- House and Senate negotiators reach two-year budget deal
- Congress seeks ban on in-flight calls
- Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy site sold to owners of Townhall, HotAir: report
- GM’s Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- China: Poisonous smog is a military asset, if you think about it
- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
Vikings-Saints ‘encore’ kicks off NFL season
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Saints‘ first Super Bowl title was so big in New Orleans that Mardi Gras, a revered local institution dating back well more than a century, became popularly known as, “Lombardi Gras.”
New Orleans’ momentous victory over the Indianapolis Colts occurred in the middle of the city’s parade season, so the Saints’ celebratory ride through town with the Vince Lombardi Trophy was simply added to the lineup. In the following days, players, coaches, team officials and the trophy made appearances in traditional parades as well.
And while Mardi Gras ended way back on Ash Wednesday, it seems as though Lombardi Gras still isn’t over quite yet _ certainly not by the looks of the French Quarter, where a massive concert stage has been built on the river front, overlooking historic Jackson Square.
In the hours before the defending champs kick off the NFL season against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night in the Louisiana Superdome, the Big Easy will host a concert featuring Dave Matthews and Taylor Swift, an NFL-sponsored parade and a citywide bash for which a number of schools and businesses have already decided to shut down.
Indeed, Saints owner Tom Benson will show off the Lombardi Trophy once more at a newly completed festival plaza next to the Superdome that has been named Champions Square. Then the festivities move inside the dome, where those with the hottest ticket in town will witness the raising of a 2009 championship banner before kickoff.
The Vikings would like to see the party end right about there, and they have their reasons for believing they can make that happen.
Minnesota outperformed the Saints in numerous statistical categories when they met in last season’s NFC championship game and might have won if not for five turnovers.
The Vikings outgained the Saints 165 yards to 68 on the ground and 310 yards to 189 in the air. In the end, Minnesota was done in by three lost fumbles and two interceptions, the last by Saints cornerback Tracy Porter when the Vikings were threatening to take a late-game lead.
“They took us to the brink of destruction,” Saints safety Roman Harper recalled. “If it wasn’t for another Tracy Porter pick, who knows where we would be. … It was a great game last year and should be a great game this year.”
There is one considerable difference, however, as Minnesota coach Brad Childress was quick to point out. When this game ends, both teams get to keep playing.
“We’ve got 15 games after that,” Childress stressed. “You beat New Orleans, Miami’s coming to town. You lose to New Orleans, Miami’s coming to town.”
That hasn’t diminished interest in a game that also features the return of Brett Favre, who’ll start his 20th season despite offseason left ankle surgery that had him mulling what would have been his third retirement. Instead, he reported to the Vikings halfway through the preseason.
“I feel pretty good,” Favre said. “People continue to say, ‘Can he hold up the whole year?’ You can say that about any quarterback that plays the game. It seems like at age 40, and soon to be 41, that I am the easy target to pick on … yet I continue to outlast all these guys.”
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Harry Reid's visa pressure cooker
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Galaxy S4 owner claims Samsung tried to silence him after phone caught fire
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A column dedicated to discussing politics, national security, civil liberties, and education.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
The “Silver Tsunami” created by aging Baby Boomers is hitting America. Let’s explore how we adjust to it, enjoy it and defy negative expectations about age.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow