Whoops! I neglected to post on the Saints’ most recent outing on the short-end-of-the-score bus. And the reason is, I plain forgot.
What with work, and Christmas coming, and some other things we won’t bother to detail, it just completely slipped my mind that my boys got their asses handed to them, in public, in America’s Game Of The Week, no less. Joe and Troy were in NFC East Homer Heaven covering this one.
It didn’t slip the mind of SaintsWin, who called it “a weary pantomime” (if only they had been going through the motions…any motions). And it didn’t escape the notice of AngryWhoDat, either, who continues to demonstrate that he cares more than the Saints players do by spitting chunks of magma that burned holes in my screen (bill in the mail, AWD).
I guess that’s the difference between them and me. I don’t really give a shit anymore.
Does that make me a bad fan? Well, why should I, when the players obviously are mailing it in? (Which may go a long way toward explaining things, what with no Sunday delivery and all.) The past few weeks have seen nearly everyone on the roster step on his dick in some special way at least once. I mean, I want them to win and all, but this is like watching a slow-motion wreck involving the bus from the Sunny Dale Senior Nudist Club. If I can’t look away, I’m going to bury my eyes in Drano.
And so, in the words of that most immortal of anthems: look away. For God’s sake, before it’s too late, look the fuck away.
But if we can’t talk about the game, it’s difficult to decide what to talk about. Nearly everything about this season seems to be a bad magic act, where the smoke is thin and the mirrors are broken and you can see all the wires. So what’s left that’s worth discussing?
There’s the ever-popular “What’s wrong with Drew?” Well, I’ve given it some thought, and I believe I may have put my finger on the explanation. I’ll try to lay it out in language adapted to the meanest understanding: not a damn thing. What, you thought he was Superman? Drew’s trying too hard with his arm to win games when his legs are telling him “just let’s survive, okay?” Besides, his receivers aren’t trying too hard to do anything at all.
Then there’s Bountygate, which has finally been exposed as a farce from the very beginning. It’s obvious to everyone now that Paul Tagliabue is nothing but a highly-paid shyster who was called in to save the league from Roger Goodell’s epic ineptitude. Even Pat Y called him out:
Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue has found that current commissioner Roger Goodell was spot on in his finding of facts in the New Orleans Saints bounty saga? But Tagliabue has vacated all player discipline?
That’s more than a little contradictory. In fact, it’s ridiculous.
But Pat also seems to think that Tagliabue’s “findings” prove the Saints coaches guilty of…something. Let me spell it out for you, Pat: it’s all bullshit. No bounty program, no payments, no injuries, no nothing. All bullshit. What happened was simply this: Goodell couldn’t advance the ball, so Tagliabue came on the field and punted. If that’s too hard to understand, you need to write about decoupage.
So: not much to discuss that’s worth either writing or reading. It’s just over, is all. Yet I would like to raise a possibility that has been broached before, but never adequately explored: that something like this would have happened even if Payton hadn’t been suspended, even if Drew Brees had signed an early contract, even if Carl Nicks and Tracy Porter hadn’t departed for playoffs in other cities. Like it or not, the truth is this: last year, the window banged shut.
The Saints are in rebuilding mode.
If Payton comes back next year (that’s right: if), he’ll preside over a team that might do a little better than this one, but won’t be an elite squad. The Saints have been passed up–by the Giants, by the 49ers, by the Packers, maybe even by the Seahawks, for God’s sake. (Notice I didn’t mention the 11-2 Falcons.) With coach back, and with a season of experience in Spags’ defense, we might pull off 10-6. We’ll be good…but what made the Saints great before is gone now. The swagger, the confidence, and the mental and physical toughness simply isn’t there anymore.
Why not? Hell if I know. I’ve stated before repeatedly that it boggles my frontal lobe how NFL players can fail to get up for games. There’s only 16 of them guaranteed in every season (and sometimes not even that many). There are limited opportunities for competition, which is supposedly what motivates these guys. So how is it that so many teams, so often, come out flat, listless, lackadaisical? Are they immune to humiliation?
Well…some of them, of course, feel it. I would imagine Brees is mortified right about now. But it seems that too many Saints are just playing out the string, and started playing out the string when there was still hope. That’s inexcusable; so there’s a purge coming. Next season’s team is going to look a lot different. The change might be enough to propel them back into the playoffs…but I’m not banking on it. I say 2014 is our year.
And if not? Hell, it wasn’t our year for 42 years, once. It may be that way again. If so, we stick it out. What the hell else is there to do? Shots of Everclear?