Jan 11, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Khiry Robinson (29) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of the 2013 NFC divisional playoff football game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Saints fans still love an underdog

The New Orleans Saints have always had a fan base that varies as much as the city that they call home. After years of unsuccessful seasons and the tragedy of Katrina, Saints fans had begun to embody the spirit of the underdog many years prior to the team’s defining win against the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl. But as underdogs, that victory cemented the identity.

Years later, the spirit and the identity of the underdog has once again appeared with the Saints’ fan base.

In a recent poll on the team web site, 41 percent of fans predicted that Khiry Robinson would lead the team in rushing in 2014. In contrast only 31 percent believed it would be Mark Ingram.

Although Ingram is injury-prone and the results could reflect a mistrust that he can stay healthy, I believe it is the spirit of the underdog surfacing in the fans.

Ingram and Robinson had similar seasons last year. Ingram had 78 carries for 386 yards a touchdown, while Robinson had 54 carries for 224 yards and a touchdown. Both also had good playoff numbers. Ingram ran 28 times for 146 yards with one touchdown. Robinson ran 21 times for 102 yards with one touchdown.

So why other than injury history was Robinson chosen over Ingram as the most likely leading rusher for the Saints in 2014? It is because he is the underdog.

Robinson made the team last year as an unheralded, undrafted free agent out of West Texas A&M following a tryout at the club’s rookie camp. Ingram on the other hand, while more likely to lead the team in rushing, is a former Heisman Trophy winner that has never been able to win over the Saints’ fans.

Instead, they want Robinson to succeed because the underdog still lives in New Orleans.

Tags: New Orleans Saints

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