Yes, the flaming car crash that a fair amount of you believe this column to be is back. The cat-loving, foul-mouthed rants will continue. If you are looking for stats, game breakdowns, and hardcore Saints articles Dave and the crew cover that ground and why improve on perfection? My column will always be different. I'm here to push, question, possibly annoy. But mostly try to get you to laugh, think and discuss. So far I'm batting a thousand.
Of course, for my last column the discussion was, "How do we get Ghost to contract a serious disease, get hit by a bus, and most importantly, sleep with the fishes." I felt the love and it was appreciated. Anyway, this week I'm more depressed than Kurt Cobain. When I saw the headline Saints Linebacker out for Season with Achilles Injury my initial thought was, "Dan Morgan injured himself again putting on his pants or maybe eating breakfast?" Sure that sucks but it isn't like Morgan has ever actually played a down in a Saints uniform.
Except it wasn't Morgan. It was rookie Stanley Arnoux! $%^& and #$%%! So now the only talent upgrade the Saints can really count on at linebacker is Dan Morgan and some undrafted rookie free agents.This is a huge problem. Sure Jo-Lonn Dunbar has proven a key special teams guy but I doubt he'll be pushing for serious playing time. Quick, tell me a big play a Saints linebacker made last year who wasn't named Jonathan Vilma? [Cue Jeopardy music!] Scott Fujita's interception against the Bucs and the one in Chicago are all I can think of. Not very comforting, is it? Scott Shanle is just a guy. He is just an average starter. If the Saints had a good pass rush or a decent secondary I'd be fine with Shanle. The Saints as of today have neither of those two things.
Yes, it was probably asking a lot of a rookie fourth round pick to be the answer at outside linebacker but at least Arnoux would have been a possibility. It's like dating. Sure I might go on three crappy dates with guys who will never in a million years be my future husband (no one deserves that fate) but three crappy dates is way better than being home on Saturday night. I'll never find my future ex sitting at home eating ice cream and watching ‘Sex in the City'. Same thing applies to the Saints. They are running out of options to get better linebacker play. Options are key here people. Going into every season I try to predict how the Saints will do by how many questions they have. Serious questions. Not, "Who will be the fifth receiver?" questions.
This year my questions are:
- Who will be the Saints short yardage/power back and will he be successful?
- Can the Saints create a significant pass rush?
- Who will play free safety and will they play well?
- Will the linebackers not named Jonathan Vilma be any better?
Every one of those questions I can give you a plausible answer except one.
Question #1 answer: The Saints have six possible options for the power back option. Obviously if you read my first column you know I think the Saints should have done more to address this but they at least have a bunch of different guys to try. I actually really like Herb Donaldson but hey if Thomas can't get it done at the start, try them all. Just don't let P.J. Hill out in the Quarter if he becomes a huge success. Hey P.J., we'll start a Hill drunken taxi fund if you can convert 3rd and short and become a goal line touchdown thief.
Question #2 answer: Gregg Williams might be able to light a fire under Charles Grant and Will Smith and his schemes traditionally land QB's on their butt.
Question #3 answer: Darren Sharper's prime may be so far behind him that he can't even remember when it was but if he is a bust the Saints still have Usama Young and Chip Vaughn to try and solve the problem.
Question #4 answer: If the Saints want to upgrade the outside linebacker spots they have Dan Morgan and who? Mark Simoneau is always getting blown up. Marvin Mitchell and Troy Evans have been around long enough to prove they are not a solution. Nevermind injuries which haven't stopped since the first week of the 2008 season. Now the Saints don't have a solution if the linebackers suck or get injured. Bad. Why do the football gods hate us? Dave, is it time to hire a voodoo priest or sacrifice a goat in the Poydras Street endzone to end the injury plague?
If this post seems less angry, obscene, and tamer it's not because Dave told me to change or get lost. No, I'm definitely a bi-polar Saints fan and injuries just make me sad. I thought it sucked when Tom Brady got injured. I mean we wait all year for football and then players start dropping like pounds off Lindsay Lohan. And for no other reason than bad luck our favorite teams are screwed. Plus, the football season is less interesting when stars get injured. If the Saints are going to suck, I don't want the excuse of injuries. Nothing kills my football buzz like injuries...I'm such a freaking girl. This injury crap needs to stop or I might go on some expletive laced journey that makes poor Dave's head explode.
Comment of the week that drove me to drink, go on a shopping spree and go crazy all at once.
An un-loyal Saints fan and proud of it!
While reading each and every one of the loving, supportive comments from my last article, I began thinking about one of the things that I always find interesting, and that is someone questioning someone else's fandom. What makes a true Saints fan?
This comment got me thinking: "If the Saints make you that mad, and sounds like you're a fan when we win but not when we lose, maybe the Saints are not the team for you. You might need to refrain from buying tickets to a game if you can't take it when they lose and when things don't go your way...Keep the Faith!!!"
Let me say right off the bat that this isn't personal. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and thanks to this reader for inspiring this section. See Dave, I wasn't mean at all so don't tase me bro! Here's the thing though: why do certain fans make loyalty the main condition of how good a fan someone is? I can be a Saints fan however I want. I don't have to like everything they do, agree with every move they make and I don't even have to be rational about it. The mere mention of the name Alex Molden causes me to have flashbacks like some Vietnam Vet. If I'm less of a Saints fan because I lost my head when they took Molden over Eddie George and still haven't gotten over it, then so be it (I personally blame Jim Mora Jr. for convincing Daddy Mora to take Molden so I hate freaking Mora Jr. And now that he coaches the Seahawks I have a perfectly good reason to hate Seattle. I love football and its ability to allow me to hate new things every year).
Nothing drives me crazier than someone railing, "You aren't a true hardcore fan. If you don't support the Saints 100% of the time we don't need you." I think being called a ‘loyal fan' is insulting. ‘You might need to refrain from buying tickets to a game if you can't take it when they lose and when things don't go your way.' Oh really? So I guess I should just have sunshine flying out my butt despite the fact the Saints have had a winning record at home in exactly two of the last ten years? I'm not even loyal to my political party or my job much less a football team. I've had season tickets to the Saints for 20 years and I've seriously considered dropping them twice. Does that not make me a ‘real Saints fan?'
If Benson hadn't canned Ditka I would have dropped. If Mora hadn't quit I would have dropped. The Saints don't have my unconditional financial support. Hell I've openly rooted for them to lose. Yep. And if I deem the conditions right I'll do it again. One of my absolute favorite moments as a fan was watching Detroit beat the Saints on Christmas Eve 2005. It was awesome. The Saints needed to lose to have any chance at drafting Reggie Bush. I thought having a chance at Reggie was way better than some meaningless win over the Lions. I can still see Joey Harrington hitting Roy Williams on a fourth down miracle pass. So sweet. Of course I only root against the Saints when they are eliminated from playoff contention and I feel the head coach needs to be unemployed. If the Saints are 6-6 in November this year and you think Sean Payton needs to go coach Tulane, knock yourself out rooting for a train wreck.
I'll be honest, if I grew up in the 1970's I might not be a Saints fan. They were like a rotting fish: bad owner, crappy coaches, and horrible players. They had Archie but that was it. If I was currently a Raider fan I don't know if I could stand it. To know you have no hope until Al Davis dies must suck. Either get a new team or root for the old man to keel over are not appealing choices are they? My gosh, it makes me almost feel sorry for Raider fans. All sports leagues market loyalty as a badge of honor. If you think it is great, fine. Just don't think it makes you any more special than me just because I ripped my Roman Harper jersey in half after the Chicago game and wanted Gary Gibbs' head on a stick. I love the Saints but if loyalty means watching them suck with a smile on my face and never insulting coaches, players and GM's (Bill Kuharich can suck it) then I'm an un-loyal biatch!
This week's Saints video that will keep you buying tickets till 2025
Oh Steve Walsh, you douche and weak armed destroyer of playoff dreams. That the Saints traded a first, second and third round pick for you instead of just signing Bobby Hebert ranks as one of the Saints top five worst moves and that's saying a lot. The Saints, after all, hired a freakin' astronaut as a GM. I'm guessing the Saints could have used those picks to help build an offense to go along with the Dome Patrol. Sometimes I wish I was a man who could just adjust his junk and say "Screw it!" to make me feel better. Saints' screw ups eat at me like a cancer. Anyway, old Steve did lead the Saints to this awesome win over the Goats in 1990 to clinch a playoff spot. Enjoy.