Sunday, December 04, 2005
The Agony of Being a Saints Fan
Oh yes, you definitely have to like pain to be a Saints fan. We have been suffering for many years, just waiting and hoping for that one team that will take us to the promised land known as the Super Bowl. It hasn't happened yet, and it surely won't happen this year.
I have been a Saints fan since I was a little girl. My dad has had season tickets since day 1, and I was always so jealous when he would go to the games and I couldn't. During my teenage years I studied stats, and I literally became a walking encyclopedia on the Saints. I memorized statistics and team records and could tell you anything you wanted to know about the team. Normal people count sheep when they can't sleep. Not me. My sister would call out numbers, and I would tell her which Saints player it belonged to.
I remember the horrible 1-15 year of 1980. Many fans stopped going to the games, and some of those who did wore bags over their heads. Not my dad. He went, and he said the bag-wearing Aints were "disgusting." We had to wait seven more years before we finally got that first winning season and playoff berth. The elation totally wiped away those Aints memories. When the Saints finally did earn that first playoff victory in 2000 against the Rams, I cried. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before.
I finally got my own season ticket when I was in college. There was nothing else like it, spending Sunday afternoons in my end zone seat in the Superdome. I'm pretty mild-mannered when I watch the games on TV, but put me in the Dome and I go nuts. Even when I sat through some pretty awful games (and there have been many through the years), I never lost faith. I know our day is coming. I just don't know when.
This season has been quite surreal thanks to Hurricane Katrina. The Superdome is heavily damaged and my Saints are playing in San Antonio and Baton Rouge. I haven't seen them play in person since their third pre-season game, the Friday before Katrina hit. The effects of the storm have taken their toll on the team as well. I'm not saying that's why they are playing so poorly this year. Saints fans have learned not to make excuses. We just wait until next year.
The Saints' motto for 2005 is "You Gotta Have Faith." Whether it's recovering from a hurricane or rooting for a 3-9 team, faith is something you have to have a lot of.