Thursday, July 23, 2015

the Saints

New Orleans started up an NFL (National Football League)team in the 1960s called the Saints. (There was also AFL - an American Football League - at the time). Football had little meaning for me until the Saints showed up. Our dad for the first time stayed pinned in one spot - every Sunday afternoon for a couple of hours - in front of the TV to watch the game. 'Let's see how the Saints are doing!' Sometimes he had a can of Falstaff beer while the game played. We kids played in and out of the room while he watched. Sometimes, we stopped to watch too. What was this that held his attention each week? We asked questions and after awhile, got to understand the refs wore black and white stripes. They threw down yellow flags for rule infractions. We learned about '4th downs' and 'pass interference', 'touchdowns' and 'conversions'.

We learned it snows a lot in the winter in some places like where the Green Bay Packers were from. Most coliseums were open-air back then. It was really fascinating - especially from our TV in Louisiana - to watch the snow falling and whirling while these men huddled, got a plan, threw the ball - hike! hike! hike! - in the freezing weather.

There was a pace to the game. It moved pretty swiftly in the beginning - but the last four minutes on the clock went on forever, and a lot could happen in those four minutes.

The Saints rarely won back in the 1960s, but had as many loyal fans as the teams that made it to the playoffs.

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