NFC South: New Orleans Buccaneers

Our friends at ESPN Stats & Information passed along a fascinating bit of trivia about the history of big-time sports in New Orleans.

Prior to the upcoming appearance by the Saints in the upcoming Super Bowl, the last time any New Orleans franchise in any of the four major pro sports (football, baseball, basketball and hockey) reached a championship was 1968. That’s when the New Orleans Buccaneers reached the finals in the old American Basketball Association.

That’s easily the longest such streak for any city or metropolitan area with at least two pro sports teams.

The list after New Orleans is a lot more current and you have to be a bit subjective with the next longest streak. That’s Milwaukee, and ESPN Stats & Information doesn’t consider the Green Bay Packers as part of that market. The two cities are about 100 miles apart. But we’ll let you make your own decision on this one because we know the Packers basically extend across the state of Wisconsin. But, if you play it straight by the book, the Brewers were the last Milwaukee franchise in a championship when they played in the 1982 World Series.

After that, Kansas City is next on the list. The 1985 Royals were the last local team to play for a championship. Cincinnati’s last representative was the Reds in 1991. Minneapolis had both the Twins and the North Stars playing for championships in 1991 and Toronto’s last team to play for a title was the 1993 Blue Jays.

Saints can make Louisiana history

December, 16, 2009
My friends at ESPN Stats & Information sent along a great note about some history the Saints can make if they win Saturday night's game against Dallas.

With 13 consecutive wins, the Saints are currently tied for the longest single-season winning streak in the history of Louisiana professional sports.

Want to guess who the Saints are tied with? Well, we know the Saints have never done this before. Another clue: The Hornets haven’t done it since their arrival in New Orleans.

No, you’ve got to go way back into history -- and obscurity. The answer is the New Orleans Buccaneers.

Yes, for those not old enough to remember and those who simply have forgotten, New Orleans once had a professional basketball team called the Buccaneers. They played in the late, great American Basketball Association. Confession here, I was a fan of the ABA in the year or two right before it merged with the NBA (think Dr. J.), but I’m too young to remember the New Orleans Buccaneers.

They set the record in 1969. On March 6 of that year, they beat the Houston Mavericks. They went on to finish the season with 12 more wins in a row. They won in the first round of the playoffs, but lost four straight in the next round and were eliminated by the Oakland Oaks, who went on to win the ABA title that season.

The Buccaneers played three seasons in New Orleans before moving to Memphis where the franchise was known under three different names (Pros, Tams and Sounds) before folding after the 1974-75 season.