Some people are fans of the New Orleans Saints. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the New Orleans Saints. This 2014 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group.
Your team: New Orleans Saints
Your 2013 record: 11-5. Let's see how it ended, guys!
That is the anti-Music City Miracle. That play deserves some kind of historic moniker, like the Marques de Sade, or the Seattle Steamer, or The Who Dateral, or some other name that is as poorly executed as Marques Colston's throw was. Keep in mind that Sean Payton designed that play. Always a good idea to entrust the final throw of a playoff game to someone other than Drew Brees.
Your coach: Sean Payton, who is Josh McDaniels but with actual football acumen. Here is Mike Freeman with a prime example of Sean Payton's paranoid dickishness (the original CBS story this story came from is curiously no longer online):
This is one of my favorite Payton stories: In 2007, a Saints beat writer wrote a story about a player who was going to miss an upcoming game. The writer asked the player if he was going to participate in the game and the player said he wasn't. At the time, Payton claimed the player would indeed play.
So the writer wrote the accurate story — not playing. The following day, around 8 a.m., the writer received a call from Payton, and Payton cursed out the writer calling him a "negative fuck" about a half-dozen times before hanging up.
Payton calling up writers to berate them isn't unusual.
Payton got to martyr himself during the whole Bountygate scandal two years ago, because he's shrewd enough to know that Roger Goodell is the only person in football who is a bigger cock than Sean Payton. I'm sure Payton can hang a cinder block on his dick any time he thinks of himself as the NFL's great outlaw, when in reality he's just a sleazy, paranoid bro-coach who assumes he's smarter than everyone else in the room. If he weren't coaching the Saints, he'd be out making titty videos on Bourbon Street.
If only he were more that like Rob Ryan. GOD BLESS WOLFMAN ROB. Now there's a real outlaw. There's a man who will spend one hour a week designing low hits and the rest of the week importing THC-infused HGH from across the Mexican border. In this offseason alone, Rob went to Hooters, Mardi Gras, a St. Patrick's Day parade, the airport, and a Greek festival. Now that is a full, rich life. That is a man with culture, god dammit.
Your quarterback: Drew Brees. Drew Brees gets a pass from scrutiny because he is a very good quarterback and a nice person. But holy shit, is he a cheesy motherfucker. He is the Adam Levine of football. I saw him host a party during Super Bowl week and no quarterback fits into a crowd of white dudes in Affliction shirts drinking Bud Light Lime-A-Rita better than Drew Brees. Those are his people, man. When his career is over, he's gonna go right into working for ESPN and the transition will be seamless. He'll go from Hall of Famer to talking piece of white bread in no time flat.
What's new that sucks: For the second time in three years, the Saints decided to piss away all of their good will by needlessly picking a fight with one of their best players. I hope winning an argument in semantics with Jimmy Graham was worth the $5 million they saved in the process (lawyer's fees not included). They also dumped Darren Sproles on the Eagles for a fifth-rounder, a trade that will almost certainly result in Sproles catching 17 passes for 178 yards in a divisional playoff game against his former team. This is the reality of the Saints. The Saints love to present themselves as a cute little underdog franchise here to save a downtrodden-but-wonderful city. But at their core, they are still a heartless team run by a skinflint who essentially lucked into seeing his franchise become a beloved public institution just as he was poised to ship them out of town. The stadium is sponsored by Mercedes Benz, for fuck's sake.
On the field, the Saints drafted Brandin Cooks at wideout, and holy shit are people way too excited about Brandin Cooks. SUCH A BURNER. I have lived through Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson. I know exactly how disposable every super-quick Saints wideout is, whether they can throw a lateral eighty feet the wrong way or not. The rookie wideout everyone loves is NEVER the rookie wideout who ends up tearing shit up. Last year's breakout rookie was Keenan Allen, and if you're some fantasy asshole who says you knew totally knew Keenan Allen was gonna be awesome, you are a liar and I will stab you in the hand.
Also, Champ Bailey is here! This was the fourth best pass defense in football last season (such are the wonders of hiring Wolfman Rob), and yet I'm sure the average Saints fan creamed his jeans knowing Champ is here now to collect his golden parachute playing nickelback. Bailey and Jairus Byrd were signed as pass defenders but their main job this season will be to make 200 tackles apiece once the opposing running back has busted through the front seven.
Final note: Turns out your former All-Pro safety is an alleged serial rapist. So that's fun.
What has always sucked: I actually went to Louisiana for the first time last year. I even had gumbo! GUMBO GUMBO GUMBO NOBODY MAKE GUMBO LIKE MY MOMMA MAKE GUMBO YOU CALL THAT GUMBO? GUMBO GUMBO GUMBO. Turns out gumbo is just a bowl of gravy with shit in it. It's fantastic. When I asked my hotel clerk how long the drive to the airport was, she responded, "By gosh! I've never even SEEN our airport!" So there you go: Louisiana™: Enjoy Your Gumbo, Because You Don't Know How To Leave.
I did not actually venture into New Orleans for that trip, which means 50,000 of you are now shouting at me that I didn't get a sense of the real Louisiana. Louisiana is a conglomeration of 90,000 redneck parishes all vying to be the realest part of Louisiana. Suffice it to say the New Orleans remains the place you go to for a bachelor party and end up being unable to find your hotel at 3:00 in the morning. And Bourbon Street remains America's premier destination for people looking to wake up with crabs. The old mayor is in jail. They couldn't keep the power on during the fucking Super Bowl. Worst of all, our Tim Burke reports that there is no live sex at the Live Sex Show. And here I thought you people knew how to cut loose.
Louisiana is also the place writers go to train in all aspects of being a professional southerner: the arrogance, the liberal outrage, the overlong paeans to the food, the insistence that everyone outside of the Deep South has no idea how to live life correctly, the Jack White-ish brand of music snobbery, the mandatory "you've never been to a football game until you've been to an LSU night game" brag (LSU night games are pushed on people more than The Wire itself), and all the fucking vampires. Holy shit, that's enough Southern vampires, guys. We're on good on the Southern vampires. No more vampires.
By the way, the WHO DAT! chant? That's from minstrel shows. So that's fucked up. HAIL TO THE REDSKINS is in better taste.
What might not suck: Brees is still Brees and will still throw for 5,000 yards with a pity handoff to Mark Ingram thrown in once every twentieth play.
Hear it from Saints fans!
I might be the only fan in New Orleans who is tired of watching Drew Brees use a hard count to draw the other team offsides. If you can't count on your stable of eight mediocre running backs to get you one yard then send in the punt unit.
The bandwagon stretches all the way to Alabama now. If the Titans or Falcons win a Super Bowl watch our fanbase decrease by half.
Drew Brees is a boring man. I appreciate his gaudy stats but in any interview he is total canned processed QB. People give Peyton Manning shit for being a football robot. Brees is just running on a more advanced operating system.
We bolstered our perpetually floundering and Vaccaro-less secondary by letting Malcolm Jenkins walk, signing a busted up Buffalo Bill and the ghost of Champ Bailey, then presumably exhausting remaining funds footing Rob Ryan's Blimpie tab.
1) Mark Ingram has one good game and suddenly the fans are giddy again. We are more fickle than a 16 year old girl deciding on prom dresses.
2) While I'm happy for hardcore fans that finally got to see our team win one, we are now so overpopulated with bandwagon fans that it's beyond maddening. Seriously, Facebook is one big living room that you can't leave. "I'm turning this crap off. . ." "I've seen enough . . ."
3) That "prolific" offense spun wheels in the mud all year last year. What did we do to fix that? We replaced Sproles with a fast, short rookie wideout. Surely that will get things going again.
4) Did you know Jimmy Graham has a basketball background? I haven't heard that enough from announcers yet.
5) Stop with the "Who Dat?" already. I will make an exception if you've never owned a cassette tape. If you have, you're old enough to know better.
6) I swear, if you listen to local sports radio long enough, you'll still get at least one caller saying we should consider "bringing back Sharper".
It has been nine goddamn years since Katrina, and it still gets brought up before and during every fucking Saints game.
Our fans are so stupid. If you dare criticize our QB for doing dumb shit on the field, you get called a "closet Falcons fan." Drew Brees threw 12 interceptions last year and 19 the year before, but according to our mouth breather fans, none of them were his fault.
I was planning on proposing to my then girlfriend (now my wife) at the Superdome, so I called the Saints organization to try and get field passes. After being transferred numerous times, I somehow got Mickey Loomis' number and explained to him how my girlfriend was a die-hard fan and how it would make her very happy to propose to her on the field. He told me, "We don't do that" and hung up on me. Dick.
The city wasn't even dry yet from the worst disaster in its history, and our used car salesman of an owner was toying with the idea of moving the team to San Antonio. Our head coach looks like Frankie Muniz grew up, got the mumps, then got handed a headset. Drew Brees named one of his kids Baylen, that sounds like some hipster skydiving company. Our radio hosts consist of two former players, one of whom sounds like coach Fran from the Waterboy, and the other is usually loaded by halftime...and that's if we're winning. At one time, our team had not one but TWO quarterbacks named Billy Joe on the roster. Our most recent HOF inductee once owed the largest child support back payment amount in state history. The only bright side is that football season at least allows us to be distracted from the next mass shooting on one of the most famous tourist streets in the world.
This team is a perennial contender that cannot get up to play crappy teams. Every year it never fails, the Saints will look like world beaters until God forbid they have to go play Sam Bradford's backup. Literally the only time the Saints have convincingly beat the always terrible Rams under Sean Payton was the one year that Sam Bradford actually played in the game. In both 2011 and 2013 the Saintscould have secured a higher seed in the playoffs by just beating the godforsaken Rams. And they couldn't do it. Even the 2009 Super Bowl team lost to the 3-13 Bucs with homefield advantage on the line. The Saints play the Browns this year, so watch out. In 2010 in the Superdome vs. the Browns the Saints were blown out as Brees threw two pick-sixes to a defensive lineman who weighed like 300 pounds, and still no one could stop him from scoring. Don't put your money on the Saints in any game they are supposed to easily win, especially with playoffs on the line, because chances are they will lose in embarrassing fashion.
Because we forgot to pay the light bill before hosting the Super Bowl.
Last season we scored 142 points on the road compared to a bolstering 272 at home.
That's a 130 point difference. We're like two totally different teams, you can barely recognize us outside the dome.
The most we scored on the road was 27 points against New England in a game that we should have won. We ended up totally fucking up vs the Panthers in another game we should have won that ended up costing us the division, a home playoff game, and a possible entry into the NFC Championship game. This is exactly what they did in 2010 and 2011 when they laid down and blew it against bad teams we should have blown out, costing us a high seed in the playoffs and ultimately the reason we can't get past the fucking divisional round ever since lucking into that magical 2009 season where our offense was smoking hot and our defense somehow caught every interception.
Sean Payton's head is a very strange shape and too small for his body. He has the head shape of a person who snorts Vicodin and has sex with random skanks.
The Saint's alleged league-best fan base is entirely a post-Katrina development. The upper deck of the Superdome was entirely empty for the 10 years before Katrina. The Saints used to struggle to sell out playoff games.
Tom Benson is by far the richest man in Louisiana, threatened to move the team multiple times, and yet the state falls over itself to give him free stuff as opposed to mitigating some of the most desperate poverty in the country.
Drew Brees is a very greedy man. He's basically one of those crazy people who thinks Jesus wants us to make as much money as possible and produce as many kids as possible. He makes $20 million dollars a year sees it necessary to degrade himself in Pepsi commercials with One Direction.
Drew Brees is getting older and less grittier. Threw some very un-Brees like picks late last year. He won't be dead by Week Three like Locker or Romo, but everyone has this team figured out offensively.
Another year of Wolfman Rob and his chinese takeout menu defense, another year of Arena League scores. Wet, 1 ply, hotel room toilet paper can stop more shit than the Saints.
Personal anecdote: When the Saints had to play the Falcons in San Antonio after Katrina, Tom Benson came zipping through the parking lot while we were tailgating like Douglas Fucking MacArthur. The Saints were a heartbeat away from relocating permanently to the Home Depot pop up barn known as the Alamodome. Good luck with that, Raiders!!
The conspiracy crowd is still going to have legs this year. The same crowd who blamed every loss in the bounty suspension season on the NFL. And did the same last year as well. Why? Because people are actually pissed down here that New Orleans got passed up for hosting the Super Bowl for Minneapolis. It had to be a conspiracy, not the fact that the lights went out at the Superdome. JUST THINK A THA TAX REVNU WE HAD GOTTEN YAYAYAYAYA. Goodell is always going to be some shifty character to the crowd down here. The Saints will never lose on their own merits.
Get ready for it. Every Drew Brees interception is going to be an Illuminati-inspired event caused by chemtrails somehow penetrating the roof of our domed stadium. Or GMO food. Or Katrina. Again.
But every time Drew Brees throws a touchdown, a rebuilt house gets its siding.
Our fan base is made up of drunk Boudreaux's and the Thibodeaux's arguing over whose maw maw makes the best gumbo and douchebag "artists" who take themselves wayyy to seriously. Our coach is buddies with Kenny Chesney. Most Saints fans are LSU fans (because, you know, LSU fans). Our mascot is a dog and some type of gremlin that has a gigantic ass attached to the front of his face.