It’s now been ten days since I wrote an article that included one little line in it about a certain player from a certain city in Louisiana.
When I wrote the article in question, I knew that someone was probably going to complain about this line – “The Saints are still getting props for signing Drew Brees. (Insert mole joke here.)”
That’s all it took. That same day, I received the following comment from a Saints blogger - “Mole jokes? Joking about the Panthers quarterbacks last season might be easier.”
I responded with, “Yeah, I suppose I shouldn’t have stooped to the level of mole jokes but it was there and I went for it. My apologies. Go ahead and give us your best elbow joke.”
I thought that would end it. Not so fast. Late in the dead of night, he responded to me on his blog (again!) with a retort that I must provide an answer of my own.
He brings up the fact that Jake Delhomme was once with the Saints and that his duty was to carry a clipboard. He even provides a nice piece of clip art to demonstrate. Here’s where I respond.
Jake Delhomme spent his time placed somewhere within the New Orleans Saints‘ organization from 1997 to 2002. He was bounced from the practice squad to Amsterdam of NFL Europe, back to the practice squad and finally to Frankfurt where he would help lead the Galaxy to the NFL Europe title.
He came back stateside where he would reside on the bench as the team’s third-string quarterback. When he finally did get the chance to play he led the team to a victory over the Dallas Cowboys. He spent three more seasons on the bench. What’s important is who was actually getting action in New Orleans – Aaron Brooks and Jeff Blake.
Neither Brooks nor Blake can match the statistics that Jake has compiled since he landed with an organization that understands what a real quarterback looks like. Delhomme has a higher completion percentage (59.7% – Brooks 56.5%, Blake 56.4%), a better passer rating (85.2 – Brooks 78.5, Blake 78.0), and a higher touchdown per game mark (1.42 in 70 games - Brooks 1.32 in 93 games, Blake 1.12 in 119 games).
Oddly enough, after Jake got on the field and showed what he could do, the fans in New Orleans would chat, “We want Jake! We want Jake,” when another quarterback was in the game. Maybe they knew something that the coaches (two during that time span – Mike Ditka 1997-1999 and Jim Haslett 2000-2005) didn’t know. Neither of them would play Delhomme.
Thank God that John Fox understood what Jake Delhomme could do. He became the starting quarterback at halftime of the team’s opening game of the 2003 season versus Jacksonville. He entered the game in the second half and led them from 17-0 down to win the game on a dramatic fourth-down touchdown toss. He would go on to lead the team to Super Bowl XXXVIII.
Not bad for a guy who was buried on the depth chart in New Orleans for years and even discarded twice to NFL Europe.
I’ll make no more mole jokes. I’ve already apologized for the first one. My problem is a Saints fan talking smack about our quarterback when his team didn’t know what they had when he was with them in the first place.
This is probably just the beginning. I’m dug in. Bring the fight.