Former Saints wide receiver Joe Horn told SI Now that he does not believe the team should have played the NFL season following Hurricane Katrina in late-August 2005.
“I expressed it a week or two later when they were about to award the Saints to San Antonio,” Horn said. “I expressed it to (former NFL Players Association executive director) Gene Upshaw and Mr. (former NFL commissioner Paul) Tagliabue. I understand the NFL have to make their money, I get that. But when it's seen all over the world that money is more important than dead bodies, I don't think the NFL should matter.”
Before the hurricane, the Saints played two preseason games at the Louisiana Superdome, and then played the remainder of the season on the road, with all but one home game played in San Antonio's Alamodome or LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. The Saints' other home game that season was played at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. against the Giants.
Horn hopes Katrina taught the NFL a lesson in prioritization of circumstances following catastrophic events.
“At that time, it seemed like that's all that mattered to them,” Horn said. “I'm not trying to downplay the NFL. Hopefully the situation that happened in Katrina will change the way we do things in the NFL. If there's a catastrophe, that city – be it Detroit, Pittsburgh, Carolina – they shut that team down for the year and they allow them to get back to the city and rebuild it. It didn't happen with Katrina. It was a sad case at the time. Hopefully it was a lesson learned for the NFL.”
The Saints finished the 2005 season with a 3–13 record for fourth place in the NFC South. The team returned to the Superdome for the first time since Katrina on Sept. 26, 2006 and posted a 23–3 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
New Orleans finished the 2006 season with a 10–6 record and advanced to the NFC Championship Game.
- Christopher Chavez