New Orleans Saints are an Elite Franchise

Kevin C. Cox

"Shook Ones"
Yeah, they're scared to death, scared to look, they shook....
Cause ain't no such thing as halfway crooks Who Dats!

After all the bed-wetting and diaper-crapping that went on after the loss to the Seahawks, you'd think the Saints had lost their 8th straight game and were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Might as well trade Brees while we can still get some value for that effin' midget and get ready for the #2 pick in the draft behind Atlanta or Houston. Damn, Saints. They couldn't even get that right. Letting the Falcons have the #1 pick.

Wait....oh, the emergency is over? They crushed the Panthers and all is well? Okey dokey.

Don't understand it though. I NEVER worry about a Saints loss. EVAH. I can't. It's impossible. Mainly because I understand that I'm lucky enough to be the fan of a football that is one of the VERY BEST in the NFL and has been for quite a while. A bad loss here and there during the regular season is not going to change that or shake my confidence in this team.

I don't subscribe to the whole victimology/underdog status that some Saints fans readily embrace. It's a huge part of the reason why some fans can't really enjoy what is in fact The Golden Era of The New Orleans Saints. I'm not going to tell someone else how to be a fan of the team, but I sure don't roll with that line of thinking. It's too tiresome. You're WAY UP after a victory and then way down in the dumps and ready to be fitted for a straightjacket after a loss.

And you're scared ALL the time. Before EVERY game.

"Ooooh, this team scares me."

"I'm so worried about this game."

"It's a trap!"

I've seen Cowboys and Falcons fans who show more intestinal fortitude toward their respective teams than some Saints fans. Of course, being a Cowboys/Falcons fan is an exercise in futility and are also textbook examples of a delusional mind in action. But, whatever gets them by right?

Pardon me, but, I'm a fan of the New Orleans Saints. One of the top franchises in the NFL and an Elite football team for almost a decade. They have also been a winning franchise for the last three decades.

That's right, I said DECADES.

It's weird how some fans spend so much time yapping about losing seasons, paper bags, and the pain of horrible, debilitating, losses to certain franchises which have left them scarred for life and those things are nothing more than distant ghosts from the past. Ghosts that some folks just can't seem to let go and make it a constant part of their present day lives as Saints fans. And they're so busy being full of angst that they haven't noticed how good the Saints have been for quite a while now.

Did you know that the Saints are a WINNING franchise since Tom Benson took over from John Mecom?

Owner

Years

Seasons

W-L

PCT

NFL Rank

John Mecom

1967-1984

18

78-176-5

0.311

28th

Tom Benson

1985-2013

29

238-222

0.517

15th

During the Mecom Era the Saints were ranked dead last in winning percentage in the NFL. They were the worst franchise in the NFL. During the Benson Era, the Saints are a winning football team in the top half of the league over the past 29 seasons.

Yep.....for almost three decades now, YOUR New Orleans Saints are winners.

Oh, it gets even better than that.

Tom Benson has hired four coaches during the 29 seasons that he's owned the team (as opposed to 6 coaches in 18 seasons under Mecom, not including interim coaches). The only disaster, which turned out to be a blast from the past from the Mecom way of doing business, was Mike Ditka.

Coach

Years

Seasons

W-L

PCT

Playoffs

W-L

NFL Rank

Jim Mora

1986-1996

11

93-74

0.557

4

0-4

14th

Mike Ditka

1997-1999

3

15-33

0.313

0

N/A

27th

Jim Haslett

2000-2005

6

45-51

0.469

1

1-1

20th

Sean Payton

2006-2011, 2013

7

72-37

0.660

4

5-3

2nd

Ditka was the only Saints coach during Benson's ownership who didn't take the team to the playoffs. Yes, Jim Haslett had his issues and turned out to be just another Coordinator who was in over his head as a Head Coach, but he still got the Saints their first ever playoff victory and the team remained competitive (although disappointingly so) until the bottom fell out during the Katrina season. It was that 3-13 final season which caused Haslett's lifetime record as Saints coach to fall 6 games below .500.

Mike Ditka on the other hand was an overrated meathead whose Super Bowl victory with the Bears was on the back of a team that was built by Jim Finks before he left (and later became the Saints GM) and Buddy Ryan's defense. His reputation alone got him the Saints job and he was a complete disaster. It was the only time the Saints under Benson regressed to the disorganization of the Mecom years and it caused the Saints as franchise to drop back below .500 for the first time during the Benson Era since the team became winners in 1987.

After purging themselves of the stain that was the Ditka years, Tom Benson went back to what worked. He hired a GM (Randy Mueller) and let him build the team just like he did with Jim Finks. The result was a New Orleans Saints franchise built for the 21st century.

It's amazing how underneath all the cries and howls of Saints fans complaining about the team being losers and a disappointment, that so few have noticed how successful the franchise has become since the dawn of the new millennium. And that includes two seasons marred by disaster - one, a natural disaster (Hurricane Katrina) and the other, manufactured (Roger Goodell).

These aren't you're daddy's Saints, Bubba.

Years

Seasons

W-L

PCT

NFL Rank

21st Century

2000-2013

14

124-97

0.561

8th

PayLoo Era

2006-2013

8

79-46

0.632

4th

Since firing Ditka and going back to the formula that made the Saints winners for the first time in their history, the Saints have been one of the Elite franchises in the NFL. A top ten team since 2000 and a top five squad since Mickey and Sean got together in 2006. And if you look at the table which shows Payton's record as coach, the Saints are second only to the Patriots in the NFL during the 7 seasons Payton has led the team. That's how much BountyFarce and that 7-9 record last season cost the Saints. They dropped two spots, but yet, they're still a top five ball club. Truly, Elite status.

This is the team that "scares" some Saints fans? Yeah, okay. Not me. I'm having too much fun enjoying all this winning. The Saints dropped a stinker to the Seahawks on Monday night? So what. It was nothing more than one of those mulligans that the Saints drop during the regular season each year.

No big deal. Not for an elite franchise.

When the Patriots, get their ass kicked in a regular season game do their fans make plans to cancel the rest of the season and then second guess every single decision by Belichick and every single pass Brady has thrown? Nope, in Brady and Bill they trust.

You know its kinda funny. I started calling Brees an effing midget on this blog and some fans lost their damn minds. I can do that because I know that Brees is one bad ass quarterback. Well, except when he's pick-sixing Saints fans into a coma and giving them Cancer of the Ass. And I can also make light a Payton's playcalling because I know that he is one of the top two coaches in the game.

I can have fun with MY TEAM because I have 100% confidence in their ability to win and remain winners as long as these two cats on are top of their game. And I'm having a ball. Wins and losses. This is the absolute BEST TIME to be a Saints fan and I'm not going to waste it crapping the bed every time they lose a game or don't blow out a team the way we think they should have.

But... some of the very same fans who lose their s*** whenever I or anyone else tweak Brees or Payton over their weaknesses or idiosyncrasies, these are the ones that need oxygen every week before a Saints game and have to be placed in a rubber room after a Saints loss.

That's okay. Not everyone can carry the same load. I get that. But, all that wailing and gnashing of teeth is unnecessarily scaring the hell outta some fans who may not be as confident in the team as Tommy V and a few others. And they're looking at some of you more vocal cats as an example.

Dave will tell you, only a very small percentage of Saints fans who visit this blog on a daily basis ever comment. And if they're coming here regularly, that means they're looking to CSC for their Saints news, info, and overall tone in order to get a feel for the team.

Hell, some of you cats even scare the Jesus1000 outta some of the regulars around here with all the sky-is-falling rhetoric after each loss. Thank goodness the Saints are 10-3 instead of 7-6. Some of these folks really would be in that hospital ward that Ship was talking about.

Anyway, we got Rams this week. For those of you that are scared, hey, hope it works out for you, bruh. Me on the other hand, I'm having too much fun being the fan of a winning football team. Regardless of the result.

Enjoy the game.

Well, you know, if you can.

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