Say It Ain’t So, Joe!

2 March 2007

Well, Joe Horn is no longer a Saint. Sounds like this is his choice. As sad as I am to see him leave, and I don’t want to sound like it’s sour grapes, but he is getting old. Mainly, we want players who want to play for us, and Joe doesn’t want to. Joe, thanks for the good times; we’ll miss you.

Now, Charles Grant is the only Saint I’ve ever really met and talked to (we shared a panel about racial slurs), and I like him. He’s a good guy and a great player. But I remember when being franchised was a complement, and Grant acts like it’s a slam. Give it a rest, Charles.

Stay Classy, Chicago

27 January 2007

I don’t think it’s fair to generalize about the city (which I’ve loved for a long time) or its people (who like their food and music and sports, much like us) from a few pricks, but we need to make damn sure we don’t get misrepresented by some prick creating stories like this and this.
For the record, I didn’t like the taunt, but Reggie does have class, and we all know it.  Why didn’t this get covered here, as far as I know?

Let’s hope we keep our rep as good fans with some perspective (lord knows, we have more perspective than anyone) even as we keep on winning.

I Was Wrong

22 January 2007

Was I ever.  I really thought there was no chance we would win this game.  I thought we were so clearly the better team, that the weather wouldn’t be a factor, that the Bears were in disarray, that you don’t get to the SuperBowl with a weak QB, that we had too many weapons to be vulnerable, that Reggie Bush isn’t a showboater, that Karma means something….

But I was wrong.  I hate losing, but I’m not really a bad sport.  I think we didn’t play a good game, but I don’t think we didn’t try.  I thought we should’ve put more faith in the run, but we didn’t.  I’m very sad that we lost, but I love this team, and I wish next year could start today.

But it doesn’t.  We went to the airport to greet them, but when we found out the plane was so late, we went home, intending to come back.  Because E and I are both a bit under the weather, we didn’t go back (she protested).  I’m sorry guys, but I’m sure you understand.

Here’s hoping we keep the bulk of this great group intact, and here’s hoping that Peyton gets his and embarrasses those who embarrassed us.

Here’s hoping that Reggie gets back to the humility that made him impossible to criticize, even when his numbers weren’t quite what we wanted.

Here’s hoping that the fans maintain their optimism and gratitude, even though we’ve tasted success.

Here’s hoping that the country continues to get some positive stories out of NOLA, not just the ones involving the Saints.

Thanks, team, for a great ride.

I’m no B.rox, but I did an interview last week before the game on Diva 92.3, which I’d never listened to for 1 minute in my life.  It went fine, and I’ll do another one on the effects of losing and the depression that sometimes results.  The first talk was about the positive effects of the team, and I even said that we’d have no problem with the Bears, even though I didn’t say I thought we’d win the SuperBowl.

I was wrong about the Bears even before the game.  Ugh.

Saints Follow Up–“More Seasoned”

17 January 2007

Well, this is good news:  ESPN is picking Chicago.  So just a few quick hits…

A point I meant to make before was that I was surprised that the crowd didn’t have a more obvious impact on more plays in the Philly game.  With one notable exception (hold on a minute), there were no inopportune timeouts or weird false starts.  The exception was a big one though.  The false start on 4th and 10 told Andy to punt.  He’s been reviled and defended for his decision, but I thank him.  It was a mistake, but he’s a good coach and a decent guy, so he shouldn’t get run out on a rail.

Speaking of which, how spoiled and insane is San Diego to even think of firing Schott?  Why shouldn’t Indy bench Peyton at the same time?  That’s just stupid.  The guy’s good, and if winning all season long isn’t at least enough to keep his job, then screw ’em; come here as an executive, Marty.

Now then, a friend just sent an article about the Saints being the pitied sympathy case in Chi-town.   My reaction is that we don’t need them to coddle us, but why can’t we always have a positive spin on our team?  With rare exceptions, these guys go from team to team anyway, so why are hatreds so strong?  Now I say this while freely admitting to a lifetime hatred of Dallas.  So Bears fans, no need to root for us, but you could start a good trend by being pro-Chicago without being anti-Saints.

Now to ESPN’s pick:   Clayton says that Brees is “the more seasoned quarterback.”  Excuse me?  I think what he meant to say is that Brees is “the infinitely superior quarterback.”  Whatever happened to playoff experience mattering?  What about the #2 MVP?  What about the coach of the year?  Hell, what about destiny?

The thing is, as much as we’d love to have home field for this, our away record is better than home, and I’ve read (but don’t feel like verifying or linking) that home teams win in the divisional round is around 80% but 56% in the conference round.  Sure, it’ll be cold, but it’s not supposed to be nasty.  My forecast now shows a few snow showers and 35.  That’s nothing for these guys to be affected by at all.  The wind may play a role, and the crowd noise is a drag, but not as big a deal as the fact that the bears have lucked into many of their wins.  I just don’t see how they expect to beat us when they barely beat the mediocre Seahawks playing a mediocre game last week.  At home.  More evidence that people pay too much attention to records and past history.  How about evaluating the talent, discipline, and preparation?

I’m willing to admit that we’ll be in a real struggle against the AFC if we win this game, so my perspective isn’t completely obscured by bias, but we’re the better team here.  Now let’s get it done.

Rare Saints Post

17 January 2007

I don’t post much on the Saints because others (Ashley, TBNO, ONOS) do it so much better, but dammit, I can’t keep it in anymore.  I giggle to myself when I think of what they’re doing.  I don’t know if it can get any better, but I’d like to find out.

I’m so proud of what they’ve done.  They really have made a difference in the spirit of the city, winning and doing good.  They’ve never embarrassed us, even with their play.  I’ve had season tix for 6 years, with a friend who’s had them for 20, so we’re used to losing, but this year it’s been different from the beginning.

Still, after reading articles about how we should put the money elsewhere, Bush isn’t as good as advertised, we’re skating on karma, we get this tripe about how the team is fiscally unsound.  Let me get this right.  We’ve sucked for 40 years and been ok, now we’re headed to the SuperBowl (yes, we’ll beat Chicago, not so confident about Indy or NE) and we’re doomed?  Man, am I tired of the NYT and Slate.  Anything to be contrarian.

I’m not saying we should have grace from criticism because of Katrina (e.g., the GQ food article), but I get the sense that we are just a target for the reactionary writers of the world to get a buzz.

As bad as people’s memories are in the country, people still think the Saints aren’t for real, and they still don’t realize that our defense is pretty damn good.  Not as good as our offense, but people who say it’s a liability are still stuck to their preseason expectations (when we were everyone‘s last in the division).  Wake up, people.  Just as Indy’s D isn’t as bad as advertised, neither is ours.  In fact, it rocks.  Just look at the power and speed behind Hollis Thomas, Charles Grant, Will Smith, etc.  Yeah, I wish our corners were more reliable, but dammit, these guys get the job done.  Our worst loss this season was 15 points.  Even when we had an off day, we’ve been in every game.  Can’t say that about Dallas, Cincy, and other preordained great teams.  Two more chances to show the world that we will not be bullied.

Anyway, despite the disrespect around the world, I’m more confident about this.   Notice who has 5 of the top 12 rookies in the final 4.  The future is bright, people.  Thanks, Sean, Deuce, Drew, Reggie, Scott, Marques, Charles, Mike, Jon, Steve, Fred, Mark, and the rest.  We’re with you fellas.  And hey, Rita B-L, you get a pass til you screw us over like gramps has thought about doing.  Whether he is reformed (a la Scrooge) or just bending to league pressure to wait until this Katrina thing passes by, here’s your choice:  Do us right, and you’ll have a great time, a great experience, and the appreciation and love of an entire region.  Pull a Robert Irsay on us, or start trying to be Dan Snyder, and you’ll have a special place ready for you in hades.

One more quick point:  I thought the shirt on the “passionate waif,” as Ashley calls her, said Pluck da Eagles and was just wrinkled in an unfortunate way.  Guess not!  Ok then.  No major transgression, in my view.  There are far worse things a fan can do.

ESPN: Our Best National Post-K Coverage

28 September 2006

I love the Saints. This is my 6th or so season of having season tix, and I love going to the games, I love the lovable loser image (but winning is indeed more fun), I love the spirit of having something for my neighbors and friends and strangers to rally around… I love it all. And Monday’s whooping of the Falcons was perfect. The weather, the crowd, the mood, all of it. And we played like pros. That’s what we aren’t used to. This season we’ve been making fewer mistakes and taking advantage of other teams’ mistakes. It’s great. I’m not predicting SuperBowl or anything, but Payton clearly has their attention, Brees is a proven leader, and Bush, Deuce, Horn, Colston(!), Grant, Fujita, and the rest of the guys have the right attitude and talent to do some nice things this year. But everyone else is covering the game, so let me talk about the coverage of the game.

Simply put, ESPN did us right. I’ve been screaming for someone in the national press to express the ambivalence of the situation here, and these guys actually did it. They talked about the misery and how much stuff is ruined, population loss and the rest. They did it by describing their own trips around the whole city. But they also talked about how much has happened and how much we need people to come down and do spend some money. It was exactly the right tone. It’s tragic, it’s devastating, but it’s open for business and a great place to be. Thanks, ESPN.

Even Joe Theismann, probably my least favorite sportscaster after Steve Young, paid us a fair tribute and coaxed a little more commentary out of Spike. It was beautiful when Spike said he wasn’t going to pull a Kanye, he was pulling a Kanye. Nicely done. And then Theismann asked him to say whether his sense was the more should be done, Spike’s simple “yes” said a lot, and I was relieved that Joe didn’t go into some conservative defense of what’s already been done. No, instead, everyone’s comments were dead on.

For some reason, it’s difficult for me to listen to other people comment on the situation (I mean press people, or often the people they interview) because I always want to change their wording or interject a qualifier. ESPN’s coverage was one of the few things that didn’t give me that feeling. The interviews with Spike, Archie, and Harry were wonderful, and they conveyed what a beautiful place we have, even as it’s hurting so much right now.

That all made for a stellar night, and I agree with the convention bureau who said that this was basically a free 6-hour commercial. Not bad, especially in light of the fact that it was the 2nd highest rated cable show ever. ESPN could have taken the typical easy road and talk only about the spirit of recovery, so America can stop worrying about us, or they could have taken the easy road and talk about how we’re completely obliterated (last year’s MNF quote was “absolutely no infrastructure”). Neither approach would have done us any favors or been accurate.

So thanks ESPN, and to all the people of New Orleans who have been working so hard to make the hope real, despite the backdrop of so much left to be done.

Offensive… But You Gotta Have a Sense of Humor About Yourself

28 September 2006

So glad it didn’t actually happen…


Overjoyed Saints Fans Tear Roof Off Reopened Superdome



The Onion

Overjoyed Saints Fans Tear Roof Off Reopened Superdome

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Weekend Whew

26 June 2006

Had a pretty unusual weekend, with E gone. Friday I laid low because I had the Katrina university benefit 5k on Sat am. Made it through in about 28 min, which wasn’t bad for me. I’m hoping to run regularly enough to pick up the pace, but I’m just glad I actually did it. Good turnout from Xavier as well as the other schools; much bigger than they anticipated.

Then I decided to bike to the car, which was getting wrapup work from the crash. I changed into my biking gear because I knew it would be a bit of a ride, but I had no idea what I was in for. My plan was to go down the levee to the Causeway, and then up to N. Causeway. Turns out, you cannot do that without getting on a highway with no shoulder. Not a healthy move for a bicycle. So I backtracked and went all over hell & back trying to find a way to get there. My last resort was to go up the Airline overpass (W. of the Tulane Avenue part), and that was ok, but still pretty treacherous.

My point is that it’s absurd to have so many people in NO without cars and to have insurmountable barriers to getting around. There’s no reason not to add a little bike/pedestrian lane to these highways, a la Jeff Davis Pkway. Really pissed me off.

Then I went to the Festival of Neighborhoods, which was hot as hell, but a nice scene, and with some very enlightening architects’ posters about the future of NO. Pretty interesting and innovative ideas, most of which will never be considered, I expect, but it’s nice to see some intellectual energy being expended on us.

So I was beat after all that, ordered a calzone, and tried to watch Gummo (sucked; couldn’t finish it)–one of my “disturbing” movies that E won’t watch. Then Sunday was Rosanne’s Juneteenth party and a nice time. Well done.

Looking forward to the couple days off next week.