The 2016 season will bring with it a touch of history, as our beloved New Orleans Saints will be celebrating their 50th anniversary. While the team has spent all 50 years in the Crescent City, that may be the only aspect of consistency with the Saints, as the history of the franchise looks almost like a roller-coaster. From the years as "the ‘Aints" to the Bountygate scandal, from the Mora Era to the Super Bowl win, it has been a very wild ride for Saints fan, especially those that are older than this writer.
Through all the craziness, the Saints have had a laundry list of great all-time players. But, the focus of this article is not to determine the all-time great Saints (for that, see Chris Dunnells' CSC Top 5 All-Time New Orleans Saints). Instead, we have compiled a list of the best players in Saints' history to have proudly worn the number 50, sticking with the theme of the Saints' 50th anniversary.
We’d love to hear your thoughts, too. Tweet us @SaintsCSC or use the hashtag #CSCSaints50 to talk about who you think are the greatest Saints to wear the number 50.
Now, without further ado, lets take a look at the first spot on the countdown.
#3: Jake Kupp, OL (1967-75)
For our first selection on this list, we go all the way back to the first man to wear the number 50 on a Saints uniform.
Jake Kupp was a different kind of player for a different era of football. He was a pretty effective offensive lineman during his days in the black and gold, so effective that he made NOLA.com’s all-time Saints roster as an honorable mention.
What made Kupp different was that not only was he skilled enough to block for the various Saints QB’s over the years, he apparently also had some solid hands as well. Officially, he was listed as an OL on the rosters of old, but he did make a few appearances at the tight end spot over the span of his 9-year career in New Orleans.
The 6’3 lineman, a product of Washington University, was a member of the first ever New Orleans Saints team in 1967, a team that set the record for most wins by an expansion franchise in their first season (3-11). He would make his only Pro Bowl in 1969, during his second run as a Saint. Kupp also had the honor of being team captain for a handful of seasons before hanging up his cleats after the 1975 season.
To this day, Kupp is highly-regarded among fans, young and old. A consummate pro during his career, Kupp is still very much involved with both the organization and the city of New Orleans. He was named an honorary member of the Saints' 40th Anniversary team back in 2006 and in 1992, Kupp was inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame for his efforts over the years, helping immortalize him and earning him his spot at number five on this list.
Check back next week for the reveal of the number two spot on this list!