5 Reasons the Saints Will Be the First Team to Host a Super Bowl in 2013
With Super Bowl XLVI set to match the NFC Champions New York Giants and AFC's New England Patriots, America can effectively look forward to Super Bowl XLVII since this year's game promises to be about as exciting as watching snow melt.
If that sort of thing gets your blood going, then good for you. But Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans figures to be a much more exciting proposition. Of course it is, since the grass is always greener on the other side, and the future is always more promising than the present.
But come on people. XLVII brings about an amazing opportunity for the first home team Super Bowl game in the game's history.
Here are five reasons the Saints will host the Super Bowl in 2013.
1. NFC Doesn't Repeat Its Super Bowl Representative
In the past 11 years, the NFC has sent 10 different teams to the Super Bowl. That number would have been a 100 percent completion percentage had the San Francisco 49ers won Sunday night against the Giants.
What is the point? The NFC hasn't produced a repeat champion since the Green Bay Packers went to back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997-1998.
In other words, that's the good news for every team in the NFC not named the Giants. It doesn't necessarily guarantee anything for the Saints, or for that matter any other team, but this fact doesn't hurt the other 15 teams' chances.
2. Steve Spagnuolo
In 2009, the Saints went to Super Bowl in Gregg Williams' first year as the defensive coordinator. His impact was unexpectedly amazing. The turnaround of that defense from a stagnant, struggling unit who made few plays to one constantly causing the offense headaches was the most impressive aspect of an amazingly magical season.
Of course the next two seasons, the turnovers didn't come. And as a result the defense slipped to an all-time low two weekends ago when it gave up two leads in the final five minutes of the football game against San Francisco.
A lot has already been made about the impact Steve Spagnuolo promises to have on this Saints unit in 2012. Many are going to jump to conclusions that his defense will be better in 2012 than Williams' was in 2009.
I want to eliminate such high expectations off the bat. Spagnuolo's defense will not create turnovers in quite the same manner that Williams' defense did in 2009.
That said, Spagnuolo is the master of creating pressure on the quarterback using a variety of different schemes, including blitzes and zone blitzes. Like Williams his defenses are aggressive and will take chances.
But his defenses are also less foolproof, meaning the safeties will likely play more coverage on the back end, giving the Saints' underrated group of corners more help.
It should be a much more solid defense that doesn't give up as many big plays. That in itself ought to lend well to an overall improvement on the defensive side of the ball.
3. Saints Are That Good
In case you've missed it, the New Orleans Saints have made the postseason three years in a row. Yes, you read that correctly—three times in a row.
In that time span they have won one Super Bowl and accumulated four postseason wins. Sean Payton and Drew Brees know how to win in the postseason.
And they know how to put together an offense that can do just about anything it wants. After all in 2011 the Saints set about a million offensive records for a single season. As of now there’s no reason the offense shouldn't be as good if not better in 2012.
Yes, much of that will depend on the re-signing of key players: Carl Nicks, Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, and oh yeah, the quarterback himself, Drew Brees.
Expect at least three of the four to return. Assuming they do, this offense ought to roll again in 2012. And when the offense rolls, the rest of the team tends to play pretty well.
4. Saints Want Postseason Revenge
Even if you've been living under a rock, I'm going to assume you know about the two bitter losses on the road in Seattle and San Francisco last two postseasons. The Saints will get their shot at revenge against the Niners at home next season. But it's the postseason where the Saints really want blood.
For a team as talented and with as much character, it is almost incomprehensible that the Saints have only won one Super Bowl in the six years that Sean Payton and Drew Brees have run this city.
Anyone who knows anything about Brees and Payton know they and the rest of the team want to finish the season each year on a winning note. That is the goal of all 32 teams in the league.
Obviously by sheer numbers that cannot happen to very many teams. Even if the NFL was a communist regime that allowed each team the title on a rotating basis, each organization would only grab the Lombardi once every 32 seasons.
That's why you have to have a lot of luck and great quarterback to do any damage in this league. The Saints have the latter, and are hoping with a little of the former, 2012 can again end with them hoisting that Lombardi Trophy, this time in their own stadium.
5. New Orleans Loves to Throw a Party, Why Not a Saints Party?
In just over a year the Mercedes Benz Superdome will have held prime time playoff games, a BCS National Championship Game, a Final Four and a Super Bowl. That is a ton of partying on Bourbon Street for out-of-towners.
What a great way to cap a year-plus of an amazing run of hosting nationally relevant games by becoming the first host city to have its team play in the game!
It hasn't happened yet in 46 years. At some point, don't the odds favor it actually happening? I would think so. And assuming the health of this team's quarterback, a few key re-signs in free agency and a little luck, there isn't much reason to think No. 47 won't be that first time.
In a city which has taken the virginity of many, doesn't it only seem right that New Orleans would also take the host city virginity away from the Super Bowl?