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A Look Back at the New Orleans Voodoo of the AFL

For the fans who absolutely loved the golden era of the Arena Football League during the 2000’s, buckle up because we are about to get into a historical piece on the team with arguably the greatest arena logo ever, the New Orleans VooDoo.

In The Beginning

In 2003 the first incarnation of the VooDoo was born by way of legendary (former) Saints owner Tom Benson, however, the first ever game for the team was played on the road in February 2004. Their first ever home game was against the Indiana Firebird which wound up being a very exciting and close victory for the VooDoo.

In their first season the VooDoo drew crowds of well over 15 thousand which was almost as much as a New Orleans Hornets game during those days. Throughout their first season the VooDoo would play well at home finishing with a 7-1 record helping them finish the season with a strong 11-5 record which a first place finish in the Southern division. The VooDoo would go on to make the quarterfinals that season, but ultimately losing to Colorado 47-44. The VooDoo would not reach the postseason again until the second incarnation in 2012 which would be their last appearance before folding in 2015.

The Second Coming

New Orleans VooDoo | The Second Coming

After not having a franchise for the better half of 3 years the VooDoo were back thanks to their friends over at the Shreveport Battle Wings who decided to move down south and bring the VooDoo back for a second go around. The second go around was not any better. The VooDoo would not even crack double digit victories in their return.

The End

The VooDoo would once again close their doors for good in 2015. The franchise would finish with an overall record of 55-100-1. The franchise’s logos and uniforms are still revered as one of the best Arena logos and uniforms of all time.

Notable and Memorable Players

Many players of note have had the privilege to wear the purple and red; Names like Aaron Bailey who was regarded as one of the top players in the AFL for many years. Andy Kelly had two separate stints with the team one in 2005 and one in 2007, Kelly had his best season of his AFL career in 2005 with the VooDoo throwing over 4600 yards and a 96-12 TD/INT ratio. A couple local guys who were very exciting to watch play in the VooDoo uniform were Norman LeJeune an LSU product and Delvin Breaux who would go on to play next door in the Superdome for the Saints just a couple seasons removed from playing for the VooDoo. Also can’t forget the other LSU alum Marlon Favorite who played for the team after winning the Super Bowl as a Saints practice squad member in 2009.

The VooDoo all-time has 9 All-Arena players: Dan Curran, Tim Martin, BJ Cohen, Norman LeJeune, Alvin Ray Jackson, Jeremy Kellem, Cameron McGlenn, PJ Berry, and Larry Beavers.

Notable Coaches

The VooDoo had a few good head coaches who would later on leave and go on to greener pastures.

Mike Neu

Mike Neu was the first VooDoo coach and the best coach the team had. He coached the team for four years. After leaving the VooDoo and taking a brief break from coaching he would be hired by Tulane to be their QBs coach from 2012-2013 before moving on up to be the New Orleans Saints QBs Coach from 2014-2015 to now coaching at his alma mater as the current Head Coach of Ball State. Neu finished his VooDoo career with a 33-31 record.

Pat O’Hara

Pat O’Hara coached the VooDoo from 2012-2014. After trying to bring winning to the team after being a 3 time arena bowl champ he just couldn’t bring winning back to the team. After leaving the franchise he would become an offensive assistant with the Houston Texans from 2015-2017 then getting his current job which is the QBs coach for the Tennessee Titans which he began coaching in 2018. O’Hara would finish his VooDoo career with a 16-36 record.

Footage

Below will be a few links of some VooDoo games if you are feeling nostalgic enough to watch it!

Philadelphia Soul at New Orleans VooDoo | 2/20/2005

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-lysqvvUh0

Columbus Destroyers at New Orleans VooDoo | 4/16/2005

New Orleans VooDoo at Philadelphia Soul | 6/6/2015

New Orleans VooDoo at San Jose Sabercats | 7/12/2015

 

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