NationalLampoonsChristmasVacationPosterDidn’t they make a movie about this? Giddy tourists leave their comfortable home to vacation in an exotic clime that promises fun, frolic and great excitement? Did you get a flashback of "National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation" while watching the Saints venture off from the security of the Superdome Sunday for a disastrous road trip to St. Louis? Like the Griswolds, the Saints suffered every indignity imaginable as they gift-wrapped turnovers, missed field goals and made the Rams defense feel like it was Christmas morning.

Payton2 What a difference a week makes! Last week, the Southeastern Conference’s birthright to the BCS Title game was revoked, the Saints had suddenly gone from darling to doofus and my beloved Bosox lost All-Star Jacoby Ellsbury to the hated Yankees. But six days later, the clouds have cleared away. The earth is once again spinning on its proper axis. And Christmas is just two weeks away!


Things became a little more difficult for our local heroes after NFL games Sunday.

paytonFootball is not conducive to the subject of perfect games. Although your team might win, you still have fumbles and penalties and passes the quarterback wishes he hadn’t thrown. But the Saints’ 49-17 walkover of the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night has to rank as a performance that flirted with perfection.
It was Don Larsen in the 1956 World Series. (I refuse on moral grounds to bring up Christian Laettner’s 10-for-10 field goals and 10-for-10 free throws in the 1992 NCAA regional final.)

payton2blueWhen Payton goes conservative, the Saints lose

payton2blueIf somebody had told me Saturday night the Saints defense would pull Sean Payton’s acorns out of the fire for an unlikely victory the next day, I would have scoffed. No, I would have done more than scoff. I would have continued dining on the Trout Payton at Impastato’s in Metairie and might even have ordered a side of the Veal Payton.

payton2blueThe one thing that has jumped out to me so far in this Saints offseason has been the number of serious injuries. Even before training camp opened, the team lost prized free agent linebacker Victor Butler for the season.

brees-pack-brightThis might come as a shock to Who Dat Nation, but football season officially began Sunday.

Jim-FinksJim Finks has been given his just due for escorting the New Orleans Saints franchise from the outhouse to the NFL penthouse.


When I was a candidate for athletic director at the University of New Orleans in the fall of 2002, I knew nothing about running a college athletics department. I was a journalist my first eleven years out of college and then spent the next two decades in the National Football League.

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