Seems The Bengals Are Getting Dikembe Mutombo'd In Their Attempt To Interview Yet Another Saints' Assistant For Their Defensive Coordinator Position
Yikes. Sounds like somebody pissed off Sean Payton, and I'm placing my bets on the organization that apparently didn't take the hint when their interest in Dennis Allen immediately got one-upped by a contract extension. Truthfully, he should be flattered that he finally has a defensive staff worth flirting with for the first time in forever, but I wouldn't tell Picasso what brush to paint with so I'm damn sure not suggesting Sean Payton tone down his professional pettiness. Plus, you'd have to consider it great news that the Saints are doing everything in their power to keep their house in order, and that goes especially for a room of defensive backs that have become as cohesive off the field as they have on in posing under the watchful eye of Aaron Glenn.
The truth is that it's only a matter of time before AG is coordinating his own defense (or Dennis Allen is coaching his own team, for that matter). Until that time comes (and the Saints are no longer able to actively set the clocks back), however, he's a huge asset to a young, promising secondary has taken far more strides than the statistics would lead you to believe. There's a reason he was on the radar of a particularly successful curmudgeon of a head coach that knows a thing or two about maximizing defensive potential last offseason, and it's likely the same reason that Sean Payton shattered Cincinnati's radar as ruthlessly as he smashed their fire alarm.
I do wonder how Aaron Glenn feels about being denied an opportunity for a promotion, but - having gotten a first-hand look at the Bengals' defense when Drew Brees and Co. fed 'em a 50 burger - I think there is probably a mutual understanding that it would only be a step up an entirely unstable latter. In my extremely biased opinion, he's much better off - both short term and long term - continuing to reinforce a Super Bowl-worthy secondary that has no conceivable reason not to improve. So, hopefully an interception of his interview offer is seen as more of a compliment to his capabilities than any type of constraint on his career.
Saints' Fans Raised Over $57,000 For Charity While Boycotting The Super Bowl, Like A Bunch Of "Babies"
The Boycott Bowl? Ohhhh, you man that foolish display from infantile fans who had the gall to let their faith in the NFL be compromised by the most inexcusable and monumentally "missed" call in league history...
How dare the thousands upon thousands of unconditional members of the Who Dat Nation leave their homes to publicly bitch, moan, and stomp their feet - in a way that was oddly reminiscent of cheering, singing, and dancing - instead of devoting their Sunday afternoon to a (shitty) Super Bowl for which they clearly felt spite?! It's as if they thought it was okay to host a city-wide tantrum just because it was filled with the blasting of music during parades that flowed as smoothly as the drinks and made for an atmosphere in which people were more than happy to fund their own fun by donating money to a great cause...
Now that I think about it, I suppose one might be inclined to define such a large gathering of well-intentioned people as a "party". However, who told Saints' fans they were allowed to do anything other than wallow silently in their self-pity so that others could enjoy the big game free of a reminder of its undeserved participation? Are we all just supposed to be okay with a city rallying around the misfortunes of its beloved franchise and thus turning them into an opportunity to raise tens of thousands of dollars to be locally directed at creating a better today for the children of tomorrow?
Bullshit. Get over it New Orleans, but definitely don't do so by showing your spirit, selflessness, smile, or sense of community. Instead, grow up and go whine about the watchability of the Super Bowl on social media...ya babies.
I Thought It Was 2019, But Saints' David Onyemata Received A Citation For Marijuana Possession After Tipped Off Police Raided His Apartment
TheAdvocate- New Orleans Saints defender David Onyemata was given a misdemeanor citation accusing him of illegally possessing marijuana in his Elmwood apartment late last month, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Earlier in the year, a Sheriff’s Office narcotics investigator received tip “that a quantity of marijuana products” were going to be at an apartment in the 5300 block of Citrus Boulevard, agency Capt. Jason Rivarde said. The agent considered the tip reliable and secured a warrant to search the apartment, which turned out to be Onyemata’s and was raided Jan. 29.
The Sheriff’s Office found marijuana, cannabis oil, marijuana edibles and hemp powder the Tuesday of the search, Rivarde said. Onyemata, whose first name is Ebuka, “was cooperative” with investigators and received a summons to appear in court at a later date, according to Rivarde.
The Sheriff's Office believes the marijuana and other items were for Onyemata's personal use, Rivarde said. But in Louisiana, possessing marijuana is illegal except in rare circumstances that the Sheriff's Office said didn't apply in this case.
League discipline for marijuana possession varies, though a positive drug test typically results in a four-game suspension.
This story legitimately confounds me six ways to Sunday. So much so that I can't even direct my ire at David Onyemata for tempting the fate of a failed drug test from an idiotic league that derives far more joy from handing out suspensions for the use of medically beneficial drugs than the objective person derived from watching its sham of a Super Bowl. I don't know what the NFL's penalty is for possessing a reasonable amount of pot, instead of pissing the remnence of its internal presence into a cup, but I can't even begin to care with how confounding the other circumstances regarding this story seem.
I want to be mad, because the worst case scenario is that depth in the middle of the Saints' d-line could be incredibly depleted to start next season, seeing as Sheldon Rankins will still be on the shelf and Tyeler Davison is set to be a free agent. Unfortunately, I just keep circling back trying to answer the same damn question before I get to the anger stage. That question, of course, being...huh?
First and foremost, marijuana being illegal within sniffing distance of the city limits where you could be a plastic cup away from being able to walk the streets getting belligerently drunk enough to find yourself face-first in some horse dung is a huge conflict of attitude. Handing out citations for having a small quantity of weed stashed safely in your New Orleans' apartment would be like Amsterdam prohibiting pornography while profiting off prostitution. It's a juxtaposition that's nearly as stupid as the NFL preferring it's most battered and beaten athletes pop pills as opposed to puff trees.
Second of all, a raid? Whatever David Onyemata did to piss off the person who ratted him out over what sounds like a couple grams, a weed pen, and a space brownie or two must have been 10x more illegal than presumably getting a little high on his own personal supply. The officer on scene should have went back, traced the tip, and arrested the snitch for making him waste his damn time getting a search warrant for nothing more than some ganja, as NOLA's crime rate suggests it has far bigger problems than people coughing up the occasional lung on their couch.
At the end of the day, no matter how he got caught, David Onyemata has to know better than to test the repressed Resident Assistant of professional sports league. When you're in the NFL, you simply gots to stay off the wee-duh, no matter how much it may help you deal with the pain you're inflicted from bashing skulls with absolute monsters of men. He'll have to take whatever suspension will likely come his way on the chin and hope it doesn't send the Saints off to another slow start, because he knew he was breaking the rules...even if the rules are about a decade too dumb.
Rest In Peace To This Saints' Fan That Passed Away In Protest Prior To A Super Bowl That Would Have Killed Him
Henry A. Jaume, Sr. Not just a charismatic hero whose life and livelihood was dedicated to fighting for his country and protecting its citizens, but also a man of principle. We will have to wait on the autopsy before definitively saying that same principle is responsible for him passing away peacefully just prior to the playing of a sad, Saints-less excuse of a Super Bowl. However, I speak on behalf of the whole Who Dat Nation in saying that a small part of him died the day Bill Vinovich and crew closed their eyes, tucked their tails, and spit in the proverbial face of every principled professional that either came before them or will come after them.
Now, I wouldn't go as far as charging them with murder, but would it be a stretch to say that the NFL, by way of a complete lack of integrity, prematurely pulled the plug on a proud patriot and a former police officer? Even having to ask the question tells you all you need to know about the level of injustice levied against a franchise and a fanbase that I only somewhat satirically suspect lost a funny family man hours before they would have had the rightful NFC Champion been crowned.
If the citywide block party that was 'Boycott Bowl' had an MVP award then Henry A. Jaume, Sr. would be the consensus choice after taking his protest to the grave, but I'm certain he'd trade in that honor for the chance to be sent upstairs eternally while watching the black & gold in the Super Bowl. And to think, here we were assuming that all the NFL stole was a conference championship.
The Saints Weren't In The Super Bowl, But New Orleans Still Won What Was An Otherwise Uneventful Sunday
First of all, an apology to the haters, of which even one is too many. I'm sorry you were about as fun at high school house parties as the hosting parents that came home from vacation early...
Petitions? Personal "injury" lawsuits? Requests to replay? All admittedly their own ridiculous brand of petty and childish, but if partying through the pain makes Saints' fans "babies" then pass me a pacifier and an adult diaper so I don't have to worry about breaking the seal anywhere near Bourbon Street.
A loud, proud, and apparently misunderstood legion of loyalists that shockingly weren't feeling any less scorned ahead of a championship game their team (now unquestionably) should have been a part of took an otherwise depressing day and turned it into a city-wide celebration. They collectively flipped their middle finger at a game that proved to be even more of an uninteresting sham than they assumed it to be, and - through better and absolute worst - made Super Bowl Sunday all about their Saints. Predictably, Boycott Bowl was really just a black & gold block party with a "fuck the officials" theme, so I fail to see how anyone who wasn't just having traumatizing flashbacks to teenage years that were mostly spent missing out could consider it anything other than a quintessential display of the fickle beast that is fandom.
The Who Dat Nation is probably never going to truly "get over" one of the most grave injustices in NFL history. However, those that kept clamoring for them to do so probably should have taken the cue to shut the fuck up when the visual of thousands of people drinking and dancing away their despair came across their screen. Especially since those same ignoramuses would have taken a great deal of pleasure in mocking the best fanbase in sports had only a mere spattering of supporters taken to the streets with an entirely understandable shared spite for the NFL. That group therapy session was classic NOLA and anyone who thinks the mood during it was anything but jovial could never possibly relate to the uplifting experience of rooting for the Saints. The most pissed off fans on the planet refused to sit on their ass and self loathe, instead decided to resiliently take unconditional pride in being a part of something special, and there are actually people out there that somehow came to the conclusion that that's a bad thing?
In scoring approximately one single point for each of their fans in attendance, the Rams proved the entire point of what was more of an undeniably impressive parade than a protest, which is that they never even deserved to be on that field or represented in those stands. New Orleans Saints' fans actually enjoyed a Sunday they spent in full appreciation of their team. Prior to the Patriots winning, that's more than can be said for literally anyone else during what I've been led to believe was a lame excuse for a professional football game, never mind one that ultimately crowned World Champions*.
The Saints Fired Their Special Teams' Staff, Which - For The First Time In Forever - Might Actually Be Bad News
If only because I would imagine it's easier to find a quality return man than it is to find a quality group of especially specialized coaches, I find this news to be disproportionally disconcerting. Unless I'm missing something, as I very well may be having shockingly not dissected the game tape from every change of possession throughout the season, Tommy Lee Lewis tightening the collective sphincter of the Who Dat Nation in catching punts that he rarely ever advanced was the only underperforming aspect of an inherently under-appreciated part of the game.
Of course, all I really have to go off in judging the supply and demand of high-end Special Teams' coaches is the traumatizing memories of Saints' teams of yesteryear finding foolish ways to fail their quarterback in seeming destined to end up 7-9, but - in my personal opinion - that feels like more than enough. Much like a guy dating a girl that's entirely out of his league, it seems as though Sean Payton should have clung desperately to a crew whose results make it look as though he was basically kissing frogs with his previous coordinators at the position.
From Thomas Morstead-to-Wil Lutz-to-Taysom Hill-to-Justin Hardee-to-Craig Robertson-to-Chris Banjo, the Saints finally have players that are known for actually being reliable in relatively anonymous roles. Presumably, the highly-heralded Mike Westhoff (and Co.) was responsible for putting them in those roles, so this re-staffing seems like a senseless overreaction to falling victim to one predictable, momentum-swinging fake punt from the best armed leg in the NFL. I have more respect for Sean Payton (and his extremely detailed rebuilding of this team) to think that's all it is, but finding ways to not only not lose in hilariously hopeless fashion, but also finding ways to win without the offense or defense on the field has been too welcomed a change for me to welcome any change. I thought I'd sooner see another River City Relay gone to waste than a kicking game that was more special than "special", so I hope Darren Rizzi is comfortable is prepared silence some skepticism.
Roger Goodell Finally Spoke About The Pass Interference That Wasn't, If You'd Like To Waste A Few Minutes Listening To Him Talk Out Of His Ass
As a bigger man than the one paid 40 million dollars a year to oversee a league that is completely confounding in how profitable it is despite its best efforts to self-sabotage, it's time for me to come clean. While I was ranting and raving about Roger Goodell hiding under a rock like the robotic rodent that he is, I was fully aware that whatever empty ass answer he eventually offered was going to be unsatisfactory at best and absolutely infuriating at worst. Due entirely to low expectations, I'd say he managed to land somewhere in the middle, but the point is that - unlike the idiotic analysts that chastised Sean Payton's late-game play-calling - I'm able to admit that my criticism was convenient. Be it silence or stupidity, I was going to crucify the Commissioner for being either too intellectually incompetent or too professionally castrated to adequately respond to the NFL's integrity being completely compromised. I know, I know. How dare I?
On to the idiocy, which started with a compelling proclamation that the players had, indeed, spoken with Roger Goodell. The Saints' most angsty and boisterous bullshit detector determined...
...that was...::act surprised now::...a lie!
I'd say that it could be a simple miscommunication, but that would be a very weird way to refer to an amount of communication that would make a full-on ghosting seem graceful by comparison. I was going to suggest that Michael Thomas' memory might be off, but then I remembered that he actually wasn't the defenseless receiver who had his brain rattled by an attempted beheading while the ball had yet to cross county lines. Oh well, on to the other highlights!
Those include the type of laugh that lingers with its unfortunate audience well into a sleepless night. A reminder that bad officiating is, in fact, bad. A heads-up that being human actually absolves you of being some combination of an idiot and a coward. An admittance that the NFL has the technology, but they won't use it for "judgement calls", regardless of whether or not said "judgement calls" only require the level judgement used in determining whether or not you should put on pants before going out in public. I suppose there were a bunch of other hollow words and half-assed deflections that indirectly implied nothing is going to change, but - as a whole - it was about as forward-facing as Ace Ventura talking out of his ass-crack.
In retrospect, you might say that makes his prolonged silence prior seem golden, but was retrospect really required in concluding that Roger Goodell wasn't going to make things any better by opening his mouth?
There's Only One Problem With The Browns Calling To Notify Cameron Jordan They Had Selected Him In The 4th Round Of The 2011 NFL Draft
Man, if only the Cleveland Browns knew how the career of the do-it-All-Pro defensive end was going to turn out then there's no way they would have let Cameron Jordan (in that order) slip through their fingers.........while he was in New Orleans getting ready to introduce himself to the Saints' staff?
In all seriousness, I regret to inform you that this mistake isn't nearly as stupid as we'd all like to believe. It's certainly not below the Browns' organization, especially circa 2011 (or 4 months ago, for that matter), to not update their draft board and jump at the chance to select a player who was already well en route to the facilities of the franchise that had him called up to the stage in front of literally everyone as their first round pick a day earlier. In fact, it speaks volumes that most immediately assumed that to have been the case upon reading the caption above. Unfortunately, that's not what happened. I hate to ruin what would be an all-time "oh Cleveland..." moment, but far smarter men have had their minds melted by the Cameron, Jordan/Jordan, Cameron mix-up...
Now, those smarter men definitely didn't have the responsibility to double or triple-check the number before placing a life-changing call to a young, increasingly anxious athlete, but we're talking about the Cleveland Browns here. You know, an organization that recently tried to trade a 2nd and 3rd round pick for a 2nd or 3rd string quarterback, and were only saved from their own stupidity by their inability to file the paperwork on time. If only because the bar is almost as low as Hue Jackson's winning percentage, I think it's fair to offer them praise for actually picking the player they meant to pick, regardless of their dyslexia in trying to share their excitement with him after the fact.
Now that...that is something that can certainly help the Who Dat Nation accelerate the seemingly never-ending healing process. Drew Brees being as classy as ever in devastating and undeserved defeat was predictably encouraging and all...
...but nothing speaks to the Saints' resilience quite like their head coach, who has been battle-tested by the bullshit of BountyGate, having already regained full form as the pettiest of prick in the NFL's ass. All-too-relatably, it apparently took him a few days of eating his feelings in the dark while diving head first into the distraction of mindless entertainment...
...but the ability to keep his chin up, his head held high, his chest puffed out, and his zipper perfectly positioned to send a message of mockery that was only as subtle as a turquoise undershirt could possibly be is what makes Sean Payton the quintessential voice of both New Orleans and the tight-knit team that has collective taken on its/his personality. If there ever a sign that the Saints will, once again, rebound from having their season shocked to a screeching halt, it's their long-time leader getting a head start on the retaliation tour before the Super Bowl he had stolen from him has even taken place.
I think I speak for the entire Who Dat Nation in saying no one is going to fully get over what will eventually go down as the most infamous non-call in NFL history until they get back at a league that had absolutely no shame after screwing them out of chance at a championship. Therefore, not even sitting across a candle-lit dinner table from the most voluptuous of date has left me as excited for the potential of what's to come as Sean Payton showing juuuust enough chest to prove he has team's back in flashing some shade in the direction of a complete clown of a commissioner.
Just about the last thing the alter-ego of 'Petty Payton' needed was an offseason-long enabling, but the first thing a perpetually pissed off group of players and fans needed was a reassurance that - from the top down - payback was already being prioritized. The clown might as well keep ducking and covering like a coward, because the amount of shit the Saints are about to shower on a circus of a league is going to make him jealous of the Barnum & Bailey employees that only had to worry about scooping up elephant dung.
In Speaking About The Controversial No-Call For The First Time Publicly, The NFL Immediately Showed their Greed
TheAdvocate- Replaying even a few minutes of last Sunday's NFC title game would force a delay in the Super Bowl and confound years of intricate preparation for an event that demands an investment of “more than $100 million,” the NFL’s chief financial officer said Friday in a sworn affidavit.
The statement from Joseph Siclare, the league’s executive vice president and CFO, was submitted with a legal filing by the NFL to yank one of two pending lawsuits over Sunday’s officiating debacle from a state civil court to federal court in New Orleans.
The filing marks the league’s first formal response to a legal Hail Mary by a pair of ticket-holders crying foul — and demanding damages — over the infamous “no call” that ended the Saints’ Super Bowl dreams.
The NFL’s response to the lawsuit does not address the blown call, which came with less than two minutes to go and the Saints deep in Los Angeles Rams territory.
Ah, me thinks the greedy doth protest too much.
No matter what the rulebook might state, the cries to replay even a single second of the NFC Championship Game were always of the crazy. Look no further than the ring leader of that retroaction for Undisputed proof that it was a less than grounded call to action...
That being said, the only thing more telling than the NFL's silence was the quickness with which they got down to finances once they did, under the threat of legal action, actually lend a voice to being unwilling to go back and photoshop one of the worst visuals in league history.
It's not surprising that the NFL's main concern was money, but - given the variety of routes they could have taken in leading back to the notion that re-doing the last two minutes of a conference championship a week after the fact is objectively ridiculous - it was pretty damn stupid for them to disclose freely that their decision was based on their bottomline. Be it speaking to a lack of precedence, offering an inarguable reminder that bad calls (and bad no-calls) are an inherent and unfortunate part of sports, or just listing off the logistical nightmares that would arise as a result of rushing the Rams back to New Orleans to right an obvious wrong, the NFL basically had six ways to avoid looking selfish.
Instead, after a full week of deliberation, they used their first public comments to basically slap a price tag - albeit a hefty one - on their integrity. You know, just in case you forgot that the league you dedicate a day of your week to is shamelessly biased in prioritizing only that which fills its pockets.
As competitive as he may be, Taylor Lewan's main goal while playing in the Pro Bowl mirrors that of every other participant, as - fire and foremost - he'd like to head back to the locker room with his ligaments in tact. Therefore, there's not all that much to take away from a clip that is basically just proof positive that the NFL's All Star Game is a complete waste of everyone's time. If there were a reward that matched the risk of putting actual effort into blocking someone who is entirely unfamiliar with playing the opposing position then Alvin Kamara's nose-ring would more than likely be piercing his asshole right about now. That's pretty much indisputable.
That being said, I still think the ease with which the do-it-all playmaker bent the edge was a testament to a level of athleticism that has appeared absolutely effortless since Alvin Kamara's first preseason appearance. I don't necessarily know for a fact what his recess resume looks like, but I have very little doubt he was the kid who was annoyingly unbeatable at everything. Obviously he'd need to suffer from a decade-long addiction to steroid-infused beignets before he was capable of providing a 300-pound behemoth a worthy opponent, but specialization is probably the only thing that stops his freakish fluidity from being applicable on the opposite side of the ball. Personally, I'd rather not see the insanely versatile lynchpin to the Saints' offense rush the passer in a meaningless game that was all-but-over, but - after having watched him do so unscathed - it's impossible to not appreciate how gifted he is as a football player, as opposed to just a "running back".
State Of The NFL's "Union": There's Reportedly Concern Around The League That 4 Referees From The NFC Championship Game Have Southern California Ties
If I have learned anything from the NFL's return to Los Angeles it's that living in Southern California is only as sure a sign that your rooting interest lies with one of their football teams as it is a sign that you spend your Sunday afternoons surfing. Other cities maybe, but - as a collective - the City of Angels is far from riding with the Rams come hell when there is high water nearby.
Therefore, where they happen to call home is pretty far down on my personal list of reasons to reprimand the referees from the NFC Championship game. If you want to argue that the success of a team in a massive market that's about as tapped as your local dive bar's stale keg of stout, as its target audience doesn't much care for it, while they try to finance the type of multi-billion dollar abomination capable of appealing to celebrities matters more to the league than their own integrity then you might have a point. You're just not going to convince me that the blindness of an officiating crew was as regional as it was cowardly. In my opinion, sharing the fear of all-but-ending a playoff game with a penalty (no matter how obvious), as opposed to sharing either a conflict of interest or an area code, was the inspiration behind their incompetence.
That being said, having even the hottest of air get breathed back into this controversy is, for lack of a better phrase, a breath of fresh air. The NFL, who has basically just watched the "shield" get pelted as they stood behind it during a week-long game of hide-and-meek, simply doesn't deserve to be let off the hook here. So while the Saints and their fans are being chastised for a failure to get over having a Super Bowl appearance stolen from them, the "concern" of third, fourth, and fifth parties serve as evidence of exactly why they haven't.
I don't own a tin-foil cap, but teams that weren't even affected by the non-call are apparently looking everywhere, address books included, for an answer. If you don't think that speaks to just how inexcusable and unforgivable it was then you might actually be deaf, because it's not like Roger Goodell has spent any time occupying your ears this past week. The failure to throw a flag more than likely wasn't the result of a conspiracy, but that doesn't mean the collective decision not to isn't worthy of a handful of conspiracy theories. Everyone on the planet immediately identified it that helmet-to-helmet hit on a defenseless receiver as insanely illegal, except the three people standing within spitting distance who are paid to do so. Mathematically speaking, odds are there was a little more to it than professional officials all simultaneously making the worst "judgement call" of their lives at the worst possible time. Even if I couldn't care less of their residential radius to the Rams.
Falcons' Fans Tried To Crowd-Source A Billboard In New Orleans To Troll The Saints, And Somehow Managed To '28-3' Themselves
NOLA- According to an Atlanta Falcons subreddit, Falcons fans raised more than $2,000 though a GoFundMe account to place billboards in downtown New Orleans alluding to the calamitous playoff losses the New Orleans Saints have gone through the last two seasons. That money has been refunded after the organizers could not find a New Orleans company to accept their business and display the message.
The forum had users vote in a poll to select the message displayed on the billboard, which was to be placed within a half mile of the Superdome. Among the top five were, “Atlanta Weather Report: Sunday Feb. 3rd, 42 degrees, NO BREES," and “Last 2 Saint playoff scores ‘It’s a NOLA thing.’” Super Bowl LIII will take place in Atlanta on Feb. 3.
The mock-up image posted on the forum was signed at the bottom, “brought to you by Atlanta football fans.”
Among the responses from companies that rejected the billboards: “You won’t get anyone to put that board up here in NOLA and why would you want to. Drew Brees is more of a classy player than anyone in the entire league. Shame on you.”
What is this, what is this? I think I caught a glimpse of my teeth in the mirror out of the corner of my eye, but I'm too shook to double check as that sight would require a reincarnation of a smile that I was quite certain had died right alongside the NFL's integrity. This feeling, which I believe I remember as joy, is one that has lied dormant for the last week, so credit to Falcons' fans for doing the unthinkable by scraping the pan in slightly uplifting the scorched spirits of Saints' fans. The Who Dat Nation was so vulnerable to being kicked while they were down that they might as well have been on a tee, and their hated rival's failure of a fan base somehow didn't even need the loathsomeness of Lucy to Charlie Brown themselves in a form and fashion that could boost Cody Parkey's confidence.
To think that the loyalty of a New Orleans-based business could be bought with nothing more than $2,000 is a laughable underestimation of the Saints' worth to their city, and yet I'd consider contributing even a quarter to that dumb, dime-a-dozen troll job is financially irresponsible. Honestly, while being an undeniable indictment of Atlanta's interest in its own football team, everything about this sequence of events is completely and utterly sad. So much so, in fact, that - if only for a brief moment - it actually reminded Saints' fans what it's like to be happy.
The black & gold haven't exactly painted themselves as the most grounded group over the last week, as the cries of conspiracy have gotten pretty far out of hand, but at least they can take solace in the fact that they aren't the ones that could barely afford to buy a clue after their reality check bounced. As the backlash from the 'NOLA no-call' is blasted across multiple billboards in an enemy territory whose ad-space is theoretically in high demand for the next week, said enemy couldn't even 'Rise Up' enough funds for retribution...
The wound is still too fresh to focus on football, but leave it to Falcons' fans to unintentionally offer Saints' fans another reminder of how blessed they are not to root for Atlanta at a time when they needed it the most. That's the one offer New Orleans will take them up on.
Genius Footballer Brandin Cooks Intentionally Dropped A 3rd Down Pass That Would Have Lost Yardage On The Rams' Game-Winning Drive In OT
ProFootballTalk- “Brandin Cooks, talk about a smart football player” McVay told reporters, via NFL.com. “Having the presence when I give him a terrible play call on the third down to drop it, knowing that it would have been a terrible play where he intentionally drops it.”
Goff didn’t realize it was an intentional drop until later and said he should have thrown the ball at Cooks’ feet. Cooks saved him.
“I think it’s one of those things where you see what happened, one of the D-ends and Marshon, the way that they played it, being able to be in the backfield before I technically really was able to catch the ball and get upfield,” Cooks said. “I think it was more important to save those yards, not that Greg needs them, but rather play it safe than sorry.”
As it turns out, the person that coined the phrase "to the victor goes the spoils" didn't account for the rare instance in which the victor was determined by a miscarriage of justice.
So, I guess my hands are pretty tied in how I respond to the extremely gracious fluffing of a receiver who shoo-fly'd what theoretically could have been a key 3rd pass as soon as he realized it was doomed to fail. I guess I can't bring up that Brandin Cooks, as evidenced by both his tenure in New Orleans and his early exit from last year's Super Bowl, is as objectively smart at playing football as he is objectively bad at breaking tackles. I guess I won't mention that Sean McVay, and apparently anyone that's ever shared a toilet seat with him, is so far beyond reproach as a play-caller that we've turned even his worst decisions into opportunities to praise his personnel. I guess I don't have the liberty to say that Greg and his preposterously powerful leg really saved a phenom of a head coach and and an intelligent wide receiver (no sarcasm in this sentence, by the way) from looking like the ring leaders of a situational circus.
If - and only if - I were offered the leeway, I'd really love to point out the lengths we are going to applaud an intentionally dropped screen pass by a speedy, but not-so-slippery wide receiver that was inevitably going to result in an absurdly long FG attempt that, had it been missed, could have cost the Rams both field position and a Super Bowl berth.
Unfortunately, the Saints lost so I'm required by the law of retrospect to instead shame Sean Payton. How dare he actually play to win? Calling two pass plays that would have resulted in first downs or touchdowns if not for the most accurate QB in NFL history short-arming a wide-open slant to the most sure-handed wide-receiver in football and the absence of a yellow flag following the most egregious uncalled penalty in playoff history? What was he thinking?! He should have changed his entire approach to the sport and played it insanely safe, like McVay, in hoping a kicker and a clock would bail him out with a gift basket of brilliance to spoil his players with for the next two weeks.
In all seriousness, Brandin Cooks balled out against his former team and smacking the ball down was the smart play. Falling into the trap of fawning over it like forcing a 57 yard field goal instead of a 60 yard field goal is some big-brained chess move, on the other hand, is the convenient play.
Despite The NFL's Thumb Remaining Up Its Ass, Nickell Robey-Coleman Has Been Fined For His Helmet-To-Helmet Hit On A Defenseless Receiver
Well, I'll be damned if this never-ending nightmare hasn't finally spawned an opportunity for humor. That humor may be as dark as I've kept my bedroom in mourning the loss of a stolen season, and I might still be a solid month away from remembering how to smile or laugh at it. Still, it's impossible to deny the half-assed hilarity in the NFL being caught in the Catch-22 of wanting to stay silent in waiting for the backlash to blow over while feeling legally obligated to prove that they definitely, totally, and genuinely still care about putting their foot down in regards to player safety.
That picture is worth a thousand flags. A blatantly intentional helmet-to-helmet hit is worth $26,739. But the mental image of Roger Goodell cowering under his desk while launching the grenade that Nickell Robey-Coleman, in conjunction with gutless officials, officially made a mockery of the NFL's prioritization of head injuries at a time that also called into question the entire of its "integrity" in front of millions of people? That's worth...well...the type of masochistic amusement that's best enjoyed under the comfort of your own comforter after the imbibing of warm liquor. Of course, that's assuming you can continue to suppress the type of spite that will eventually/inevitably lead all Saints' fans to have a psychotic episode somewhere down the line.
Also, best of luck to Nickell Robey-Coleman in his appeal. I'm sure publicly and continually puffing out his chest about his attempted beheading of the player he failed to actually cover during the biggest play of his life will serve him well throughout the process...
There's A Better Chance I Watch The Super Bowl (I Won't) Than Treat This 'Sean Payton To The Cowboys' Rumor As Anything More Than A Pounding Of Sand
Full disclosure, I hardly have it in me. This week has sucked the passion for football straight out of my body, and it's that same passion I would typically apply in verbally wiping my ass with the 276th Sean Payton-related rumor that's been spread throughout the last five years. This particular one was started by...wait for it...a Cowboys' scout that's probably pretty tired of having the picks on which he stakes his reputation underutilized by Jerry Jones' ginger, clap-happy puppet. Therefore, it's undeserving of the type of piss and vinegar I would usually pour into such a shameless grasping at the ankles of the Saints' long-time head coach.
And look, I get it. Sean Payton has roots in Dallas. He has a history with the Cowboys, and - for some ungodly reason - shares a mutual respect with the half-dead dickhead that's been sabotaging his own dysfunctional franchise by overvaluing his opinion for years. There are plenty of dots to be connected, and yet not a single one of those connections is as strong as the bond between him and the future Hall Of Fame quarterback with which he has a storied, sentimental history and a damn near a telepathic relationship.
I know the Saints' franchise currently appears vulnerable, but we're talking about a young, Super Bowl-worthy roster with a collective personality, mentality, and attitude that perfectly mirrors that of its architect. By years of design, this Saints' team is Sean Payton and Sean Payton is this Saints' team. It's not remotely close to out of the question for that to change when Drew Brees rides off into the sunset, but - even though it's currently enduring the darkest of days - New Orleans still has a very bright immediate future. I know it's become a bit of an annual tradition to prematurely pack Sean Payton's bags for him every offseason, but let me offer the Dallas Cowboys and their entitled, bandwagon fans a phrase they've probably become pretty familiar with over the last two decades...better fucking luck next year.
Bill Vinovich, The Referee Whose Crew Forever Stained Super Bowl LIII, Is Also A Thin-Skinned College Basketball Official
My first instinct was to crucify the most well-to-do league in all the land for hiring part-time, two-sport referees to officiate the most intricate of athletics on one of its biggest and most consequential stages. After all, as the saying goes, "jackass of all trades, master of none". However, being that what's done is done, I'd actually rather Bill Vinovich continue to get airtime after the NFL season reaches a conclusion he made damn sure to be tainted. Lord knows his primary employer doesn't have the testicular fortitude to throw him under the bus, so the best the Saints and their fans can hope for is as many drive-by shoutings at possible.
The only three people on the entire planet who didn't immediately recognize that play as pass interference happened to be staring directly at it, with whistles tucked up their tight little sphincters, from between 5-35 feet away. I'm no mathematician, but I'm going to say the odds of that are a little too low for it to be a coincidence, so the non-call heard round the world was more a result of a chicken-shit motive than any sort of mistake.
For that reason, I hope Bill Vinovich and Co. get shamed back into the hole their heads might as well have been in as they robbed the New Orleans Saints of a Super Bowl appearance. It's definitely petty for a frustrated fanbase/franchise to hope that one play haunts them for the rest of their undeniably disgraced careers, but at least they'll know the feeling as that same play is going to haunt said fanbase/franchise throughout the remainder of its history.
So for those that might happen to stumble upon Bill Vinovich reffing basketball, or buying groceries, or quietly having a cup of coffee, or attending the funeral of his professional reputation, don't be shy in reminding him of his unforgivable fuck-up. Might seem a bit harsh...until you realize there's an entire Who Dat Nation that still can't turn on the TV, pick up their phone, leave the house, or close their damn eyes without being painfully reminded of it.
As One Of The NFL's Most Well-Respected Ambassadors, Ben Watson Called Out Roger Goodell For His Cowardly Silence Since Sunday
Sighhh. I'm exhausted. I'm just emotionally exhausted. The constant replaying, by it in my head or on my TV, of the most egregious uncalled penalty in sports' history has basically left my football fandom (not to be confused with Saints' fandom) in need of a dirt nap. So no, I personally don't care to hear whatever predictable and contrived horse-crap someone making tens-of-millions of dollars a year to take bullets for billionaires might begrudgingly be forced to mutter to a franchise and fanbase that had a Super Bowl appearance unlawfully ripped from their grasp. Much like every single coping mechanism, it's just not going to help ease the pain of a stolen season.
The ideal of integrity has long been lost on the NFL. Therefore, the belief that their Commissioner needs to be forthright so as to protect whatever shred of it somehow remains is actually pretty laughable. Having already remained silent through far more severe circumstances (see: domestic abuse) than anything that might play out on the gridiron, I can't - in good conscience - pretend I'm surprised that Roger Goodell has been as quiet as an alley rat in hoping this product-compromising embarrassment too shall pass.
That, of course, doesn't mean it didn't please me to see Ben Watson, who has been one of the NFL's consummate good guys for almost as long as some rookies have been alive, demand an explanation on behalf of an entire Who Dat Nation who has yet to let it pass. While the rest of the league yearns for the Saints and their fans to get over a historical screw job, someone who almost certainly lives by the motto "everything happens for a reason" is still impatiently waiting for something that resembles even the shittiest of reason, as empty as any subsequent apology might ring.
I think all the petitions, billboards, and lawsuits are more than a little much, but there's something to be said about not letting go of a blatant breach of trust until the multi-billion dollar business that oversaw it, at the very least, publicly acknowledges it. Call it "crying" if you want, but one of the loudest and proudest football cities on the planet isn't going to shut the hell up until they get some sort of answer. Even if it's bound to be an inherently and insanely unsatisfying one to a legion of fans and, more importantly, the pro's pro who is speaking for them and his tortured team after watching his surreal career end on an obvious injustice.
Sigh, did he really have to get a car involved? Seriously, had PJ Williams gotten blind drunk and done literally anything other than gotten behind the wheel of a motor vehicle in the wake of the 'NOLA no-call' then I'd be able to blame it on the ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-asshole officials who flipped the entire temperament of substance abuse in New Orleans by way of their untimely cowardice. The defense of being driven to drink would totally hold up so long as he didn't return the damn favor. I can totally sympathize with drinking more and caring less, as - other than hopelessly attempting to raise my spirit by way of a raised spirit - I haven't given a single fuck about a single thing since the Sunday afternoon that stole my soul. You just can't be excused for doing so while having the pedal to the medal of a death trap.
Sean Payton should have seriously considered making the Saints put their keys in a bowl before embarking on any sort of entirely understandable binger. After all, if PJ Williams, or any other Saints' player for that matter, had gotten arrested for being either drunk in public or drunk and disorderly then that case would be dismissed faster than every one that anyone could make me for me to actually watch a tainted Super Bowl. Instead, he learned no lessons from the black dot punctuating Willie Snead's DUI-enabled demise in an offense of which he had previously proved himself pivotal. I don't know what's going to happen with PJ Williams in free agency. I can't imagine he did himself any favors by following up a season in which he went from a certifiable scapegoat to a steady slot corner by weaving through traffic with booze on his breath when he would have been pardoned by the Who Dat Nation for engaging in almost any other type of destructive behavior with booze on his breath.
P.S. We should have known he was on one...
While Mum Is The NFL's Word, Nickell Robey-Coleman Continues To Publicly Brag About His Uncalled Penalties
For those keeping score at home, a shutout is very much still on the table. As of now, the proverbial JumboTron currently reads...
Number of times the NFL has publicly addressed a blatant helmet-to-helmet hit (remember when those were still being emphasized ad nauseam?) on a defenseless receiver who was yet to be within 10 feet of the ball going unpenalized: 0
Number of times the player who desperately delivered the dangerous hit has publicly bragged about/celebrated intentionally cheating his team into a last chance at a championship: 3
Full disclosure, the last thing I wanted to hear after the Saints were victimized by grand theft was an apology from a getaway driver like Roger Goodell. There's nothing the Commissioner of the NFL could possibly say that would make anyone feel better his own handsomely compensated officials altering the course of history with their gutlessness. That being said, he should still probably say something, or really anything, about the huge stain the shield incurred on Sunday afternoon.
A flag not being thrown was nothing short of an absolute embarrassment for a league that swears up and down that they care about head injuries. Yet, somehow and someway, the situation has become even more embarrassing throughout each passing day of silence since. Nickell Robey-Coleman is on social media taking a pathetic sense of pride in his ability to damn near decapitate a sitting duck, and the bajillion dollar business that's spent countless man hours hopelessly/disingenuously trying to model itself as something remotely close to safe can't even be bothered to remove their iron thumb from their ass and say so much as a sorry. Loyal football fans, outside of all 356 that reside in Los Angeles, have every reason to lose as much trust in the on-field product as they already have in the handling of off-the-field transgressions, and the league that thrives on their obsession can't even muster up a public apology.
I know I only speak for a majority of Saints' fans that, due to nothing more than the love of their own team, will be all-in on the NFL again next year. Still, this quiet cowardice that has allowed for a professional player to puff his chest out and peacock in the wake of his uncalled penalties, like someone making it rain out of the sunroof after successfully robbing a bank, only makes the decision to not watch the Super Bowl an even easier one.