The New Orleans Saints took an interesting new approach to special teams during their game with Tampa Bay on Sunday. Bucs kicker Ryan Succop was forced to face a sea of bright yellow fans that match the goalposts nearly perfectly. The team passed out dual-sided shirts to take Succop off his game and help the home team to a victory.
It isn’t uncommon for teams to give fans shirts of a particular color to make cool effects in the crowd. This is possibly the first time that it’s been done to specifically affect the outcome of a professional football game. Fans posted their thoughts on the tactic to Twitter before the game.
“Shirts for all the Saints fans sitting behind the Super Dome end zones today. The back of the shirts are yellow, the same color as the goal post. When the Bucs kick, all the fans are going to turn their back so the kicker can’t see the goal post. I love this team.”
The interesting effort proved to have no effect on the game. Succop did not attempt a field goal. He was 3 for 3 on extra points. The home team did prevail, however, as New Orleans beat Tom Brady and Tampa 36-27. The Saints lost starting quarterback Jameis Winston to a knee injury in the victory, perhaps for the season.
For what it’s worth, New Orleans kicker Brian Johnson was 3 for 3 on field goals and made all three of his extra point attempts. Fantasy football owners were delighted with Johnson’s performance. We’ll have to wait until a visitor attempts a field goal to determine whether the shirts have any effect.
With their victory over Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, New Orleans moves to 5-2 on the season. With the Bucs at 6-2, the Saints now have the defending champs within striking distance. They may not be able to withstand the loss of Winston, however, who has been extremely efficient , throwing 14 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions this season.
What do you think of the unique strategy being employed by the Saints? Share your thoughts in the comments!