Another Super Bowl Sunday, another chance to leave needle tracks in my Peyton Manning voodoo doll.

OK, you’re right. There’s too much hate in the world. And watching today’s biggest sporting event in the universe from the mildly inebriated perspective of rooting for the lesser of two evils is lame. 

Trust me: I tried it two weeks ago. There wasn’t enough hot water within a 100-mile radius to accommodate all the showers it took to shake the filthy feeling I had after wishing the Jets anything but a virulent skin rash.

So I’m going to give it my best shot, set aside my utter disdain for the Colts and enumerate the most compelling reasons to love the Saints this evening, Roman numeral style.

Wish me luck.

I. Now that Kurt Warner is retired, Drew Brees is the official poster child in the NFL quarterback fraternity for philanthrophy, mom and apple pie. And we don’t have to stomach 18 gratuitous network close-ups of his wife.

II. Kim Kardashian. I have nothing to add.

III. In the pantheon of lovable losers, the Saints fall in line just between the Cubs and Alf Landon. Up to now, the most famous moment in franchise history involved a soon-to-be-fired coach dropping “diddley-poo” at a news conference.

IV. Heath Evans and David Thomas. Why can’t the Patriots get players like that?

V. If you didn’t get behind the Saints four days before the Super Bowl hit, even when every available forecast said the Super Bowl would be played on Sunday, you’re incompetent and probably a racist. Sorry. Guess it’s too soon for Hurricane Dubya humor.

VI. The Saints flat-out undressed the Patriots on national TV. The Colts merely got an early Christmas gift against the same opponent.

VII. There’s just something lovable about a team whose kicker gets a four-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance.

VIII. Thirty-two years ago, New Orleans drafted a punter with its No. 1 draft pick. That takes guts.

IX. Darren Sharper. The guy got to a Super Bowl as a rookie with the Packers, then had to suffer while every succeeding chance to get here dissolved in a sea of Brett Favre interceptions.

X. Gregg Williams. The Saints’ defensive coordinator was one in a string of inept head coaches who made it possible for the Patriots to beat the Bills 99 consecutive times.

XI. After Katrina’s destruction, New Orleans played an entire season on the road. Other than the Los Angeles Clippers, no other pro sports franchise in America understands that feeling.

XII. The Saints were the first team to inspire a sober fan to wear a bag over his head.

XIII. Jesus loves them. At least that’s what the similarly nicknamed St. Dominic Regional High School student section has been telling me at hockey games for years.

XIV. When the Saints win, there will be priceless entertainment value in watching Archie Manning try not to cheer.

XV. Former fullback-turned-radio guy Hokie Gajan still has the coolest name in modern NFL history.

XVI. Other than Brees and the overrated Reggie Bush, the Saints have the most prolific offense in football without a star. Pierre Thomas is the starting running back. Where I come from, Pierre Thomas would have been captain of the speech and debate team, at most.

XVII. These guys once gainfully employed both Billy Joe Hobert and Billy Joe Tolliver as starting quarterbacks. 

XVIII. They were gracious enough to offer their home stadium for a 48-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal that let me escape from an adult life in sports fan purgatory.

XIX. Better party town.

XX. Better food.

XXI. Better coach. There’s nothing sadder than a caretaker. Barry Switzer and George Seifert, anyone?

XXII. Almost made it to the halfway point without ripping on the Colts. Props to me, baby.

XXIII. Somehow the Saints survived Mike Ditka trading away an entire draft for a running back whose chief motivation was being awake at 4:20.

XXIV. They drove Warner and (probably, finally, mercifully) Favre into retirement. Maybe if the Colts lose … naaaaah.

XXV. The owner is more senile and less detestable than Al Davis.

XXVI. New Orleans’ fans are the only ones who sound more ridiculous on camera than New Englanders.

XXVII. Brees’ ESPN SportsCenter commercial where he’s steering the Mardi Gras float in a traffic jam is one of the better ones.

XXVIII. Just think how refreshing it will be to watch Brees win a title before that insufferable twit Philip Rivers. You let the wrong guy go, San Diego.

XXIX. The Saints’ lack of an outright star running back or wide receiver frustrated fantasy football geeks to tears.

XXX. Triple-X, huh? Fill in your own Mardi Gras joke here.

XXXI. Saints saved us from a two-week Manning/Favre media kissy-fest.

XXXII. We’ll never have to listen to that “defense wins championships” crap again.

XXXIII. They were the first team to employ Jake Delhomme. If not for that, maybe Carolina would’ve had a real quarterback to deny the Patriots their second Super Bowl victory.

XXXIV. Earl Campbell gave the last years of his career to the Saints. Dude’s in his 50s and can barely walk 100 yards without a cane because of it. Show him some love.

XXXV. The NFC has suffered too long. Yes, I’m ignoring the fact that the Giants won two years ago.

XXXVI. As an unabashed Florida Gators fan, I’m tired of LSU being the only relevant team in that state. No apologies.

XXXVII. Because zydeco is cooler music than … wait, is Indiana identified with anything? John Mellencamp, maybe. At least he’s younger than Pete Townshend.

XXXVIII. The owner never moved his team when times were hard.

XXXIX. And by hard times, we mean the roof came apart, not that the city wouldn’t build him a bigger joint at his beck and call.

XL. Brees isn’t an attention-starved whiner with a puppy-dog-eyed little brother who has fingernails wedged in his coattails.

XLI. I tried. Really.

XLII. Admit it, though: It would be funny if Manning ended his career with the same number of Super Bowl titles as Trent Dilfer, Jeff Hostetler and Mark Rypien.

XLIII. And his brother. Thank you, David Tyree.

XLIV. Geaux Saints.

Kalle Oakes is a staff columnist. His email is [email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.