I had to take a break from football for the past two months or so to attend to some family matters. During my hiatus I checked in regularly with Da Chronic and the talking knobs on PTI to keep up to date with things, but otherwise I was out of the football loop. I watched Roger Goodell's embarrassing "look-at-me-I-really-really-love-you-please-love-me-back" hugs during the draft, but mostly I just had time to think about where the Saints are as an organization.
There's no need to go into the, "I've been a Saints fan since" cliches. We wouldn't be here if we weren't Saints fans. That being said, there's one question that's been nagging me recently: was it all worth it?
In the seasons prior to 2009, I still loved my team in spite of the endless disappointments each January delivered along with my inflated VISA bill. Then, all of my frustration simply disappeared. I was now a fan of an elite team that had put its money where its ever-humble mouths were and won it all. Life was good (as far as me and the NFL were concerned).
Now, I have to admit a certain amount of embarrassment, or at least discomfort, when I wear a Saints shirt or hat or when I get into a discussion with another football fan. Don't attack me just yet...be honest with yourself. The bloom is off the rose and the questions about the legitimacy or the Saints championship season swirl around us no matter how hard we try to ignore them. Being a fan of an organization with so much innuendo, bad press (deserved ad undeserved) and extra-legal stuff floating around it is tough. Tougher in some ways than being a fan of a losing team.
Do I take my allegiance elsewhere? Not even remotely possible. The Saints are my team, and NOLA is my adopted hometown (at least when I get to visit). As they say, I bleed black and gold and that's not going to change.
But based on the reality of the 2012 offseason, I can't help but wonder if winning a Super Bowl was worth it.