Are The Saints The New ‘America’s Team’?
An NFL team based somewhere in Texas has been calling itself "America's Team" for a number of years. The validity of this claim has always been suspect in my mind. Their last Super Bowl championship was 24 seasons ago. They're widely perceived as overhyped, overpaid and underachieving.
Who is America’s team now? The Patriots? Maybe a few years ago. Their first Super Bowl championship was a great David and Goliath story. An underdog team with a late-round draft pick at quarterback who got his chance when the superstar got hurt. Their dominance in the AFC East has since become monotonous.
The Saints play in one of the NFL’s smallest markets, yet have fans all over the country. TV networks love them, too. They opened the season on a Monday night. That speaks volumes. The Saints didn’t play a Sunday noon kick off till week five. They’re playing on Thanksgiving and have another Monday night game. Why? Saints games get ratings.
Saints COO Ben Hales told WWL, "The networks are much like the rest of the NFL, it's a performance-based business. And the Saints consistently perform, regardless of who they play nationally, ratings-wise."
Americans love watching people overcome adversity. The Saints have won 5 straight since losing 12-time Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees. Demario Davis' successful appeal of a $7,000 fine for wearing a headband with "man of God" printed on it certainly helped the cause as well. Are the Saints America's Team? They're certainly mine!