You’re All Wrong

8

 
dave

Wondering who should be on "Mt. Saintsmore"? How about honoring the team's founding fathers, the men without whose vision there wouldn't even be any Saints?

 

If you knew me, you’d know that I tend to take a dim view of democracy. While, at the same time, having a near reverence for tradition. That might seem strange, considering that both of them are variants of the idea that “the voice of the people is the voice of God.” The difference is that, with tradition, that voice sounds like your grandfather saying “In my day…” Whereas with democracy, that voice is your kid brother screaming because mom won’t buy him some gum: “But I WANT IT!”

Why do I bring this up? Because, this being the offseason, polls are now the thing. The latest is from Pro Football Talk, which has decided that every NFL team needs its own “Mt. Rushmore.” What better way to generate fan interest and increase page views at a time when nothing much is happening, right? How democratic! How newsworthy! Two cheers for us!

And Canal Street Chronicles liked the idea so much that they stole it. No, really, there’s a confession: “Such a great idea, in fact, that I’m stealing it. [Saintsational, as I'll always remember him]” And, truthfully, it is a great idea. Okay, I’m mainly pissed that I didn’t think of it myself. I could have a big blogging job with NBC and everything that goes with it: astronomical rent, great restaurants, a feeling of living under siege. Actually, that kinda sounds like New Orleans, so I’ll throw in: no concealed carry permit. There, that’s the difference.

But then, they made the mistake of going all democratic. Have these guys taken a look at Washington lately? Are they still laboring under the delusion that democracy engenders good decisions? What’s the common thread among these names: Barack Obama, John McCain, Jim Clyburn, and Michael Bloomberg? Answer: they were all, no, not elected…re-elected. None of us is as dumb as all of us.

Compare that with the voice of tradition. New Orleans is nothing if not traditional: Mardi Gras, St. Expedite, Creole food, corrupt politicians: we revere whatever is of long standing. Generally, despite the recent influx of liberals and hedonists, New Orleans is a very tradition-minded place, and it’s not difficult to get people to take an historical view of things.

And that brings us to Mt. Saintsmore, and a case of monolithic historical blindness. Who were the greatest Saints of all time? Well, do you mean players? Drew Brees, of course; Rickey Jackson and Willie Roaf, certainly. After that it’s a matter of sentiment: Deuce? Archie? Thunderfoot?

Then there’s coaches and front office personnel. Payton’s got to be there, right? And I suppose Mickey Loomis, too. And, for all his baggage, what with (allegedly) trying to scuttle out of town and all, Tom Benson has overseen the only real success the Saints have ever had.

And leave us not forget those bit players who kept us amused through so many, many bad years. First among equals is Buddy Diliberto.

So, there’s a short list for you that isn’t much different from the ones offered at PFT and CSC. And they’re all so shortsighted they couldn’t piss cleanly without binoculars. You want to commemorate greatness? Here’s who should be up on that mountain:

Dave Dixon. Pete Rozelle. Hale Boggs. And Paul Tagliabue.

Tagliabue because he’s the Lincoln of the Saints: he preserved our team, and set us free from the horror of watching the San Antonio Saints win Super Bowl XVIX. And that’s enough.

And Dixon, Rozelle, and Boggs because they’re the Founding Fathers of New Orleans football, without whom there would perhaps not be an NFL franchise in New Orleans. Or, at least, it wouldn’t be the Saints: maybe we would have finally gotten an expansion franchise in 1975 and named them the Crawfish or something equally stupid. (“Go mighty Crawfish! Backwards!”)

The Saints were the brainchild of Dave Dixon. He pushed the idea when everyone else believed it was impossible, and he took the opportunity of the NFL merger to enlist the aid of New Orleans’ democratically-elected congressman, Hale Boggs, to indulge in a classic Louisiana political strategy (extortion) and finesse approval from NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle. In other words: “Pete, you give us a franchise, or my committee holds up approval for the league merger.” Rozelle, who was no idiot, and knew a win-win when he saw one, happily approved. And on All Saints Day 1966, the Saints declared themselves independent of any connection between competence and public affection.

(Please note that I don’t include John Mecom, even though he was the first owner and the man who gave us black and gold. I don’t do so because he could have been anyone…the deal was going down no matter whose name was on the ownership papers. Besides, he was a dildo as an owner.)

How in the world can you forget this, Saints fans? Is it a lack of historical perspective, or ingratitude, or were you just drinking heavily? Oh yeah, I guess that does explain it. Well, now that I’ve brought it up, I’m sure you’ll slap your foreheads and exclaim “Of course! Himself is right again! Maybe we should have five faces up there!”

Wow. You’re too kind. But I think four is enough (for now). And so the next time you imagine Mt. Saintsmore, instead of picturing your Sunday idols, think about the Founding Fathers, the men who made and saved the Saints. Then again, maybe not: they’re all white males, and three of them are dead white males, and what could be more paternalistic or racist or sexist? Or homophobic. No, that doesn’t make sense, but I included it in a fit of democracy.

Posted by Himself in Dumb Fans, Saints History | 8 comments

8 Comments

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  • PhilistineMay 26, 2013 at 8:49 pm

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    During all the excitement over the Mt. Saintsmore voting at CSC, I, too, had questions about who, exactly, we should be putting on the sacred mountain. I, too, thought of Dave Dixon and Paul Tagliabue, for the reasons you mentioned, as well as the fact that Dixon was the visionary who promoted the Superdome – at the time of its completion a boondoggle (and it was, going from an estimated $63 million to over $200 million when completed, not including subsequent improvements), now an icon (albeit, one that pays homage to a foreign car company).

    I ultimately decided that I would limit my votes to players; after all, there are no bankers, oil barons or steel magnates on Mt. Rushmore, despite all the governments they bought. Voters eventually put Payton on the mountain, so my stance didn’t mean squat. Oh, well.

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  • FriarBobMay 26, 2013 at 11:33 pm

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    I love this article for your demotivator poster. And then I had to shake my head and wonder where your brain went. Seriously, Tags? You do remember the jackass who pretty much literally lied through his teeth in order to preserve his butt-buddy’s position as his successor-in-crime, right? If we’d had an honest person running that show, instead of waiting until December for our boys to be sorta-barely-kinda let off with a mealy-mouthed double-speak pile of horse manure custom-designed for the purpose of preserving the league’s manufactured immunity in the concussion lawsuits… instead Payton would have been reinstated in October, Adolf Goodell would be in prison orange, and the Saints would have had two second round draft picks this year (or maybe even an upgrade given the restored pick from last year was coming a year late).

    Tags belongs on the wall of SHAME, not some sort of mountain honoring the Saints. Just because he supposedly saved our team for us? How do you know? Can you possibly trust a single word that two-faced jackass says? This is the idiot who TRAINED the current liar-in-chief of the NFL. I’ll believe a single word he says when he admits BountyFarce was a lie and personally delivers Roger Pinochet to the clink.

    Rozelle and the politicians you mention are probably worthy of honorable mention, but they merely created the team… they had NOTHING to do with its eventual success. You say we wouldn’t have had a team until the late 70s (if at all) if they hadn’t done what they did? How do you know we wouldn’t have won a Super Bowl in the 70s if a competent owner hadn’t been the one to found the team in those 70s? Revisionist history is nothing more than a fantasy, and they deserve honorable mention for their contributions with simultaneous dishonorable mention for their tactics, and move on to people who REALLY had something to do with the team.

    The first face on that wall should be Payton. He’s not perfect by any means. But I’m sorry, as great at Rickey was, as great at the Dome Patrol was, as great as even Roaf and Deuce were, with NOTHING else changed about history (including Drew coming to town) there is no way in hell we win a Super Bowl with some other coach leading the rebuilding in 2006. And amusement at the antics of your favorite team is nice and wonderful, winning games and setting records is great, (hopefully) finally getting Drew his long-overdue MVP would be awesome, but the most critical part of any NFL teams success measurement is whether they ever win a Super Bowl. Until Payton came along, that not only had never happened but — barring another offensive genius of his caliber coming along after whomever else we brought in during 2006 getting his butt fired for failing — also would never have happened. Hell with another coach leading the charge in 2006 Drew may have retired when Miami turned him down.

    And I suppose afterwards Drew really does need to be on there. I flat-out refuse to vote for him until the team proves they can figure out a way to maneuver themselves into another Super Bowl win despite the enormous albatross of his contract. And I will never consider his bald-faced lie about his negotiating tactics being to “help his fellow players” as anything but a farce and a joke. But he really does deserve to be on there so somebody else paste his picture in place for me so I don’t have to do it.

    After that, I’ve slowly come around to forgiving the idiots for insisting on Rickey being next. Rickey was the greatest player in team history, after all, and my only regret is the team never found an offense worth pissing on to let him get his much-deserved ring in the Black-and-Gold instead of having to play for the farty-whiner bastards, the nemesis who destroyed far too many of my childhood dreams.

    But what really annoys me is all the idiots who want Archie on there. Are you kidding me? I’d put Mecom on there before Manning! He may have been the best player the team ever had until the mid-80s, but he never brought the team success, much less sustained success. They never even made the playoffs under his regime. And again the key measure of success of a team is Super Bowl wins, with playoff wins and division championships next, with just simply being a great player dead last in the importance. And was he really a great player? If so, why the hell didn’t he elevate the team around him. Drew played on some flat putrid teams in 2007 and 2008 yet he kept the team in contention despite the defense playing almost as bad as the one we saw in 2012. Hell for that matter, he kept us with some hope in 2012 as well. Archie isn’t even a pimple on Drew’s non-throwing-hand.

    I loved Deuce, I really did, but I’m sorry, he just doesn’t really need to be on this mountain. I voted for him because neither of the remaining two candidates who really should be on there had a snowballs’ chance in hell of making it. But he shouldn’t be there either. And Roaf, don’t make me laugh. Or barf. If we’re seriously going to consider Roaf, then Jahri Evans bumps him out before the conversation even gets started.

    No, the fourth person who should be on that mountain should be Rickey’s partner-in-crime, Sam Mills. The guy was the ultimate in heart, the ultimate team player, the guy who proved that anybody who is willing to work his butt off has a chance for success. That guy would never have made it on a team not willing to look outside the box, but he succeed far beyond anybody’s reasonable expectations for such a small guy — micro guy in NFL terms — and proved that heart matters more than mere physical gifts. He and Rickey together should both be in the HoF, they should both have statues outside the Superdome, and their stinking jerseys should have been retired sixteen years ago. Sure I hated that the guy had to go to the Punkthers and everything, but he still should have been honored for what he gave to our team until that point. He and Rickey — together with the rest of the Dome Patrol — were quite literally our only hope of victory for basically a decade. Hebert might manage to avoid giving the game away if we were lucky. Sammy and Rickey and their partners in sacks, strips, and assorted other forms of RB/QB destruction… THOSE were the guys who won our games for us in those days. Everybody else just tried to not trip over their schlongs for 60 minutes.

    I would also really wish we could have found a way to have squeezed in Morten Andersen, but there just isn’t room. Maybe we can carve his likeness into Drew’s birthmark or something.

    Payton, Drew, Jackson, and Mills. THAT is the true Mt. Saintsmore. Two offensive geniuses that brought us such iconic phrases as “pigs have flown, hell is frozen over” and “Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints”. Two defensive geniuses that brought us our first sustained taste of even partial success, and both of whom haven’t been honored even a fraction of their due by the team. THOSE are your people who should be on that mountain.

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    • HimselfMay 27, 2013 at 10:30 am

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      Bob, tell us how you really feel. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      Sorry. You knew that had to be coming.

      I take the whole “Mount Rushmore” thing more literally than most, perhaps. The people commemorated on it established the circumstances under which the rest of us live. And I have no quarrel, that being the criterion, with any of the men depicted on that mountain, even though Lincoln and Roosevelt had far more negative influences on this country than positive ones. Lincoln was the man who destroyed the old Republic, and Roosevelt was the first Progressive and the first imperialist to sit in the White House, establishing the trend that has sunk us to our present depth. If you want to honor the men who not only set us going, but made us what we are, you could hardly choose four better subjects.

      Same with Mount Passmore (just thought of that). Hale Boggs was never one of my favorite people; but he did play a crucial role in landing the Saints. And Tagliabue…well, as I said, he’s the Lincoln of this scenario. And even though I hate Lincoln with a white-hot burning passion, I’m willing to acknowledge his historical importance. Tags may be every bit the duplicitous son of a bitch you make him out to be (probably is), but so was Lincoln.

      You want to limit it to players and coaches? No can do. Dixon has to be there. I could be happy with Dixon, Payton, Brees, and Jackson.

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      • FriarBobMay 28, 2013 at 12:56 am

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        I’m still a bit torn on Lincoln. Yes the guy managed to screw up horrifically, but he did have a little bit of help along the way. Worse yet, his assassination makes it impossible to know what might have occurred had he been in charge of Reconstruction instead of the amoral bastards who actually did run it instead. And you can’t quite blame him for destroying the Republic when the Supreme Court actually had done that barely 20 years after its founding — while the guy who wrote the Constitution was still alive, they managed to tell him to his face that he didn’t know what he wrote. That took some serious balls. Or stupidity. Or both. Then the Dredd Scott farce of a decision — unconstitutional in the first place because the Supreme Tyrants didn’t have the authority to make it in the first place, and even worse because it was a blatant perversion of both common sense, human decency, and flat out a plain and simple lie — pretty much made the civil war inevitable. Then he had a lot of help from a crapload of Dumbocraps who refused to unite around a single candidate, thus splitting the vote and allowing his election — and then to add insult to injury, they refused to honor the results of the election, the results they had pretty much sole responsibility for. And provoked or not, thinking they were engaging in preemptive self-defense or not, the South did fire first.

        Roosevelt, on the other hand, along with Wilson. Barf. Those two needed their heads examined. If they had brains at all, they were moldy and fouled up into a twisted disaster by the age of two.

        If you want to go with people who created the team, I can understand the argument. I just don’t agree. At all. If the people who created this country were the people on that mountain, it would be Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Franklin… and/or possibly sub out one of their contemporaries. Nobody born after 1800 would be on the mountain. Not even Lincoln. The people on that mountain were the people who the idiots in charge of commissioning the monument thought were responsible for creating the success of the nation. That they happened to be horribly wrong in so many ways is immaterial to what they were trying to accomplish.

        The politicians merely created the team. They are, for better or worse, the Washington and Jefferson and Franklin and Madison and Hancock and all the other founding fathers, or at least the team-equivalents. They had absolutely nothing to do with the success of the team, and the SUCCESS of the team is what the mountain should commemorate.

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        • HimselfMay 28, 2013 at 7:38 am

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          I like your argument that Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Franklin should be on Mount Rushmore. And so, I’m going to appropriate it, and say that Mount Passmore should commemorate the founding of the team.

          And may I say, it’s a pleasure to argue with someone who has a grasp of history.

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          • FriarBobMay 28, 2013 at 9:52 pm

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            I don’t know what’s worse:

            1) that you take the opposite of my argument, call it my argument, and then steal it…
            2) or the fact that my rather thin knowledge of history is considered an amazing feat in this debased and degenerate age.

            But I did enjoy the debate anyway. :)

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            • HimselfMay 29, 2013 at 8:03 am

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              I’ve been hovering around the edges of programming too long. I shouldn’t have said argument; I should have said if statement.

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              • FriarBobMay 29, 2013 at 5:48 pm

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                Ah. Well I prefer to leave my day-job behind when I come hang out at the bar here. But from a programming perspective, I suppose that does make a lot more sense when you call it an if-else clause.

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