Ahead of Sunday's AFC and NFC Championship games, Shutdown Corner takes a broader look at the teams involved, and evaluates reasons to root for or against each. Here, the New Orleans Saints. Please feel free to add your own reasons for love and/or hate in the comments.
Love the Saints:
• The Saints also have the underdog factor, but in a different way than the Jets. The Saints have been great all seaon, and since early in the season, it's been clear that they could be a Super Bowl team. In the bigger picture, though, the Saints might generously be called "historically downtrodden." They were founded in 1967, and it took them 20 years to field a winning team. Until relatively recently, they have been one of the NFL's little sisters of the poor.
• Drew Brees(notes) seems like one of the nicer people in football, and I don't know if any city loves any athlete more than New Orleans loves Brees. He signed as a free agent with New Orleans when the city and the team were still reeling from Hurricane Katrina, and not only did he elect to take on that challenge, he dug in and helped out as much as anyone else did.
Hate the Saints:
• You are a diehard fan of the team they'd be playing against in the Super Bowl. Honestly, I'm struggling to come up with any other reason anyone might hate the Saints. They are lovable and non-threatening in just about every way. Perhaps you could resent their recent success, but even that seems like a stretch if they haven't even won a Super Bowl.