Brian Allee-Walsh

Close your eyes and imagine a Super Bowl LIII where the Saints received justice

I had a provocative dream last night.

Multiple penalty flags were thrown against Los Angeles Rams’ defensive back Nikell Robey-Coleman, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton pushed all the right buttons inside the red zone and the Black and Gold hung on to win the NFC Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and advance to Super Bowl LIII against the dynastic New England Patriots.

SAINTS WIN! SAINTS WIN! SAINTS WIN!

OK, it was only a dream, another man’s way perhaps of saying coulda, woulda, shoulda. But there’s no harm in dreaming, so play along with me for a few minutes.

Imagine for a moment what Super Bowl Sunday would be like in New Orleans and along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, inside Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium and all throughout Who Dat Nation in anticipation of kickoff on game night.

Emotions would run the gamut of human experience.

The storylines would be plentiful:

Bill Belichick matching wits with Sean Payton.

Tom Brady dueling Drew Brees in a compelling game of point, counterpoint.

How does Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen create a push up the middle without injured DT Sheldon Rankins and get Brady out of his comfort zone? How does Belichick disguise his 3-4 defensive scheme to confuse Brees? How do the Saints slow down Patriots rookie RB Sony Michel and their ball control passing game featuring gritty receiver Julian Edelman? Can the Saints defense get off the field on third down? How do the Patriots defend against the Saints Triplets -- WR Michael Thomas and Boom & Zoom RBs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram?

And afterward, what color confetti would be raining down on the field, which owner would be hoisting the coveted Lombardi Trophy, who would be voted game MVP and would pigs fly for a second time in Saints franchise history?

Would the Patriots win their sixth title with Belichick calling the shots and Brady under center? Would Payton and Brees outfox Goliath and bring owner Gayle Benson to tears as she accepted the championship trophy on behalf of her late husband, Tom? Would a Saints victory result in a beautiful end to Brees’ brilliant Hall of Fame career at the age of 40?

I don’t have the answers to the aforementioned storylines in my dream. Nor can I provide a final score to Super Bowl LIII between the Saints and Patriots. I suddenly awoke at the conclusion of the NFC Championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a game that was decided by players and coaches and not NFL officials.

In my dream, the New Orleans Saints were rightfully allowed to pursue their real life, season long dream.

Brian Allee-Walsh, a longtime Saints reporter based in New Orleans, can be reached at sports@sunherald.com.
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