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Santa is bringing the Saints a Christmas present hopefully not coal

[12/23/04]Dear Santa:

You’re doing it to them all over again. You’re torturing the Saints, having all their fans around the Southeast dreaming of sugar plums and playoff appearances.

You do this every year: Make the Saints just good enough to keep hope alive just before the annual letdown. Many years, the letdown comes in the second week of the season, after a big win in the opener gives hope right off the bat.

But this year, wow. How can a team look so bad at times a debilitating loss to Arizona, Aaron Brooks’ passes backward to offensive linemen then have them look like Super Bowl contenders.

On Sunday, the day after you deliver all those presents to all those children around the world, will you deliver such a huge win for the Saints? With a win, the team would be just 7-8. In a conference as miserable as this year’s NFC, the Saints are knocking on the playoffs’ doorstep.

So the Saints have to beat Atlanta. Tough task for any team, seeing as though the Falcons are the NFC South champs. Word came down today that quarterback Mike Vick will probably miss the game with an injury.

Now the Saints will be playing at home, against a team without its starting quarterback with a chance to improve its playoff position. It could set off a cosmic shift in the team’s fortunes. Tom Benson may sell the team to a real owner, who will then pay top-notch talents and coaches to build a winner. Years and years of frustration for so many Saints loyalists will come to an end.

For goodness sake, Santa, do you have no sympathy? Do you not care for so many?

Imagine what it’s like rooting for the French in a miliary conflict? The only difference is that the Saints do not have more powerful “allies” who will come running once the French surrender scarves come out.

The Saints lose and lose and lose and nobody comes to their aid. They play in a colossus of a stadium where fans in the upper deck are higher than the front row of a Grateful Dead show.

The best part is they just keep coming back for more. No torture is bad enough for those calling themselves Saints fans.

They’ll be there on Sunday when the beloved team with such a belovedly miserable existence will beat the Atlanta Falcons. You will deliver one last present before turning in for a well-deserved winter’s slumber.

Yes, New Orleans, there is a Santa Claus. He will deliver a win over the Falcons on Sunday.

Then one week later, the fat man will take it all away in the final game of the season when the Saints will lose to the Carolina Panthers.

Merry Christmas, Saints fans.

God bless you, everyone.

Sean P. Murphy is sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. E-mail him at smurphy@vicksburgpost.com.