Sideline View by Dale McKee

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The New Orleans Saints are coming off back-to-back banner seasons. The Saints were 14-2 last year and 12-4 the year before. So is another banner football season on the horizon for the Saints faithful? The National Football League announced the 2020 regular season schedule this past week, and every NFL team will have two home and two road games in the opening month of the season. The season will begin on Thursday, September 10, when the Kansas City Chiefs will host the Houston Texans and conclude on January 3. The Super Bowl will be played on February 7, 2021, in Tampa Bay. Of course, all this is tentative given our country’s present situation.

One of the highlights of the opening weekend will have New Orleans and their record breaking quarterback Drew Brees hosting Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs on September 13 in New Orleans. It will be the first matchup of 40-plus-year- old quarterbacks in NFL history. The Saints’ home schedule includes Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Carolina, Green Bay, Minnesota, San Francisco, L.A. Chargers and Kansas City. The road schedule includes Denver, Las Vegas, Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, Carolina, Tampa Bay and Atlanta.

The Saints are geared for prime time this year in what could be Brees’s final season. The Saints will be late owls as far as kickoff times with only five noon kickoffs slated. They will play four prime time night games and host the Minnesota Vikings on Christmas night. The Saints have been given the honor of the being the first home opponent for the Las Vegas Raiders in week two, a Monday night matchup. The Saints will also have prime time games against Green Bay in week three, the L.A. Chargers in week 5 and Tampa Bay in week 9.

NFL’s Best Coach

This past week the winningest coach in National Football League history, in 90-year old Don Shula died. He set a league record with 347 victories coaching for the Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins. Shula’s 1972 Dolphins are still the only undefeated team in NFL history recording a 17-0 mark. His Dolphins won back-to- back Super Bowls in 1972 and 1973.

Legendary high school football coach Bill Matthews passed away last week. The former Ole Miss football star and father of former Florida quarterback Shane Mathews. He led Pascagoula to a 5-A MHSAA state championship in 1987 as the Panthers completed the 14-0 season with a 27-7 win over Greenwood.

NASCAR, Golf Coming Back

While Major League Baseball, the National Basketball League and the National Hockey League are only talking about playing games, NASCAR is putting the car back on the track this weekend. The event will he held in Darlington, but the fans will have to watch on TV. No fans allowed.

Golf is back on May 24 beginning at 2 p.m. when Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning will battle Tom Brady and Phil Mickleson from Hobe Sound, Florida, in the Champions for Charity match. The event will make $10 million for a number of the COVID-19 charities. The four players will be miked-up. Should be some interesting sound bites.

Dale is a Waynesboro resident has been writing sports since 1973.