Whenever I have to make an analogy between current events and history, my two go-to examples are the Beatles and the Civil War. For instance: Pete Best gets suspended, so Mickey Epstein signs Richard Starkey to anchor the middle, and it seems to be an upgrade. Then Richie goes down with a tonsil injury, and Mickey has to give up a draft choice for Jimmy Nicol. But that works out in the end: Richie comes back, and the Beatles go on to win seven straight Super Bowls before Yoko pries Drew away from Brittany and fucks everything up.
Or this: Stonewall Jackson goes down with an arm injury, and Coach Lee shuffles his roster and moves Jeb Stuart into the empty slot. And all that happens is that 133,000 Northern invaders get their tickets punched by 60,000 Southerners at Chancellorsville. Of course, what comes next isn’t so great: Stuart gets moved back to his regular position, Lee trades for Richard Ewell, and the Army of Northern Virginia collapses in the fourth quarter in a playoff loss at Gettysburg. Some blame it on Lee, saying he’s arrogant and stubborn, but that’s another analogy.
The question isn’t whether or not these are good analogies (in course they are), but whether or not the sudden loss of Curtis Lofton, David Hawthorne, and Chris Chamberlain deserves to be considered historical. And since the Internet is best adapted to gut instinct (n 1. uninformed overreaction), I have to go with “hell yes.” Are you kidding me? We just lost our entire offseason crop of linebackers in one half of play! And then Mickey Loomis—Mickey the Genius, the Magician of Craiova as some dipshit characterized him—gives up a draft choice for a has-been still working through—get this—knee, shoulder, and groin (sound familiar?) injuries, someone who wasn’t going to make the roster at fucking Seattle! Historic? This is panic time, people! Our beautiful plan to show up Goodell on the podium in February is falling apart, and we haven’t even reached the dress rehearsal yet!
Okay…got that out of our system? Good. Here’s what’s really going on.
I do disagree with Mickey’s latest move. I don’t see Barrett Ruud making this squad, and you don’t trade a draft choice for a camp body. On the other hand, the actual pick wasn’t disclosed: it could be the 7th rounder in 2032, for all we know. Frankly, I wonder if it’s conditional. If that’s the case, it’s probably no big deal. But in the grand scheme of things, at worst it’s like a Drew Brees interception: I hate it when that happens (so does Drew), but it doesn’t make me want somebody else under center.
As for Chamberlain: even though he’s gone for the season, it wasn’t looking like he was going to be the Shanle-killer so many hoped he would be. If Shanle winds up starting, that makes Gary Gibbs, Gregg Williams, and Steve Spagnuolo—all of them professional football guys, from what I’ve been told—who believe Shanle is a fine linebacker, Pro Football Focus be damned.
As for Lofton and Hawthorne: both of them may return for the opening of the regular season. Maybe not…but maybe. Lofton has an ankle sprain, which simply needs time to heal. Hawthorne injured his knee, but actually continued to play after the injury. Neither is all that serious in the grand scheme of things.
And as for Ramon Humber and his suspension, that’s just a little parsley garnish on the heaping platter of shrimp and shit served up by Roger Goodell to Saints fans this summer. It wouldn’t have been noticed except for the injuries to Lofton and Hawthorne. Of course, if it hadn’t happened, we wouldn’t have traded for Barrett Ruud, either, so Roger can giggle and slap his knee over that move. Good one, Rog. Your day is coming.
Surely I’m not the only person who remembers the secondary problems in 2009? We were in a much more serious situation then—in the middle of the season, reduced to signing guys off the street. Yet it worked out, in large part because we’ve got this offense, apparently, and it’s pretty good. And surely I’m not the only person who remembers last year, when we lost Jonathan Vilma for much of the season, got slipshod play from the linebacking corps practically from Game 1, and still came within 40 seconds of what would surely have been another championship. And no, I don’t consider that an acceptable outcome for this season…but it serves to demonstrate that you still have to let things play out. If you had known going into 2011 that the Saints’ defense would be the 24th-rated in the league, would you have predicted 13-3?
I guess this is all my way of agreeing with Wang: “So, seriously, calm the fuck down would ya?”
On the Jukebox
No, I didn’t use this post as an excuse to play more Beatles; it’s Wang. Golfing Wang. Wang with a panda. Wang in pink feathers. Now, aren’t you glad you’re American?