COMMENTARY: Oh,the joys of being a Saints fan; finally

NEAL

After the New Orleans Saints edged the Dallas Cowboys 12-10 earlier this week, I figured this is a good time to explain why I am a long-time Saints fan.

Having been born and raised in north Louisiana, the Saints were always our “home team”. And, Dallas, being quartered in the neighboring state, was always our biggest rivals, even though the Cowboys were not in our division — all that talk of the Atlanta Falcons being New Orleans' arch rivals was just fake news, to borrow a newly coined term.

Naturally I have a slew of memories of watching New Orleans play on television on Sunday afternoons as a kid.

Despite living in Cowboy country now, I am still 100-percent a fan of the Black and Gold. Being a Saints fan will never change.

Even though New Orleans has won five of their last seven meetings against Dallas, that has not always been the trend.

Dallas totally dominated the Saints between 1967 and 1984 when the Cowboys notched wins over the Saints 11 of the 12 times that they collided.

New Orleans' only win during that time came in 1971 when the 'Boys prevailed, 24-14. Being just 10-years-old at that time, I don't remember that game.

As many of you Cowboy fans know, Dallas and New Orleans have been on opposite ends of the NFL's accomplishments spectrum for a long time.

In their first 20 years of existence the Saints only had a .500 record twice (ouch).

Saints football was so bad in the late '70s that fans often showed up at the Superdome wearing paper bags, with holes cut out for their eyes, nose and mouth, over their faces. Too embarrassed to been seen at a Saints game — that was just how pitiful the teams were during that time.

A lot of die hard New Orleans fans even referred to the team as the “Aints” during those years.

Thankfully the games with Dallas are far more competitive now; yet the Cowboys still lead the overall series, 17-13.

During the Saints' darkest days the Cowboys were winning Super Bowls in 1971 and 1977; ironically enough both of those Super Bowls were played in the Crescent City.

The New Orleans Saints have come along way in the last five decades.

The ride had been bumpy for much of the way, but the memories, some good, some bad, will last a lifetime.

 

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