- New Orleans Saints
- August 7, 2018
Founded by John Mecom Jr. and David Dixon in 1966, the New Orleans Saints are a professional American football team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the league’s National Football Conference (NFC) South division. Up until this day, the Saints won one Super Bowl Championship (2009), one Conference Championship (NFC, 2009) and six Division Championships.
The New Orleans Saints colors scheme is old gold, black, white; and their logo represents the fleur de lis (in French, fleur means “flower”, and lis means “lily”), a French symbol used by royal families and many of the Catholic saints of France. The Saints owner is Gayle Benson (an heir to the estate of Tom Benson and his widow), while Sean Peyton is the current head coach of the team.
Founded in 1966 as an expansion franchise, the New Orleans Saints started to play in 1967, struggling in their first year in the NFL, losing 11 out of 14 games. More than that, it took 20 years for the team to reach the first winning season in the franchise history.
The 1987 season marked the first winning of the team, brought by the quarterback Bobby Hebert, along with linebackers Rickey Jackson and Sam Mills who pushed the Saints to a 12–3 record and a playoff berth. Nonetheless, the New Orleans Saints lost their first postseason contest to the Minnesota Vikings. In the next two seasons, even if they had new winning records, they didn’t make it to the postseason.
The first Division title
From 1990, the Saints qualified for three consecutive years for the playoff berths and each year lost in the first round postseasons. However, in 1991 they won the NFC West Division title. After the arrival of Mike Ditka as head coach, the team continued to fail and over the ‘90s, but at the end of the 1999 season, due to the club’s 3–13 record, Ditka was fired along with his entire coaching stuff.
The Jim Haslett era
Jim Haslett was hired as head coach in 2000 and guided the team to the 2000 playoffs, where they defeated the Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams for or the franchise’s first playoff victory. The following week, the Saints lost to the Minnesota Vikings and in the next 5 years, they didn’t manage to go past the postseason.
2006 – Present
Under the guidance of the new head coach Sean Payton, hired on 17th January, the New Orleans Saints came back to the Superdome in 2006 and posted a 10–6 record. On 17th December, the team obtained their third division title and the first NFC South title in franchise history.
The 2009 season was the most memorable for the team and it started with the winning of their first 13 games and the qualification to the playoffs. They set the record for the longest undefeated season opening (13–0) by an NFC team since the 1970 merge. Surprisingly, they lost the last three regular season games, but at the 2009 NFC Championship game, they defeated the Minnesota Vikings 31-28 in overtime, advancing to their first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. They went against the Indianapolis Colts and won the Super Bowl XLIV Championship.
On 2nd of March 2012 the NFL announced that the New Orleans Saints’ coaching staff ran a bounty program between 2009 and 2011 that gave financial rewards to New Orleans defensive players in exchange for injuring opponents. As a consequence, Sean Payton was suspended for the entire season and the general manager Mickey Loomis was suspended for eight years. Additionally, the team was fined $500,000 and stripped of two second-round draft picks. The Saints finished the 2012 season with a disheartening 7–9 record.
In 2017, the New Orleans Saints won 11 games and a NFL division title, followed by the winning of the first playoff game. However, they have been eliminated in the postseason by the Minnesota Vikings.
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