John Howell Column

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 29, 2010

John Howell Sr.

Three who should have been there for Sunday’s playoff win

 Forget Miami. Last week in New Orleans was the Super Bowl.

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I don’t know if the city can muster the focus of its being towards South Florida as it did last Sunday at the Superdome. I just hope the Saints can.

There are a couple of folks that I remember who I have wished had been part of this Saints season. Foremost among them is the late Buddy Diliberto — “Buddy D” — a WWL Radio sports announcer who had a slight speech impediment and rapid-fire delivery regularly laced with malapropisms — “referring to former Saints quarterback Kenny ‘The Snake’ Stabler as ‘Steak Snabler’ … And uttering ‘torn lee nigaments’ instead of torn knee ligaments,” according to the Times-Picayune in an article following Buddy D’s death in early 2005.

The one I recall came during a live, sports talk call-in he hosted at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi. He said he was “coming to you live from the Beau Virage.”

Diliberto had vowed to don a dress on the day the Saints went to the Super Bowl. The graphic artists at the Times-Picayune obliged, and Monday’s edition of the New Orleans newspaper (which sold out and had to be reprinted twice, such was the demand from readers wanting extras for souvenirs) carried photos of Buddy D cleverly Photoshopped into a brightly-printed dress.

Then there’s Joe Horn who played seven of his 13 seasons with the Saints, leaving for Atlanta after the 2006 season. A Tupelo native who played at Itawamba Community College, he thrilled Saints fans setting records with his pass receptions.

And Le’Roi Glover. I began to watch and read about him when my daughter came home from a University of New Orleans speech class and said Glover was in it also. (She had no idea who he was nor did I when she first told me.) He played five of his 13 seasons with the Saints, the last in 2001.

That as an active NFL player Glover had bothered to return to college and enroll in an undergraduate speech course said as much about his work ethic off the field as he demonstrated on the field each Sunday during the season.

Wish all those guys could be in Miami February 7.