New Orleans, LA — It is good to be a Saints fan these days. They are in first place in their division, and near the top of the conference standings. They are in good position to not only make the playoffs, but earn a first-round bye and home field advantage.
"We could do a little better, but I'm satisfied," Nikki Simar said before Sunday's victory over Dallas.
The excitement in Champions Square feels familiar to Saints fans. But think back to this time last year. The season was essentially over, and fans were more angry at the NFL than disappointed in the Saints' record.
"We have seen some ups and downs," Nicholas Hall said, "but as a Saints fan, you always gotta be motivated. You stay motivated. We have Sean Payton, you know what I'm saying?"
"We got our coach back," Simar echoed. "That's all that matters. Do your job."
Coach Payton is back on the sidelines, the winning is back, and fans of all ages expect great things.
"I think they might do good," Seth Amos said. Amos came with family and friends from Lafayette for his first Saints game. "They got a couple of games away. Yeah, championship."
"I kinda get the vibe from '09 for this year," Hall added, "so it's a good year."
This late in the season, it becomes easy to imagine how far the Saints could go. They have only three home games remaining in the regular season, including their next game against San Francisco. And if they take care of their home turf, fans could see games here at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome well into January.