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The Season that Care Forgot

With the 2012 Saints season unofficially over, it's time to put the year of Bountygate to bed.

John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE

Welp, Saints fans, that's a wrap.

With their embarrassing 52-27 loss to the NY Giants Sunday, the 2012 New Orleans Saints season ended in fitting fashion. Yeah, I'm aware there are still three games remaining on the schedule. Spare me your optimistic rhetoric. It's over, and you know what I mean.

Thank god, too. Seems strange to think or say but for the first time ever in my fanhood, a Saints loss has got me breathing a sigh of relief; feeling like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Because these past nine months have been trying and confusing as a Saints fan, with disappointment at nearly every turn. When the Bountygate story first broke on March 2nd and I first put it on the front page here on CSC, I remember thinking it could be a pretty big deal but that we'd only be talking about it for a little while. Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

And even though all this time has passed, I still haven't really processed my Bountygate emotions.

Perhaps it's because I'm still not sure who is telling the truth and who is lying. I still don't know who I should blame or where I should direct my anger. Everyone else around me seems to have their mind made up but somehow I've got more questions than answers. How the hell is that possible after nine months?

Or maybe it's because we've all endured a complete over-saturation of information from day one. I'm burned out as hell, and having to cover it as a blogger has only made it worse. I haven't had the luxury of at least attempting to ignore it. At this point, talking about it makes me uncomfortably numb. And I hate when people bring it up in conversation or ask my opinion about it in the non-internet world, or "real" world as my wife keeps referring to it.

Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue - whose presence in this entire debacle is a prime example of just what a s*** show this whole Bounty circus has become - is expected to announce his decision on the appeals for the four suspended players today, with suspensions coming in another week. That means this whole nightmare is nearly over.

Their loss against the Giants was the end for the Saints on the field, and today's ruling should be the end for them off the field. If there ever is an end.

So good riddance, 2012, you will not be missed.

Fortunately, I won't remember Drew's five interception game. I won't remember the worst defense in NFL history. I won't remember Graham's dropped passes. I won't remember any of it. Everyone gets a pass this season.

Unfortunately, I will definitely remember Bountygate. For good or bad. Whether I like it or not. Whether they're completely innocent, guilty or somewhere in the middle. The appeals, the rulings, none of it matters anymore. 2012 = Bountygate.

Which is why a quiet, uneventful offseason and the 2013 season can't come soon enough. It can't possibly be any worse, right?