It’s that time of year. You know what I’m talking about. The time when office pools are started, Monday morning quarterbacking becomes habit, and alcohol consumption on both college campuses and on Sunday go up 500%.

Football season is here.

I won’t lie to you. Up until I’d say around 2005, I could have really cared less. I grew up a basketball player. For me, sports only existed between the months of November and June, with the occasional summer excitement every four years (like this one).

But it’s different now.

Before you assume that I’ve been brain-washed by the purple and YELLOW, let me assure you that it is not. (Newsflash: LSU’s colors are purple and yellow. If you need a reminder of what Gold looks like, see: The New Orleans Saints, Michael Phelps’ Neck, Floyd Mayweather’s waist, Flavor Flav’s Mouth.)

While it be that I am SOMEWHAT an LSU fan, I am nowhere near the die-hard that my comrade Casey is. I still hold student season tickets, mainly because I enjoy sports as a whole more now that I’m older, but for me, my love for football can all be accredited to five men.

Enter Sean Payton, Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, Marques Colston, and Joe Horn.

I still very clearly remember my freshmen year of college, in particular the college football season. It was the first time I regularly watched football. I don’t remember the professional season so well (selective memory), but I do know that the highlights consisted of Joe Horn’s touchdown dancing.

See, while I haven’t followed them religiously my entire life, if I ever had to “choose” a football team growing up, it was easy for me. The Saints. They were the hometown team so to speak. Plus, guys like Joe Horn made it easy for a cocky, arrogant sonofabitch like myself to enjoy.

So imagine my excitement when I found out the Saints had hired a new coach. Hell, I didn’t know shit about Sean Payton at the time, but I knew he wasn’t Jim Haslett, he wasn’t Mike Ditka, and he sure as hell wasn’t Jim Mora.

I think my excitement of finding out the Saints had a new coach was only matched by my near heart attack upon discovering the Texans had chosen Mario Williams with the 1st overall pick in that same year’s draft. Of course, history tells us that this lead to Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush landing with the New Orleans Saints. (FYI: I don’t care if he took the money. I KNOW college athletes who take money. It’s irrelevant. None of them are half the athlete Bush is.)

So combined with the Saints picking up a new coach and a new, exciting playmaker, they still had my favorite Saint (at the time), Joe Horn. Plus, they had somehow acquired another quarterback who was supposed to save the franchise, except this time it was more than just hometown fans wishful thinking. I was sure of what was to happen next. They were going to the Super Bowl.

Not quite.

In the end, the Saints did make it to the conference championship, only to drop that game to the Bears, who played so piss-poor in the Super Bowl that I still owe Rex Grossman a kick in the shin.

But, what did happen is that I found out that I do really enjoy football, that Reggie Bush and Marques Colston (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention him. In case you didn’t know, he’s a pretty big deal. And he was drafted one before last.) are my favorite players and that Drew Brees is a Top 5 player in the NFL.

Even despite the dismal year last year, I still ride and die with the Saints. And while the article contained hardly any sports knowledge or factual information, it explains how I feel about football, in a manner that is slightly different than that of my fellow contributors.

Thank you and good day.