(Editor's note: The Saints beat the defending champion St. Louis Rams 31-28 on Saturday for the first playoff game victory in franchise history.)
New Orleans Saints have made a complete turnaround under new head coach
Jim Haslett. After going 3-13 last season and finishing at the bottom
of the NFC West, when the smoke had cleared on Battlefield 2000, the
10-6 Saints trumped the Super-Rams to emerge as division champs. This
perennially sad team is going to the playoffs for the first time in
eight years, even after losing their best players to injury. In his
first head coaching assignment, Jim Haslett took a sorry bunch of losers
and made them believe they could win. The team's hard work and determination
have paid off, but perhaps astrology can shed some further light on
why Haslett has succeeded where so many others have failed.
have historically been one of the most karma-challenged (i.e. bad!)
teams in the NFL. They don’t just lose a lot of games—they drive their
coaches mad. Remember the Ditka years, the ones he would so like to
forget? Last season the Saints drove this legend back into retirement.
Even gentleman Jim Mora, the only coach to ever have any success with
the team, eventually broke down in a cursing, screaming fit, and fled
to greener pastures in Indiana.
Haslett Enters the Fray
mess comes Jim Haslett (born December 9, 1957 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania),
a fiery, red-haired Sagittarius, eager for the task. Haslett had formerly
served as the Saints’ linebackers’ coach and defensive coordinator under
Mora, and spent the last two seasons as defensive coordinator
in Pittsburgh. Haslett has proved to be an inspired choice for the job,
because he fits the team chart well.
New Orleans Saints played (and lost) their first game on September 17,
1967, in New Orleans. (The scheduled kickoff was at 1:30 pm CDT.) Coach
Haslett’s natal Sagittarius Sun and Saturn are conjunct the team’s Sagittarius
Ascendant. This serves to unite the team under his strong solar leadership
because his management style instinctively appeals to the players' sense
of pride and purpose.
Ascendant is the starting point of the chart, the sense of self, image and personality.
The team is quick to identify with Haslett and his philosophies, and
to find itself in his ideas. Sagittarius is a philosophical sign, one
that strives for faith, meaning and inspiration. Sagittarius wants to
believe, and wants its faith to manifest. Haslett at the helm has inspired
so much Sagittarian confidence and optimism that the same players who
went 3-13 last year now expect to win every time they step on the field.
is it about these Saints that seems so unholy? It was a bit of New Orleans
voodoo that put the Saints on the NFL map in the first place. Back in
1966, many cities were competing for the highly coveted NFL franchises.
Some had fine stadiums and profitable ownership deals in place. The
leagues encouraged competition for their franchises, listening to proposals
and presentations at regular owners’ meetings and then voting, much
as they do today.
in 1966, the competition between the NFL and the upstart AFL had gotten
so out of hand that a secret merger between the two leagues began to
take shape. As the proposed merger became public, the leagues found
themselves facing congressional antitrust action in Washington. But
what does this have to do with the Saints? A lot, because the team owes
it existence to certain crucial votes delivered by Louisiana politicians
that brought the antitrust case to a standstill.
21, 1966, Congress approved the NFL-AFL merger, voting to exempt the
league from further antitrust action. After a hasty Halloween telephone
poll, the NFL owners suddenly granted their newest franchise to the
city of New Orleans, a town with no stadium and no ownership, but in
full possession of cutthroat political instincts. On November 1, 1966,
All Saints Day, the NFL unveiled their newest team in the Crescent City.
So the Saints were conceived in political sin, and born on the day traditionally
belonging to the dead, from a swampy mire of underhanded Scorpio intrigue,
most of which everyone denies. It’s Scorpio after all—it’s supposed
to be a big secret.
gets even stranger from there. Lacking a stadium, work began on the
splendid new Superdome. Unfortunately, the land chosen for the site
included an old cemetery, so now the Saints' home field is hopelessly
haunted. This begins to put the team's record in perspective.
“Curse” of the Saints
luck struck again this season, when after a promising start, their star
running back, Ricky Williams (born May 21, 1977 in San Diego), suffered
a broken ankle. The team curse was in full force the following week
when quarterback Jeff Blake (born December 4, 1970 in Daytona Beach,
Florida), also broke his ankle. And just like that, their two most productive
offensive players were gone.
reason to fold, the Saints went marching into Saint Louis that week
and made true believers out of the Rams instead. Backup quarterback
Aaron Brooks, in his very first NFL start, proved to be the biggest
surprise of the season in the stunning 31–24 upset victory. A star was
born! Brooks (born March 24, 1976 in Newport News, Virginia) was born
on the same day as Colts’ quarterback Peyton
Manning, and the two share the same Aries fearlessness and
pertinent to the Saints' purposes, Brooks locks into their team chart
in much the same way that Haslett does. Brook's natal Aries Sun is on
another important angle of the team's chart, the IC. The Imum Coeli,
or the bottom of the sky, marks a point of origins and roots, a home
base or fortress. Brooks obviously feels right at home in the offense,
and his fiery Aries energy raised the team’s spirit, immediately lifting
them up from the lowest point of the season and sparking them onto victory.
Saints wrap up their season, there is a lot to learn from these guys.
For instance, no matter how many times you get knocked down, you’re
not out unless you quit. This team has never quit. And whoever you are,
if you believe in yourself, you can rise above fate to become the master
of your own destiny. And further, everything is a lot easier when you
have the right personnel in place. Astrology can help any organization
to choose the right people to lead them to success. The Saints would
still need a miracle to get to the Super Bowl, but Jim Haslett may eventually
prove to be a miracle worker in the making.