The New Orleans Saints are a historically bad team.  They had losing seasons starting with their first year in the NFL starting in 1967 up through 1978, which they followed up with an 8-8 year in 1979.  Then in 1980, they only won 1 game out of 16.  From then until the calendar hit 2000, the Saints had 11 losing seasons, 3 seasons of 8-8 records, and out of the remainder of the seasons which they won more games than they lost, the Saints reached the playoffs 4 times, losing in the first round each time.

In the year 2000, the Saints got Wide Receiver Joe Horn, who would make the Pro Bowl in 4 of the 6 years he would spend with the New Orleans Saints.  He would become the franchise record holder for single-season receiving yards and touchdowns. He’s also caught the most touchdowns in Saints history and has amassed the most games in Saints history with 100+ receiving yards.

Sure, there might have been some friction in 2006 when Horn was released by the Saints, but how was Horn treated when the team climbed its way into the Super Bowl this year?

They didn’t.

In 2005, the Saints were forced to practice and play in San Antonio due to Hurricane Katrina. At that point, head of the NFL Players Association Gene Upshaw and NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue visited Joe Horn – the Saints’ undisputed leader – and asked Horn how he would feel about the Saints staying in San Antonio (something that the Saints’ owner was reportedly very interested in doing). His response:

‘I don’t think it’s fair for the fans who live and die for the Saints to have to rebuild that city alone. I think we should go back and help them rebuild that city.’

The people of New Orleans have Joe Horn (at least in part) to thank for having a NFL football franchise at all right now (and potentially a basketball team as well, as they nearly lost that franchise to Oklahoma City, a much more likely scenario had the Saints left).

And yet, through the playoffs, when there are extra people on the sidelines just to take in the game with a closer look, the New Orleans Saints didn’t do anything for Joe Horn – who bought tickets up in the 600’s section to watch his former team advance to the Super Bowl.

It’s not surprising, though, given the fact that Jim Haslett was fired after the 2005 season where he was forced to try to string together a season whilst constantly being moved around, not having any regular season games in New Orleans due to Katrina. Nevermind the fact that he finished with a record of 42-38 leading up to that season.

I don’t know whether the Saints did anything to honor Jim Haslett’s hard work during a rough time, but they should’ve, and given the way they treated Joe Horn this season, I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t.