Some people are fans of the New Orleans Saints. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the New Orleans Saints. This 2009 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group.
1. They just don't make face masks like Rickey Jackson's anymore. When I was younger, certain players were easily identifiable by certain types of equipment that only they used. Brian Cox, for example. Cox always had that giant trapezoidal neck support sticking out of the back of his collar. Jim McMahon always has a dark visor. Nick Lowery had the grandfathered-in single bar facemask with full mustache visibility. And Rickey Jackson had his face mask. Look at this thing. Now THAT is a fucking face mask. It's like a goddamn jungle gym. Rickey Jackson had, bar none, more squares on his face mask than any player in history. This was during a time when face masks could vary wildly. A lot of linebackers and lineman had gargantuan face masks. Some of them had flat bars going across. Some, like Daryl Talley, had the little circular dip to protect their eyes, rather than the straight bar going down. I assume Talley also did this so that his face mask wouldn't produce an Opti-Grab effect and leave him cock-eyed.
Those days of individual uniform variance have been all but crushed by The Ginger Hammer and others in the league offices, which is bullshit. I'll never understand why players have to have their socks all the way up, or whatever other sartorial retarderies the league foists upon them. It's not like they're causing any confusion as to which team they're playing for. "Whoa! That face mask is too big! He might be a Chief!" Fucking stupid. I think this may all be Rickey Jackson's fault. I think someone in the league office looked at his face mask and said, "That's it. They've gone TOO FUCKING FAR." And then BOOM! Uniform helmets. Oh, and Rickey has also been accused of owing over $177,000 in back child support. Maybe he needed the extra facial protection, lest his ex-wife try and claw his eyes out.
2. Yahoo still owes fantasy players for the great Marques Colston TE debacle of aught six. In easily the biggest technical snafu in fantasy history, Colston was listed as a hybrid WR/TE by Yahoo during his rookie year, during which he scored 8 TD's and caught 70 balls. Pretty good numbers for a wideout. Stellar fucking numbers for a tight end. Everyone knew damn well that Colston was a pure wideout, but Yahoo chose to keep him as a TE option all year long, deciding to NOT piss off Colston owners by pissing off everyone else. Goddamn Yahoo. Fuck you, fuck your exclamation point, and fuck Marques Colston.
3. People who don't live in New Orleans really need to stop calling it N'Awlins in a jokey manner. While I'm sure the town of New Orleans is lovely, it bears total responsibility for any co-opted Southern Gothic kitsch now permeating the American landscape. That includes people who can't talk with a Cajun accent attempting to do just that. It also includes any House of Blues franchise, as well as the 4,000 varieties of inedible designer hot sauces with names like VOODOO FIRE and ASSKICKERZ. It also includes a good amount of teenage goth culture. There wouldn't be half as many fat kids dressed in all black out there if it weren't for those fucking Anne Rice books, and I also wouldn't have to hear about Twilight every fucking five minutes if gay little Lestat had never existed. I gar-onnn-teee it. See how annoying that is?
4. SHOCKEY! SHOCKEY! SHOCKEY! Oooh, loogit! It's the failed white Dennis Rodman. Hopefully, Shockey has been able to stay hydrated while in camp. Not that it will matter, given that Billy Miller will probably end up taking 80% of all snaps. Between Shockey and Reggie Bush, the Saints have quite a collection of players that are well known but not terribly good. (Fun prediction: Pierre Thomas runs for 1,300 yards and 12 TD's.)
5. It's hard to defend the pass when you have no cornerbacks. Corners Mike McKenzie and Jason David are gone (though any Saints fan will tell you the team is vastly improved with David nowhere near the field), leaving coverage duties to Randall Gay (snicker), Tracy Porter, and Jabari Greer. Ballhawk safety Darren Sharper offers some help for the Saints' pass defense (23rd overall in the league), but the team's best defense against the pass is still letting Drew Brees' throw for a zillion yards and praying the offense doesn't turn the ball over. Like last year, that may not be enough.
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