I just finished reading Sean Payton's book "Home Team". Before reading this, I must say I did not have much knowledge of what exactly went into the Saints of the last few years. And I must admit, there was far more than I expected.
I'll say more after the jump.
From the beginnings of the rebuilding in late 2005, when he took over the team, to his planning for "Ambush" in the Super Bowl against the Colts, everything is listed here. Also, there is more to running a team than just calling plays. He has to game-plan for next week's opponent.
But I must say I enjoyed the little things he did. Describing the little things he did to make the Saints' players happier (especially during the week before the Super Bowl) was very nice to see, and, in the case of Scott Fujita going down the slide through a wall, a little funny. These little vignettes, in my view, served the purpose of providing a nice break from constant reading about football games.
What Payton made very clear was how much he enjoyed the fans in New Orleans. If I ever do have the chance, it's my goal to make it to New Orleans for a Saints game. I'd make sure Green Bay isn't playing, that way I would cheer for New Orleans during the game. When the fans and team are as close to each other as they are in New Orleans, it is truly special. The signs after the Super Bowl win over the Colts are a testament to that. When New Orleans had nothing else beside the Saints, when the Hornets were still gone, the Saints still had a commitment to return.
And return they did, in 2006, in a remarkable season. I can't think of any other team that would lose the NFC Championship game and still be greeted at the airport by thousands of cheering fans. This shows how special the Saints are to New Orleans, and how special the fans of New Orleans are to the Saints.
If you have not read this book, I'd highly recommend it. It shows the inside story of the Saints' current successes, and, proceeds from the book go to Payton's Play it Forward charity.