Plenty of good seats still available on Saints bandwagon

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 18, 2007

January 18, 2006

Tickets for the Saints bandwagon are going fast.

The newbies, me included, are riding the Saints’ success like a tsunami wave. We cheer for Brees and Bush, Deuce and Devery. We love Sean Payton, not that other Peyton from New Orleans. We like Joe Horn’s antics and instantly became enamored with wide receiver Marques Colston, at least those of us who picked him for our fantasy football team.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

But we really don’t know the Saints. The bandwagon jumpers know of the turmoil Saints’ fans have gone through, but don’t know the true hurt. We have never had a reason to wear a bag over our head or owned a Saints jersey.

We know only of the winning Saints, those amazing Saints who transformed from vagabond to toast of the town.

We watch the Saints’ playoff run with enthusiasm and vigor. More entertaining than watching the Saints on TV is watching diehards watching the Saints on TV.

Every incomplete pass means the game is over, Saints lose.

Each fumble, no matter where on the field, will ultimately lead to disaster.

Each time Deuce is stopped behind the line of scrimmage, there is no chance of winning.

The inevitable doom-and-gloom scenario has played itself out for so long to true Saints fans, that we newbies really can’t understand it.

Of course the Jets – yes, another Jets reference – were leading the Indianapolis Colts with less than two minutes to play this season and someone looked at me and uttered, &#8220Looks like the Jets are sure winners.”

A minute-and-a-half later, the other Peyton celebrated the game-winning touchdown.

When teams lose for so long and one puts everything they have into rooting for that team, failure seems to be inevitable.

So on Sunday, wherever you gather to watch the historic matchup between the Saints and Chicago Bears, peruse the room. If you are a true fan, the kind who wears the bags, look around the room at the newbies. Look at their excitement. Look at the smile on their faces when Deuce runs over, around and through the Bears’ vaunted defense.

Then look for the folks who are sitting silently in the rocking chair clutching a cold drink in one hand and waving for the group to shut up with the other.

Watch as the game goes along. See the uncomfortableness in their faces. Listen to the ones utter that Deuce may have scored a touchdown, but it wasn’t fancy enough. Those are the ones who grew up with the Aints.

Saints fans are torn from a different cloth than most others. Futility has finally given way to success, but one would never know it by watching them watch the Saints.

No matter how good the team is, the doom-and-gloom syndrome will set it.

Even if the Saints win, provided the world does not end, Saints fans will rise on Monday morning, pinch themselves and check three Web sites just to see if it’s true.

I’m a newbie and proud to be one. Come Sunday afternoon, I hope to be with a fan who has suffered with the team for decades.

It may be more entertaining than the game itself.