The New Orleans Saints are an improbable 3-0 with the first two wins coming on the road. This is one hell of a great way to start your NFL season.
I got numerous phone calls and e-mails today asking me two questions: 1) "What about last night?" and 2) Are those guys for real?
Concerning the first question, I could have done without Green Day doing a cover of "House of the Rising Sun" ("There is a house in New Orleans. It's called the Superdome") and I really thought the usually tasteful Bono and U2 took especial leave of their senses with their tricked up version of "The Saints Are Coming."
But I quibble.
I have to say that I was genuinely moved. Not by the return of the Saints to the Dome exactly. C'mon. These are the Saints. But it was indeed an amazing sight to see all of those people so happy. This wasn't the usual football crowd. Grown men and women were crying when the Saints-wearing white for some reason instead of the usual home black-took the field. After what all those people have been through, who is to begrudge them this night? Who can take issue with such collective joy? I guarantee you that the talk today was about something other than the removal of mold or why the mail is late. If only for a little while. Which is all to the good to my way of thinking.
Are they for real? Again, come on. These are the Saints. Granted, the addition of Drew Brees(who represented a marked change for the better just because he is not Aaron Brooks) and Reggie Bush along with the return of Deuce McAllister has given the traditionally moribund Saints offense a lot more pop. And the defense has played way better than predicted pre-season.
And while the 1976 Steelers could not have beaten the Saints last night, there is plenty of room to worry. The offensive line is thin. Injuries there will cripple them. The defensive backs were terrible the last two years. There's no reason to believe that they will stand up over the long haul. Brees has a balky shoulder. What if something happens to him?
Still, they are 3-0 and the Dome is open again for business. Can't take that away from them. Right now they are a contender for a playoff berth.
But c'mon. These are the Saints.