On this day in 1966 New Orleans was awarded an NFL franchise. When the subject of naming the club came up it was a no-brainer that because it was All Saints Day and New Orleans was a city filled with Catholics, the team should be called "The Saints."
Over the last 44 years the team has given cursing, angry fans many more excuses to be sinners than Saints, witness last Sunday’s shellacking by the St. Louis Rams. But on the anniversary of the New Orleans Saints birth, how many more sinners will be seeking redemption by ignoring yet another Holy Day of obligation?
You may wonder why I bring this up, why not just stick with bashing the Pop Warner team that put on Saints uniforms Sunday?
Well, for starters the citizens of this country, living in this area, now enter our 3rd consecutive year of economic recession. This, while our State helps the Federal monster responsible for this curse, spend money which is to be found in no quarter of the globe. Perhaps if we citizens spent more time honoring The Saints that the Saints are named for, we could regain some of the virtue our Catholic icons were canonized for, like thrift and modesty.
The last public expression of this sentiment I can recall came from former Saints coach Mike Ditka, nearing the end of his tenure in December 1999 telling reporters that it was more important to remember the 2000th celebration of Christ’s birth then sweating the identity of New Orleans' next football coach.
I think Ditka was onto something that many of us feel but few of us are brave enough to say: before there were Saints in black and gold uniforms purporting to lead us to promised lands, there were actual men and women called Saints that found a permanent home there.