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Suspended New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. (Associated Press)<br>

Suspended New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. (Associated Press)

Gazzolo: The Saints could really lose for winning

Last Modified: Saturday, December 22, 2012 5:53 PM

By Jim Gazzolo / American Press

It is the time of year where wishes come true, but this one might be a little too much to ask for.

Some how, the Saints still have a chance to make the playoffs. In theory that is.

In reality, not likely.

If it happens, it would be one of the all-time greatest Christmas miracles.

For today, most Saints fans would be happy just helping wreck the season of those hated Dallas Cowboys.

Even with a victory today in the house that Jerry built just outside of Dallas, the Saints will likely be eliminated. That is unless a whole series of other events can occur.

There is, of course, always hope.

According to the Mayans we were are all supposed to be gone by now, so you can look at every day from here on out as our own personal overtime.

But a loss to the Cowboys would mean the end of the world as Saints fans know it.

For the past few seasons they have had bragging rights over their friends who support the Cowboys. It usually isn’t like that.

However, ever since Sean Payton and Drew Brees hit the Big Easy the Saints have had better teams than Dallas, with playoff runs and even a Super Bowl title.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys have struggled to get out of their own way. And Tony Romo, yes he has a playoff win, but he also fumbled a snap once that would have made it at least two postseason victories under his 10-gallon hat.

Now the Cowboys have a shot to knock the Saints out of their season-long misery for good and take a big step back toward the postseason themselves.

Granted, this is not the biggest rivalry for either team, but Saints fans have always had this feeling of being the little brother when it comes to the Cowboys. And to many, they even stole Dallas’ nickname as America’s Team with the way the country rooted for New Orleans after Katrina and through the championship year.

That all ended with the bounty stuff this offseason. Now those same Saints fans who welcomed the nation’s bandwagon fans on board have this us-against-the-world attitude. It seems to have helped get them through to this point.

It is hard to believe that the Saints, losers of their first four and never been over .500 this season, still have a chance to make the playoffs. Shows the NFC isn’t that deep in great teams.

Yet two wins and some of Santa’s magic and the Saints could be in the postseason.

While that dream may be alive, one thing is for sure, a win over Dallas will make the healing process begin a few weeks sooner.

Nothing seems to excite local Saints followers more than seeing the Dallas Cowboys lose a football game.

Ironically, the worst thing that could happen long term to the Saints comes if they beat Dallas.

Two Cowboy wins and they not only make the playoffs but might save the job of one Jason Garrett, their head coach.

However, a loss to New Orleans could mean the end of Garrett’s time in Dallas, meaning the club with all the money will be looking for a head coach.

Funny, but the Saints might have a head coach looking for all the money.

Payton is a free agent, and while all the talk is he will resign with New Orleans once his bounty suspension is over, one never knows. Money talks.

The Saints could lose for winning.

Makes you wonder just which team you should root for today.

• • •

Jim Gazzolo is managing sports editor. Email him at jgazzolo@americanpress.com

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