Jackson HOF selection an omen for Saints?

February, 6, 2010
2/06/10
6:01
PM ET
MIAMI -- Let’s go ahead and consider this an omen for the Super Bowl. Times really have changed for the New Orleans Saints.

[+] EnlargeRickey Jackson
Stephen Dunn/Getty ImagesRickey Jackson compiled 128 sacks over his 15 seasons in the NFL.
Rickey Jackson has been selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

That announcement came moments ago and it’s another sign that a franchise that has spent most of its existence as loveable losers no longer fits that image. The day before the Saints play in their first Super Bowl, they’ve got their first Hall of Famer.

Coincidence?

Maybe, maybe not. We don’t know exactly what was on the minds of voters. But the fact is Jackson never had even made it to finalist stage before this year. The fact that "Who Dat Nation" suddenly became more than a regional thing might have had some sort of subconscious impact on the voters and it certainly increased Jackson’s visibility.

But the fact is Jackson has deserved this honor for a long time. He was part of the famed “Dome Patrol’’ of the late 1980s and early ‘90s. Before this magical season, the Saints of Jackson’s era were the only truly proud time in franchise history. That era’s finally getting the recognition it deserves.

Maybe this won’t be the only truly memorable event of the weekend for the Saints and their fans.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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