In the coming week, I will be receiving two New Orleans Saints-related books as surprise gifts: Jeff Duncan's From Bags to Riches, and the coffee table book World Champs - The Official Behind The Scenes Perspective Of The SB XLIV Champs, featuring the photographs of Saints team photographer Michael C. Hebert.
This got me to thinking about all the other tomes in the New Orleans Saints literary canon. I own and have read many of them, and I thought it might be interesting to compile them into a chronological list with descriptions of them.
Make the jump to read on, MacDuff.
The New Orleans Saints (comic book - released in 1988)
Seeking to capitalize on the Saints popularity after the 1987 season, this release was a one-shot deal. As a 16-year old comic book collector and Saints fan, I snatched this cheesy comic book up the moment I saw it, and after reading it once, I sealed it in a mylar bag with an acid-free backing board and it currently resides amongst my other prized comic book treasures.
The New Orleans Saints: 25 Years of Heroic Effort (Books I and II), by Christian Serpas (1991 and 1992).
From Book I:
The New Orleans Saints: 25 Years of Heroic Effort (Book I) is the first of a two-book set commemorating the 25-year history of the New Orleans Saints. It deals with the ups and downs of the Saints from their inception in 1967 through their first winning season, in 1987. Book II covers the 1988 thru 1991 seasons, when the Saints were built into a championship-calibre team, under the direction of Coach Jim Mora and General Manager Jim Finks.
My parents gave me Book I for Christmas one year when I was in college. This book features such chapter titles as: When Hats Were Black, Archie On Ice, Big Ben, The Baghead Saga, and No Mora Excuses. Serpas was born in New Orleans and grew up in St. Bernard Parish. I do not own Book II.
The Saga of the Saints: An Illustrated History of the First 25 Seasons, by Wayne Mack (1992).
Wayne Mack is a Louisiana sports legend, as a network sports announcer, sportscaster, and sports director for many years. My Dad and I visited the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame in Kenner one summer, and I bought this book in the gift shop that day. After getting fried shrimp po-boys for lunch, I read that book cover-to-cover on the ride back to Covington. This nice coffee-table book features a cool cover collage of New Orleans Saints football player cards.
Tales From The Saints Sideline, by Jeff Duncan (2004).
This book, written by the Saints beat columnist for the Times-Picayune, is self-billed as a "collection of the greatest stories ever told." It contains colorful anecdotes and recollections from the Saints storied past. Not much depth, but a very enjoyable read.
Patron Saints: How The Saints Gave New Orleans A Reason To Believe, by Alan Donnes (2007).
From the book's dust jacket:
The inspirational story of the 2006-2007 New Orleans Saints' spectacular run in the NFC Championship...In Patron Saints, former Saints reporter Alan Donnes has compiled over one hundred interviews with the players, coaches, politicians, and colorful locals who made it happen.
My wife bought me this book and Duncan's Tales just prior to the start of the 2007 season. The combo made for a great pairing of summer reading.
The Saints The Superdome And The Scandal: An Insider's Perspective, by Dave Dixon (2008).
From the book's dust jacket:
Before the Saints were synonymous with New Orleans, Dave Dixon was gathering support to create this dream team and build a Superdome to accommodate them. Offering an insider's perspective on the events that shaped the New Orleans sports scene, Dixon recounts key moments in the city's history.
I bought this one just last year, and have yet to read it.
Home Team: Coaching the Saints and New Orleans Back To Life, by Sean Payton and Ellis Henican (2010).
From amazon.com's product description:
The inspirational true story of how one man led a football team-and a city-to triumph in Super Bowl XLIV.
In the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Superdome became a national symbol of misery and hopelessness, where the truly desperate rode out the storm.
Four years later, in that very stadium, the New Orleans Saints won the NFC championship and earned their first-ever trip to the Super Bowl.
Two weeks later, the Saints soundly defeated the heavily favored Indianapolis Colts 31 - 17 in what would become the most-watched television event in history.
This is the inspirational story of a city recovering from disaster and a team with a history of heartbreak, seen through the eyes of the coach who taught them both how to win.
LOVED reading this book, especially the chapter on "psy ops." Go Saints!! It is now making the rounds of my family in Louisiana.
Coming Back Stronger: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity, by Drew Brees with Chris Fabry.
My parents bought me this book last August, and when it arrived, I opened it to find a very personal inscription and autograph from Drew Brees that looks a whole lot like my Dad's handwriting. I haven't read this one yet.
From the book's back cover:
A true inspiration on and off the field, Drew has become a symbol of hope-not just to the team and the city he helped resurrect, but to everyone who has been knocked to the ground.
Drew's invaluable insights on unleashing the power of adversity are proof positive that with enough faith, determination, and heart, you can overcome anything. (HansDat note - let's not forget about all the money and the best medical/rehab services that helped a bit, too.)
I now open the floor (and the comment section) to you and your responses to this list. Here are some questions to help prime the pump, but please do not feel limited to these areas.
Have you read/do you own any of these books?
Do you know of any others?
Does your family fake autographs of celebrities for fun?
I look forward to your contributions...