

Posted By on Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 12:56 PM

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Keep the Jimmy Buffett fan after all.
TOM PUMPHRET/CREATIVE COMMONS

Football Outsiders, the pioneering advanced football statistics site that uses a mixture of math and arcane witchcraft to produce numbers no one understands, ranked the best and worst defenses since 1989. You shouldn't be surprised that the Saints are the worst one.

We already knew this, of course. What'll be interesting to see is whether the Saints improve on these numbers over the next few weeks. If linebacker Dannell Ellerbe stays healthy, maybe they will.

Improvement would give us reason to hope that maybe, despite what I've written in this space over the past couple months, Sean Payton can turn the franchise back around. More and more that seems like the best path, however he may work it out.

The problem with change in the current NFL is that almost every potential coach is a terribly depressing retread.

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Y@ Speak: statuesque

Posted By on Mon, Dec 14, 2015 at 1:21 PM

The future of four Confederate monuments will likely be determined this week. Last week, their supporters and opponents squared off at City Hall — and in this week's Y@ Speak. Also: Drake is Pierre the Pelican and Brandon Browner is Oscar the Grouch.

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Apparently linebacker Dannell Ellerbe is the key to everything for the Saints

Posted By on Mon, Dec 14, 2015 at 12:58 PM

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Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe has been an enigma since his days with the Baltimore Ravens.
WIKI CREATIVE COMMONS

So I sat down to watch the Saints play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers yesterday with the same level of interest I've devoted to most Saints games in 2015: It was something to do. Linebacker Danniell Ellerbe, who is almost always injured, was on the field for the first time in a while. The Saints' defense played pretty well. Eventually, the Saints won.

It was a pretty okay afternoon.

Did you realize the Saints are 4-1 this year in games Ellerbe has appeared in, and 1-7 in games he hasn't? Ellerbe, it turns out, might be the difference between sucking and not sucking. 

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