Saints now in a canyon, not just a rut

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Well, Saints fans, sorry to be the one to break this to you, but at the halfway point in this, the 2001 NFL season, consider the Saints done. That’s right, you can stick a fork in them, because it’s over.

The season that was supposed to be, one where those promising New Orleans boys came in and built on the magic of a year gone by, won’t make it the Super Bowl in their own stadium, as was their rallying cry this past summer in Thibodaux.

Heck, judging from the current look of the NFC landscape at this point, they won’t be able to make it into the playoffs as a wild card entry. The Chicagos, Green Bays and San Franciscos are running away from the Saints, who only seem to run into new ways to turn the game over into the opposing teams.

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You’ll notice I didn’t even bother to mention the 7-1 St. Louis Rams. After Sunday’s 28-27 loss in San Francisco, the Saints would have to win out and in the process, hope some teams falter. And let’s face it folks, the former just isn’t going to happen.

A couple of weeks ago, it was Aaron Brooks, last week, Kyle Turley and who was the goat du jour Sunday? That’s easy, running back Ricky Williams. His fumble and dropped touchdown pass created a 14-point swing that gave the ‘Niners a victory. But let us not forget that “vaunted” New Orleans defense.

Did they even make the trip to 3Com Park?

San Fran’s 415 yards of total offense would suggest not.

So much for the hype, you are now looking up at other real contenders and the fact is, it’s a heckuva climb and you simply don’t have enough rope.

Cheers and Jeers …

Cheers go out to the Alcorn State Braves football team. Now here is an honest-to-goodness success story that Miss-Lou readers should latch onto a bit more.

While teams like Mississippi State and Southern Miss are having subpar seasons, the Braves are flying under the radar and are quietly putting together a worst-to-first campaign. How many of you actually thought that with two games remaining, ASU would be above .500 and squarely in position to win the SWAC Eastern Division?

I didn’t.

Cheers go to outgoing ACCS football coach Doug Clanton. Considering all of the circumstances he had to work under this season, it’s admirable the way he took the high road when I spoke to him Friday regarding his resignation.

Jeers go out to the ACCS football community that did a great job of tearing down a program that wasn’t doing that well even before the season began.

If I have seen or heard it once, I’ve seen it a dozen times. When will meddlesome parents get their hands off of private school programs and let players play and coaches coach?

I know the story without line and verse without having to be out there on a day-to-day basis. I’ll say it even though Clanton would not, the problems that AC had regarding the program were there before he got there and they will be there long after he leaves. Feel free to prove me wrong.

Cheers go out to the Natchez Bulldogs. After nine tumultuous weeks, they scraped out a one-point victory over Petal to avoid a winless season. But jeers to them also for not calling the game in.

Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Natchez Democrat. &160;