I am and have been a loyal Saints fan for over 20 years. I don't live in the Gulf region, but I think 20+ years qualifies me to say some things and not be chastised as being on the bandwagon, or a part time fan, or newbie etc. But some things need to be said. I am not able to attend the games but I go out to a sports bar every Sunday - every one- and watch the games.
The Saints were the laughing stock of the league at one time. Everyone knew and knows that. They have made great strides- not just lately with Payton, but with Haslett, and indeed they had some pretty darn good teams with Mora. But, this mediocrity currently settling in has to be combatted by the fans. The local fans ( and non-local) have to force the issue so that higher achievement happens. Think of it this way- the product on the field is good enought to make money. The stadium sells out, Benson laughs all the way to the bank, Payton is making the most he ever made, Gibbs probably also, Grant, Smith, Bush, Shockey, etc. An 8-8 season gets them 16 paychecks, a return back to next season and new hopes, renewed life and more...what.......mediocrity. Year in and year out.
Saints fans have to take a stand. I have 2 suggestions. Not sure they are good ones- maybe someone can come up with better. First-
1) If you go to the games, don't buy any food - don't buy any beer. Tailgate- before. Drink before. Bring a flask into the stadium. Hit them in the pocket. Can you imagine the impact if tens or hundereds of thousands of $ stop coming in? And if they think it will happen every home game every season until there is a champion? It could be powerful. It would be proactive and may send a message that this franchise sorely needs. The current status is that everything behind closed doors away from the microphones is ok- the franchise makes money, the team is good enough to compete (not good enought to be a champion) and life continues with this mediocrity in spite of a talented roster. Tennessee goes undefeated with a QB that couldn't keep a starting position for the Saints, but the Saints can't even go 10-6. Is Tennessee that much better than the Saints? Is Atlanta? Is Carolina?
Option 2) - Have buttons made up and sell them or pass them out. Ask everyone to wear them. They will say on them-- "TRADE DEUCE- HE DESERVES A CHAMPIONSHIP" and shame them into producing a better product. And, maybe they will trade Deuce- which one of us wouldn't feel happiness for him if he could be on a championship team? Which one of us wouldn't root for that team in addition to the Saints. The management is going to do what they want to do if we don't act- whatever. It's obvious that if Deuce can't get the rock this year, do you think he will next year? Oh, next year all of a sudden he will earn priority staus and be on Paytons top list? This won't really change that. But can you see how much publicity this would get on ESPN? Fans asking the franchise to trade their most favorite player ever to do him a favor, put him out of his misery, and give him a chance to go out a champion? It would be unprecedented. It might make some thing happen.
This is pretty crazy stuff, I know, but so is gaining 500 yards and getting totally dominated and having zero chance to win. So is having the talent the Saints have and being in last place. How crazy was the Carolina game where we had like 350 yards and we had - what 7 points? Something has to give. If you think sitting back and bitching will get it done, you are wrong- something pro-active must be accomplished. Don't be like a Gibbs defense and be a victim - make something happen. Any other ideas??