An Unofficial History of the New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints history, Katrina, Super Bowl, the Aints

An Unofficial History of the New Orleans Saints

In this episode Mark dives into the 50 year history of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints!

We start with the early days and how a couple guys from Louisiana made a deal with the NFL’s first commissioner, Pete Roselle.  New Orleans got a professional football team and the NFL got an anti-trust exemption that made it the wealthiest sports league in the world!

We’ll highlight some of the most memorable moments, and get to know the players and coaches involved. We’ll talk about the 1980 Aints of course, and you’ll learn how a local sportscaster created a movement.

Mark will take you through the ups and downs – there were lots of downs, of course.  Fortunately, there are some real high points for the team and the city, and we’ll enjoy those!  We’ll cover the team’s recovery from hurricane Katrina and talk about their Super Bowl winning season.



How did the Saints end up with the colors black & gold?  Who was really responsible for New Orleans getting an NFL franchise?  What caused owner Tom Benson to fall out of favor with the hometown fans?  Who was the first player to sign with the New Orleans Saints?

All this and more on episode #19 of the Beyond Bourbon Street podcast!



The book From Bags to Riches, by Jeff Duncan is a terrific read if you want to get the inside scoop on the days leading up to Katrina, and what the team did afterwards.

It’s a gripping account of the private and public drama that surrounded the future of the team as the fans and residents of the Crescent City worked to rebuild. Jeff also provides an excellent summary of the political maneuvering and backroom deals that led the Saints to New Orleans in the first place.

If you’re a data geek like me, then the Saints page on Pro Football Reference is a rabbit hole you’ll want to dive into!

The Pro Football Database website is an excellent supplement to Pro Football Reference.  While there is a great deal over overlap, this one provides details on preseason games.  This was especially helpful as I was trying to find information on the first game I ever attended!


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New Orleans is so much more than the Bourbon Street scenes you may have seen–– it’s a 300-year-old city made up of vibrant neighborhoods, diverse populations, and traditions layered upon each other.
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