Who Gives A Shit 2012: Chapter 1: Falcons refuse Rebirth logos

30 Jul

Ok, so I’ve been out of touch for a few days – real life got in the way of whatever the heck this is – and I’m still catching up. There’s a lot going on. One thing happened, though, that some angry readers decided I needed to know about immediately. By tweet and by e-mail, I thank you for keeping me up on every move that the Falcons make that could even slightly affect us as Saints fans.

To be fair, this one’s a doozy. Everyone knows by now that the Rebirth statue went up, that it’s fucking beautiful, and that it doesn’t have any falcons logos on it, because, well, the Falcons wouldn’t let us use them.

What the entire fuck?

No, no, not that the Falcons wouldn’t let the Saints use their logos and player’s name in the statue. I’m not mad about that. A little irritated that they turned New Orleans down when she asked a little favor from little sister, maybe. But I get it. It must be pretty hard for a franchise that’s never experienced immortality to give the better half of its most important rivalry the opportunity to create that immortality for it, in the form of a statue commemorating one of the most memorable ass-kickings a football team has ever received.

So, yeah, I get that. I don’t need an explanation, McKay. The situation sucks for you and your entire pathetic franchise and fanbase, and that’s cool with me.

But I have a question. Why the hell did we even ask?

What do we need, historical accuracy here? Give me a break. That statue isn’t about the Falcons, and it isn’t about a game, and it definitely isn’t about a punter (although, to be fair, he’s handled the situation with the utmost class). It’s about that moment, in which no region was healed and no disaster was undone (so let’s do away with that nonsense, Legitimate Media) but in which many, many people were able to just forget for a damn minute what the hell had been going on around them for the last year. It wasn’t about the Falcons, it was about the 70,000 people in the stands, and Gleason, and this city.

Not Atlanta.

I was there, in Section 641, along with the other 500,000 who showed up that day (ask around, it’s at least that many), and I have no problem admitting it – I didn’t even see Gleason block the punt. I was still hi-fiving the fact that we shut down Vick and his rushing machine offense so completely on the first drive, and then all of a sudden the ball was in the end zone, and the ref had his arms up, and nothing mattered anymore. NOTHING. That cheesy-ass Green Day song that still makes me feel all weird inside and the ridiculously awesome U2 show before the game, the nervous energy (because, y’know, what if we lose this game to these fucks?) and the Falcons’ “feared” offense, and the beer that was soaking into my shoes and everything from the last year in the real world outside that Dome was gone, fucking erased for a minute. There was nothing bittersweet, it was pure joy. That’s what some of the media don’t quite seem to get – nobody was talking about how we were back from Katrina after that punt was blocked, douchebags. Nobody even knew what the fuck a Katrina was at that point. None of it mattered. We had a reason to celebrate, so we celebrated. The beauty of it was in that simplicity.

Had you asked me a week ago to name that punter whose kick Gleason blocked, I would have come up blank. That’s just fine with me.

Sure, the Falcons are irrevocably tied to that moment and that day. It was cool that the league recognized the importance of that rivalry in announcing the game before the rest of the schedule was even released. I don’t think it would have been the same any other way.

That game, though, was complete domination. We remember the end-around and the field goal attempt and, of course, the punt block. But it was bigger than that. The Saints took that game over. They turned a competitive event between two teams into a showcase for one, a platform for their fans to announce to the world that they would be just fine, thank you very much, like it or not, with your help or without it. Starting with three plays of inspired defense, a forced fumble on third and long, and a blocked punt on the very next play, they spent three hours making the hated Falcons nothing but a side show. A cute distraction. Look at ‘em. They’re trying so hard. Do they really think they can win this game?

They never could. It was over before it started. Because it was never about them. That’s why I’m okay with the Falcons refusing to allow their images to be used on this statue.

I’m still trying to figure out if I’m okay with the fact that we tried so hard in the first place.

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  1. The Angry Who Dat on the Falcons/Statue Issue « WhoDatWarriors - August 1, 2012

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