NFC South: Jim Henderson

For a change, there is some positive news on the New Orleans Saints.

Team owner Tom Benson and former running back Deuce McAllister have been selected as the 2012 inductees to the Saints Hall of Fame. They were elected by a media selection committee.

McAllister is one of the most popular players in franchise history. He retired holding almost all of the team’s rushing records. Benson hasn’t always been a popular figure with fans, but that’s changed in recent years as the team has enjoyed a streak of unprecedented success since 2006. The Saints won their first Super Bowl title in the 2009 season. Benson, who bought the Saints in 1987, recently bought the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets.

The induction will take place Sept. 21 as part of Saints Hall of Fame/All Saints weekend.

Saints radio play-by-play man Jim Henderson will receive the Joe Gemelli Fleur De Lis Award for his contributions to the team. Henderson began working as a color analyst for the Saints Radio Network in 1982 and became the play-by-play man in 1986. Henderson also was the sports director at WWL-TV for 34 years, before retiring from that position in January.

The Saints Hall of Fame also has revealed it will include a legacy gallery in the museum to honor former New Orleans special-team standout Steve Gleason.

Around the NFC South

January, 31, 2012
Time to take a look at the Tuesday morning headlines around the NFC South.

— Here’s a mock draft that has the Carolina Panthers taking cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick in the first round. Seems to be a popular pick and would appear to be a possibility. But the stock of players can rise and fall between now and the draft. Plus, we won’t know until a late-February coin flip if the Panthers will be picking No. 8 or No. 9.

— Jim Henderson, who is retiring as sports director at WWL-TV, reflects on some of the figures he has covered in the New Orleans sports scene, including some Saints’ players and coaches. Henderson will remain as the Saints’ radio play-by-play man.

— Former Fresno State coach Pat Hill said he had an opportunity to go into broadcasting. Instead, he chose to become the offensive line coach for the Atlanta Falcons. Hill said coaching offensive lines is his area of expertise and he was very impressed with Atlanta coach Mike Smith.

— Carolina quarterback Cam Newton will be featured on NFL Face to Face with Hannah Storm on Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

— Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik said the Bucs will be involved in free agency. For that portion of Tampa Bay fans that tends to take everything literally and overreact, let me translate for you. This does not mean the Bucs suddenly are going to overhaul their team when free agency starts in March. They still believe in building through the draft and they have parts of a young core already in place. They will use free agency to supplement that core. They’ll be more active than last year when punter Michael Koenen was the only free agent they brought in. But there’s not going to be some major shopping spree.

Early observations on your votes

August, 31, 2010
Just sent the first round of ballots in our contest for the most disliked and most beloved figures in NFC South history into the capable hands of Kevin Little, who is going to be tabulating the results. A senior Sports Business major at Saint Leo University, Kevin’s doing an internship with the Gator Bowl and has graciously agreed to do a quasi-internship in helping with this project.

The voting continues, probably for the rest of the week, so step into the voting booth if you haven’t yet. I scanned the ballots that were just sent off to Kevin and it was fascinating. First off, you’re doing a great job playing by the rules we set out, although I’m not really sure how we got a ballot that had the most disliked and beloved figures in LSU history -- that one’s not going to be tabulated.

I don’t want to influence the vote, but I’ll throw out a few observations.
  • Perhaps the thing that struck me most was the range of emotions from Carolina fans on Jake Delhomme and John Kasay. The former quarterback and the current kicker are getting lots of votes in both categories and that makes some sense. I guess some Carolina fans look at Delhomme’s whole time there and appreciate his contributions, while others are focusing on the quarterback’s horrible final season. Kind of the same with Kasay, the last original Panther. He’s getting a lot of credit for his longevity and the way he carries himself. But there also seem to be a lot of Carolina fans with long memories, who can’t forget Kasay’s lousy kickoff late in the team’s only Super Bowl.
  • Speaking of fans with long memories, Hugh Culverhouse’s name seems to be coming in on quite a few ballots in the Tampa Bay precinct and they’re not checking off the most beloved box. Tampa often gets labeled as a town full of transplants. But this shows me that Tampa Bay fans haven’t forgotten Culverhouse, the team’s original owner, and how bad things were in the early years. Bo Jackson also is getting some votes. Even though he never played for the Bucs, let’s make it clear he’s eligible. The Bucs used a top draft pick on Jackson and it turned out to be a waste when he decided he didn’t want to play for the franchise.
  • I can’t say there’s anything remarkable coming out of the Atlanta precinct. As you might expect, Bobby Petrino and Michael Vick are dominating the disliked category. Lots of beloved votes are coming in too, but I don’t see anyone running away in that category so far.
  • Saints fans are voting the way you’d expect. Drew Brees is getting a lot of beloved votes. Aaron Brooks, Mike Ditka, Tom Benson and Ricky Williams are all running strong campaigns in the disliked category.

We’ll close this out by sharing one New Orleans ballot that I thought was pretty unique and cool.
  • Scott in St. Amant, La., writes: I'll throw a slight curve here and say Jim Henderson of WWL TV and Radio. He's been the radio play-by-play man for the Saints since 86, and the sports anchor for WWL TV since the late 70's. The radio broadcast of Saints games is such a local institution that everyone has at least one family member who insists on playing the radio broadcast alongside the TV one. Jim Henderson has been the calm in the storm through many years of Saints fans pulling their hair out at the teams bad decisions, bad play, and just plain bad luck, while his rare, well thought out and scathing rants are a sign of impending regime change. He has become as much a part of the local Saints experience in the last quarter century as old- time baseball announcers like Ernie Harwell and Harry Caray were for their teams.

Broadcast crews for the Super Bowl

January, 27, 2010
The Saints just put out their official press release for the Super Bowl, which was kind of neat to see because this is the first one in franchise history.

I’ll be sifting through the lengthy document and sharing some highlights with you over the coming days. But one bit I’ll throw out right now is the broadcast information for the biggest game in New Orleans history.

CBS will televise the game nationally with Jim Nantz handling play-by-play duties and Phil Simms as the analyst. The game can be heard regionally on the Saints Radio Network (870 AM and 105.3 FM in the immediate New Orleans area). Jim Henderson will call the play by play with Hokie Gajan as the analyst and Kristian Garic on the New Orleans sideline.

Westwood One has the national radio broadcast with Marv Albert calling play by play, Boomer Esiason as the analyst and James Lofton and Mark Malone working the sidelines.

WFNO (830 AM in New Orleans) will provide a broadcast in Spanish. Emilio Peralta will be the play-by-play man with Marco Garcia as the analyst.

NFC Championship Game on the airwaves

January, 19, 2010
If you’re already planning ahead for how you’re going to watch or listen to Sunday’s NFC Championship Game, here’s some information that may help.

The game will be televised nationwide by FOX with Joe Buck handling play-by-play duties. Troy Aikman will be the analyst. Pam Oliver and Chris Myers will work as field reporters. On the radio side, Westwood One will carry the game nationally with Dave Sims doing play by play and James Lofton as the analyst. Hub Arkush will be the sideline reporter.

The game also will be carried regionally on the New Orleans Saints radio network. In the immediate New Orleans area, the game will be carried on 870 AM and 105.3 FM. Jim Henderson and Hokie Gajan will be in the booth with Kristian Garic working the sidelines. For those with satellite radio looking to pick up the Saints’ broadcast, it will be on Sirius 123 and XM 102.

Saints on the airwaves

January, 11, 2010
Here’s a quick viewing guide for Saturday’s playoff game between the Arizona Cardinals and the New Orleans Saints.

FOX will carry the game nationally. Kenny Albert will handle play-by-play duties and Daryl Johnston will be the color analyst. Tony Siragusa will be reporting from the sidelines of the Superdome.

The game also will be carried on the Saints Radio Network (870 AM and 105.3 FM in the New Orleans area). Jim Henderson is the play-by-play announcer with Hokie Gajan as color analyst and Kristian Garic as the sideline reporter.