Friday, December 31, 2010

Getting the anniversary card in a day late...

So this happened ten years ago yesterday:

Good times. It's not only the namesake for this very (poorly run) blog, but it's also my favorite play in Saints history. Sure, you could go with the Gleason punt block or Tracy Porter's pick-six of Peyton Manning, or even Garrett Hartley's game-winning FG in the NFCCG. All very worthy.

However, before Hell could freeze over, we had to know it existed. And to understand that, we had to be sure there was really a Heaven. But to believe that, we had to know "there is a God after all."

Brian Milne played only five seasons in the NFL. He was a fullback. He was something of a journeyman: drafted by the Colts (in 1996, same year they got Marvin Harrison) but placed on waivers, picked up by the Bengals, whom he played with sparingly over four season, was subsequently dumped in 1999 and then picked up by the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks showed him the exit after one year, and that's when the Saints came knocking.

Milne retired after that season with the Black & Gold. He left his mark on the St. Louis Rams, though, scoring a touchdown against them in a 31-24 win on November 26, 2000, and later, recovering "the muff by Hakim." I'd like to think the diehard Rams fans have nightmares about Brian Milne, much the same way I wake in a cold sweat sometimes thinking about Joe Montana dominating the old NFC West.

And with ten years gone by, I think it's time for Brian Milne to receive some kind of proper honor. Looking at his player profile, it's clear that Brian Milne is not exactly Saints Hall of Fame material, let alone NFL Hall of Fame material. But that shouldn't stop the organization from honoring him.

I think the team owes is Brian Milne to give him a special half time presentation to go over that moment in time. Hey, this Sunday's as good as any other, right? I mean, it IS the 10 year anniversary. And while we're talking about honoring Brian Milne, I think the guy deserves the "Joe Gemelli Fleur De Lis Award" as well.

And...(yes, there's an "AND") he deserves some kind of new honor. Something that a guy of middling accomplishment who had such an indelible impact on the franchise deserves. Brian Milne may not hae been an All Pro, but he was an All Saint for one glorious moment. And for that moment, the man should never have to pay for a beer in the city of New Orleans ever again. Call it the "Your Money's No Good Here" Award or something, I don't really care. Let somebody smarter than me come up with a name for it (lights the 'Wang Signal').

Brian Milne is an unsung hero whose moment of triumph deserves high praise for all times. Don't misunderstand. Brian Milne wasn't a man for all seasons. Looking at his record, he really wasn't much of a man for football season. But his actions lifted the Saints and its fans to a higher place. A joyous place. One that fans don't get to experience very often, let alone fans of a long downtrodden franchise.

He brought his exubrance and exhaltation. And for that he has earned not only a permament place in our hearts and minds, but a fitting memorial to stand the test of time.

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