dear sports gods,
I am writing to you this Thanksgiving on behalf of sports fans across Louisiana. I just wanted to speak to you on their behalf in case they forget to say thank you.
Yes, I even speak for those whose favorite soccer team has only won four of their first 11 games this season.
In fact, I’ll start with them.
Thank you football gods that the New Orleans Saints are in the NFC South where they still have a chance. At no other time of the year would they do that. Lucky for them, they’re in a division where nobody has a .500 record, and as a result they’re just 1½ games behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in first place. So they want to thank you that the season isn’t entirely lost just yet, although Sunday’s trip to San Francisco to play the 49ers could be a reality check.
They should also say thank you for all the young bright stars who will be the future of the franchise. Rookie receiver Chris Olave was everything you could want in a first-round draft pick. Thanks, too, for people like sophomore linebacker Pete Werner, who had one breakout season before suffering an ankle injury. And don’t forget Kaden Elliss, who filled in for Werner while he was away.
“(No. 55) has probably been the best kept secret in the NFL for the past few years,” said Saints linebacker Demario Davis. “We knew what kind of player he was and now he’s getting this opportunity and showing it to the world. Just give him time, he’ll be on everyone’s radar.”
Oh, and certainly there’s some gratitude to Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill. Where would the Saints be without these two?
Now let’s go through the Airline Drive parking lot to the Pelicans facility.
As of this writing, the pels are 10-7. If you’d asked me a few months ago, that seemed like an achievable record for the Saints to finish out the regular season. That now looks anything but likely.
So be thankful for the Pelicans, who seem poised to give New Orleans sports fans something to stick their chests out about. It all starts in the front office with David Griffin and Trajan Langdon assembling one of the most comprehensive rosters in the NBA.
And thank you for a healthy and happy Zion Williamson. He cleared all doubts for those who were unsure whether or not he wanted to be in New Orleans. His smile every time he runs up and down the court is a clear sign that he is where he wants to be. And New Orleans owes good news to the Los Angeles Lakers, who are stuck at the bottom of the NBA rankings, which is good news for the Pelicans, who hold the right to trade picks with the Lakers.
Now “a one, a two, a damn hullabaloo” because we can’t forget the ones in olive and blue.
Tulane football fans have been starving for a season like this, and here they are having their best season since 1998 with a chance to reach the American Athletic Conference championship game. You already know what Willie Fritz’s team went through a season ago, so perhaps no one is more grateful this year than the folks at Uptown.
The Green Wave received an early Christmas present Saturday as the Navy angered Central Florida.
The Southern Jaguars also received a gift on Saturday. Mississippi Valley State upset Prairie View and Alabama A&M stunned Texas Southern, which left the door open for the Jaguars to win the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game if they can beat Grambling at Saturday’s 49th annual Bayou Classic.
Speaking of conference title games, we wrap up with LSU. Tigers fans have to be grateful to Brian Kelly, and they should be grateful that he didn’t give up on quarterback Jayden Daniels after the first week, despite so many wanting to. While it was Kelly’s best decision in his first year as head coach, it wasn’t his biggest. The biggest came at Tiger Stadium on the night of November 5 when he decided to play two in overtime to beat Alabama.
LSU’s prayers had been answered.
And with that, I close this for all you Louisiana sports fans.