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This Week in Saints History: January 23-29

January 23rd

1971—The Saints acquired the Redskins' 4th and 8th round picks in 1972 in exchange for quarterback Billy Kilmer. New Orleans also acquired linebacker Tom Roussel (native of Thibodaux, LA) in the deal.

1996—Frank Warren stepped down from the coaching staff with plans on resuming his NFL playing career at defensive end. Sometime later Warren has to end his comeback attempt when a health screening showed he had heart issues that would not allow it.

Today's birthdays:

Jason Fife—Born in 1981 (Quarterback 2006)

Jim Skipper—Born in 1947 (running backs coach 1986-94)

January 24th

1999—ABC broadcast the world premiere of the Disney Made-for-TV movie "A Saintly Switch," a comedy where David Alan Grier plays an NFL QB traded to the Saints where he and his wife (played by Viveca Fox) accidentally have their souls switched when reading a chant in an old Voodoo book they find in their house. Their next door neighbor is a retired Voodoo queen played by Rue McClanahan of Golden Girls fame. The film is produced by Sally Hampton, the ex-wife of former Saints player Dave Waymer.

Garrett Hartley feels the love in the Superdome after nailing the biggest kick in New Orleans Saints history.Garrett Hartley feels the love in the Superdome after nailing the biggest kick in New Orleans Saints history.

2010—Saints defeated the Vikings in the Superdome, 31-28, in overtime to win the NFC Championship and advance to their first Super Bowl.

With 19 seconds left in regulation, the Vikings were penalized five yards for too many men in the huddle and backed to Saints 38-yard line. Then QB Brett Favre rolled right and threw an INT to CB Tracy Porter that forced overtime.

The Saints never gave up the ball in the overtime period. Running back Pierre Thomas runs back a kickoff 40 yards to Saints 39-yard line. New Orleans then slowly moved down to Vikings 23-yard line where Garrett Hartley nailed the winning 40-yard field goal with 10:19 left in the extra period.

Vikings offense suffered five turnovers (two INTs & three lost fumbles (Saints defense had four forced fumbles overall). New Orleans offense only had one turnover. The Saints TDs were scored by Thomas (one on a screen and the other on a run), WR Devery Henderson (catch), & RB Reggie Bush (catch). Vikings RB Adrian Peterson had three TD runs and WR Bernard Berrian has 102 yards.

The statistics often favored the Vikings, who bested the Saints in first downs, 31-15, and offensive yards, 475-257. It was the Saints fourth-ever playoff win.

The game is also remembered for radio announcer Jim Henderson's post game exclamation, "Pigs have flown, hell has frozen over, the Saints are going to the Superb Bowl."

Today's birthdays:

Bubba Miller—Born in 1973 (Guard/Center 2002)

January 25th

1971—Saints trade DT Dave Rowe and WR Ken Burrough to the Houston Oilers in return for RB Hoyle Granger, OT Terry Stoepel and DE Charlie Blossom plus a second-round draft choice. The latter two do not make the Saints regular season roster.

Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett led Oakland to become the first Wild Card playoff team to win the Super Bowl.Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett led Oakland to become the first Wild Card playoff team to win the Super Bowl.

1981—Super Bowl XV is held in the Louisiana Superdome. The wildcard Oakland Raiders defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-10. Raiders QB Jim Plunkett is named game MVP.

Outside of Superdome is draped with an oversized yellow ribbon to commemorate freeing of the American hostages in Iran.

Today's birthdays:

Corey McIntyre—Born in 1979 (Running back 2006)

Daryl Terrell—Born in 1975 (Tackle 1999-2001)

January 26th

1976—New Orleans hosted the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl with the NFC winning 23-20. Dynamic WR/KR Billy "White Shoes" Johnson is named game MVP.

1986—Super Bowl XX is held in the Louisiana Superdome. The Chicago Bears run over the New England Patriots, 46-10. Bears DE Richard Dent is named game MVP.

1995—A 2-alarm fire severely damaged the team's practice facilities on David Drive, the club had used that facility since 1967. The team used temporary buildings on the site until they moved into their new facilities a year and a half later.

Reggie White and the Packers were too much for Drew Bledsoe and the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI.Reggie White and the Packers were too much for Drew Bledsoe and the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI.

1997—Super Bowl XXXI is held in the Louisiana Superdome. The Brett Favre-led Green Bay Packers defeated the New England Patriots 35-21. Packers WR/KR Desmond Howard is named game MVP to become the first special teams player to earn the award.

Today's birthdays:

Michael Hawthrone—Born in 1977 (Cornerback 2000-03)

Willie Whitehead—Born in 1973 (Defensive end 2000-06)

January 27th

1967—Tom Fears is named first-ever Saints head coach. He is recognized as being the first head coach in NFL history of Hispanic descent. Fears, who had been an assistant with the Packers and Falcons, also earned Pro Football hall of Fame credentials as a Rams wide receiver in the 1950s. Owner John Mecom Jr. also assigns Larry Karl (formerly with Dallas) as executive assistant to the Saints organizing committee (a de facto form of General Manager).

The franchise also announced their first-ever training camp would be held at Cal-Western University in San Diego starting July 1. Mecom also bought the United Fruit Company building at Lee Circle as use for the Saints administrative offices.

1970—College draft is held with the Saints using their first round pick on wide receiver Ken Burrough from Texas Southern. Other players who made the regular season roster include Clovis Swinney (DE 3rd rd.), Delles Howell (CB 4th), Steve Ramsey (QB 5th), Lawrence Estes (DE 8th), Jim Otis (FB 9th), Doug Sutherland (DE 14th), and Doug Wyatt (S 17th).

1977—Executive vice-president Dick Gordon is released after five seasons. He would move on to work in some of owner John Mecom's other business interests.

1978—Saints head coach Hank Stram is fired after two seasons at the helm. He is informed while working at the tam's David Drive offices by Saints V.P.s Eddie Jones and Harry Hulmes along with attorney Bud Holmes.

1980—Running back Chuck Muncie is named MVP of the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. Other Saints in that Pro Bowl, won by the NFC 37-27, included QB Archie Manning, WR Wes Chandler, TE Henry Childs and S Tom Myers.

1985—Linebacker Rickey Jackson, defensive end Bruce Clark and punter Brian Hansen play in the Pro Bowl. AFC wins 22-14.

1992—Clear Channel Communications properties WQUE-AM and FM became the Saints flaghship stations for their radio network (contract ran thru 1994).

2000—Randy Mueller is hired as Saints general manager of football operations and Arnie Fielkow named director of non-football administration.

January 28th

1969—College draft is held. The Saints had given up one of their two first round picks to the 49ers in compensation for signing away wide receiver Dave Parks in 1968. New Orleans took John Shinners (guard from Xavier Univ. of Ohio) with the remaining first round pick. Other players who made the roster from that draft included Richard Neal (DE 2nd rd.), Joe Owens (LB/DE 9th), and Edd Hargett (QB 16th).

1971—College draft is held with the Saints selecting quarterback Archie Manning of Ole Miss in the first round as the second pick overall. Other players who made the regular season roster from that draft include Sam Holden (T 2nd rd.), Bivian Lee (CB 3rd), Carlos Bell (TE 4th), Wimpy Winther (C 4th), D'artagnan Martin (CB 4th), Don Morrison (T 4th), Bob Newland (WR 7th), Bob Gresham (FB 8th), Bob Pollard (DT 11th), Don Burchfield (TE 13th), Bobby Scott (QB 14th), and Craig Robinson (T 16th rd.).

1975—College draft is held with the Saints selecting wide receiver Larry Burton from Purdue with the first of two first-round draft choices. Guard Kurt Schumacher from Ohio State was chosen with the second. Other players from that draft who made the regular season roster included Lee Gross (C 2nd rd.), Andrew Jones (RB 3rd), Elois Grooms (DE 3rd), Mike Lemon (LB 6th), Steve Rogers (RB 7th), Mike Strachan (RB 9th), and Greg Westbrooks (LB 17th rd.).

The Kurt Schumacher selection was made after the Saints received the Jets first-round pick when DT Billy Newsome was traded that same day.

1986—Jim Mora is named Saints head coach.

1990—Super Bowl XXIV is held in the Louisiana Superdome. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Denver Broncos 55-10. Niners QB Joe Montana is named game MVP.

1997—Bill Kuharich was further promoted to VP/GM/Chief Operating Officer on this day when Mike Ditka was named Saints head coach.

Today's birthdays:

Mike Fultz—Born in 1954 (Defensive tackle 1977-80)

Tom Hodson—Born in 1967 (Quarterback 1995-96), the native of Mathews, LA was an ex-LSU star quarterback.

Jeff Uhlenhake—Born in 1966 (Center 1994-95)

January 29th

1968—Saints traded QB Gary Cuozzo to the Vikings in return for their top draft selections in 1968 and 1969.

1974—College draft is held with the Saints selecting linebacker Rick Middleton from Ohio State in the first round. Other players from that draft who made the regular season roster included Paul Seal (TE 2nd), Rod McNeil (RB 4th), Joel Parker (WR 5th), Terry Schmidt (CB 5th), Alvin Maxson (RB 8th), Phil LaPorta (T 9th), Larry Cipa (QB 15th), and Don Coleman (LB 16th).

1979—Archie Manning playeds in the Pro Bowl with NFC winning 13-7.

1984—NFC defeated the AFC 45-3 in the Pro Bowl. Linebacker Rickey Jackson represented the Saints.

1989—NFC take another Pro Bowl 34-3 over AFC. The Saints in the game included kicker Morten Andersen, wide receiver Eric Martin and linebacker Sam Mills.

2012—AFC defeated NFC in Pro Bowl 59-41. Saints players in the contest were QB Drew Brees, TE Jimmy Graham, tackle Jermon Bushrod, plus guards Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks. For fun, Brees tried a drop-kick extra point attempt but missed.

Today's birthdays:

*Tom Barrington—Born in 1944 (Fullback 1967-70)—Passed away in October 2002, part of original Saints

Tony Galbreath—Born in 1954 (Fullback 1976-80)**Saints Hall of Famer


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