TThe word “goodbye” has been circulating in the NFL throughout January since Ben Roethlisbergerfarewell to Pittsburgh Steelers, to educated guesses about the possible resignation of the legendary quarterbacks Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers With Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers respectively, but while all three of these characters have great sporting influence, none of them can compare in their impact on the city where they worked as head coach Sean Paytonwho decided to step down as head coach New Orleans Saints after 16 years and 15 seasons at the helm of the team.
This story should begin on August 29, 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit among other places, colorful city New Orleans, Louisiana leaving a disaster that never happened, 80% of the city flooded, a large death toll and most residents losing their homes, property or loved ones, an absolute tragedy.
Rebuilding New Orleans after Katrina
Several people left homeless were placed in Superdome, the home of the aforementioned football team, whose structure was significantly damaged, resulting in a good shelter, but an unusable football stadium.
In the 2005 season, the Saints were unable to play at home, San Antonio, New York and Baton Rouge were the haven of a franchise that, like their city, saw a completely uncertain, hazy, and sad future.
After the 2005 season, the Saints fired the head coach. Jim Haslett and hired for 2006 the inexperienced Sean Payton, who has been tattooed as a crumbling city from day one.
The Arrival of Drew Breeze
One of Payton’s first moves was to interview a free agent quarterback. Drew Brees, who was the front-runner for the Miami Dolphins’ quarterback seat, but a shoulder injury left doubts about his NFL succession.
Instead of taking Brees to beautiful places in New Orleans to convince him to sign with his team, Peyton took the risk., and showed him the devastation of the city, the people in need, and the reality of the population in need of a miracle, a holy miracle, in other words.
v Dolphins didn’t want to risk and Brees decides to go with the Saints, it’s time to raise the city with his football team and a quarterback with an uncertain future.
Miracle of the Saints
Since then, the Saints, who have won only one playoff game in franchise history since 1967, matched that number that same season, and Payton was named Coach of the Year.
Three years later, in the 2009 season, the unthinkable happened, and the Saints went from being the league’s laughingstock to Super Bowl XLIV argue.
The miracle of the Saints took place on that unforgettable February 7, 2010, in Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida, the city of the team that doubted Brees and New Orleans, rose from the rubble to crown themselves with victory over the almighty Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning, was born in New Orleans at a time when his father, Archie, was a defender for the losing Saints, 31-17.
Payton did it, after the first and so far the only one, Vince Lombardi Trophy in franchise historyhe brought back the faith big light, the party returned to French Quarter and Mardi Gras again became a holiday and an occasion for celebration, that is, Sean Payton’s Greatest Legacy.
A stain on his legacy
In 2012, Sean Payton was fined a year for failing to take action to prevent a system that awarded bonuses to players on his team for injuring opposing players, the infamous “Bountygate“, which is why, despite his 16 years, he managed only 15 with the Saints.
That stain on his legacy pales in comparison to all of the above, not only being the best coach in Saints history, but also the man responsible for keeping the entire city alive. Today, New Orleans smiles because Sean Payton was hired 16 years ago to keep his legacy forever remembered. Bayou and celebrated until the end of his days bourbon street.