Since the start of the 2018 season, like all teams, the New Orleans Saints have had their sights set on one goal, winning the Super Bowl. However, unlike most teams, it appeared to be an attainable goal considering the current talent level on the Saints’ roster and the fact that they were a once-in-a-lifetime play from making it to the NFC Championship game against the eventual champion Philadelphia Eagles, a team many thought the Saints would’ve have beaten.
Now, as the Saints enter the Divisional Round with home field advantage throughout, they can clearly see the light shining through the fog and mist of the 2018 season. They have trudged through the schedule, coming out on the other side battle-tested but worn. They have compiled a 13-3 record, winning games the way champions win – some by high-powered offensive efficiently, some by dominating defensive performances, some by miraculous fashion, and some by a combination of all three. They have been the favorites and underdogs. They have been overrated and underrated. They have been anointed throughout, yet overlooked in certain circles. Records, once thought unbreakable, have been broken. What lies ahead for this New Orleans Saints team is either Super Bowl glory or a Fifolet.
In the annals of Cajun folklore, there resides the tale of the Fifolet. A tale that goes back to the days of when pirates would use the dripping blackness of the Louisiana swamps to hide treasure and more macabre secrets. As the legend goes, the most famous of these pirates, Jean Lafitte, would bury his treasure deep in swamps; and, along with it, he would provide a final resting place for a crew member. The murdered crew member would forever remain to guard the treasure. To those searching for the spoils of Lafitte, the dead guardian would appear as a glowing light known as the Fifolet. However, the Fifolet provided false hope. Treasure seekers would go to the light, hoping to undercover untold riches, only to be sucked into the darkness of the swamp.
The Saints have been disillusioned by the Fifolet and lure of false treasure under the Sean Peyton regime before. There was “beast quake” in the 2011 Wildcard Round, the heartbreak in 2013 Divisional Round at San Francisco, and last year’s “Minneapolis Miracle.” This year, the Saints cannot be deterred by false prophets and the glimmer of shining lights. The Saints cannot be tempted by the views of prognosticators and analysts, but should focus on correcting the mistakes of seasons past that have swallowed up their championships dreams, burying them deep within the murky swamps of South Louisiana.
It’s time to ignore the gambit of television pundits who suffer from recency bias. It’s now time to lose sight of the peripherals and rely on tunnel vision.
At this point, the mission is plain and simple – win three more games. It’s no longer about revenge games. It’s no longer about last year’s letdowns or next year’s promise. For Drew Brees and company, it’s time to dispel the alluring glow of fraudulent lights and seek the real treasure – a second Lombardi Trophy.