I was on Open Mic a couple of weeks ago to promote the first show of the year for Droppin’ the Hammer. This was right after the New Orleans Saints picked up their first ever win in the Super, I forgot I can’t use the words super and bowl in the same context, so it was right after New Orleans won the gathering of the NFL Conference Champions in the last game of the season with the extended half time show, endless pre-game show, best commercials of the year, large blimps flying over, over priced tickets, on the freshly laid South Florida sod in what some folks call the ‘big game.’
The talk between Hauser and Hawk on Open Mic was all about should New Orleans now be called America’s Team. The Saints have been the ultimate underdog throughout the existence in the NFL. Then look back to 2005, when Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of the Gulf Coast from New Orleans to parts of Alabama, and you remember that this area of the country just needed something to hang their hats on.
The Superdome, the home of The Saints, was the scene of so much despair. The building suffered damage from the storm but it became the home for many residents of New Orleans. Then the horror stories of the conditions inside the Superdome because after all, the power and water supply was shut down due to damages from Katrina.
The Superdome was repaired and The Saints returned home to play ball. And this past season, no team played better than the Saints. Folks jumped on the bandwagon hoping to see something good happen for this team and the city of New Orleans.
So because such a large number of folks were pulling for them during that ‘large game’ against Indianapolis, callers to the Open Mic Show was calling them America’s Team.
Well, first I need to clarify something I said. America’s REAL team is the United States Military. I normally say that but didn’t that day on the show because I let my dislike of the Dallas Cowboys get in the way.
During the seventies, CBS Sports drove me to look for a team that could pound the Cowboys into submission. Everybody, for the most part at school, was Cowboys fans. So when I started looking for a favorite team, there stood the Pittsburgh Steelers, and yes they were the Amazing Steelers.
During their first four trips to the ‘Great Big Game’ the Steelers knocked off the Cowboys twice. The third time these two teams meet in the ‘Large Game’ Neil O’Donnell threw two errant passes that allowed the Cowboys to pick up a win. Since that day, the Steelers have two more wins in the ‘Enormous Game’ which gives them more wins than any other team in the NFL in the ‘Huge Game.’
On the show, I called the Cowboys the self-proclaimed America’s team and said if you look at stadiums when the Steelers are on the road, the number of Steelers fans tells me that without doubt, the Steelers are America’s Team.
Callers after me said I didn’t even know why I hate the Cowboys, so here is why and I have two reasons. First the previously mentioned way that CBS Sports drove the Cowboys down my throat and proclaimed them as America’s Team. Second, Tom Landry was a great Christian Man, and even though I didn’t pull for his team, I respected Coach Landry. So Jerry Jones buys the team and FIRES one of the all time great coaches. Coach Landry deserved better and my total dislike for the Cowboys only intensified.
I could think of other reasons, but those two are plenty.
My newest Steelers hat was purchased in 2002, three years before The Steelers returned to the ‘Big Game’ so don’t tell me I jumped on a winner.
Now for long time Cowboys fans, the ones that claimed them all season last year, not just because they wore out the Eagles two weeks in a row this year, sorry I stepped on your toes. I like somebody that picks a sports team or a driver in NASCAR and sticks with them no matter what.
As for Saints fans, was everybody jumping on the band wagon this year, or if the Saints are once again known as Aints, will they stick with them, or jump to the next winning team? I know one true Saints fan, he has been a fan of them for several years and I know he is with them through thick and thin, 16 wins or 16 losses. I to that fan, my nephew Josh, congratulations on seeing your team win the ‘big one.’ I hope you get to see them win that ‘gi-normous’ game many more times, just not when they face my Steelers.