As many of you know, I’ve been a New Orleans Saints fan since about 1985. I became a Saints fan when I lived in Texas and everyone was a Dallas Cowboy fan. One day I heard that Dallas was “America’s Team,” and I thought, “I hate the Cowboys.” So, I chose the most remote team I could think of, and the one team that NOBODY else was cheering for. The Saints. Even die hard Cowboy fans were concerned about my choice. “You know Danny, we realize you are not a Cowboy fan but do you really think this Saint thing is a good idea?” I went for it.

The Saints were horrible, and I mean horrible. I learned to embrace the little victory. A game with less than five turnovers. A loss by less than thirty points. A home game with more than 500 people in the stands.

My dad was a Cowboy fan and the Cowboys would put a beatdown on the Saints every single time. And let me explain a Cowboy game being viewed in Texas. People drag out their helmets, blankets, shirts, pants, hats, foam fingers, mugs, plates and anything else with the Cowboy logo. It sucked.

And then one day it all changed. Christmas day. Saints/Cowboys and the entire house is filled with rabid Cowboy fans talking trash and telling me what a loser I am. I was putting up a good front but inside figured the Saints would roll over and die like a whimpering dog in the dirt. And then they didn’t.

What happened next I coined “The Christmas Day Massacre.” The Saints pounded the Cowboys and I became the biggest A-hole in the history of A-holes. I took trash talking to a new level and could see several party goers wondering how much hard time they would have to do if my body was found at the bottom of the lake. YEARS later I was still talking trash, to the point my father lost heart for football in general.

Recently I was thinking I would change teams. Several friends were like “What?” “You can’t do that.”

The fact is I’m not really that serious about sports. I like it but haven’t watched a full game in years. So changing teams is no big deal.

I found these pictures, the first made in 1973 and the second in 1976, and these show this will not by the first time I’ve changed teams. The first one was made in Indiana and probably shows the influence of my dad who was a Packer fan at the time. The second is a photo of my brother and I, and 45 years later he is still a Bears fan.

I tend to pick teams that are on the down and out. Maybe I’ll go Cleveland.

Dream A Little Dream

Email to a friend:

“I had a dream I was on the football field during a college game. I wasn’t IN the game, but was in the huddle and on the field, right in the middle of the action. The only thing was the field wasn’t flat, it was sharply inclined, and very short. One team was playing uphill and getting killed. The other playing downhill, with speed and force. I just remember yelling,” Geezzzz,” as these guys came by me at breakneck speed, pads and bones snapping. I had no helmet or pads, and each play would run for my life. Then suddenly, I was back in the huddle waiting for the next snap of the ball and my possibly death. I think I’ll write this up, send it out and see if anyone else has had this same dream. I woke exhausted and wondering, “Why me?”