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The New Orleans Saints are no strangers to superstition. During their 2009 Super Bowl run, Sean Payton famously relied on chewing Juicy Fruit to give his team good fortune. Another lucky tradition from that season appears to be coming back just in time for the postseason: eating fried chicken on the plane.

“Coach has got to give us Popeyes in the plane again,” wide receiver Robert Meachem said. “Everybody’s talking about that. Every road trip in ’09 we had Popeyes. Coach needs to bring back the Popeyes. Wherever we play, whoever we play, when we get on the plane – have the Popeyes ready.”

Meachem may have some clout with Saints coach Sean Payton. His 41-yard touchdown catch Sunday gave the Saints 21-7 lead in the second quarter. And he may have a poultry point.

The Saints were 7-1 on the road in 2009 on the steady diet of Popeyes fried chicken and the various delectable side dishes and 13-3 overall before winning Super Bowl XLIV over Indianapolis to finish 16-3.

New Orleans finished 3-5 on the road this season.

Looks like we have a good ol’ fashioned showdown of dietary philosophy on the football field. When Chip Kelly arrived in Philly, he banished Taco Tuesday and other junk food indulgences from the Andy Reid era in the hopes of improving team conditioning so it could run his lightning-fast offense. The Saints, meanwhile, are still a team employing Rob Ryan. They’re gonna eat some junk food.

It’s chicken vs. smoothies on Saturday night. WHO YA GOT?

[via]