Monday, September 12, 2005


Great Len Pasquarelli article on re Saints

On Saturday evening, in the final team meeting, coach Jim Haslett rose to read a letter that had been sent to him by Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans, graphically detailing the catastrophic destruction of the city, the loss of lives and homes, children orphaned and elderly dead in their homes. Haslett, who politely declined commissioner Paul Tagliabue's offer to address the team that evening, could not get through the letter. He handed the missive instead to director of player development Ricky Porter to finish.
Fortunately, for the Saints and the city they represent, the team performed with great heart all afternoon. It needed to, since the Saints, characteristically, did not play with their heads for much of the day.
"We did some dumb things, no doubt about it," Haslett acknowledged. "But we were able to overcome them, and that hasn't always been the case for us. This team, though, is very resilient. I told our guys that it's the closest group I've ever been around. They like each other, they stick together, they fight hard for one another. That's a good sign."
"If there's anybody left on Bourbon Street," said Horn, "I'm sure they're partying right about now."
Haslett, who was walking a pretty fine edge earlier in the week but maintained his poise and emotion Sunday, awarded one game ball to Mayor Nagin for the city of New Orleans. Another game ball, Haslett said, was dedicated to all the Gulf Coast residents.
"Those people, what can you say?" Haslett said in a near-empty locker room. "Believe me, our guys were aware of it. You could feel the emotion on the flight up here. You could feel it in the locker room. And you could definitely feel it on the field. This was an important win for this football team but it kind of goes way beyond that, doesn't it?"

Full article here

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