Cleanup on Aisle 9…

15

 

 

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?

Posted by Himself in Bountygate, Game Day | 15 comments

15 Comments

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  • H.P. LovecraftDecember 13, 2012 at 9:58 am

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    It was a nod to Steinbeck, the pantomime thing. I only wish I was that clever.

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  • vjdancerDecember 13, 2012 at 11:50 am

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    “And then…depression set it.” (Name that movie)

    I might have to start drinking something stronger than my pretty cranberry vanilla vodka.
    :(

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    • Doc BoudinDecember 13, 2012 at 9:55 pm

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      I could figure that out, if hadn’t drank all that cough syrup…

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    • metrymanDecember 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm

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      Stripes, Bill Murray……right up there with “lighten up Francis”

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      • vjdancerDecember 17, 2012 at 10:00 am

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        Metryman, If I was cool like Himself, I’d bust out a nice “First Place” ribbon for ya. But…I’m not so…this is all I got: “You win!”

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  • sagehawkjhDecember 13, 2012 at 12:22 pm

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    A lot of good points in here, to which I can’t help but agree. I think I hit this same point after the loss to SF (oh how I loathe them). Yes, I’ll still go out the games at the bar (not much change to watch at home here in PA w/o the ticket), but I’m not that upset at the losses anymore. Maybe it’s because my beer has been replaces with Maker’s Mark.

    Here’s to next season ::raises glass::

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    • sagehawkjhDecember 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm

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      *chance to watch

      maybe I should cut back on the Maker’s at lunch time.

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  • PhilistineDecember 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm

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    Don’t give a damn anymore? That’s just self-preservation, pure and simple. The receivers (including last year’s up-and-coming next-incarnation-of Tony-Gonzalez Jimmy Graham) just don’t seem to care. Devery’s washed up, Colston’s on the same path. Joe Morgan looks promising, but he’s not there yet. I think even Drew’s questioning whether it’s worth getting pounded on every other play if his receivers won’t bother to catch the ball. Well, at least it’s not 62-7. 32 teams, 1 Super Bowl victor a season – hell, we’re on schedule to become an average team after years in the wilderness. I’m not exactly content, but I’m not going to tear out what’s left of my hair.

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    • HimselfDecember 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm

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      It’s not that I don’t give a damn…it’s more like I don’t have a damn left to give. This season needs to be written off as a learning experience–and if they learn the lesson well, fine. If we get more of the same next year, I’m going to be pissed, because Roger Goodell isn’t going to give us fans much more time to enjoy the game before he ruins it with his “improvements.”

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  • the 9th plagueDecember 13, 2012 at 10:48 pm

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    i’ll have a negative sour on the rocks, please..
    jee.. let’s just not make it the end of the world.. shall we..?
    these cycles are quite common in the game.. we’ve been through some of these “down” seasons after stellar ones..
    there is a normal reaction of the rest of the league that manages to dissect you and take away your strengths.. having the head honcho in hibernation, couldn’t have helped..
    a peculiarly “down” year at the receiver group has been a puzzle.. but wouldn’t say that we have zero talent left, there..
    not to mention a defense in a transition..
    i see other teams that have been slowed down by the opposition, as green bay.. and others that have come out of nowhere like denver and indy..
    other teams with some change of direction in their philosophy, as the patriots have found a way to stay sharp and potent.. well their coaching staff was intact all year..
    it does have merit that they rebounded from a SB loss with a strong season..
    but it happens.. after the film gets around.. you’ll see more changes of the guard..
    i’m confident this saints team will rediscover their own offense and manage to rebound strongly, again..
    such idea didn’t seem that possible at the end of 2009 and sure enough the next season was very up and down..
    but followed that with a brilliant season last year..
    i personally do not feel “passed” by other teams as you put it.. sure, our records says they did.. but i have seen these saints play really good.. i mean reeeeeeeeeeeeally awesome good.. and that just doesn’t go puff and it’s gone..
    no, we haven’t become cleveland yet.. mr bartender.. on second though.. make that a shot of faith neat..

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    • HimselfDecember 14, 2012 at 9:38 am

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      It’s not the end of the world…it’s just the end of the season. And it’s ended on a particularly sour note. I thought the Saints would use Bountygate and all the attendant noise as motivation. Instead, they’ve been playing as though all they want is to reach January and go home.

      No, we’re not Cleveland yet. But we don’t seem like New Orleans anymore, either. Two or three flashes of brilliance per game isn’t enough to actually win those games. And it takes more than Sean Payton’s force of personality, too: it takes guys digging deep and “finding a way to win.” They did that, most of the time, for three years. This season they’ve been playing like…well, like Cleveland, actually.

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  • metrymanDecember 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm

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    Opportunities missed, in less than 1 yr., we went from possibly having the NFCCG in the Dome again, to this dumpster fire. I could deal with it (this season) a little better if GW could have called a better defense the last 90 seconds in SF. So as far as your “Window Banging Shut” I see where your coming from, but I’m not going that far. I just don’t see Atl, Car, or TB dominating the NFC So. for long stretches, we’ll be fine.

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    • HimselfDecember 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm

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      I didn’t mean the window was closing for the division, but for the Super Bowl. I couldn’t care less anymore about winning the division, if we squander the opportunity like Atlanta habitually does.

      I want it all.

      And I wonder if I’m watching different games from everyone else. What gets me, more than anything else, is how the Saints seem to be playing with no fire or passion or urgency. I thought they’d come out as mad as hornets and just get meaner as the season went on. Nope.

      So it’s not a talent deficit that’s really hurting us right now…it’s that the present team isn’t playing like a team. The spirit of 2009 seems to have finally evaporated, and we need to get it back.

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  • vjdancerDecember 17, 2012 at 10:14 am

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    I guess I just don’t want to believe that the team has given up, or doesn’t seem to care. But it is hard to fathom why they haven’t been able to dig deep and get the job done in the big games – like they have in years past. I know Payton makes a big difference – I just didn’t think it would mean THIS much of a difference. I honestly believed we’d be 11-5 or 10-6 this season. Even if not THAT good, I didn’t think not even making the playoffs would be a reality.

    Depressing does not even begin to describe it because I know these guys are capable of so much more. Drew threw 4 freakin’ TDs against Tampa (again) yesterday. The defense completely shut them out!!

    But… I find myself taking comfort in my cranberry vanilla vodka thingy (which was DELISH by the way) and the hope that the improvement we’ve seen on the defense only continues. The offense manages to shake off the drops and becomes an unstoppable machine again – and next year – in my home state – vengeance is ours. Might as well get (virtually) liquored up and think positive!

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    • PhilistineDecember 17, 2012 at 11:54 am

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      Look at it this way – it took a witch-hunt, three coaching suspensions, a number of key player departures, Drew’s holdout over a new contract, a lost draft choice and a new defensive coordinator that brought in a new scheme (which, mercifully, prevented the coaching-suspension count from rising to four) to drop us to 6-8. Think what this could have done to, say, the Vikings.

      I expected better, but, all things considered, we could be worse off. I’m proud of the way the team played yesterday. Let’s enjoy that – and concentrate on the holiday season and our family.

      Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Mid-Winter, etc. to all!

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