On Sunday, the weather here in the heart of New Jersey was stunning. Seventy-five degrees, low humidity, not a cloud in the sky, leaves starting to fall. Perfect. There are at least a thousand things a person could do outside on a day like Sunday.
I opted to stay inside and watch the NFL and its inferior officiating crews stink-up a game between the dreadful Kansas City Chiefs and the New Orleans Saints. I have a history of bad decision-making.
Make the jump and let me share the misery of my bad decision with you.
1. The Eyes Have It. Almost every game the Saints have lost since he came to New Orleans have had one thing in common: You know the Saints are going to lose when Drew Brees gets that look in his eyes. Call them Jay Cutler-eyes, but they're the eyes of an athlete who knows he doesn't have what it takes to dig any deeper. In the 4th quarter yesterday the clipboard was gone, the meetings with Daniels to go over formation pictures was gone, the spark was just gone. Brees looked like every other wanna-be quarterback on a losing team, sitting on the bench, isolated and angry. I'm sorry folks, but if Brees is the key to the Saints success and the best he can do is pout when things go bad, well then, get ready for a 3-13 season. Next Sunday when the Saints travel to Lambeau to lose to the Packers, look in the eyes of the staff and players: You'll see the look of confusion, fatigue, bewilderment and shock. Kind of like the look you have when your sister-in-law announces at Thanksgiving dinner that she saw you last month with that floozy from the office having drinks and making googly eyes.
2. That Whooshing Sound You Hear Is the Energy Pouring Out of the Superdome. I thought it was another explosion at a North Jersey oil refinery but I was wrong, it was just the sound of the Superdome deflating after Jamaal Charles' 91-yard touchdown run. Remember in gym class when the good-looking popular guys who got all the girls lost a game of dodgeball to the losers and pimply-faced mathletes? Well, yesterday was nothing like that, because when the cool kids lost back in high school they'd at least get pissed off and go beat up a nerd or something. The Saints just kind of flaccidly shuffled off to the locker room while the dorky kids (in this case the Kansas City Chiefs) fist pumped each other and pretended for a few seconds that they might be able to conquer real athletes everywhere.
3. Distractions? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Distractions, We've Got Plenty of Our Own Thank You. The Saints have pretty much fielded the same personnel as last year -- and they all seem tired. Maybe it's time to admit the off-season was spent shackled to the ball-and-chain of Bountygate, prolonged contract negotiations, protracted legal fights with the Commissioner's Office, hurricanes, and all of the other things I can't think of right now. All of those things that plagued the offseason have taken their toll. It is what it is. We all hoped to host the Super Bowl this season, but me thinks we were all in a fairly serious state of denial.
4. Excuse Me, Has Anyone Seen My Defense? It Seems I've Misplaced It. The guys on defense are hitting hard and hustling, you can't deny it no matter how mad you are at them right now, but we still own the third worst start in NFL history in terms of points allowed. At this point we have to accept that the defensive scheme Spagnoulo brought with him isn't working. For the most part, the guys on the field are hitting (see Item #2), but it looks to me like they're not exactly sure what they're supposed to hit. That's a system failure. The question is, are we witnessing a permanent failure or some sort of learning curve that will suddenly result in a defense that can defend?
5. I Always Thought The Offensive Line Was Supposed to Block Or Something. Back in the late 80s Dan Marino did a series of commercials for Isotoner gloves. Basically he gave his offensive linemen a nice pair of gloves as a gift and in return they kept Dan from eating the south Florida turf. Far be it for me to tell another man how to spend his money, but maybe Drew might want to consider a nice steak dinner, a pair of gloves, or a dozen roses or something. I'm not saying Brees has somehow alienated his linemen and they've decided to, well, you know, let him get hit a little now and again (and again), but it sure looks that way. On second thought, maybe the look on Brees' face is justified (see Item #1).
The refs stink, the Saints smell like they're on the turn, and the weather this time of year is fantastic. Unfortunately, I already paid for the NFL Sunday Ticket leaving me no choice but to stay inside and suffer until this Saints team figures out how to play four quarters of football.