The Life of a New Orleans Saints Fan

by Preston Ekdahl

Following today’s classic game between the San Francisco 49ers and my beloved New Orleans Saints, I was wondering if this game would make up one of the top 5 worst losses being a Saints fan in my personal opinion. Well read on to find out.

5. Green Bay Packers 52 -New Orleans Saints 3:  October 9th, 2005

Let’s start out with perhaps the most humiliating game I’ve watched. For those who may not know, I went to high school in Kenosha, Wisconsin where you guessed it, the majority of students are Green Bay Packers fans. Now this game hits home because it was my freshman year of high school and let’s just say people were not too enthused with my fandom. I wasn’t brash but I did believe that they would win the game. One student asked who is even on the team and when I brought up Will Smith, star defensive end, RIP, the student said “the actor” and proceeded to chuckle. They’ll see I thought to myself, Favre will get his. Fast forward to the game and it’s 35-3 at halftime and I want to die and have to endure 4 more years of heckling all due to this one football game played in October.

4. Seattle Seahawks 41 – New Orleans Saints 36: January 8th, 2011 AKA Beast Quake

I would be foolish not to include this game. The previous year I finally got some redemption for my unwavering fandom of the black and gold as they defeated the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl 44 31-17. The following September they open up with a victory over the Minnesota Vikings and I’m thinking a repeat is possible. How naive could I have been? Just make the playoffs and anything is possible as we find out in that year’s playoffs but that’s a tale for another day. This is the 11-5 New Orleans Saints going to the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks. Was I expecting a blowout? Not really, the defense wasn’t sharp and they didn’t run the ball effectively most of the year, however, I did think they would win the game. They were in a tooth and nail battle the whole way through until about 3 minutes to go in the game, the Saints are down 4, hold them, get the ball back to Drew and let’s score a touchdown and leave this insane asylum called Qwest Field. What happens next is things nightmares are made of. Matt Hasselbeck hands the ball off to Marshawn Lynch and he bursts through the hole and missed tackle after tackle complete with the horrifying image of  Tracy Porter, the hero of last year’s Super Bowl, getting stiff armed to oblivion Lynch and as he jumps in to the end zone as a final eulogy of death the classic “suck it” to really pile the dirt on my grave. I still refuse to eat skittles to this day because of that man.

3. Chicago Bears 39- New Orleans Saints 14: January 21st, 2007

The first time I had hope that this could be the year for a Super Bowl. As previously mentioned, growing up in Kenosha which is the south-eastern most tip of the state meant you were likely a Packers fan and if you didn’t root for them, you were a Bears fan which was the case for the majority of my family which heightened the experience of the game tenfold. This was the first year of Drew Brees, Reggie Bush and Marques Colston and let me tell you that I was ecstatic with the way this triumvirate of talent played together alongside Deuce McAllister that for some asinine reason that this is it, showtime. The weather conditions are horrendous, it’s absolutely miserable at Soldier Field; the wind is howling and the snow is coming down. Drew played at Purdue, he’s use to this weather, he’s Big Ten tough. Following an 88 yard scamper by Reggie Bush on a wheel route as he waves bye-bye to Brian Urlacher as he dives in to the end zone, it’s 16-14 minutes in to the 3rd quarter. “Let’s go” I yell ready to run through a brick wall watching the play develop. Alas, that would be the last “Let’s go” I’d be saying for the rest of the game as Brees and the offense got battered by the Bears front 7 for the rest of the game in another blow out.

2. Minnesota Vikings 29- New Orleans Saints 24: January 14th, 2018

I’m going to be completely honest with this game, I did not expect them to come back and make it a game but I’d be remiss if I didn’t include this game just off the basis of “that” ending. Similar to the 2006 season, this team brought along a trio of high impact players in Alvin Kamara, Marshon Lattimore and Ryan Ramczyk through the NFL draft. Expectations for myself were relatively low for this team, they just traded away Brandin Cooks to the Patriots for a 1st round pick who became Ramczyk and were coming off the third straight 7-9 season in a row. However, they blew everyone away in the regular season as Kamara and Lattimore dominated at their respective positions over the course of the season and became post season bound. After a huge win vs division rival Carolina, they went up north to battle the Minnesota Vikings for a chance to go against Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles in a game I was certain they could win. The game starts and I’m in agony, another horrible start and deep hole. Well, Brees and the rookies have no quit in them and battle all the way back to actually kick a game leading field goal with 25 seconds left on the clock and no time outs for the Vikings. All the defense has to do is make that one tackle in bounds and in to Philadelphia we go. Does that happen? You know the answer to that, Case Keenum heaves a 27 yard pass to Stefon Diggs on the sideline with no time left on the clock, all Marcus Williams had to do was tackle him in bounds and the game was over. Instead, he whiffs, hits Saints cornerback Ken Crawley and Stefon Diggs races to the end zone for a 29-24 Vikings victory. After a myriad of curse words later that night, I calmed myself down and thought, “Next year, there’s no denying us.” Boy, how wrong was I.

1.Los Angeles Rams 26- New Orleans Saints 23: January 20th, 2019

This is the year, the Saints offense is a finely tuned machine with Taysom Hill doing literally everything out of the backfield from being a running back, quarterback, tight end, receiver to a defense led by Cam Jordan and the recently acquired Eli Apple really locking teams up to the improvements made by Marcus Williams, Vonn Bell and everyone else that they rattled off a 13-3 regular season record and thanks to a head to head victory over the Rams in the regular season, they were able to secure home field for this all important NFC Championship game. It could not have started out better, the defense is hounding Jared Goff into ill-advised throws, Todd Gurley can barely move out there and the offense is firing on all cylinders to the tune of a 13-0 first quarter lead. The Rams did not give up though and cut it to 13-10 at halftime and I knew it was going to be a fight from there. Tied 20-20 with 5 minutes left, I knew the Saints would get in to field goal range, my worry was leaving time on the clock. After executing a flawless drive up to this point Drew throws a quick out to Tommylee Lewis who gets leveled by the Rams nickel cornerback. “PASS INTERFERENCE!!!” I am yelling at the top of my lungs in my apartment knowing if that flag is tossed, the Saints can kneel it and hit the game winning field goal on the way to the Super Bowl. No flag. “What the hell is going on here?” I am incredulous, I have no words. Who is paying these refs off, I demand an answer. Nothing. Lutz kicks a field goal and it’s same old same old, defense needs to make a stop, they don’t get it. The Rams tie the game at the end of regulation and it goes to overtime, Brees gets the ball first, throws an interception and they lose 26-23. It never changes.

There you have it, my 5 worst games during my life of being a New Orleans Saints fan. Not included the 20-19 “River City Relay” against the Jaguars to potentially get to the playoffs in 2003, the 2011 NFC Divisional playoff game against the 49ers where they lost 36-32 and obviously today’s 48-46 loss to the 49ers as well. This is what I chose being a fan of this team. Maybe just maybe this will be the year, probably not though.

 

 

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