Archive for the NFL Category

Malcom in the middle: The Saintsgiving miracle

Posted in NFL with tags , , , , , , , on November 27, 2010 by bayouphoto

No it is not the title to a new sitcom or a re make of an old one. It is another chapter in the Who Dat nations rise to national prominence. it is the second 3rd chapter following last years Meachum miracle and the miracle in Miami. I am talking about second year player Malcom Jenkins ripping the ball away from Roy Williams.

What a Thanksgiving Day picture that was inside Cowboys Stadium.

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As vultures wearing blue stars circled overhead, there sat what appeared to be a well-clawed Who Dat corpse waiting to be officially declared dead.

Coroners at the scene had already issued their verdict.

Never before, they told us, had the Dallas Cowboys come back from a 17-point deficit to win one of those nationally televised Turkey Day extravaganzas.

Suddenly down on the field, the death rattle grew louder as Cowboys receiver Roy Williams was on his way to a touchdown, eager to turn a four-point lead into a more embarrassing double-digit defeat.

Suddenly, a race to the end zone became a two-man race between Cowboy Williams and Who Dat Malcolm Jenkins.

It would be a race that will forever live in replay fame, because replay was invented for such moments and the moments that followed.

In this case, only replay can do justice to what I feel ranks as the greatest turn-of-fortune comeback victory in Saints history.

Had the Saints built on that 17-0 start, and whipped the Cowboys 40-0, it would have been an obviously impressive way to arrive at 8-3.

Had the Saints fallen 27-23, or perhaps 34-23, assuming Roy Williams had won the race, I think the race to the playoffs would have ended.

However, when you prove the New Orleans Saints can come back from the dead, when they can dig down and do it in such spectacular fashion, you’ve proven to yourselves anything’s possible in a race to the playoffs and another Super Bowl.

With the most demanding part of the schedule ahead, Sean Payton’s greatest ally is right there on the replay screen.

And it all begins with Jenkins delivering the message of his coordinator, Gregg Williams, up close, in living color, clawing at the football, finally knocking it from Roy Williams’ grip, in one of those on-the-run wrestling matches, and recovering the fumble at the 11-yard line.

As you watch wrestling at full speed, it was a thing of beauty.

Williams’ post-game lament, “I should have fallen down or been tackled,” were words he will always remember.

But keep this in mind. After Jenkins recovered the ball, the Saints were still down by four points and 89 yards away from the Dallas end zone.

You go to the replay and you watch how Jenkins’ “heart play” helped inspire the beauty of quarterback Drew Brees.

Drew went with a familiar target, Marques Colston, tucked between two defenders, for 22 yards.

Two plays later, on third-and-10, the game-changer. This time you watched Brees step into the pocket and put up a spiral that traveled 50 yards in the air, beyond the reach of defender Terence Newman, into the arms of Robert Meachem, who grabbed a perfect throw in stride and didn’t stop until he reached the Cowboys’ 12.

At which point Brees went from airing it out to throwing it through a keyhole, finding the hands of Lance Moore inches beyond the fingertips of a Cowboys defender for the winning points — a special touch pass down the middle to a well-covered receiver.New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys

More than anything, watching a master at work from different angles, replay showed you what a mural Drew Brees painted in taking his team 89 yards in 68 seconds.

There are more canvases waiting to be painted, five of them, three on the road.

The Saints know what they’ve known for a long time: The best thing the Saints have going for them are the men with the brush, the head coach and the quarterback.

Paint on, Sean Payton.

Paint on, Drew Brees.

Championship tour

Posted in General, NFL, Ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2010 by bayouphoto

I had the honor of seeing and photographing something that since 1967 I never thought would happen. A New Orleans Saints super bowl trophy.

The organization is taking the display on a wide tour of the Gulf south. The first stop was the Civic center in Monroe, La. My sister Linda and I went to see it.I have to commend the organizers for going all out and providing a full experience for the viewers. There was entertainment for the kids.A display for 2010 Hall of Fame inductee Ricky JacksonThe Ring displaySuper Bowl memorabiliaSome of the Saintsation cheerleadersAnd of course the main attractionIt was a great day and an experience I will cherish forever. I was very surprised and humbled by the respect and reverence I saw displayed. No running, shouting, pushing or shoving. Fathers talking to kids and telling them what it meant. One father told his son “This is history” Everyone was so appreciative and just glad to get a chance to view it. One man in a wheelchair said he didn’t think he would ever get the chance. I personally thank everyone involved in organizing this event

February

Posted in Nature and wildlife, NFL, Ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2010 by bayouphoto

For me, February was a great month. First off I actually like winter as my best season. This month saw the New Orleans Saints get their first member of the Hall of Fame, Ricky Jackson, and its first ever super bowl win.

We had one of the largest snowfalls, that I can remember. I know, my northern and brethren do not agree, however down here it is a novelty.

In the Olympics the USA team won the overall medal count and almost pulled off another miracle on ice.

I got some great bird photos and have another centerfold coming out in Thunder Roads magazine.

As I was leaving my sister’s house, last night, I saw a glorious sunset. A fitting end to the month.As always click the photo for a larger version

Hell has froze over

Posted in NFL with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2010 by bayouphoto

All my life I have been a Saints fan. Since the opening game when John Gilliam ran the first kick off back for a touchdown. We have endured way more downs than ups.

I remember watching poor Archie Manning and my dad sick at his stomach at the losses, but right back the next weekend watching, hoping, praying and always thinking, well there is next year. Next year seemed to never come.

Oh there were flashes to get our hopes up. The dome patrol and Bobbie Hebert having three winning seasons in a row. Making the playoffs but always losing. Seems we had more ways to lose the big game than carter had pills.

I was in the dome when we clinched our first ever Western division title in 1991. We beat San Fransisco, without Montana of course. Then lost in the first playoff game.

When we finally won our first playoff game I was in my deer stand with a little 5″ tv so I could watch the game. I had to stay way after dark to see if they would once again blow a 21 point lead.

Then in 2006 another savior came to the team and carried us to where we had never been. The NFC title game. But on a snowy night at Soldier field we came up short, we all knew there would be next year. However 2007 and 2008 were very disappointing. Too many injuries and a lack of defense doomed us to the bottom once again. The only bright spot was Drew almost broke Marino’s record, but once again we came up just short.

So it was we looked forward to the 2009 season, hoping we could get over the hump. We had a new defensive co-ordinator in Greg Williams and a new scheme.  We started out like gang busters, we could put up 40, come from behind, win on the ground or the air, win by defense dare we say undefeated. Then about week 8 the wheels started to come off.

Injuries to key defensive players allowed for close games, just barely squeaking out wins till finally we lost to the surging Cowboys. To make matters worse we lost in overtime to the lowly Buccaneers. Then with the undefeated season gone we rested our starters and lost the last game. 13 wins to open but three straight losses to close.

The pundits, analysts and media talking heads abandoned us and started to say the same old Aints. No team had lost its last 3 games and made it to the super bowl let alone win it. We were a long shot but we had two weeks and home field to prepare.

In comes Kurt Warner and the red hot Cardinals. When the smoke cleared another super bowl winner and future hall of famer went down. We were going back to the NFC title game for the second time. This time it was not in the frigid cold but at OUR HOUSE. Against the Vikings and Brett Favre.

The NFC champ game was as hard fought as any game I had ever seen. Favre was beat, hit, sacked and bruised. I never seen a man take such a beating since the Archie Manning days. When the final gun went off the score was tied. Sudden death, oh how we feared it. How many times and ways had we lost before. But not this time!

When Garrett Hartley kicked the bowl, through the goal, it was the New Orleans saints holding the George Halas trophy for the first time in franchise history. We had earned the right to play Payton Manning and the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. Miami, Fl.Drew Brees had been magnificent in the two playoff games. Throwing for 6 touchdowns and no interceptions. But a much tougher test was coming.

In Miami no one save a few faithful gave us any chance. Why this was Payton manning. he doesn’t make mistakes, he doesn’t throw pick 6’s. They just have too many weapons for the Saints. The Colts had been here before in 2006 on this very field. The upstart Saints were just outmatched. Even the colts kicker was more experienced than our little young guy that had only kicked 25 FG’s.

The Saints outplayed, out coached and out gutted the Colts. After the 1st qtr. Drew Brees was a surgeon carving up the Colts defense. The little young kicker set a super bowl record, with three kicks over 40 yds. No coach had ever called an on side kick to open the second half. The feared pass rush of the colts only got to Drew once. On a Jeremy Shockey reception and a Lance Moore 2 pt conversion we were up by 7 with 5 minutes left. On that drive Drew set a super bowl record, completing 7 passes to seven different receivers with no drops. This was Payton Manning the greatest 4th qtr QB of all time, surely he can go down and tie the game. He had been perfect all night. This night it was different. On a 3rd and 5 from The Saints 30 he dropped back and looked for Reggie Wayne on a play they ran 1000’s of times. It was another perfect pass for Manning. Unfortunately it was completed to Tracy Porter and 74 yds. later Manning had thrown his first pick 6 in the season. The Saints now led by 14 with just over 2 minutes left. Surely, enough time for the anointed greatest QB of all time to tie the game. But on 4th and goal with 44 seconds left he came up short and Drew Brees took a knee to give the Saints its first every Vince Lombardi trophy as Super Bowl XLIV champions.Brees finished the night 32-39 passes for 288 yds, 2 Td’s and no INT’s. His passer rating for the 3  playoff games was an unheard of 117. His 32 completions tied a super bowl record.Twice, in the last two years, Manning had beaten Drew out for the league MVP. That night Drew was named the Super Bowl MVP.

Now what was this about hell freezing over. It was always said that Hell would freeze over and pigs would fly before the Saints won a super bowl. With the blizzard in Washington DC hell has frozen over and it is fitting that the federal government is shut down. Right now we are having the largest snow storm Louisiana has had in 20 years. Down at Robert Lee’s pig farm I saw one swine fly south for the winter.

In this magical mystery tour season The Saints have beaten 5 super bowl MVP’s and future hall of famers. Way to go boys

9:19 PM

Posted in NFL with tags , , , , , , on January 25, 2010 by bayouphoto

I sit here this morning still stunned. Last night @ 9:19 PM something we have dreamed of for 43 years happened. Pigs flew and hell froze over cause the Saints are going to the super bowl.

I think of the unlikely journey this has been, although we have had some good players we never had very good teams. Coaches never stayed long, good players were traded off or just let go. oh there were flashes. The great offense of the Archie era. the Dome patrol of the Mora era. A few winning seasons, a few playoff appearances, but no consistency onyl the thought ” wait till next year”

It is finally next year.

I also think how a rookie head coach came here to a team that didn’t even know it’s future. Brought in a cast of unlikely heroes. In last nights game we didn’t have many true super stars. The QB was passed over in free agency threw for 3 TD’s. A RB that was an un drafted free agent scored two TD’s and a big 4th down conversion. No true fullback but a traded away for a 7th round pick TE blocked and caught balls all night. An offensive line that outside of Saints fans no one has heard of only gave up one sack against the feared Jared Allen and company. A TE that his old team didn’t even allow on the sidelines for their super bowl, blocked Jared Allen to a draw. A main receiver that was a 7th round pick. 2nd receiver that no one wanted in free agency, cause he dropped balls, caught a TD. A kick returner that bounced around the league has a 61 yard kick off return.

On defense we only have 2 N0. 1 picks. A DT that was suspended and no one wanted making Favres life miserable. Two linebackers no one ever heard of that were cast offs in ’06(one recovered a fumble) a middle linebacker his team traded off had 5 tackles, 2 INT’s I forced fumble and 1 fumble recovered. The old strong safety that two teams thought was washed up had the best season of his career.

Then we come to the last unlikely hero, the kicker that was signed at the last part of last season, only had 25 kicks. was suspended for the 1st 4 games. At 23 years of age he kicked what is the greatest field goal and possibly the greatest play in saints history. The same little kid that missed a game winner against Tampa Bay, split the uprights @ 9:19 PM

WHO DAT!!!!!!!!!

Photo of the week

Posted in NFL with tags , , , , , , on January 19, 2010 by bayouphoto

I know I am a day late but just got around to it.

Red

This is a tribute to my favorite player and team. Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints. After that blow out victory last Saturday, they are BACK. I hope they play equally as well this coming Sunday. No matter what the Saints and Drew Brees have put together an unforgettable season. He may not have won the league MVP but to us he is one. That lovely creature modeling the shirt is Red

Who Dat

Posted in NFL on November 23, 2009 by bayouphoto

say dey gone beat dem Saints. I grew up watching the saints. I was 13 that first season in 1967. My dad and a few other family members went the the pre season game in Shreveport. Up until then my family were cowboy fans. My oldest brother remained so for many years.

It was a family tradition that my brother George and sometimes Wayne would come watch the game at our house. I remember the pain and suffering I saw along with disappointment and anger it caused my dad. He was always optimistic and would utter the famous words ” Wait till next year”. I remember when they drafted “Saint” Archie we all thought he would lead us to the promised land. I won’t get into all the reasons why that never happened but suffice to say it was dismal.

My dad passed away in ’81 so he never saw the Jim Mora era and the winning times but we were still disappointed in the playoffs. I remember when we got our first playoff win . I was sitting in a deer stand watching the game on a little 5″ B&W tv. I stayed till it was over. Good thing I was on private property.

Now after 43 years we have a team that has done things my dad could never imagine. We are 10-0, have a truly great QB and destiny is ours to control.

I just wish dad and Mitchell could have seen it. If heaven has a TV I bet those two are tuned into the game and momma has something good to eat.

I miss them along with LEH, Margie, Bill and David. This week is Thanksgiving and I am thankful for my family and the Saints