The New Orleans Saints announced Thursday, Sept. 22 that the team, in partnership with Raycom Media, has produced a documentary entitled "The Saints Are Coming" that chronicles the emotional re-opening of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sept. 25, 2006. The hour-long special will premiere on WVUE-Fox 8 in New Orleans on Sept. 24, as well as numerous Raycom television stations across the Gulf South, including WAFB in Baton Rouge.
The documentary will be posted on NewOrleansSaints.com starting at 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24,
Narrated by Jim Henderson, the longtime radio voice of the Saints, the documentary goes deep behind the scenes of the events surrounding the Saints' evacuation from New Orleans prior to the cataclysmic landfall and subsequent aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29, 2005. It marked the deadliest hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane in United States history and claimed 1,833 lives (according to The New Orleans Times-Picayune), as well as $108 billion in damage. "The Saints Are Coming" was produced by Saints Executive Director of Digital Media Doug Tatum, with assistance from producers Ashley Amoss, Brendan Hassett and Layne Murdoch, Jr.
"The Saints Are Coming" provides exclusive interviews with: U2's The Edge (Edge), Saints personnel including team President Dennis Lauscha, Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis, Head Coach Sean Payton, QB Drew Brees, Special Teams stalwart Steve Gleason, tackle Zach Strief, Saints Ring of Honor and NFL Legend Archie Manning, former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, New Orleans natives and musical legends Trombone Shorty and Irma Thomas, acclaimed broadcaster Mike Tirico, ESPN "Monday Night Football" Executive Producer Jay Rothman, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival producer Quint Davis, SMG Executive VP Doug Thornton, former NFL Executive Frank Supovitz, New Orleans Advocate music writer Keith Spera, legendary music producer Bob Ezrin and former NFL executive Charles Coplin.
The documentary weaves through the apocalyptic effects of Hurricane Katrina, the Saints' subsequently nomadic 2005 season, the tireless efforts of countless many to salvage both New Orleans and the Superdome, the reorganization of the Saints' coaching hierarchy led by Loomis and Payton, the overhauling of the Saints' roster highlighted by the addition of a wounded Brees, and the behind-the-scenes musical inspirations led by musical icon The Edge and the importance that New Orleans has on the global music community. The documentary culminates with the unforgettable events surrounding the Saints' return to New Orleans on Sept. 25 and the team's 23-3 victory over NFC South rival Atlanta Falcons. In the succinct words of Payton, "I told the team that they only way the night would truly be special was if we won."
"Raycom Media is proud to partner with the New Orleans Saints to bring "The Saints Are Coming" to our viewers," said Sandy Breland, Group Vice President, Raycom Media. "The Saints return to the Superdome post-Katrina and their thrilling win against the Falcons, was so meaningful and inspirational for a city trying to recover. So many of us remember that game vividly, as it served as a symbol that New Orleans was going to not only recover but come back strong. This documentary will stir up many of those emotions and serve as a great reminder of the resiliency of New Orleanians."
In the documentary, which features never before seen photos and footage including Edge and Bono second-lining through storm ravaged New Orleans streets, an emotional Brees states "I'd say my lasting memory from the Monday night game, the reopening of the 'Dome, Atlanta Falcons, was just the feeling that 'We can accomplish anything.' I mean, who would have thought that a year earlier, after everything had transpired, that we would be here doing this? We felt like we can do anything, we can accomplish anything. I'm not just talking about the team scoring touchdowns and winning games. I'm talking about the city and the people. New Orleans is just going to come back, we're coming back stronger."
Scheduled Air Dates and Times: Sept. 24: WVUE-Fox 8 (New Orleans) 5 pm and 10:30 pm; WAFB (Baton Rouge), 7 p.m; WLOX-C (Biloxi, MS), 10:30 pm; KPLC (Lake Charles, LA), 9 p.m., NewOrleansSaints.com; 11:30 pm. Sept. 25: WLBT (Jackson), 11 a.m. WDAM (Hattiesburg), 11 p.m. Oct. 1: KSLA (Shreveport), noon