Former Falcons receiver Michael Haynes grew up hating the Saints.
A New Orleans native, Haynes, remembers growing up in the 1980s when the Saints earned the moniker of the "Aint's" and stadiums filled with fans in brown paper bags because of the team's struggles.
From the team's inception in 1967, the Saints didn't have a winning season until 1986, including a 1-15 season in 1980, the worst in franchise history. Even with the Saints' struggles, they developed a fierce rivalry with the Falcons.
Haynes was well aware of the hatred between the Falcons and his hometown team when the Falcons selected him in the seventh round of the 1988 draft, which made him even more ecstatic to be wearing Falcons colors.
"When I got drafted by Atlanta, I became hated because I'm the kid from New Orleans now playing against the Saints," Haynes said. "And I can tell you I had some of my best games against the Saints. I loved going down there."
And Haynes isn't lying.
Haynes reeled in 28 passes for 536 yards and six touchdowns in the 12 games he played against the Saints during his career. During the 1991 season, Haynes made game-altering plays in New Orleans that helped the Falcons go 2-1 against them that season.
"Going home as a native and playing against the team you grew up watching, and all my friends, everybody I knew was Saints fans," Haynes said. "I loved going in there and beating those guys."
Falcons legends from the '91 team came together to film The 30th Anniversary of 'The Rudest Team' The History of the 1991 Falcons. Get an inside look at some of the best moments behinds the scenes.
Haynes was not the only one who loved to hate the Saints. Glanville, Tuggle, Miller, and Robert Lyles reflected on the intense rivalry and how it played out during the 1991 season for part three of 'The Rudest Team': The story of the 1991 Falcons. The third and final episode of the three-part series airs tonight at 7 p.m. on YouTube.
Some of Jessie Tuggles' best games came against the Saints. The Saints had four Pro Bowl linebackers that season in Sam Mills, Rickey Jackson, Vaughan Johnson, and Pat Swilling, who also was the defensive player of the year. Tuggle wanted to prove in those games that he was among the league's best at the linebacker position.
"You get that college rivalry feel when you play the Saints," Tuggle said. "I wanted to play my best game against that team for a lot of reasons. One of the reasons I didn't like 'em. The fans here didn't like 'em. No one liked each other. It just brought the best out of you."
In their first meeting against the Saints that season, the Falcons seemed to be outmatched, losing 27-6 and dropping to 2-3 on the year. The Falcons won the next two games, however, and the second win came in the 1991 Wild Card round. The 27-20 win was the Falcons' second playoff win in Franchise history, and of course, Haynes was the one to put the proverbial nail in the coffin.
With the game tied at 20, Chris Miller threw a pass to Haynes, which he caught and took 61-yards for the game-winning touchdown, silencing his hometown crowd.
"That was the loudest stadium we've ever been in, and when we left, and the game was over, it was the quietest stadium I ever been in," Glanville said. "…There was no noise ever like that, and when these two connected [Glanville points to Miller and Haynes], it was so silent I thought everybody died."