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Chris Chase

Saints owner Tom Benson prematurely celebrates Saints win

Shutdown Corner

It was one of the greatest moments in recent New Orleans Saints history. A 37-yard field goal by kicker Garrett Hartley(notes) sailed through the uprights as time wound down in Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The narrow three-point win gave New Orleans a 14-1 record and home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs.

It so pleased Saints owner Tom Benson that he celebrated with his wife, Gayle, like they had just won a Super Tuesday primary; arms raised and clapsed triumphantly in the air as conquering heroes, with deep eye contact that seemed to say "we did it," both of which built into a slow embrace that was part exultation part relief. Finally!

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But then Tom realizes something's up. The only cheering in the Superdome is coming from his owner's box. Everyone else is silent. His wife's hug and the pom-pom waving in his face are distractions from the slowly growing realization that something is amiss, namely the kick from Hartley's foot.

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"Hey. Hey... hop off for a second. I don't think it was good. No, he missed it. Seriously, Gayle, he pushed it left. I thought it was good! The ref put his hands up, I swear! Can we challenge this? Somebody get me Sean! I want to dance!

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Unlike Donovan McNabb, however, Tom Benson knew that a missed kick in a tie game leads to an extra session of play called "overtime." But Benson's disappointment would only compound there, as the Bucs successfuly kicked a game-winner of their own during OT.

Benson will have plenty of chances to celebrate over the next few weeks. The Superdome will host a rare playoff game and New Orleans figures to be the NFC favorite to make it to the Super Bowl. If any of that happens though, I bet Tom Benson will wait until the last possible moment to began his celebration.

The full animated GIF can be seen at mocksession.com

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