Some times you just never see it coming.
When everyone tells you the story about how the Saints came back to beat Washington 34-31 in overtime you’re going to imagine a Superdome crowd that was roaring and screaming every second of the way. But that would be incorrect…until the fourth quarter.
To be honest, it was a pretty ho-hum crowd who seemingly were taking their cue from a ho-hum game by the Saints. The town and team were almost sleepwalking into a loss. One that, down the road, folks would vaguely remember and say, “Oh right. That one game. Nothing went right that day.”
7-3 was right around the corner and it didn’t seem like anything was going to change that fact. Hell, I’m still thinking about it and trying to figure out just how it happened. Football is crazy sometimes.
As the five-minute mark crept up onto the scoreboard you could feel everyone thinking about getting back on track next week, but while everyone was thinking about how the Saints would still be in first place, Drew Brees decided to go all Drew Brees. The master class in quarterbacking, would see Brees hit his last 11 passes in regulation and pick apart the Washington secondary.
It wasn’t just Brees, though. None of it would have mattered if the defense didn’t make The Stand — on a day that didn’t see their best effort — after Brees hit Josh Hill for a three-yard touchdown. Then Brees was Brees again and all of that, “Brees can’t make the throws he used to,” talk never seemed more ridiculous.
It still would have been all for naught if the Saints didn’t execute a two-point conversion to tie the game in the final moments in regulation. The bold pitch play to Alvin Kamara was just the latest example of how much the Saints believe in their running game and props to Josh Hill for delivering the block of the year to get Kamara into the end zone.
As the Wil Lutz 28-yard field goal won the game in overtime, Who Dats were echoing across downtown and if I had a dollar for every high five I gave in the Quarter after the game I would be the richest man in the Crescent City.
Pelicans Attempt to Take Flight
Is anyone talking about the Pelicans, yet? In a city whose storylines are now dominated by the Saints Super Bowl dreams, it feels like the NBA is a mere afterthought and the New Orleans Pelicans (9-8) haven’t kicked off their season.
But buckle up, New Orleans. This season could be a wild rollercoaster ride. From the early returns, the Pelicans seem to be stuck smack dab in the middle of the NBA pack. Fortunately for fans, that can add up to some exciting basketball to watch like last night's 114-107 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.. Leave defense for the college ranks, the NBA is all about the showcase until the playoffs then we want some defense.
The Pels host the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday, Nov. 22, at the Smoothie King Center.
Never Say Die
The Tulane Green Wave pulled off a thrilling upset of the Houston Cougars to keep their bowl dreams alive. Tulane’s defense came back to life and stymied the Cougars in a 20-17 victory on Senior Day at Yulman Stadium.
On a day that paid respects to the graduating class, it was the junior class combo of Jonathan Banks throwing the rock to Terren Encalade that brought home the biggest victory of the season for the Angry Wave. The coaching staff is finally giving Banks the green light to open up the passing attack and Banks is not disappointing. Who knows what this offense could do next year? But that’s next year — this team is worried about next week. And if the Wave can travel to Dallas, Texas and knock off the SMU Mustangs they’ll get to go Bowling in only Coach Fritz’s second season with the club.
Tulane plays SMU in an early 11 a.m. matchup this Saturday, Nov. 25. So get up, get a coffee and watch the game. Roll Wave.
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: 40 Arpent Brewing’s “Orange Blossom O-Possum” Golden Ale
Playlist Recommendation: The Lovin’ Spoonful – “Do You Believe In Magic?”
Around the Way
No sport really exemplifies the maxim about it’s not about how you start but how you finish more so than college basketball. Teams don’t have to avoid scheduling tough opponents because, even with a loss, it’s about how good your team can be during the month of March. There are no bowl games. There is just one level playing field — a world in which the little guys get to go head-to-head with the big boys. Such is the case of the UNO Privateers.
UNO is picked to finish in the middle of the pack in the Southland conference but they are the reigning champions so forgive them if they’re not impressed by the media polls. UNO is getting ready for another run at March and has faced some stiff competition to kick off the year.
The Privateers traveled to New York to take on the St. John’s Red Storm in a well-played game that saw UNO lose 77-61 in a game that was much closer than the score would indicate. UNO followed that game with an 87-68 loss to the Horizon League-favorite Oakland Golden Grizzlies. UNO’s tough early stretch continues tonight in Tennessee as the Privateers take on the Memphis Tigers at 7 p.m.
UNO will be led by senior forward Travin Thibodeaux who put up 18 and 20 points in the two losses. Senior Makur Puou scored a career-high 18 points versus Oakland. The Privateers will need the points any way they can get them in a season that will be pointed toward one goal alone — March Madness.