Sean Payton's presence Sunday night was enough to push the Saints to their first victory of the season. Are there any more records coming up that we can get a special dispensation from Goodell for? Seriously, Loomis, Vitt and Payton deserved to be there to see Brees break the consecutive games with a touchdown pass record, and this Saints fan felt like we were whole again.
Now, back to me. Sunday night games, especially back here on the East Coast where we observe Official American Time (known as Eastern Daylight Time to the rest of the world) is difficult for those of us who have to get up really stupidly early to go to to work. In spite of the odds, I stayed up and watched. And by the way, to all of you people in other time zones who are now insulted that I insulted your time zone, keep in mind, the first time I ever saw a Saints home game, I showed up at ten minutes to one and missed most of the first half. Football starts at one o'clock dammit! No smartypants, I didn't bother to actually look at the ticket.
1. There Are Two Quarterbacks I Really Enjoy Watching Lose. My inability to find any redeeming qualities in Philip Rivers has nothing to do with the whole Drew Brees-in-San Diego thing. I just don't like people who run their mouths before they earn their keep. A Saints receiver blows a route, you don't see Drew Brees making a face at him like a teenage girl who just found out from her gym teacher, that yes, she has to play dodgeball. Watching Rivers whine and pout just makes me smile. I like the Chargers, but I really, really like to watch Philip Rivers lose. The other one who brings me this joy is Jay Cutler.
2. A Monkey Off Drew's Back and Into the Record Books. Is it possible that the Unitas record was adding to the pressure Brees was otherwise feeling because of Bountygate? To me, it was almost as if Brees became looser and lighter the second Colston waltzed over the goal line. So much emphasis is put on records and streaks by the 24/7 sports media that I think athletes who are chasing important records get overwhelmed by the attention the chase gets.
3. Don't Freak-Out! I'm Not Sure the Spagnoulo System Has Kicked In Yet. I'm conflicted. The defense was much better Sunday night, but at the same time it was still pretty bad. Last week I championed Malcolm Jenkins, and this week I refused to take my daughter's Skype call from Nashville because she was wearing her #27 jersey. Last week I was hoping for a retirement announcement from Roman Harper and this week I'm ignoring his gray hair just like I ignore mine. This is a tough one because I'm not sure the defense has improved, but it played better, so I'm not sure what I saw. There were some glimpses of a really strong, stout, defense, but I'm still a little cautious from the four previous weeks of heartbreak, so I'm not ready to commit to Spags yet.
4. Marques Colston Is A Beast. I was pretty impressed with Reggie Wayne's performance against he Packers in Indianapolis earlier in the day, and I'm not going to get involved in comparing stats, but I think Colston contributed more to his team's victory than Wayne did.. He stepped up when it was crucial for him to do so, and he's got my vote (if I had one) for NFL Player of the Week.
5. That Guy With the Big Gold Whistle On His Head, Yes. Faith Hill, Not So Much. Other than my previously stated prejudices against time zones other my own, I really dislike when the Saints play on Sunday nights. Al Michaels is a master at his craft, Chris Collinsworth is really very good at what he does, but I just don't enjoy SNF. Even though the best the Saints can hope for on a regular Sunday broadcast is horrible Joe Buck yucking it up mindlessly with the even more horrible Troy Aikman (at least Pam Oliver knows what she's talking about), the NBC broadcast isn't really about the game, it's about NBC, and that gets in the way of my enjoyment of the game. I like Faith Hill (although I think her skirt kind of fits funny this year), but I watch football for two things, 1) the game; and b) the experience of the game. NBC just doesn't get that.
So, the Saints finally won their first game this season. Am I delusional to think 10 and 6 is out of the question? Actually not really. We watched a very good football team exorcise some demons Sunday night. I may be a naive optimist, but I honestly don't believe (as I type this) that the season is lost. If the team uses the momentum coming off the win during the bye for some positive adjustments we could be in for a fun rest of the season.