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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees stretches before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. Ever since the Saints fell hard in Seattle early last month, they've envisioned a rematch with the Seahawks in the playoffs. (Associated Press)

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees stretches before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. Ever since the Saints fell hard in Seattle early last month, they've envisioned a rematch with the Seahawks in the playoffs. (Associated Press)

Saints have secret weapon in food fight

Last Modified: Monday, January 13, 2014 2:11 PM

By Scooter Hobbs / American Press

Apparently, if the Saints are to converse through an unlikely three-week road trip to the Super Bowl, they will have to deal with most of the biblical plagues of Egypt along the way.

They took care of the cold thing and the dreaded dark of night last week in beating Philadelphia 26-24, to say nothing of spitting Eagles fans.

Mission accomplished.

Next stop Seattle, for a second-round NFL playoff game against the Seahawks Saturday afternoon.

Not sure the Egyptians had to deal with “excruciating noise” back in the Old Testament as neither sound systems nor the grunge and rap double whammy had been invented then.

But that’s mostly what Seattle ladles out by the decibel full, which seems severe for a coffee-house town, even when dealing with NFL intruders.

(If Starbucks wasn’t one of the plagues it should have been.)

The Seattle forecast for Saturday, though a tad warmer than Philadelphia was, calls for what is known in the trade as a “100 percent chance of rain.”

There’s not a lot of gray area in that forecast. I think it’s the one Seattle gets roughly 300 days a year, so the Saints shouldn’t go feeling special.

It has been holding steady for a week now — 100 percent, book it — so the Saints better be prepared to get wet, which only happens in the Superdome when somebody spills a six pack.

Rain, rain, rain.

Maybe it will put a damper on the crowd.

For a city full of alleged tree huggers, Seattle has gotten quite the reputation as a loudmouth in its football crib.

Twice this season the Seahawks fans have set the Guinness World Records mark in the coveted “crowd noise” category, most recently when the Saints visited for a Monday night game in early December.

The decibel level was 137.6, which in layman’s terms has been compared to “the Earth exploding.”

The Saints countered that very night by setting new Guinness standards in the “foul odor” category during a 34-7 loss.

So the Saints will have to deal with that crowd factor again, hopefully having learned a valuable lesson during the first trip, now being referred to as a scouting mission.

Of more important concern to me would be this seafood thing.

In a moment of high creativity, some United States senators from Washington (the state) and Louisiana (the banana republic) have taunted each other with a friendly wager.

Fittingly enough it involves seafood, and normally Louisiana would be on solid ground here, armed for battle.

From our side, you get charbroiled oysters and Abita Amber. From the Seattle corner, you also get oysters, from someplace called Taylor Shellfish Farms with a Pike Pale Ale as a chaser.

If it’s a taste test, fine, because you can’t do much better than charbroiled, and when it comes to seasoning New Orleans is usually a red pepper and a half favorite, even on the road.

No offense to Seattle, but they probably season the delectables with latte and mocha.

But that’s a taste test and the wager isn’t clear as to what the particular ground rules are here.

If this is crustacean mano a mano, the Saints are in trouble. We’re going to need a bigger crawfish for this fight.

I’ve been to the famous Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, and it’s a scary place. Not for the faint-hearted.

They’ve got indescribable stuff in there right out of old black-and-white science-fiction movies.

Somewhere in the back you probably complete the plagues with all those frogs and locusts and maybe even pestilence.

The employees were throwing around gangly fish the size of Hondas, tossing them right at people.

They had shrimp you’d take home and make house pets of. They had lobsters larger than our shrimp boats.

And the crabs, my gosh. They had crabs that looked capable of devouring entire cities sideways.

I wouldn’t go messing with them.

But the Saints have a secret weapon on the culinary scene, a trick rediscovered last week and getting most of the credit for beating the Eagles.

Popeyes fried chicken.

It’s back on the team charter, by the bucketful, for the trip to Seattle.

Head coach Sean Payton went on a bit of a health craze during his year in exile last season and was so impressed that he lightened up the fare on team charters, possibly including tofu and carrot sticks.

The Saints went 3-5 on the road in the regular season and the players reminded Payton that they loved that chicken from Popeyes.

So it was back to greasy fingers last week and — voilà — the first road playoff win in Saints history.

It’s the little things, folks.

Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at shobbs@americanpress.com

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