Last Modified: Saturday, September 22, 2012 6:47 PM
There is still hope.
The play clock has not completely wound down.The light at the end of that tunnel does not have to be that of a screaming freight train.Instead, it is just another engine that has seemed also to have jumped its tracks.
Still, in the world of the New Orleans Saints and their fans, all seems already lost, or at least well on its way to being so.
Can’t blame the team or its followers. The past nine months have been one giant kick in the teeth. Even when they win, like with the overturned suspensions, they seem ready to lose again.
Those players who got back their rights to play are not likely to keep them long.
But all hope is not lost. This season can still be saved.
To that end we bring you today’s hope,
the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Saints could ask for nothing better. Much like the Saints, the Chiefs head into the Superdome a major disappointment. Their 0-2 record is not what was expected.
This was a team many felt was going to make a run deep into the playoffs. Of course, that’s what many of the same folks were saying about the Saints. So this game today becomes a must, for both teams.
While 0-2 is a deep hole few climb out of, 0-3 is an even deeper place that seems more like a dungeon. And when you consider two of those losses would be at home, suddenly the Saints’ season looks doomed.
Yes, where there is Drew Brees there is hope, but you just getting the feeling this is a team that has to find a way to win. The players, coaches and fan base are starting to wonder if all the offseason junk was too much.
Losing to the Panthers last week is no real shame on the road, except when you look at what the Giants just did to Carolina.
By being blown out by the Giants, and Tampa Bay in the first weekend, one has to wonder just how good Carolina really is. That, of course, leads to the bigger question: Just how good, or bad, are the Saints?
A third straight loss would go a long, long way in answering that question. Meanwhile, Atlanta is knocking off big-time foes and looking very much like a team not about to give back a division lead.
Falling further behind the Falcons is not an option.The Saints don’t want their season to be over before Halloween.
But if they win …
The sun will shine a little brighter Monday morning, hope will be lifted just a big.
So, that means just one thing: this
game today is a big one. It should not be. It didn’t look that way when
the schedule first
came out, but it is now.
And it may be bigger off the sports pages as well.
New Orleans, in fact most of the state, has used the Saints as a compass as to where it is heading over the past few years. When the city and region was down, the Saints lifted it up with playoff runs and a Super Bowl title.
Now, the same group of people have been sucker punched once again, maybe even twice.
First it was the league itself that landed a haymaker, then just when things were starting to rebound came another storm. A double whammy. So the battered people turned once again to their heroes, but this time they have been let down, at least in the early going.
What used to be a three-hour weekly window of fun and energy has turned into a time for concern and dismay. Instead of serving as bragging rights Monday mornings at water cooler those sessions have become more like needed therapy.
Few cities or regions are tied to their team like the Saints are to their fans. That’s what makes today so important.
As for the season, the poor start is what makes today a must win.
Unfortunately, it is the same for the Chiefs.b One team will leave the field today with new hope, for the other things will really start looking hopeless.
Jim Gazzolo is managing sports editor. Email him at email@example.com