Oh, the irony.
Yesterday we, the Who Dat Nation, held our collective breath. For about 4 hours. Drew Brees was up next on ESPN! To talk about contract stuff!!!! OmG!! We’ll never get those 4 hours back, because it was all for squat. He was having a press conference to promote his celebrity golf tournament next month. After hours of delays, we got the clip. “Yes, we’re working diligently on a long-term contract that we hope can get done sooner than later, and in the meantime, I just got a few grand for tricking you all into watching ESPN for the entire afternoon.”
Disclaimer: That might not have been an exact quote.
Now look, I don’t have anything against Drew Brees. He’s my hero too. This contract stuff is just business, it’s a little unprecedented, and it takes time. I get that, and I’m not angry (not about that, anyway).
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Maybe the only good guy left.
Audiotapegate? Team meetinggate? Speechgate? What should we go with today? This audio tape is such garbage. It has produced the best faux outrage of any development in the bounty saga, and that’s saying a hell of a lot. When a guy named “QBKilla” on twitter started hollering about the most “egregious thing in the history of the game,” the hyperbolemeter quit working. “<<Error: hyperbole unmeasurable>>” The media are piling on, again, and boy, isn’t the timing perfect. Shut up. Everyone just stop it. Stop pretending every new development is shocking. The only thing shocking about the Gregg Williams audio was just how bad Gregg Williams was at pregame speeches. Jesus. No wonder our defense sucked. “Uninspiring” is an understatement.
Realize something: I’m not saying that I like what Gregg Williams says in the video. That needs to be made clear. If you can’t win a game without targeting another players freakin’ ACLs, you probably aren’t doing your job very well (and we all know the quality of Williams’s work over the last two years). Sure, it happens a lot. The Giants targeted concussions specifically within a week of this speech, it was reported heavily, and nothing happened. Bounties have existed for years; just turn on NFL network for a few minutes and I’m sure you’ll see a pretty lame Top Ten countdown glorifying them in some way between ridiculously-long commercial breaks. That said, no amount of history or the existence of any culture excuses Williams’s speech. He was out of control, a lunatic – and I’m glad he is no longer in New Orleans. But he’s not the biggest piece of trash we’ve heard from in the last 24 hours. We’ll get to that soon.
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They're wearing police uniforms. It doesn't exactly capture the essence of the 2012 Saints, does it?
I told you, didn’t I? Loomis is king, man. I thought he was done for now, but even I underestimated the guy. How good do you have to be at your job when a blog anointing you as the one true Football God underestimates your ability? I had already forgotten about Hawthorne. We got our guy. Weakened that franchise-not-to-be-named in that funny-smelling city to the North and East, while making a huge leap on defense ourselves. And then, when nobody was looking, boom goes the dynamite. Hawthorne’s a Saint. The crowd goes wild.
But with that final (or not?) piece in place at the linebacker position, the old phenomenon rears its ugly head. Every time a team signs an inordinate number of linebackers in one offseason, the fans start howling with joy. “THREE FOUR!” they proclaim. Yep, we have more linebackers than we need, so we must be going to a 3-4 base set. Come on over and sit down. We need to talk.
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As punishment for bountygate, Sean Payton is forced to participate in a Jimmy Buffett concert.
It’s appeal week, Who Dats. And every one of us has a different opinion on what’s going to happen behind the closed doors of the commissioner’s office. Will Payton and Loomis and Vitt go in and let the commissioner have it? Will they throw red paint on the commish’s new suit and be dragged out by their heels screaming “Hypocrite!” while Goodell’s secretary gasps in horror? Or will they go groveling to the man on their knees, begging for their jobs, as one local media member suggests from atop a horse so high it defies the laws of physics?
I don’t know. We’ll never know. One must assume that someone within the organization has actually seen the document that we’re supposed to believe is 50,000 pages long. (Let’s see. I have a 500-page ream of paper on my desk right now. Just eyeballing it, I’d say it’s about an inch or so thick. Has anyone seen a Fed-Ex guy with an 8-foot stack of paper enter the Saints facility?)
We haven’t seen that evidence, and judging from this scrupulous league office’s history, there are a dozen interns shoveling paperwork into a burn pit at a pace that would make State Farm executives blush so that we never will. We’re told that there are emails, and some game notes, and, uh, well, 49,901 more pages of very damning stuff, or something.
The Loomis basks in his own righteous glory.
Let’s take a look at a couple quotes from the past week or so.
“This season is going to take on an us-versus-the-world mentality. The perception at this point is not positive with us. We’ve worked very hard, I know as players, to gain respect, not only as a good team but as a good group of guys. That perception will go completely out the window now, and I think that’ll be kind of a rallying cry for us.” – Zach Strief
“I wanted to go to a team that, number one, had a chance to win a Super Bowl, had true fans, a great defensive coordinator. Then once the Saints called, I was like, ‘Wow.’ When I took my visit there, I loved it. I knew I was going there. I didn’t need to visit anywhere else. I told my agent that.” – Curtis Lofton
“You think all this crap is gonna be a problem for us? Look at what I’ve done. Free agents aren’t scared to come to New Orleans. Our veterans are using this as motivation. Where is your god now?” – Mickey Loomis
Ok, I made the last one up. But that’s what I choose to believe he’d say to the rest of the league if he could. I don’t know the guy personally (obviously, or I’d be doing something more influential than writing this goofy blog with a readership in the tens), and for all I know he is a devoutly religious man who wouldn’t utter such blasphemy. But that doesn’t matter – I choose to believe that behind those sunglasses exists a badass, foul-mouthed renegade without a care in the world besides winning a Super Bowl.
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Ever heard of Solomon Asch? He was a big football fan, and he studied people who hated “bounty” systems and believed what ESPN told them. Ok, ok, not really. But he would have studied them, believe that.
Asch was a scientist from Poland who did some pretty amazing studies on group conformity in the 1950s. They were ridiculously simple, but they were eye-opening, especially to a bunch of zombie football fans who weren’t even born yet. Calm down, I’m getting to it, just follow me for a minute.
He created these little drawings of lines. One had a single line. The next had three lines, one of which was exactly the same length as the line in the first picture. And he asked a bunch of people to compare the two and decide which line was the same length.
But here’s where it gets tricky. He embedded the experimentees in groups of 6 or 8 or so people, but he didn’t tell the single study participant that the rest of the subjects were informed plants. Asch had instructed them to unanimously choose the wrong line 12 out of 18 times. They didn’t start until the third “test”, and the person under study was one of the last to answer.
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Sean Payton weeps for Favre's poor wittle ankle
Let me introduce myself to the two of you who found this blog who don’t already know me. I’m a lifelong Saints fan, and I’m getting sick of all this crap. That’s all you really need to know for now. I’ve never written a blog post in my life, and I don’t know if I’ll ever write one again, but I need to get this off my chest. It really doesn’t even matter if anyone ever reads it – because it’ll make me, a Saints fan, feel better, and Saints fans are all any Saints fan should be concerning himself with right now anyway.
See, I frequent a big Saints forum. In the days after “bountygate” (what a stupid friggin’ name for it) broke, I was as mad as any Saints fan out there. I found myself angry at the coaches, at the players, and at the staff for putting my dearly beloved team in this position. But the members on that message board didn’t see it that way – they blamed the commish (“nazi!”) for bringing down these penalties on just us, the East Coast Media Elites for making something out of nothing, the whiners in Minnesota and Arizona who were mad about their precious quarterbacks getting bobos after playing the mean ol’ Saints.
I didn’t understand – I thought that our organization had brought it on themselves, and I didn’t get the anger at everyone else. Maybe I just didn’t want to believe that the whole league was out to get us. After all, what kind of future does that foretell if nobody wants the Saints to succeed?