Metairie >Recreation Clubs > New Orleans Saints
Only divine intervention could keep fans from rooting for these beloved underdogs..
Fittingly, the franchise was born on Nov 1, 1966 (All Saints Day). Less than a year later, Saints receiver John Gilliam took the season-opening kickoff 94 yards for an electrifying touchdown before a packed house at Tulane Stadium. The home team ultimately lost that fateful game, though, and a legacy of unmet expectation has followed the Black and Gold ever since.
The Saints did not earn a winning season until 1987, under Jim Mora, the coach many believed could lift the losing hex. The team regressed, however, and the Mora era gave way to the unsuccessful and short-lived regime of Mike Ditka. Ever-devoted fans hoped Jim Haslett, who was named 2000's NFL coach of the year and brought the team to its first-ever second-round playoff game, could lead the Saints to the ultimate victory. Now it's head coach Sean Payton's turn to lead the team for its 2006 season.
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