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Jim Henderson / Eyewitness Sports Director

NEW ORLEANS -- Before my first sportscast here at Channel 4 nearly 34 years ago, I was given the company of an armed guard. The station was fearful that a disgruntled supporter of my predecessor might take a shot at me.

I thought then that that would be the hardest sportscast I would ever have to deliver here. I haven't been afforded an armed guard tonight. But I've found that I was wrong. It wasn't the first sportscast that was the hardest.

It was the last.

In my very first commentary in my very first week, I asked for your patience, that I didn't know the difference between a South African Krugerrand and a French Quarter. But if you would stay with me, I would try to learn.

You have. And I have. I have learned that a South African Kruggerand might feel better in your wallet, but a French Quarter felt better in your soul, and a little worse the next morning in your head.

The best description I have ever heard of this indescribable city is that 'New Orleans is a long, lingering kiss on the lips of excess.' I wish I had said that. But I'm happier that I have lived that, in the embrace of a place, its people, this station, and its employees who I have grown to love.

I have had no more admiration for anyone I've been privileged to meet in sports than former Saints President Jim Finks. When you had an audience with him and he knew it was time to move on for him, or for you, or for you both, he would take his league with the phrase, 'It's been a pleasure.'

It's been a pleasure.

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