They say you never truly appreciate a holiday tradition until you become a part of it. I would assume the person that trademarked that concept only did so to rationalize the organized stupidity that is a vast majority of annual rituals that are done between close knit groups that need something to grasp onto, but it still makes me feel better about celebrating a completely meaningless Saints victory in late December. Yup, that's where we are at with this team. The wins have been so few and fleeting over the course of the last few years that even the ones that occur around Christmas and have no bearing on anything but draft position are to be cherished. Sure, it's another wasted season of a 'Hall Of Fame' career for Drew Brees, but - other than warm whiskey and shameless gluttony - there's no better way to suppress that depressing realization than by dragging others down with you in playing spoiler to a division rival. This franchise might be stuck in nuetral and mired in mediocrity, but they really know how to embrace the spirit of the season by giving their fans something that would probably be far more useful for a fanbase that isn't already blindly and optimistically looking forward to next season. Oh well, it's the thought that counts. Plus, I have gotten worse gifts than receiving something that was instrumental in keeping me from being a completely inebriated scrooge for the entirety of Christmas Eve.
Oh, and for those of you counting at home, Sean Payton's Saints are now 2-0 with 79 points scored since the asinine rumor that he was getting traded to Southern California for a sack of coal so maybe we shouldn't be so quick to ho-ho-hold the phone if any desperate teams come a calling looking for holiday handout. Granted, finishing out disappointing seasons with victories that are largely moral has become a staple of his tenure as of late. However, there's more reason to believe that this all-too-worthless win streak to end the season is sign of things to come in 2017 than there is that some random coach off the street could come in and surpass the success he's had with a quarterback who (hypothetically, since he has weeks where he looks like he's in his mid-20's) is nearing the end of his career.
Also, I think it's about that time we discuss Jairus Byrd. He's actually been pretty damn good for a stretch of games now, but I was hesitant to starting patting a safety on the ass for making open field tackles. Not only because there was a high chance it was fool's gold, but because I would have been setting a ridiculously low bar for someone who undoubtedly still has 'Brinks' trucks showing up to his house with how much he got paid to turn the defensive backfield into his own personal playground. That said, if Saturday's two interception performance is any indication then he very much has a place on the team going forward. That's partly because the Saints have run out of room in their contract graveyard for anymore dead money, but it's also because he's gone from the posterboy for free agency follies to making significant contributions in a secondary that doesn't get nearly enough credit for overcoming the injuries they did this season. Jairus Byrd's resurgence could be providing just as much false hope as the Saints do when they reach .500 at midseason, but it could also be a key to making 2017 the year in which the Saints officially put their personnel mistakes in the past and try their hand in the postseason. Let's hope it's the latter so we can get many more awesome moments like this between him and superfan namesake...
Lastly, Mark Ingram deserves some credit, and it's mostly because he hardly ever gets any. I, for one, am rooting for him to top 1,000 yards next week. Regardless of never reaching that statistical milestone due to usage, the guy has proven he can be a reliable workhorse back for some time now, and he always makes that painfully obvious to his detractors when they are at the height of their detracting. He could have found a better way of getting his point across than by throwing a sideline fit after not getting a goal line carry last week. but he couldn't have found a better way to respond to it than by putting up 90 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. The guy just wants to contribute and more often than not he does just that when given the opportunity. Pretty fitting he put a bow on the biggest box of crow for his haters on the night before Christmas.