Just Another Day At The Office
10 Posted on October 31st, 2013 by Himself
Are the Saints boring? Well, not to Who Dats, yet. But to fans of other teams, there must be a certain prosaic quality about this team: they just show up, get down to work, win. Kinda monotonous.
I think by now most of you realize I don’t live in New Orleans. I don’t even live in Louisiana. Hell, for that matter I don’t even live in the Gulf South: this blog comes to you from the mountains of North Carolina, deep in the heart of enemy territory. This means (being deprived of many modern conveniences, such as a satellite dish or an indestructible sense of entitlement) that I don’t get to watch all the Saints’ games live. Prime time, or game-of-the-week sort of matchups I get; the rest of the time, it’s the punks and thugs in Panther blue.
So a lot of the time, come Monday all I know is that the Saints won. I know the score, I’ve seen the highlights, but I rarely have what could be considered at all a deep understanding of what actually transpired. For that, I have to wait until the wife and I have a free evening to curl up around the computer for some NFL Rewind. I have to admit, it’s actually kinda pleasant to watch the game without having to worry about it—you know that this interception won’t matter, that Payton will win his challenge, and that 3rd and 23 means nothing when you have Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham. As incredible as it may seem—and it’s probably a sign of the end times, come to think of it—Saints fans, us included, have become used to winning. We expect it.
And that makes it difficult to think of anything to say. Oftentimes, there isn’t really anything to say, but we say it anyway. The Saints won again. They did it the same way as before, because it works. They’ll do it again next week, too. Ho. And also hum.
Seriously: for someone who grew up on equal portions of panic and dread, this is almost like coming out of the closet. The sheer relief is mind-boggling. Perhaps that’s the problem: I’m boggled. I got nothing. And it’s glorious: the Saints won because that’s what’s supposed to happen.
Every once in awhile, though, it actually comes in handy catching the game after all the bluster and foofaraw is over with, because the disconnect between what actually happened and the reaction to it can be instructive. The Bills game was an example of this. In the immediate aftermath the most popular theme was that the offense played like immortal crap for much of the first half, before scratching out a lead and managing to build on it in the second. The reality was different. Maybe you need to come to things late to see them this way, but to me it looked like just another day at the office.
So they started out slow? Well, you probably do too. Maybe Drew hadn’t had his coffee yet. Maybe the offensive line hadn’t had Drew’s coffee yet, or something like that. They spent most of the first quarter looking for the creamer, checking out their Facebook pages, straightening the pencils on their desks. Then it was time to actually get something done
…and BAM! Lance Moore is giving a PowerPoint presentation in the end zone. Then the meeting breaks up, and while everyone is standing around eating donuts and brushing sugar off their lapels, the Bills, like a bunch of overeager DECA interns, actually manage to grab the lead. And the Saints’ reaction was “What? Oh. Yeah. Here, hold this…I’ll be back in a minute.”
…and BAM! Kenny Stills is delivering a marketing feasibility study for 69 yards and a touchdown. And at that point, roughly the equivalent of 9:30 in the morning, the game is already over. The Saints are on it, and they’re ISO-9000 certified. The Bills have no chance.
And bear in mind: this was an entire office just coming off vacation. So it took them a little while to get revved up; once they got down to it, what did you see? You saw a bunch of ruthless, savvy professionals who more than doubled their opponents’ point total, and came away dissatisfied. Because a typical day at the office—winning by three scores—isn’t good enough. Not anymore.
That’s the best thing about all this: not that we, the fans, have become so used to winning that we expect it, but that the team has become so used to winning, and winning in a dominating fashion, that a double-digit beatdown isn’t good enough for them. They’re going for the Cadillac Eldorado; let the Panthers win the steak knives.
And the Falcons and Bucs? They can go home and play with their kids.
So, what can we expect next week against the Jets in New Jersey? More of the same. A little sharper, a little more focused…and probably a bit more contained as well, since the Jets have a much better defense than the Bills. So instead of winning by 18 points, we only win by 14. Make it 31-17 (I like that score).
And no one will be surprised.