I've been a Saints fan for as long as I have followed the NFL, which has been only about 6 years. I didn't really understand football until I started playing in high school. Living up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, football isn't a hugely popular sport, sports fans up here are diehard hockey fans. We do have a CFL team which I had season tickets for last year. They are fun to go to but the quality of play and enjoyment factor is just not quite the same as the NFL. When I began to follow the NFL, I decided I needed a team to cheer for. Since I was born in Baton Rouge, I figured New Orleans would be my team. I briefly followed the Saints during their run to the NFC Championship game vs the Bears. During the Saints Superbowl year of 2009, I joined by first NFL Fantasy league (I came last btw), but I really started to follow the Saints as I had Drew Brees and Reggie Bush on my team. I watched almost every game that year and almost every game since. I have always been proud to cheer for the Saints, that is, until this past week's events.
The first blow came when Brees and the Saints failed to come to an agreement on a new contract. I wasn't sure at first who I was more disappointed in, Loomis or Brees, but now I think it is Brees who I am mad at. There is no question Brees deserves to be the highest paid player in the NFL, there is arguably no player in the league right now who means so much to a teams success. But just because he deserves it, doesn't mean he should get it. I don't know the exact numbers, but it sounds like Brees wanted 23ish million and Loomis wanted to pay him 17ish (please feel free to correct me if my numbers are way off, regardless my point still holds valid). So Brees could not agree to settle for a contract for 17 million a year?! Wait, I almost have to say that again, that word, SETTLE. You mean to tell me that he could not SETTLE for 17 million a year??? My family is quite well off, my dad is an engineer and my mom works part-time at the library. Our family makes roughly 250k a year and we are living extremely comfortably. So, you mean to tell me that Brees could not agree to a contract that pays him 68 times that amount?! Using the time value of money and assuming a 3% interest rate, it would take our family 38 years to reach 17 million. That is pretty close to a full lifetime of working, and Brees could make that in ONE YEAR, FOR PLAYING A GAME. I don't buy that crap about him wanting to set up his family for life and ensuring his kids have money, 1-2 years at 17 million would do that. He has endorsement deals, he has already played in the NFL for several years making millions. If he were such a great guy and someone who wanted to win more Superbowls, he would have accepted the 17 million offer (or whatever it happened to be) and allowed the Saints to sign other key pieces (namely Nicks and Colston).
The second blow came with the so-called Bouty-Gate system the Saints defense was using under Greg Williams. This scandal actually makes me sick to my stomach. I used to get excited every time I saw a Saints headline on NFL.com or Yahoo Sports, now I just dread it knowing that it is just talk about the Saint's unethical ploys. I can live with the fact that Brees wanted more money, hell, I might've done the same thing in the same situation, I've never had the chance to make 20+ million a year. But this bounty system where the intent of our players was to injure other players? It makes me sick. I know having played football and hockey that physicality can offer a team a huge advantage. The other team gets scared and intimidated, leading to mistakes by them and chances to score for you. But physicality and intent to injure are completely different. Crushing an opponent with a clean shoulder to shoulder blow with the intent to intimidate, cause a turnover, or even "shake-up" the player are acceptable in my opinion. But diving at players' knees, with the intent of causing injury, and being rewarded for it? Absolutely disgusting. Have respect for your opponents. The NFL should be a community, across team boundaries where you have respect for your opponents. Many guys are friends because they were former teammates. I understand when you take the field that you are enemies out there, but you are enemies playing a GAME, not enemies at WAR. There should be know attempt to end player's careers.
Anyways, on a happier note, this was my first attempt at a Fanpost (I'll call this a FanRant). I enjoy reading this site and interacting with my fellow readers. I think this is an excellent blog and I always look forward to reading posts as I feel that most members have excellent knowledge of football and are passionate about the game. Please feel free to agree or respectfully disagree with my post and offer tips on how to improve future posts.