Sunday, June 22, 2008

It's Been A Hell of a Year for New Orleans Sports Fans

When compared with the New England sports fan, our experience in New Orleans pales. The Celtics and Red Sox hold onto national championship trophies and the Patriots were within one minute of winning the Super Bowl. But to tell you the truth, I think we sports fans in New Orleans, especially those of us who pull for the Tigers, have had a hell of a year!
Think about it, We got to see the Tigers win the BCS college football championship in our own back yard in the Superdome, this after they won the SEC West title by beating Alabama and former coach Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa and then Tennessee to win the SEC championship. LSU slipped during basketball season, but redeemed themselves by hiring a first rate coach, Trent Johnson to lead the program. Johnson left Stanford where he was 1 game away from the final four last year.
Baseball started slow but a miraculous 23 game winning streak vaulted the Tigers to an SEC championship, a regional championship and a spot in the College World Series. Not bad for a sophomore and freshman dominated nine.
Talking about baseball, has anyone bothered to check the standings in the International League. The Zephyrs are rest in first place in their division.
Pro football was a disappointment. The Saints were riddled by injuries and Reggie Bush suffered a sophomore slump. And yet, if Bush doesn’t make the SNAFU pitch out at the end of the Tampa Bay game, the Saints would have gone to the playoffs. And just to mention in passing. It was New Orleans born and raised Eli Manning who threw the winning pass to beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
The returning Hornets, who had been relocated to Oklahoma City for 2 years after Hurricane Katrina, gave us a season to remember for a long time. Playing in the beefed up Western Division of the NBA, New Orleans, led by All-Star and Olympian Chris Paul, finished just 1 game behind the Lakers in second place. A team that was teetering on leaving the town because of poor support at the beginning of the season ended up selling out most of their games in the second half of the season and all of their home playoff games. They won their first playoff series against Dallas and then took the reigning NBA champions to 7 games before succumbing to San Antonio at the Hive.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve had a great time pulling for my teams. I hope for more years like this.

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