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Brooks led Saints to the promised land

By Staff
Dec. 18, 2000
Thoughts whizzing about as I watch many Saints bigwigs go into a posh party suite to celebrate…
NEW ORLEANS Saints fans, there's no need to be pinched.
This isn't a dream
It's a playoff berth.
Tom Benson and his wife stopped momentarily from doing their customary postgame celebration boogie to hug quarterback Aaron Brooks, as both teams left the field.
Is Brooks the Saints' savior?
Could the Saints have gotten this far, possibly clinching a division title, and gasp dare I say say it? home field advantage, without him?
With apologies to the defense, it wouldn't be happening without the green kid out of Virginia.
Without some of the insane mess he has pulled out of his -er' hat, the Saints wouldn't be in this position.
This crazy unfamiliar position that has the former Aints' on the verge of shaking up the world. I didn't say the football world, I said the world.
This position that has only been enjoyed four times before and always ended in bitter disappointment is right there again.
This position that had Saints fans giving a standing ovation after the final gun and getting worked into a frenzy seeing their team slowly moving closer to the promised land.
What is this guy Dark crazy? Sure, I hear you loud and clear, but you see for the Saints and their faithful, the promised land is a playoff win. Just one.
For the only NFL franchise to never win a playoff game, New Year's Eve could loom large.
Chances are looking ever greater that Who Dat' hosts a first-round playoff game on 2001 eve.
And while I still don't know which year they officially classified as the true millennium, you can bet the madness that will be exhibited by the Big Easy will eclipse that of 1999 and every Mardi Gras parade that ever rolled down St. Charles Avenue.
I'm just afraid they'll burn down the town.
When you go down the list of current Saints personnel, you can find a few old soldiers that have experienced their fair share of heartache. There's Joe Johnson, Willie Roaf and Jerry Fontenot, just to name a few.
One of them was on the verge of tears in the locker room and no, for the second straight week, it wasn't the perennial Pro Bowler Roaf.
Saints assistant coach Rick Venturi has been here through some pretty lean times, including being the interim scapegoat for the last half of the 1996 campaign after Jim Mora walked out.
One that should continue, coach.
Yes, there it is… a prediction.
Sports Editor Robbie Robertson has been saying the Saints aren't going to get that elusive playoff win.
At least, that's what he told me the last time I talked to him on Thursday.
I'm here to tell you, if this team doesn't get a bye in the first round, and are in the Dome two weeks from now, something special will happen.
Mr. Robertson will be in that lovely football mecca of Shreveport with Mississippi State, so he'll have to watch it on TV, but it's coming. The long wait is over. All the intangibles are in place. Ricky Williams will be back, and the Saints will be playoff losers no more.
Let the rioting and looting begin.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. Email him at