We continue our offseason-long series asking "Where were you?" during the most remarkably or regrettably unforgettable moments in New Orleans Saints history. Today, we look back at the Saints' very first playoff game. After 21 seasons, the Saints finally qualified for the playoffs in the 1987 season. The Saints opponents that day were the Minnesota Vikings, and the game was played at the Louisiana Superdome, in front of a playoff-starved home crowd.
The slumping Vikings entered the Superdome with an 8-7 record, while the Saints were riding high with a 12-3 record, which was the first winning season in franchise history. With the Dome Patrol leading one of the NFL's top defenses going into the game, the Saints seemed like a lock to win their playoff debut at home against the overmatched Vikings. Well, unfortunately the underdog Vikings survived a horrible start, to ravage the Saints, 44-10.
I'll start the conversation:
The 1987 season was the first that I truly started following the Saints (and football in general), so as far as I knew "That Heavenly Season" was just how it was. I was 11 years old and lived in my childhood home in Riverside, CA (aka, the 909). I remember my family being pretty excited for the game, especially my dad. Out here, you'd rarely get Saints games being televised, except those two games a year when they played the Rams, so I was just excited to see a Saints game, much less a Saints playoff game.
Hopes were high, and it couldn't have started better, right? Rickey Jackson sacking Tommy Kramer on the first drive, Kramer followed by fumbling in the Vikings red zone, Bobby Hebert then finding Eric Martin in the end zone, to go up 7-0 in a heartbeat. I figured, Tom Benson better get that parasol and his dancing shoes ready, we've so got this. Well, as it turned out, that was the high point of the game for our boys in black and gold. I wasn't really mad (hell, I was just 11!) but I do remember being very disappointed. My old man on the other hand… I remember a lot of "blue" language being hurled at the ol' TV. I would've found it funny, if the Saints weren't being curb-stomped in front of my eyes.
It sucked, but I was proud of the Saints and I couldn't wait for them to play again next season, just as I do now. As for my dad, I just think of his reaction to Wade Wilson's damned Hail Mary touchdown to end the first half every time I see this famous scene:
Alright, Who Dat Nation, tell us your stories, impressions, and memories from the Saints first playoff game, and the dumptrucking that occurred within the Dome. Maybe you watched on TV, like me, or maybe you were there. Where were you?