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Falcons Vs. Saints: New Orleans Took A Victory Lap Sunday... In A Plane

Rules of War: This sort of business is not kosher, and fuel for the escalating nasty discord between fans of the Saints and Falcons. But his story is absolutely fine by our red and black standards: The Saints took a victory loop around the Superdome in their team plane on their way home after Sunday's overtime win over the Falcons.

Courtney Roby Tweeted a shot of the jet circling the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (that still sounds just awful, doesn't it?), and even Flight Aware tracking of Continental Airlines Flight 1836 shows the loop around the Saints' home field. And because this is the Internet in the 2011, here's the actual audio from the plane to air traffic control at Louis Armstrong Airport: the team (we assume head coach Sean Payton) requested the scenic route home as the flight made its way into local airspace. Kinda cool to listen to pilot audio without something tragic happening, huh? (Edited to add: Mike Mularkey is a tragedy, we regret the omission)

Sunday surely sucked, but the Saints didn't really beat Atlanta so much as they escaped the Georgia Dome with a win after one call went bad. If you're a Falcons fan looking for solace, these aren't the Super Bowl Champions of yore, they're a beatable, weaker version of their overhyped title run. The Saints also refrained from doing stupid shit like the business we mentioned above, and by comparison, a victory lap is just good fun.

Goofy, symbolic gestures of pride directed at players by coaches is a distinctly collegiate way of inspiring a team, and those are terms football fans in Georgia and Louisiana can embrace. This rivalry matters, and celebrating wins on either side only validate the opponent.

In other words, we're cool with it, and a little jealous: purposefully delaying any scheduled landing into Hartsfield would instantly recreate "Die Hard 2." "This is your captain - we've requested to take a loop around the Georgia Dome, and the tower's informed us that such a maneuver would delay our landing until... let's see, yes: 2013.") It's nice to have that kind of friendly pace at your local airport.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.