I apologize in advance for introducing any negativity into what is, for us Saints fans, this most joyous of all Februaries, but I just saw a disturbing clip on an NFL Conference Championship round-up on NHK here in Japan. I'd already seen it on YouTube or somewhere, but this seemed to have been edited a little longer and there were some things I hadn't seen before.
One thing I've loved about the Saints this year is the almost complete lack of selfishness and an overall atmosphere of virtue and good character on the part of the team. So, I was pretty shocked to see a clip of Anthony Hargrove, after No. 4 had limped off with an apparent game-ending ankle injury, going up and down the defensive bench slapping hands and celebrating, "Favre's done! Favre's done! Favre's out the game!"
What the f*** is that? Is this the f***ing WWF?
When I saw Brett Favre on the turf--and Kurt Warner last week--I was upset. I love and respect these guys and it should be an honor and a pleasure to play against them and have a chance to beat them. Would a Super Bowl victory be as enjoyable if Peyton came out after the first series with a broken finger and we ended up beating Curtis Painter? Not for me, it wouldn't. I couldn't see the faces of the other players, but from the rear, to their credit, it wasn't apparent that they shared any of Hargrove's enthusiasm for Favre's misfortune. I'll call that a big saving grace.
As for the hit itself, I didn't think there was any flagrant cheap-shottery on the part of McCray; he was coming off a block and it looked to me like he was just trying to wrap him up by the calves (I could be wrong). But I personally don't feel that there's anything to celebrate when an opponent goes out on a stretcher, even if he was put there unintentionally.
This isn't going to ruin my enjoyment of the Saints first Super Bowl, and I'm not buying all of the Cryking fans whining about the Saints being a dirty team; before this last game, I'd never seen anything to suggest that, and I don't think that the character of a team can change overnight.
But I am certainly concerned about to what extent our D is willing to go to neutralize the opposing offense and whether GW is teaching them that toughness and sportsmanship are oil and water.
Anyway, again, I'm sorry. But I just wanted to get that off my chest before reverting to full Who Dat mode, starting . . . NOW!