On “Fanhood,” the annex

14

 

 

“Look, an ignorant douche!”

I don’t do Twitter. It’s a generational thing, I know, but still…I only bring this up because I have no idea what prompted AngryWhoDat’s jeremiad this morning. Not like it’s a bolt from any sort of blue.

And, for the most part, I agree with him. My loyalty is with the team, rather than particular players. For the most part. If Brees went on to play for another team, I’d still be a fan, and I’d be pissed at the Saints for letting him get away. Decades from now, we’ll still remember Drew Brees as a great player; but we’ll likely remember Steve Smith as a great player too, and still hate his guts. I’d hate the punk even if he joined the Saints and scored the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. Fine, great, got your ring, thanks for your services. Now go the fuck away.

But that’s not what this is about. Because I also disagree with AWD. Specifically, I disagree with this:

[The photo accompanying the post] popped up in a google search and was tied to this page, a blog from 2010.  It’s a fun read.  He’s completely wrong, but I respect the “fuck you all” attitude with which this guy carried himself.

No, it was not a fun read, and I don’t respect the guy’s attitude. (But yes, he was completely wrong.) If you haven’t already clicked the link, be warned that it’s yet another of those “why are New Orleanians still pulling the Katrina card?” posts. I know you’re probably as sick of the accusation as I am, and wish it would just go away. But it won’t go away, because the Internet won’t let it: it’s going to keep cropping up from time to time for the rest of our lives.

And so, it has to be answered. Plus, this “The_Creator” guy is simply wrong about everything. He knows nothing about New Orleans, nothing about the Saints, and pretty much nothing about what a fan is. So I’m going to school him. If you feel like sticking around, be my guest; just be aware that from this point onward, the rest of this post is directed toward one person. Not you. Unless you’re “The_Creator”—who is probably stujo, after all. Everyone else is.

First of all, TC, New Orleans didn’t “milk” Hurricane Katrina. That would be the media, which concocted a phony storyline so it could sell it across the country, to folks like you who don’t know shit. Folks in New Orleans didn’t mob the reporters when they showed up, screaming “Ooh! Ooh, me! Pity me! Pity me!” They were too busy being numb, because their homes had been wiped off the face of the fucking planet. What happened in New Orleans was in no way analogous to the attack on New York City; it was more like the attack on Dresden.

But guess what? Within a year, while thousands were living under blue tarps or in trailers, the state managed to get the Superdome back in usable shape and the huddled multitudes in New Orleans sold it the fuck out. You like photos? Here’s a video. This is the first game in the Dome in 2006, barely a year after the hurricane:

Notice the crowd? This is following a 3-13 season and the costliest natural disaster in American history. This is the Saints, a team that had won but a single playoff game in its history, and yet the fans packed the Dome and screamed until their ears bled. At this point, they had no way of knowing their team would have a winning season, that it would advance to the conference championship, that in a few short years they’d be celebrating a Super Bowl win with a parade that looked like this:

What a bunch of phonies, right? All 800,000 of them.

I’m not even going to address the “why should I feel sorry for New Orleans” meme. You’re just a hateful prick using his ignorance as misdirection, hoping no one will notice you’re a hateful prick (fail). No, I want to keep this to one subject: how you completely misunderstand the nature of fandom, in general and in New Orleans. You use Cleveland and your own august self as examples of true fans. I’m sorry, Cleveland? A fan base known for throwing batteries at opposing players? Using your team as an excuse to indulge in thuggery is your model for fandom? And you: New York Yankees, Boston Bruins, Miami Dolphins, Phoenix Suns. Do you live in four places at once? I get it, you live in East Bumfuck, you don’t really have a team, so you have to adopt one (or four). You don’t really care at all about New York, Boston, Miami, or Phoenix; you just need a team to root for in order to indulge your delight in rooting against everyone else. Your paradigm of a true fan really is someone throwing batteries.

That’s not the way it is in New Orleans. The Saints are an extension, and a representative, of the community: love of the Saints is really love of New Orleans. At this point, I have to admit that people in New Orleans have it easy, especially compared to Cleveland or East Bumfuck: there’s a lot about New Orleans to love. The place has character, it has soul, it has history. It’s not just a wide spot in the road that either grew like a cancer or stayed tiny because nobody from anywhere else gave a shit.

See, the thing is: we love the Saints. When we wear bags on our heads, that’s a joke. An in-joke: it’s for us, you’re not expected to understand it. When the Super Bowl champions are ahead by three scores with four minutes left and one fan turns to another and asks “You think they’ll pull this one out?”—that’s a joke. It comes from years of misery shared by millions of long-suffering WhoDats. You’re not part of it.

As for those bandwagon jumpers, they’re not part of it, either. Don’t confuse them with the real fans who have been here all along. But also: don’t confuse them with yourself. Because while their own “fandom” may be shallow and fragile, it’s at least based on positive motivation: they’re genuinely happy to see other people, who’ve suffered a lot over many years, finally get their chance to celebrate. Their hearts are in the right place. Your heart is stuck up your ass.

And you know what? Maybe in that crowd of 800,000 attending “Lombardi Gras,” there were a few hundred thousand who were bandwagon jumpers, just looking for a good time. But notice something: they went to New Orleans to find it. And they were welcome. As you would have been, too, even after people found out what a dick you are. That’s just the way New Orleans is. Your hotel? Yeah, go to Rampart Street and then take a left on Bienville, away from the river. Keep walking. Can’t miss it.

FYYFF. That’s a New Orleans thing, too.

Posted by Himself in Douchebag Alert | 14 comments

14 Comments

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  • The Angry Who DatJune 15, 2012 at 11:31 am

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    Wow! Had no idea that afterthought of a link would produce such a response! Great stuff, and I agree with all of it.

    For the record, I really only posted it as a “hey look at this dumbass if you’re bored” kind of thing – but props for taking him to task. I’ve long since stopped letting pricks like that get to me. I guess I thought it was just amusing to read.

    But I’ll say one thing: whether we asked for it or not, folks in other markets were beaten over the head with Katrina stories for years. I got tired of it. No doubt they did. Not excusing anything the guy said, but the fucksticks in the media definitely created the impression that one MUST root for the Saints because of Katrina.

    Of course, now that the story has run its course, they dropped that storyline like it was hot garbage and moved on to bashing us. The feel-good story was only good as long as it caught peoples’ attention – the media used us as much as anyone. Hell, that was part of what led to the birth of the Angry Who Dat in the first place.

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    • The Angry Who DatJune 15, 2012 at 11:34 am

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      That video though – I never tire of it. When I’m old and senile and can’t remember my own name, I’ll still remember what it felt like to be in the Dome at that moment. Is it September yet?

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      • HimselfJune 15, 2012 at 11:58 am

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        Yeah, well…I wasn’t there. Rub it in, goddammit. I have never seen the Saints win in the Dome. What business do you have to be angry?

        BTW, I can’t register at your site. Is it some sort of private club or something?

        BTW again: I did my own search for photos–and looking for “Saints fans,” that Hebert shot you used came up first in the results, linked to AngryWhoDat.com. That’s how fast Google works, the sumbitches.

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        • The Angry Who DatJune 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm

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          Yay Google!

          I’ll look into that registering thing. It should be open to all. I only turned on registration because I was getting (literally) 50-60 spambots a day.

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          • The Angry Who DatJune 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm

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            Angry Webmaster tells me it’s fixed. Everyone should be able to register. Thanks for pointing that out.

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        • cc58June 16, 2012 at 5:00 pm

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          I’ve never seen the Saints win in the Dome either…but I did get to see them beat the Cowboys at Tulane Stadium. Am hoping to make it back home to see a game soon though, if only my wife would quite driving me to bankruptcy. Medicals not because she is high maintenance.

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  • FrenchieJune 15, 2012 at 1:15 pm

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    I’d hate the punk even if he joined the Saints and scored the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl.

    Why am I thinking of Shockey?

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    • cc58June 16, 2012 at 5:01 pm

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      Hmmm, beats me. I always liked Shockey.

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  • SaintsW1nJune 15, 2012 at 1:41 pm

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    That was a thing of beauty. Will read again.

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  • sagehawkjhJune 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm

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    Hopefully “new fans” aren’t getting lumped in as “bandwagon jumpers”. I’m a relatively new fan. However, I never really followed football in general before. When I started to, my love of New Orelans just kind of got me rooting for the Saints. I classify myself as a Southerner who through a sad turn of fate, was born in the North (PA). Always fun to be the lone Saint guy in the bar amongst the Steelers and Eagle jerseys. ;)

    BTW of my own – another good read.

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    • HimselfJune 15, 2012 at 9:17 pm

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      I think any new fan who has stuck by the Saints through this offseason deserves his own Purple Heart. Don’t think of yourself as a replacement anymore…you’ve been blooded. Here’s one on the house.

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      • Breesus Christ SuperstarJune 15, 2012 at 10:08 pm

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        Agreed. [raises glass]

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  • granzombiJune 15, 2012 at 5:58 pm

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    Well done, I’m sending it around my small circle of friends. Isn’t it weird that these things still pop up 7 years later? The joys of technology. He does have a bit of a point in that sell outs were few in the waning days of Mora and the rise of the Billy Joes. My beloved wife took herself and the kids out of a Falcons game early (to her a mortal sin) because they were being harrassed so badly by Dirty Birds in our own house. One of my personal sports low points was watching the Saints lose in Tiger Stadium when we didn’t know if Benson was sane or not, or staying or not. Thank all that’s holy we are beyond that now and no stinking Falcons fans can cuss out my wife in the Dome anymore because WE sold it out, not Benson or Payton or Brees. We did. All 800 or whatever number he gives us. Not bandwagon fans or media driven curiosity seekers. And we really didn’t know, even then, if we would have them long term. After 37′s blocked punt though I think we all felt it. Sorry to run on so, stuck inside with nothing to do and no one to play with! Thanks for the piece, brightened my afternoon!

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  • Just Nother DayJune 16, 2012 at 1:15 am

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    “The_Creator” is the kind of jerk who reads an article about a young female gymnast who overcame great personal tragedy and obstacles to win a gold medal and posts: “I bet she’s got a tight butt.” His mind is made of that slime trail that slugs leave.

    Bet he’s got a lose butt.

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