Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines a rival as "one of two or more striving to reach or obtain something that only one can possess".

It defines archrival as "one's chief rival or opponent".

Merriam-Webster should add the word "hate" into the definition.

The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons do not like each other. Actually, hate is a better way to describe it.

Maybe not the players on each team (though there's a healthy disdain), but a sports hatred between the two fanbases has run rampant for over fifty years.

Former Saints Pro Bowl punter Thomas Morstead was drafted by New Orleans in 2009, ended his rookie season by kicking a successful onside kick in the Super Bowl, and over the next decade, became a fabric of the community, ascending to fan-favorite status.

Community service. Honesty. Fan interaction.

Morstead did things on and off the field to endear himself to the Saints fanbase, knowing all too well the archrivalry between the Saints and Falcons.

He was released by the Saints in the offseason, and signed with the New York Jets. Waived by New York a few weeks ago, Morstead made it clear he wanted to continue his NFL career.

Guess who called?

It's no surprise a team like the Falcons would want Morstead. He's still productive at the position, and Atlanta punts a lot due to their 29th ranked offense.

Understanding the rivalry, Morstead shared a message with Saints fans today when announcing the news of his signing.

"I acknowledge that this will pain many of my biggest supporters."

He's right about that.

"All I can say is my love for New Orleans is as strong as ever. #WhoDatForLife"

The man will always love the Saints.

Saints fans had mixed reactions to the news, but overall, it's easy to tell the fanbase still loves and respects Morstead.

Morstead is a great humanitarian. He's raising his family in New Orleans. And had become one with the Saints fanbase.

That will be put on hold temporarily while he's wearing the ugly uniform that has ATL written on it.

It's the love the fans have for Morstead coupled with their hatred of the Falcons that has created a juxtaposition for many.

Hopefully, he punts. And punts. And punts. And punts. And punts. And punts.....

The Best Saints By Numbers 0-9

The Best Saints By Numbers: 10-19

The Best Saints By Numbers: 20-29

The Best Saints By Numbers: 30-39

The Best Saints By Numbers: 40-49

The Best Saints By Numbers: 50-59

The Best Saints By Numbers: 60-69

The Best Saints By Numbers: 70-79

The Best Saints By Numbers: 80-89

The Best Saints By Numbers: 90-99

1130 The Tiger logo
Get our free mobile app

More From 1130 The Tiger