Goodbye To All That

23

 
goodbye_full

In which we bid a fond adieu to that wretched hive of scum and villainy, the National Football League. Not even the Saints are worth the price of putting up with these assholes.

 

What can you say about a 93-year-old sports league that died? That it was exciting, compelling, riveting? That I loved it from childhood? That it was killed by greedy, mendacious slugs pretending to be dedicated stewards?

This is my last post here, because I’m done with the NFL. So let’s get one thing straight from the beginning: this is not a response to the Saints’ loss at Seattle. Actually, I had been planning something like this for quite a long time, to be posted after the last game of the season—whatever that game was, however it ended. I had hoped it might end with Payton hoisting a Lombardi, and I had fantasized about him hoisting it up Roger Goodell’s cloaca; but it was not to be. I’m okay with that. No sour grapes here: I’m not mad at the Saints, or at the Seahawks (well, yeah, I am mad at them, but over a different issue…more on that later), or even, Lord bless them, at the Falcons. This is all about the damnable behavior of the so-called men behind the current NFL.

There is almost no issue I can think of concerning football on which the NFL hasn’t come down on the wrong side. About all there is, frankly, is the new attitude toward concussions. You get traumatically enstupidated, you sit. Period. You don’t go back in unless you can prove you’re over it, even if that takes weeks, even if it never happens. The NFL has stated that it considers itself the stewards of a tradition, and that what happens at the NFL level trickles down through every other level of football, all the way to the peewee leagues at the very bottom.

Of course, it’s just window-dressing; but they’re right. They are stewards of a tradition, and what they do does matter. And what they do, mostly, is lie, cheat, and steal. And they don’t seem to care too much whether or not this trickles down, because goddamn does it pay well.

The NFL Lies

The NFL, under Roger Goodell, has become a mirror of politics in America, in which either side is willing to tell the most shockingly obvious untruths in order to advance their agendas.

You want examples? First and foremost, there is Bountygate, which was a pack of lies from the very beginning and only got worse as it snowballed. It’s been extensively analyzed, here and elsewhere, so I won’t bother reiterating the whole sordid mess. If you don’t know by now, it’s either because you don’t care or you’re stupid. If you didn’t care before, read Reid’s book to find out why you should.

But Bountygate is simply the most monumental example of the League’s propensity toward over-the-top propaganda. How about…oh, the high-decibel fan demand for more football? Goodell has been trying for years to advance the idea that the NFL season should be expanded, to 18 games, based on fan demand.

“I appreciate the enthusiasm for it and I hear it from the fans consistently…People want more football. I think they want less preseason and more regular season and that’s the concept we are talking about here.” [Source]

But the only thing fans have had to say on the matter relates to preseason games, and only the season ticket holders care. The problem, from the fans’ point of view, is that the NFL teams require season ticket holders to buy two extra tickets—at full price—for exhibition games they’re not interested in. Ditch that requirement and everyone’s good.

But that’s crazy talk. That could mean depressed NFL revenues, and that’s been illegal since the Cambrian.

Actually, the reason Goodell and the owners want an 18-game season has nothing to do with the relative unpopularity of preseason games…it’s a ploy to get two more high-profile weeks of NFL action on television. For which, of course, the price of broadcast rights goes up. Ka-ching! So I guess what fans are demanding is that the owners get paid more, right? I mean, I’ve lain awake at night worrying about this myself. Will Jerry Jones be able to meet his stadium mortgage? Can Dan Snyder still afford apples for Christmas? And what about Tom Benson? Since he already owns all the car dealerships and sports franchises in New Orleans, how else can he hope to increase his walking-around money? I’m sure the fans are as concerned as I am.

What they’re not interested in is an 18-game season. The AP polled this in 2011, when the idea was first floated, and found less than overwhelming support for it. In fact it was less than majority support. In fact it was 18 percent of NFL fans “strongly supporting” the proposal. The rest of the support, I take it, was of the “yeah, sure, I guess” variety.

Interestingly, Doug Farrar of Yahoo did his own Twitter poll in 2011, when the idea was first floated. The result?

Of the 100-plus replies I received in about half an hour, not one was in favor of the idea without qualification, and most responses were profoundly against it.

In other words: Goodell (and Aiello, and anyone else who speaks for the NFL) is lying like a rug. Not mistaken, and not delusional: deceitful. Prevaricating. He knows fans are not in favor of an expanded season, but he credits us with the impetus behind the proposal because it serves his purposes to do so. (And hell, why shouldn’t he? Usually, when people lie this big, we elect them president.) Anyway, he’s still at it. And don’t expect him to stop until the owners get what they want. They don’t care what it takes, or what claims they have to make in our name. The next enlightened suggestion from the NFL is that we expand the playoff seedings by an extra team. (Which is also wildly popular with fans. Not.) And that brings us to…

The NFL Cheats

Doing everything it can to manipulate the results is apparently in the League’s DNA. That, after all, is the entire point of the draft structure. It’s the point of the NFL’s scheduling, too, and it’s a holy word: parity. The idea that any team, at any time, can rise up to win it all is what keeps fans interested (so they say). The League is actually proud when a bottom feeder floats belly-up into the playoffs.

And most fans never even notice. That’s the beauty of it: rampant manipulation of competitiveness over decades, and most fans think of it as “fairness.”

I have always been a fan in spite of the moral inversion inherent in the way the League operates, in which excellence is penalized and bad franchises (and remember, the Saints used to be a very bad franchise) live off of a sort of sports welfare. That’s because, despite what the League does to or for them, the teams themselves somehow always seem to rise up to, or sink down to, their real levels of competence (kinda like with welfare). That’s why, despite drafting last and playing rigged schedules, there were still “dynasties” like New England and Pittsburgh, competitive every year. And, conversely, why there were Buffalos and Clevelands, despite drafting first and playing creampuff schedules.

The NFL has never cared about fairness, because fairness means getting what you deserve. Being penalized for being better than the rest doesn’t result from fairness, but from cynicism. And the League doesn’t believe anyone will ever notice…and that those few of us who do will accept the process because at least the games must still be played.

But even that is changing. For instance, the League demonstrated conclusively this season that it cares nothing for the integrity of its records. How else could Peyton Manning break Drew Brees’ record for passing yards in a season without actually, you know, breaking it?

To his credit, Peter King flabbergasted the world by actually calling on the NFL to rescind Manning’s record. Read through this…it will save me from having to explain the whole thing, GIFs and all. (One caveat: no, Peter, it wasn’t close at all. Peyton’s 7-yard pass was a clear lateral. And also, be aware that this was written before Elias Sports Bureau had reviewed the play. I don’t know if King made any objections to their final ruling.)

The record for passing yardage in a season was once almost the Mt. Everest of NFL records. It took someone 27 years, during the most pass-friendly period in NFL history, to eclipse Dan Marino’s incredible 1984 record of 5,084 yards. The man who finally did it was the same man who had already flirted with breaking it once: Drew Brees. Since then, Brees has broken 5,000 yards twice more. It is astounding to realize that the guy usually touted as the all-time greatest, Peyton Manning, had never before come any closer than 300 yards to the 5,000-yard barrier.

Something must be done to correct that.

Enter today’s NFL. Drew is good and all, but he’s small-market (and small). Peyton is football royalty, and he needed that record. To be fair, he had a phenomenal year, and probably would have broken Drew’s record by a couple hundred yards if John Fox hadn’t pulled his typical über-cautious act and dragged Manning from the field as soon as he apparently had the record by a single yard. (There was an entire half yet to play. Against Oakland.)

Thing is, though, as King (I can’t get over that) points out, you can say all you want that Manning would have broken the record. The fact is, he didn’t. Subtract seven yards that actually should go into the record books as rushing yardage, and Manning finished the season with 5,470 yards. In my high school, they taught us that this is less than 5,476. It was a Louisiana public school, I admit, but I think they got this one right.

This might still wind up being a nearly-unbreakable record: the biggest “oops” moment in the history of professional football. But it wasn’t the record Peyton wanted…and in today’s NFL, what Peyton wants, Peyton gets. After carefully reviewing [sic] the evidence, Elias decided that “the fairest resolution” of the controversy would be to let the stat stand as called on the field, and allow Manning to keep the record. There’s that word again: fair. They keep saying it; I don’t think it means what they think it means. Maybe they’re using it in some ancient, original sense, where it means “just think of the jersey sales.”

Still, it’s revealing that their purported standard is what’s fair and not what’s right. That’s because right is absolute, but fair is a judgment call. The NFL loves judgment calls—the more, the better. The rule book is crawling with them, and collectively they give the League the opportunity to manipulate games.

Walter Cherepinsky doesn’t mince words when he writes about the San Francisco-Carolina divisional playoff game:

…Carl Cheffers and his crew completely sabotaged this game for Carolina, as they seemed like they were doing everything in their power to make sure there was a San Francisco-Seattle matchup next week, which will obviously draw higher ratings. That’s the only reasonable explanation for this one-sided officiating.

Does he exaggerate? I don’t know; I didn’t watch it (for obvious reasons). But I do know that the Panthers weren’t happy, either:

[Safety Mike] Mitchell’s first beef was an unnecessary roughness penalty called on him in the game’s first series for a late hit on receiver Anquan Boldin after a third-down incompletion from the Carolina 40-yard line.

“That was a terrible call,” Mitchell said. “This is playoff football, the National Football League. That was a terrible call. The ball was not on the ground. The replay showed it was still in the air. The receiver actually had an opportunity to bend over and catch the ball.”

“It was a terrible call,” Mitchell said. “A terrible call. One more time, a terrible call.”

I didn’t see it; but I don’t doubt it. Multiple sources accusing NFL officials of making terrible calls in a season noted for terrible calls? Sounds right to me.

What doesn’t sound right, though I hear it all the time, is this idea that during the playoffs the rules should change. “I don’t know if you call that in playoff games, but it is what it is,” according to Mitchell. Here’s what you should flag in a playoff game: any infraction. Was it a violation of the rules? Then, for God’s sake, call a penalty! What is the logic, what is the rationale, what is the ethical basis, for ignoring rule violations just because you’re in a playoff game? Seriously, if I hear one more time that the officials should just “let ‘em play” I may puke. You know what happens when officials don’t call penalties that ought to be called?

This.

I said earlier that I was mad at the Seahawks, and this is why. Not that they knocked the Saints out of the playoffs, but that they did so, in part at least, by cynically (and accurately, damn them) gauging the unwillingness of the NFL to play hardball when enforcing the rules, and making the calculated decision to cheat as much as possible. The hell of it is, before the game this reputation leaked out of the sports pages (where it was already well-known) and into, of all places, the Wall Street Journal:

The Seattle Seahawks—the favorites to make the Super Bowl out of the NFC—employ an exasperating defensive game plan: They blitz rarely and drop an army of defenders into pass coverage. And those defenders mug, obstruct and foul opposing receivers on practically every play.

Quietly, the Seahawks have achieved a 13-3 record and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs by exploiting a loophole: NFL referees are reluctant to throw endless flags for pass interference and defensive holding, even if defenses deserve them.

“They look at it and say, ‘We may get called for one but not 10,’” said Mike Pereira, a former NFL vice president of officiating who is now a Fox analyst.

Combine the Seahawks’ penchant for pass interference with the NFL’s lax enforcement, and you wind up with a largely predetermined result. And if the result was predetermined, there is so much leeway in on-the-field enforcement that it would be nearly impossible to prove: was the game fixed, or are the officials really this incompetent? I don’t want to suggest—yet—that the NFL is fixing games; but I do know this: look at the Seattle game to see what a fixed game looks like. (Or, from what I hear, the Panthers game. Two NFC South teams knocked out by lousy officiating…hmmm…)

Greg Bedard at Sports Illustrated makes a good argument in favor of playoff officiating—so long as it extends into the regular season. I feel the same way: the way Seattle’s secondary plays is only against the current rules. In 1977, they wouldn’t have turned a single head (except to say, “Gee, these Seacows are really good. Where are they from?”)

In the officials’ defense, it must be pointed out that the NFL rulebook has become so arcane and clumsy that it’s supernaturally difficult to call a game properly. That, I’m convinced, is the point of the constant, yearly rule tweaking the League indulges in. If even the game officials don’t know how the action should be called, how can anyone be sure that their team got hosed? And don’t be under any illusions that there aren’t some teams marked out beforehand for a good hosing…one of them being the New Orleans Saints, who violated the paradigm by actually getting good. Remember: before Bountygate was even a gleam in Roger Goodell’s eye, the Saints prompted a change in the overtime rules—rules that had stood for decades without any serious challenge—simply by winning.

The NFL Steals

Finally, the NFL is not content to rely on television and stadium revenues, or even ancillary sources like jersey sales. They’ve set their sights big-time on a big-time source of money: tax receipts.

Greg Easterbrook (who else?) chronicled in The Atlantic the recent misadventures of these wacky crony capitalists. “Pro-football coaches talk about accountability and self-reliance, yet pro-football owners routinely binge on giveaways and handouts,” he writes. Unfortunately, the example he gives here is Tom Benson and the Saints—perhaps the single really good example of a city which profits enormously from its team. Still, Benson profits even more; and what Benson gets, most of the other owners get, too, and for little in return other than football.

For instance, teams routinely find public financing for stadiums. They also benefit from tax breaks and incentives not available to the average Joe (or several million of them). Even when people think they’ve made out okay, it turns out they’re actually paying millions behind the scenes to subsidize some of the richest businesses in America:

Many NFL teams have also cut sweetheart deals to avoid taxes. The futuristic new field where the Dallas Cowboys play, with its 80,000 seats, go-go dancers on upper decks, and built-in nightclubs, has been appraised at nearly $1 billion. At the basic property-tax rate of Arlington, Texas, where the stadium is located, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would owe at least $6 million a year in property taxes. Instead he receives no property-tax bill, so Tarrant County taxes the property of average people more than it otherwise would.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not holding my breath waiting for Jones to go all Lester Burnham on us: IT’S! JUST! A! STADIUM!” No: what it is, is Jones’ monument to his own ego. Considering the current state of the national debt, the motto of the NFL owners might as well be “Après nous, le déluge.”

*   *   *

To be honest, there are numerous reasons why I’m calling it quits, and many of them may seem illogical. And they are, because logic doesn’t enter into them. For instance, I foresee an NBA future for the NFL: frantic scoring action by thugs. It’s “what the public wants,” so the League will continue tweaking the rules until the game bears little resemblance to what used to be called “football.” Well, maybe the public does want it; if so, the public can go fuck itself. I prefer the “old school” football played in the 1970s. A game that ends 13-10 because of fantastic defensive play is, to me, more riveting than a pinball contest that ends 51-48 because the defenses have been deliberately neutered. That’s the hell of it: I like Seattle’s defense. They did a magnificent job; they just did it 40 years after that style of play was made illegal.

Along with that, there are all sorts of other issues that have frayed my connections to the NFL: the League’s increasing internationalism (to me, NFL football is quintessentially American—and to me, that’s not a bad thing), the concocted furor over the Redskins’ name, doubing down on the Rooney Rule (yet another form of welfare). The League has become, by my standards, anti-American, just another arm of the leviathan progressive movement. I can’t in good conscience support it any longer just because Saints victories give me a thrill.

And for that, I will hate Roger Goodell and the NFL’s ownership forever. I’ve been robbed of one of the great joys of my life. Some day (soon?), the Saints will win their second Lombardi; some day, Drew Brees will take his rightful place in the Hall of Fame; and though I’ll be happy for those involved, and for the people of WhoDat Nation, I won’t be able to be a part of it. Thanks to you, Roger, and the blood flukes you work for.

So, that’s that. I’m really too busy with other things to continue this, anyway. It’s been educational, and at times fun. It just didn’t end well.

Bar’s open. Drinks are on the house.

Posted by Himself in 2013 Season, Ennui, The End of Football | 23 comments

23 Comments

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  • Saint ChristopherJanuary 14, 2014 at 11:58 am

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    A couple of weeks ago (shortly before the playoffs began), my wife asked me what my Superbowl plans would be. The answer was simple: If the Saints don’t make it, I wanted no part of it. I realized a year or two ago that I actually hate the NFL and all of its bullshit. I hate the artificial, bloated propaganda machine it has become; I hate the way it willy-nilly changes its rules and attitudes depending on public perception; I hate Roger Goodell and his stupid “shield” rhetoric.

    The only reason I watch is because I love New Orleans. I love that city. I love the interplay between this team and this fan-base. I think the Saints are good for New Orleans and good for the Gulf South. For me, rooting for this team has been much more than rooting for a sports franchise. For me, it’s been rooting for my home–for that Louisiana corner-of-the-world that too often gets press for all that’s wrong with it, rather than what makes it special. During the ’09 season, it felt really nice to see the city in the national spotlight–even for a moment. It felt really good to see our boys on national TV commercials. It felt really good for people to take notice of New Orleans–in a good way.

    That’s the only reason I watch. I remember, during those years where it looked like we weren’t going to have a team anymore, I was fully prepared to retire my fandom. Frankly, it’s exhausting and anxiety-inducing to put up with the NFL week after week. With the non-call in New England, the seemingly systematic non-calls on the Seattle defense (seriously, how many times over the last month have we heard NFL broadcasters chuckle and shake their heads while discussing how the Hawks’ defensive play is “borderline” illegal?), the months of listening to media drones blathering on about our road woes–I lost more sleep over this season than I’m proud to admit. If this were any other team, I’d have waved the white flag years ago.

    I get why you made your decision.

    That said, this blog has been something of a bright spot for me since Bounty Farce. It was nice to read opinions from perspectives that I cared about. I appreciate the care you put into your writing and into your Photo-shopping. I hope that you come around–but my hopes are purely selfish. At the very least, I hope you can find a way to enjoy the Saints in spite of the NFL’s bullshit. It sucks that they broke you.

    Anyway, I think it would be fitting to get one last Northshore/pine-cone drink. What was it? The “White Flight?” Yeah, I’ll have one of those…

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    • HimselfJanuary 14, 2014 at 12:09 pm

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      Broke me? I don’t see it that way. They didn’t set out to drive me away…they set out to suck me further in. I broke away from them.

      “Breaking me” would be: “Oh, fuck it. I need my football. I’ll put up with anything to get it. You win, NFL! Can I buy a jersey at inflated prices?”

      I have other things to do. Like concoct drinks.

      But…thank you for the kind words, and for understanding. Sometimes I feel so alone…

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  • FriarBobJanuary 14, 2014 at 7:31 pm

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    Well… I’ve not quite made the same decision you have, but there’s a reason I only ever comment here anymore. (And, I guess, presumably won’t anymore, since there won’t be any reason.)

    You do have to be blind (or a paid corporate shill) to not see just how blatant of a put-up job the whole BountyFarce bullcrap was. Or the lies about the 18-game season. Or the lies about the expanded playoffs. Etc, etc, etc. Unfortunately, you are almost certainly correct that the ONLY way it will EVER stop is if something FORCES it to stop. And there probably isn’t any way to do that… at least until the entire society completely collapses under a debt-weight that would sink a billion Titanics even WITHOUT the help of any icebergs. And what goes around comes around, while the idiots in charge of steering the ship (into the reef) here can’t foresee just how big a debt they’re laying up against themselves. That will, unfortunately, have a good chance of getting rather ugly someday.

    That said, I do take pride in the Saints managing to win a road playoff game even DESPITE the blatant cheating against them. And extra more-so that Adolf Goodell was there to witness it and getting egg on his face by being so BLATANT about pulling for the other team. That was a very nice dose of super-sweet extra-decadent chocolate AND caramel to help wash down the fecal sandwich that was the rest of the year.

    But sorry, I don’t think I’d like the Suckhawk defense even if it was actually legal. Maybe that’s only because I’m too much of a young whippersnapper to have ever seen “proper” football. Maybe. But they changed those rules more-or-less before I was even born, so I don’t have any reason at all to wish they hadn’t. As far as I’m concerned, there never was a “better way” that I can remember with crotchety nostalgia. So no, I don’t like the idea that the only way to successfully run a pass offense is to do unto others BEFORE they can do unto you (i.e., knock the crap outta them FIRST so they can’t do it to you).

    No, the suckhawks have become exactly what I despised about the Foulclowns a few years back, a team that DELIBERATELY and knowingly attempted to push as far into cheating as they could get away with. For the foulclowns it was holding on their OL and pass interference on their DBs. It was nauseating to watch. Not sure about holding on the Suckhawk OL, but for pass defense the only difference between them and the cheatclowns of old was the color of the uniform.

    I’m going to make a prediction for you. I will predict that one of two things will happen:

    1) The suckhawks will advance, only to go up against one of the “golden boys” of the NFL — EITHER golden boy, but most likely His Imperial Majesty Peyton “The Greatest Of All Time and if you aren’t willing to admit that you are clearly an utter idiot” Manning — and suddenly find that the pass interference rules they’ve flaunted all year long are actually part of the rulebook. Manning gets his second ring in a rather high-scoring game and the Suckhawk fans spend the next 20 years complaining about being boned out of ANOTHER superbowl, while the fans of every other NFC team wants to bash in their skulls for it.

    2) The fartywhiners will advance on the back of a stronger running game and a defense that is ACTUALLY skilled instead of merely good at cheating. But then once again the coronation-fest of His Imperial Majesty Peyton the First must not be interrupted, and the whining over the (actually correct) call on Ahmad Brooks is buried under an avalanche of complaints about just how badly the calls go against them THIS time. (Or, possibly worse yet, they actually win, and we have to listen to the nauseating crowing of their insufferable fans for the next 20 years about how they’re the only team with 6 Lombardi trophies. Bleugh.)

    So while I actually do NOT like the Cheatriots (especially didn’t like them in 2007) and I don’t much like Brady either, I guess I’m reluctantly pulling for them just because they’re the LEAST nauseating option out there. (Not that they aren’t nauseating too. They’re just a BIT less so than the others.)

    Bleugh. I need a drink to clear my mind of all those unpalatable futures. So if this is truly “last call” around this here bar, I suppose I should order up a death-by-chocolate mudslide to die for.

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    • HimselfJanuary 14, 2014 at 9:36 pm

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      Well…for your last order, I guess I can make a frou-frou drink. In thanks for sticking around all the way to the end. As for myself, I’m in a Sterno mood.

      I think you’re right about the sudden turnabout on the interference calls. And if it happens, I’ll know I made the right decision. But in a truly honest and fair world, I think there is NO WAY that a team of Peyton Manning and John Fox wins in the Super Bowl.

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  • sagehawkjhJanuary 15, 2014 at 11:52 am

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    Sad to see you go. Since discovering this, it’s been an enjoyable, and often even informational, read.

    I can’t say I disagree with anything here – I’ve always been a Saints fan first, and football fan… fifth? If my team wasn’t in post season, I didn’t watch. And would never watch the draft or (good lord) the pro bowl. And I always bought my jersey direct from Asia.

    So I’ll stick with the Saints, because here in PA, they are a tie back to the city I love. Good travels sir, and a Maker’s Mark and ginger ale if you will (before all the America is drained from that as well)

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    • HimselfJanuary 15, 2014 at 1:18 pm

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      Maker’s Mark is owned by Beam, Inc., which is about to be bought out by Suntory of Japan. Drink up, quick.

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  • Breesus Christ SuperstarJanuary 15, 2014 at 7:17 pm

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    If this is your last post, and I hope it’s not, it was a good one. On point as usual.
    In response, I don’t mind that the draft favors the losers, like you said they’ll just screw it up anyway. And I think the salary cap was the best thing to ever happen to level the playing field in the NFL and is why the sport has gained so much popularity compared to the other major sports. However, but for those exceptions, you are so right about the lies/cheating/favoritism that seems to only continue to grow under Goodell. You forgot my favorite scandal that epitomizes all three: Spygate. Are we really expected to accept that the video evidence of a rule break that actually has a direct competitive advantage were accidentally destroyed? That it is coincidence the transgressors won three super bowls during that time and none since? That a monetary fine of the coach is adequate when our own coach was suspended for a year for a witch hunt? That there isn’t favoritism? That one takes the cake.
    And if Spygate didn’t put you over the edge then, why leave now? The NFL is corrupt, but that’s what makes me love my Saints even more. They are the one team that keeps sticking it to the man. They keep crashing the party, whipping out their dicks and drinking all the Caymus. And when it comes to corruption,cheating,lying and predetermined outcomes, at least the NFL isn’t the NCAA or Major League Baseball. I’ll drink to that. Pass me Jerry’s last bottle of Caymus. Bottoms up!
    (And if you ever change your mind, my offer of two free plaza tickets still stands. A trip to Mecca might be just what the doctor ordered. You’ve got my email)

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  • Dan KellyJanuary 15, 2014 at 9:12 pm

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    Cheers…

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  • metrymanJanuary 15, 2014 at 10:35 pm

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    I started attending games at Tulane Stadium ’71 I’ll never quit the Saints, but you’re spot on with the Seattle Defensive backfield, referee crews are gutless when dealing with them, they’re in awe of the reputation the media has made for them. Exactly, “one PI in the 1st Half ain’t stopping us from jersey grabbing in the 3rd/4th Q” Pffftt. Good for u bro, if this is it, Live Long and Prosper.
    BTW I like vodka.

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    • HimselfJanuary 16, 2014 at 5:36 pm

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      • metrymanFebruary 13, 2014 at 3:24 pm

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        That’ll do Lloyd, that’ll do.

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    • cc58January 17, 2014 at 3:24 pm

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      I watched them beat the Cowboys in ’71 at Tulane Stadium. That’s when I was hooked. I was 13. Last minute field goal if I remember correctly.

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  • David KellyJanuary 16, 2014 at 4:35 pm

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    Sad to see you close the doors. As usual, I agree with everything you so eloquently write and have been close to making the same decision several times and especially in 2012 during Bountyfarce. I almost gave Dave C. at CSC my two weeks notice in 2012 as Goodell was robbing Saints fans of an entire Drew Brees season when the team could possibly compete for a championship. That was a lost season that should never have been. It was criminal what Goodell and the owners did.

    If you do decide to stop posting here, please stop by CSC and say hello every once in a while. Best wishes.

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    • HimselfJanuary 16, 2014 at 5:54 pm

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      Thanks for the support, and thanks for the invite…but what would that accomplish? If I’m going to be through with the NFL, I have to be through with the Saints, too. That just pisses me off like you wouldn’t believe. I used to pretend to be Danny Abramowicz when I was a kid. I grew up with the Saints, and now those douchenozzles in the head office(s) have ripped part of my love of New Orleans right out of me. Fuck them very much.

      But if I’m going to get over this, I need to just quit. Kinda like when you quit drinking, I guess. I wouldn’t know.

      I have an alternate suggestion: when you next visit CSC, remember me to everyone. Tell them I wish them well, and wish I could share. (The only reason I stopped partaking over there was the re-design made it impossible to load in my browser of choice, and I could’t stand all the ads crammed into every nook and cranny.) Tell them adios for me.

      I forget what your drink is…?

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  • HimselfJanuary 16, 2014 at 6:36 pm

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    A little unfinished business…

    There were several drafts I never posted, for whatever reason. Either I hadn’t the energy to finish; or I thought nobody would care; or somebody, Wang or AngryWhoDat, would beat me to the punch. But usually I start with an image, and often those were already done before I shitcanned the post.

    So here are a few images that wound up on the cutting room floor, so to speak.

    This was to be the feature image for the post before the Philadelpha game, when Hope had begun to rear its ugly head again. I was going to title it “Stupid Pretty Things.” AngryWhoDat drew first.

    This was going to illustrate the disastrous loss at St. Louis. I think it speaks for itself. I called it “The 432-Yard Stare.”

    This was “Snyder’s Last Stand,” about the furor over the Redskins’ name. My own thought? It was a concocted issue without any support whatsoever outside of Democratic activists. It felt weird supporting Daniel Snyder; but I also figured I wouldn’t have to do so for long, since it’s a cinch he’ll eventually fold.

    Here is Sean Payton as Tyler Durden. I can’t remember why I thought this was suitable.

    Here’s a nostalgic image that I may have used…eventually. In Dixieland I’ll take my stand, until I get sick of it and quit.

    And finally, of course, there’s this. You’ve seen this before. I thought I might get to use it for real in 2011, and I thought I might get to use it this year. Maybe someone should save it, and use it when it finally happens for real. Good luck to you all.

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  • Rob Ryan's VanJanuary 16, 2014 at 8:58 pm

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    Before I be your dog
    To git you way down here
    I make you walk alone
    Baby, please don’t go

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  • Rob Ryan's VanJanuary 16, 2014 at 8:59 pm

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    Also, Kate Upton …

    Two Dat is right!

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  • cc58January 17, 2014 at 3:48 pm

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    Damn it MtnExile, err Himself, I hate to see you go. Step away if that’s what you need for your own mental health and consciences well being. However, bad as I hate Rodger, I still love my Saints, and will continue to watch them, as long as they are still in the hunt.
    I buy my Saints Tees, Hats, Hoodies, and Sweats, but my contributions are minor, so it doesn’t cause me any anguish. Still to cheap to buy those over priced jerseys, and I have a new Great-Grandson to mold into his Saints fandom.
    Yeah I suppose I support them by watching the broadcast, and hope to be able to make it back home to watch a game at the dome, one day soon, but that’s me, and I can respect your point of view.
    So pour me a Turkey and Sprite, with a twist of lemon, and I’ll bid you a fine adieu.
    You have my email, and since I don’t know if this one will still be active, feel free to contact me anytime.
    Best of luck in the future, and hope you decide to rejoin us one day.

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    • HimselfJanuary 17, 2014 at 5:02 pm

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      Thanks for being a good barfly. As far as rejoining, I doubt it. I foresee nothing but worse things for the NFL, and I feel like I’m getting out while the getting is good. Hurts like hell to lose the Saints, though.

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  • GSO Saints FanJanuary 20, 2014 at 6:18 pm

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    My friend, I cannot disagree with a single thing you have typed. I wish I could, but that would be a lie.

    The game has become a parody of itself at times, the beauty and the violence that made us love it has been subverted for the almighty $, sacrificed on the altar of outrageous profit by a prophet of lies. Sad.

    That said, I will continue to follow my guys, and peek in on the rest of the game – like an abused spouse, I just can’t quit my abuser, maybe one day I can make him love me enough to stop hitting me, maybe I won’t do it (whatever “it” may be today) wrong and not make him hurt me…again.

    I have no other thread of contact with my “home”, other than the Saints, so I will maintain it as best I can for as long as I can, to remain who I am. I’m sorry to see someone that I admired give up the fight. But, I understand, and do not judge.

    Pour me a Gulden Draak when you have a moment, and we will tip one last one together….

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    • HimselfJanuary 20, 2014 at 10:20 pm

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      Listen to yourself…you say you’re like “an abused spouse,” but then you claim I gave up the fight? I didn’t give up…I set fire to the fuckers in their beds. Didn’t kill ‘em, of course. And they were too drunk (on power) to notice, but that ain’t my fault.

      Anyway, here’s your beer. You know I’ll buy you a real one anytime you’re around.

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  • HimselfJanuary 21, 2014 at 1:30 pm

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    This just in:

    Roger Goodell: PATs may be in past

    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told the NFL Network that the league’s competition committee could consider abolishing the PAT.

    …Goodell said one suggested proposal involved a touchdown being worth seven points instead of six, with the potential for an extra play from scrimmage that would yield an eighth point. However, “if you fail, you go back to six [points],” Goodell explained.

    The NFL couldn’t care less about tradition OR fans. All they want to do is “add excitement with every play” and hope that translates into more money. There is literally nothing they would not do to football if it promised to increase the bottom line.

    There is no better example of why we should all say “FUCK YOU!” to the NFL.

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  • Doc BoudinJanuary 26, 2014 at 9:28 pm

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    Holy Christ! Pass out in the corner just once, and suddenly all the lights are out and the windows are boarded up! I guess I might be able to find a stale pretzel under the bar somewhere, and–Hey! if I pour out all these glasses and bottles into one cup, there’s almost enough for a drink! Although I should probably try to take the cigarette butts out first…

    I hope you can find a good creative writing outlet; as a great man once said, “You use your tongue prettier than a twenty dollar whore!”

    …okay, so maybe that didn’t really apply so well here, but you know what I mean. Good luck!

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