After 43 years of futility, the New Orleans Saints and their fans have finally claimed their first Super Bowl championship. As expected, Saints fans are scrambling to snatch up as much memorabilia to remember their run as they can get their hands on. As of yesterday, there were roughly 20,000 items being sold on eBay under the search “New Orleans Saints”.
But if you happen to be a Saints fan looking for the one piece of memorabilia to not only demonstrate your loyalty to the team, but also to completely freak out the non-sports fans who happen to see it, I think we can all agree that the sports figurine is your best bet. And why stop at just the 2010 team? Why not celebrate the entire history of the franchise via completely useless and bizarre looking plastic statuettes? Let us take you on a virtual tour of the show room…
Four years after their entry into the league, the New Orleans Saints brought in Archie Manning who remained their QB from 1971 through 1981, almost a quarter of their entire existence. Granted they went 41-106 in those ten seasons and never once made the playoffs, but this dude created the “star” QB that the Saints just pounded in the the Super Bowl, man. He deserves a figurine for that reason alone.
A Glimmer of Hope
The Saints came out of their slumber in 1987 going 12-3 and making the playoffs for the first time behind the quarterbacking of Bobby Hebert and the running of two time Pro-Bowler Rueben Mayes. They made three more appearances in the playoffs in the early 90’s before the signing of a beaten-down Jim Everett signaled a return to postseason hibernation for the remainder of the decade.
Four playoff appearances in a 13 year span for a team that had gone the previous 20 years without one is an improvement any way you slice it. But during the days when Starting Lineup figures were a must-have toy for young sports fans, all Saints fans had to show was a Reuben Mayes and a Jim Everett while their buddies were flashing Jerry Rice and Barry Sanders dolls. That alone meant there was still work to be done.
The False Savior
In 1999, Saints coach/GM/draft mangler Mike Ditka famously banked an entire draft on one player – the phenom running back from Texas, Ricky Williams. With that much hype loaded onto the shoulders of a introverted, hippy running back, it’s not a surprise that he failed to live up to the expectations and turned to weed to help him cope. Of course if may not have been the pressure, rather the fact that when he saw his bobblehead get unveiled, it looked like Little Richard put on a football uniform and Ricky just couldn’t handle it.
The Gift from the Texans
When the Houston Texans elected to take Mario Williams with the first pick in the 2006 draft, allowing the presumed number one pick Reggie Bush to fall to New Orleans who picked second, people viewed the Saints as the beneficiary of the NFL’s Sam Bowie-over-Michael Jordan moment.
When a potential star such as Reggie Bush takes center stage, manufacturers of plastic human replicas take notice. And in this case, they used those plastic dolls to capture the rage that everyone expected Bush would unleash on the NFL world for the perceived slight of being bypassed as the top pick. We believe that if you squeeze the terrifying figure on the left, it will tilt it’s head slightly and scream a variety of phrases including “What in the F**K are you looking at?” and “Seriously, I will break this mini football off in your motherf***ing ass if you keep staring at me.” Meanwhile the one of the right will simply crush your skull with it’s giant hands.
While the belief that Reggie Bush could single-handedly drag the Saints to the Super Bowl quickly faded away, it did become clear that the true superstar on the team was Quarterback Drew Brees who they acquired from the Chargers in 2006. It was Brees who became figurehead of the team that ultimately won the franchise’s first Super Bowl and to honor that, every Saints fan should own at least one statue of “Breesus” looking like a angelic vision in bronze and gold, holding out his hands as if to say “come to me Saints fans, and I will rid you of 40 years of shitty football”.
Think about it, if you have a guest in your house and you walk them through your “Saints plastic figurine franchise timeline” that includes
a Jim Everett Starting Lineup figure, a horrifying Ricky Williams bobblehead, two extremely angry versions of Reggie Bush and a glowing Drew Brees, there’s no way they deny you superfan status.
For safety reasons, just make sure they don’t piss off the Reggie Bush dolls.