"It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail." - Gore Vidal.
Of course we all want the Saints to be awesomely awesome this year. After watching them behead the Oakland Raiders, clearly a Super Bowl is coming. In order for this to happen, however, other teams need to struggle, stink, have general incompetence or be coached by Josh McDaniels.
I want any team from the NFC not named the Saints to fail miserably.
There, I said it. Of course, wishing all teams except the Saints to suffer massive injury would make this column really short and could bring karmic retribution. But if Steve Smith went missing for 6-8 weeks because aliens may or may not have abducted him, I wouldn't lose any sleep. So instead of a standard NFL preview with predictions that will surely be wrong, I give you Epic Fail NFC South: A look at ways all the NFC South teams could run head long into disaster which we, as Saints fans, would surely enjoy.
Damnit. I thought Michael Vick going to the can was going to set Atlanta back until 2015. I was all ready to enjoy watching the Saints play in a half empty Georgia Dome and slaughter the Falcons as all six of their fans pined for the good old days of Jim Mora, Jr. and Michael Vick. Then they lucked into Matt Ryan. Maybe Ryan could be caught running an illegal underage dwarf sex ring out of his house. The FBI should at least look into it and leak the details to Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk. Or maybe their coach, Anderson Cooper, could lose sixty pounds and go back to hosting that show on CNN nobody watches.
I hate the Falcons so much.
The only thing worse than the Saints not winning is the Falcons being successful. It's like finding out that your mortal enemy is doing really well, has a great job and you have to see him or her every week. Nauseating. Matt Ryan is going to the Hall of Fame, curing cancer, and fixing health care according to Peter King. Hey moron - Ryan threw sixteen touchdowns last year!! He handed off to Michael Turner over 300 times and stunk down the stretch. Matty Ice - you should keep that up for 2009. And John Abraham should go back to only playing once a month like he wants to. That way the Falcon defense can fail...epically.
I know I should hate Carolina, but I don't. I save all my Carolina hate purely for Steve Smith. What the Saints really need is Smith to fail in 2009. He could punch a teammate - Jake Delhomme - or even a nun. I don't care. We just need him unhappy. The best way to insure a Carolina epic fail is to have Jake build off his tremendous playoff game against Arizona and start 2009 like he finished 2008. Since the Panthers' first three games are against the Eagles, Falcons, and Cowboys, it just might happen.
I was listening to WWLTV.com's Ralph Malbrough's podcast and he made a rare good point when talking about Delhomme. By the way, the show would be really good if Dave would tell Ralph to shut the hell up. That guy's voice is terrible. He sounds like his balls got chopped off and he's got a cold. Charming. Anyway, Ralph said that Delhomme's playoff performance was like a guy cheating on his wife: She might forgive him but she never forgets and the first time he looks at another woman, the memory comes right on back. If Jake can suck early in the year, the fans will turn on him as his six-turnover opus flashes in front of their eyes. And it will be glorious. Epic Fail!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
You might say we need not wish the Bucs Epic Fail because they can do it on their own. Maybe. They hired a 12-year-old coach, have a sacktastic QB, and are breaking out the creamsicle pirate uniforms. Throw in a brutal first half schedule and Tampa seems right on track to suck. Hard. The thing is: They have a really good, young offensive line, and nice stable of running backs. They might play close games, win a few, then start believing they are actually good. What they need to do is play that 10-year-old quarterback, Josh Freeman. He's the second coming of Akili Smith. He needs snaps immediately. No sense wasting time, Tampa. Get to it. Their new coach will be like Mike Tomlin of the Steelers, minus the winning.
For the Saints to win, others must fail. They just need to get to it already.