If Chip and Joanna Gaines, the stars of the TV show “Fixer Upper,” are looking for challenging work, they can certainly find it out on Airline Drive.
However, the job of fixing the Saints and the Pelicans will require more than new cabinets, counter tops and a backsplash.
Joanna might turn to Chip and say something like this: “Honey, there’s a lot of money invested in these two houses. Both of them are in bad shape, and I’m not sure we can renovate them without taking a loss.”
As of Sunday night, Dec. 11, your New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans possessed a total of three wins against teams with winning records.
The Saints, with more than $145 million in actual cash paid out in 2016, had only one win over a team with a winning record (Seattle). That cash figure doesn’t include $10.7 million in salary cap dead money paid to players no longer on the roster.
The Pelicans owned two wins over teams with winning marks (Boston and Charlotte), and none of the victories came against Western Conference opponents. This season, the Pelicans will spend approximately $100 million on payroll.
Solomon Hill, averaging 5.7 points and 3.8 rebounds a game, is the second-highest paid player on the team, earning $11.7 million this season. Not far behind is center Omer Asik, averaging 3.5 points and 6.2 rebounds a game. Asik is earning $9.9 million this season.
If Asik picks up his player option for the 2019-20 season, the Pelicans are on the hook for $39 million over the next three seasons. At Tampa Bay, the Saints somehow got to the Bucs 3-yard line with 48 seconds to go in the half – and holding two timeouts – yet had to settle for a field goal on third down. Throw in three Drew Brees interceptions and two dropped touchdown passes, and the Saints lost to a team that had only eight first downs in the second half.
Three days earlier, the Pelicans lost at home to Philadelphia. The Sixers snapped a 23-game road losing streak dating back to Jan. 20, 2016.
Three days before that, the Pelicans lost at home to Memphis in double overtime. The Pels literally stole defeat from the jaws of victory, allowing game-tying 3-pointers at the end of regulation and at the end of the first overtime.
It says something about the year for New Orleans pro sports fans when the highlight is the Zephyrs changing their name to the Baby Cakes. At the unveil, the crowd chanted, “Go Cakes, Go!”
It sure got me fired up.
When Joanna and Chip show the owners their new renovated home for the first time, there is often a moment of pleasant astonishment at the sight of the new digs. If anyone needs a pleasant surprise right now, it is the season ticket holders of the Saints and Pelicans.
Ed Daniels is sports director of ABC26 WGNO. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.