Saints-Vikings: Preparing for a Vast Sea of Faded Dalton Hilliard Jeseys! Wait..

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Saints-Vikings: Preparing for a Vast Sea of Faded Dalton Hilliard Jeseys! Wait..
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Saints all time records" target="_blank">275-378-5.

Who Dat?

That's the all-time regular season record of the Johnny Come Lately New Orleans Saints.

Geaux Saints!

N'awlins.

Just some of the fake-ass French mannerisms that seem to be floating around as of late.

As the title of this article indicates, I challenge any and all, real Saints fans to wear their old faded No. 21 Dalton Hilliard jerseys among others that will prove their real loyalty to the team I refer to as the Bandwagon Bayou. Instead we will see brand-new pitch black No. 25 Reggie Bush or "Drew Brees" jerseys. Go figure.

I realize the number of actual Saints contributors is limited since you really aren't used to winning and haven't been blessed with the same winners the Vikings have had historically but at least try and dig up and old Wayne Martin or Morten Andersen jersey or two. That will prove your commitment to the team.

Hilliard, a Louisiana native son, played for the putrid Saints from 1986-1993, whose career while plagued by injuries was a fan favorite-probably because oftentimes, he was the only one worth giving a damn about.

"Who dat gonna beat dem Saints?" is the complete phrase of the ebonics-esque chant. Oxymoron as it is since A. the answer from much of their failed history is, well, just about everyone but B. its eerily familiar to another failed franchise, the Bengals' "Who Dey!" chant.

With a 276-377-5 record against the rest of the league, a more appropriate motto might be, who hasn't beat "dem Saints?"

How original—even if yours came first, New Orleans—excuse me, N'awlins.

I realize its just a quirky phrase that is similar to our Skol Vikings! chant which pays tribute to our Nordic themed history but come on, think of the irony behind that rally cry; that's all I have to say.

Besides, everyone knows that the only real football that matters is in Baton Rouge and LSU.

How many of you are French?

How many of you know anything more than "Geaux " "Frere Jacques " and "Au Revior " among your limited French vocabulary?

I get a lot of you are just playing it up because its just a game and this is your team (at least since 2003) or is it 2007, I forget.

Again, to all the real Saints fans who can more than three players off the 3-13 1996 team, for example without looking it up, this doesn't apply to you as there are good and real fans in every market that support the team good and bad.

But there are also a growing number of you who don't realize or don't remember the brown bag years. For a fond reminder of those glory days, just Google it.

Excuse me: "Geaux" Google it. Is that better?

"Saints Brown bag over heads." Unfortunately the first thing that comes up first as a 'brown bag mask' explanation with the Saints specifically cited as examples, but under the Saints' own wikipedia history, it lists their rather dubious tradition that effectively labeled them the 'Aints.

I always thought it was a good look for you. It was your own, it was personal, and most of all, it matched those lovely gold pants so nicely.

Speaking of pants , Brett Favre has the Vikings locker room all united and rallying around in a New York Yankees-esque atmosphere of yesteryear. Literally, as in last year when they won it all, something neither of our teams know about, but at least we've been there-four times.

What about you?

All you have is know-it-all Drew Brees bark" target="_blank">Brees barking at the camera in the infamous but stupid "Who are we? Saints! Who are we? Saints! This-is-New Orleans!"

First off, I appreciate him speaking slowly at the end since most of us don't speak idiot, but more importantly, thanks to him for reminding us who they are, a history of losers.

That loser mentality is going to be hard to shake, especially coming from Brees, a former San Diego Choker, uh, Charger.

A similar Google search of "Vikings Brown bag over heads" didn't seem to reveal anything.

Maybe that's because their 395-322-9 .550 percent record may have had something to do with it. Maybe its because of the 48 years Minnesota has had a team, only 13 of them, or 27 percent of the time has their record been below .500.

Three of these years were the teams' first three in existence.

They are a model NFL franchise. They play in a real division, with tradition, rivalries, and winning. The Saints and their fans are still learning what its takes and what its like to be winners.

Forgive me, but I'll take Brett Favre's childlike desire to play the game, complete with his tackling of his own wide receivers after the catch his throw or him picking up a tight end over Drew Brees whose appears to have the personality of a gym bag and comes off as a jerk because he tries to hard to fit in.

Everyone wants to talk about x-factors. Hopefully punter Chris Kluwe learned his lesson from punting to all-or-nothing Reggie Bush the last time these two teams played and the Vikings won 32-31 in a too-thrilling game.

 

Breaking down the game:

The Vikings have several x-factors: Jared Allen and the rest of the defensive line against the Saints under-whelming tackles John Stinchcomb and Jermon Bushrod at right and left tackle respectively, whom Cris Carter already called out as a weakness for the Saints.

  • Adrian Peterson and the fact he hasn't rushed for 100 yards since week 10 or eight games ago. If he gets 100, especially early due to a long run or two, it could be a whole new ballgame right there.
  • Super Rookie Percy Harvin and his migraine situation. He can turn a game field position-wise on either a kick return or two or a long reception. I personally, don't expect anything out of him because of the above, so anything productive will be a bonus as he goes into decoy mode.
  • The fact Bernard Berrian and Visanthe Shaincoe have yet to really emerge. Similar to Peterson, if they do anything, which I'm not counting on, the Vikings could find themselves in surprisingly good shape.
  • The real key is Brett Favre. He's battle tested. This is why we brought him in and many fans put up with his retirement flip-flopping.

As for me who quit hating him when he was a Packer, because at some point you just have to accept and recognize greatness even if it is for a rival, the transition was easy and effortless. He gives us our best chance to win which is what its all about at the end of the day.

If it comes to an end today, it was worth it and I thank Brett Favre for leading the most fun Vikings season since 1998 and I hope he comes back to do it all again next year.

The only two things that bother me concerning the Saints is their secondary who could take one back to the house at any moment, and the all-too-quiet defensive line which has to be better than advertised. That to me could be their x-factor if the Vikings overlooked this area. That bothers me.

As for their offense, the Vikings can only do what the can do and let the chips fall where they may. Limit the big play, try and pressure Brees like they did to Tony Romo and stop the Saints rushing attack.

Winning the toss and scoring first would do wonders for taking the crowd out of it, but that alone won't be good enough.

I think the real key is to get the first turnover of the game and most importantly cash in on it, via touchdown. The earlier the better. The Vikings must also consistently score touchdowns and not settle for field goals unless it is to pad a lead or close out a half when they have no other option.

Oh, and New Orleans, don't even try and play up the underdog hype that each team so desperately wants.

You have the No. 1 offense in the entire league which says a lot when Peyton Manning and the Cowton Colts are playing in your same league, you are the number one seed, and thus you are hosting the playoff game. All that aside, at least if we lose, we have a built in excuse.

As Vikings fans, we're used to suffering and choking in the big games. We've seen both the heartbreaking 1998 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at home which we gave away and I wrote about, linked above, and we've seen the absolute opposite, ass-kicking on the road in The Meadowlands in 2000 when the Vikings really shouldn't have went that far and surprised many, before curling up to a 41-0 beat down.

What's the worst you can do to us?

The better question would be, what would a loss today do for you?

Despite being the home team, 53 percent of ESPN's SportsNation picked the Vikings to win the game.  

But I can't rip dem Saints too bad, after all, should they win the game, I'm gonna need them to beat boring Peyton Manning and his methodical comotose offense in the Super Bowl. NFC teams gotta stick together, just not today.

Hopefully you are going to Miami—just that its next week for the Pro Bowl, while our 10 players, roughly 20 percent of the entire NFC roster, are resting up for the big day.

You need this win to unite a city and continue the hype, we need this win to save our existence in the state of Minnesota before they get relocated to Los Angeles. Think of the greater good.

We haven't been in a Super Bowl since 1976, or 34 years, you've never been in. Your time will come, ours may have less than two years in its present state, literally-no pun intended.

Minnesota needs this as I wrote in a previous column: 4 Sport Droughts: Which Market Will Win Next? Washington D.C. or Twin Cities?

With any luck New Orleans, you might be known for more than just natives Chubby Checker, Fats Domino and the appropriately titled "Aint that a Shame " which pretty much summarizes your history thus far.

Skol Vikings!

Statistics and information courtesy of ESPN.com, FOX, ESPN SportsNation, ESPN, Wikipedia, and Youtube directly contributed to this article.

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