The Loss That Almost Got Away

1 Oct



Shit, that wasn’t as catchy as I thought it would be.  What a year to start blogging.  Maybe I should just stop.  This is starting to not be so fun any more.  Ah, fuck it.  If you’re going to start a blog centered around this organization, you have to be willing to write about some miserable shit eventually, right?

We’ll just skip the self-hate, ok?  Forget the loss, forget the last five minutes of regulation.  Let’s talk about how much damn FUN that game was.  I mean, the first 55 minutes were a blast, am I right?  This game stands alone in a quarter of a season of bullshit as a contest I’ll remember for a long damn time.  It took me a day and a half, but I’m past the depression.  I’m with you, Wang.  Let’s just allow ourselves to be entertained in spite of it all.

It’s time for what may well become a weekly segment here at the Angry Who Dat: “Shit I Enjoyed About Last Sunday’s Nightmare”.

1.  The Colston Cheat: Holy shit was that a pushoff.  That was Roddy-esque right there, Marques.  Two hands on the defensive back, push him to the ground while the ball’s in the air, touchdown.  And the refs missed it.  Did they miss it because Marques doesn’t make a habit of pushing off, and he gets a little leeway?  Because the refs are just rusty?  Because one of them is a secret Saints fan?  Because refs just generally fucking hate the Packers?  Who gives a shit?  We got away with one!  And we never get away with one!

I laughed, and I laughed.  Fuck you, booing Packers fans.  You have no conception of “screwed.”

2.  The Final Drive of the First Half:  And just like that, at halftime, down 7, after watching a damn beautiful drive from Brees & Company, knowing we get the ball back in the second half, I felt it.  The Saints.  This is who they are, right here.  Damn the terrible defense, we got this shit.  We can come back.  We’re finally going to get that first win, and it’s going to be ugly for the rest of the league from here on out.

3.  The B.J.:  Yeah, cheap pun.  I don’t even know what it’s supposed to mean.  But big scary dudes named B.J. are funny.  One drive into the second half, we were looking good!  Inevitably, the offense stalled out, and we had to settle for a field goal.  In stepped B.J.!  Couple knees to the face, and the Saints were fucking gifted a touchdown.  They served it up on a platter.  We can’t lose this game.  Everything’s going our way. ESPN was so shocked at this turn of events that even their play-by-play machine lost its shit.

Three bullshit passes later, we settled anyway.  This is about the time you started wondering if perhaps, with a deficit already established, trading field goals for touchdowns might be an ineffective strategy.

4. Jenkins Affects the Head:  My second favorite moment of the day.  JENKINS AFFECTED THE HEAD AND THE BODY WENT TO THE BENCH.  Or something like that.  With a first and goal on the no-yard-line.  Anyway, this is where my dad (forever a pessimist, old-school “the world is shit and I’ll be happy with a playoff berth every year” Saints fan) says, “Hey, maybe the backup will fumble the handoff.”  Yeah, right, pops.  They’re gonna run it down our throats and the gig is up.

But wouldn’t you know it?  THE BODY FUMBLED THE HANDOFF.  Because the head was dead.  I think.  Ball’s ours.  Here comes Jeff Duncan’s “Greatest deep threat on the Saints roster, hands down,” with, well, a great deep threat.  14-point swing.

We cannot lose this game.  There’s no way.

5.  The P-Robbery:  Oh, come on, that one was good.  You know what?  I don’t think our corners are all that bad.  At least, I’m not sure yet.  Put down the pitchfork and hear me out, asshole.  I just think that we can’t know if they’re terrible until the opposition’s receiving corps has less than 10 seconds to get open.  I’m not sure we’ll be able to test that theory at any point this season, so if you disagree, well, there’s really no point in arguing.

6.  There Is No Goddamn Way We Can Lose This Game when Drew Brees makes a throw like that on his own 9-yard-line and one Green Bay corner breaks up another’s interception.  No. Fucking. Way.  Today’s just our day.

7.  Down By Contact:  We lost the lead, but this ain’t week 3 Saints.  This is week 4 Saints.  These dudes are going to make it happen.  Every bounce goes our way.  Every break.  Sproles, goddamnit!  I know the Packers recovered that.  Shit, it’s over.

Wait, what?

Down by contact, at least when you’re playing the Packers (I guess), is defined as standing straight the fuck up with both feet on the ground. Fuck you, booing Packers fans. You don’t know screwed. “Screwed” shouldn’t be in your vocabulary. The 2012 Saints, courtesy Most Righteous King Goodell, have redefined “screwed,” and you’re not even in the damn ballpark.

Hell, they owe us this one. They owe us a lot more, but they definitely owe us this one. And now we’re set.

There is no way we can lose this game.

But we underestimated the suck, didn’t we?  We underestimated the absolute collaboration in what-the-fuck that this team can accomplish when they really set their minds to it.  All in a row: Sproles dropped a sure 1st-down ball that would have set us up to burn the clock and kick a chipshot with no time remaining.  Now even a made field goal puts the D back out there, and we know how that will turn out.  Oh, but that’s not a problem, is it?  Thanks, Dave Thomas.  Thanks for spreading your arms like a big ugly fucking falcon and begging, BEGGING the refs to throw a flag.  Blatant hold is blatant.  Thanks, Garrett Hartley, you douchebag with the pimp stereo system and the idiot fucking only-a-kicker-would-look-like-that haircut, for blasting the kick wide when the first try would have been good from 55.

Thanks for not sustaining that delusion for more than 55 minutes.  Five more, and I would have believed something good could come out of 2012 for seven more days.  Thanks for nipping that bullshit right in the bud and bringing us back to Earth.  Time to relax, enjoy some good food on Sundays, root against the Falcons, and just embrace the comedy.

“But, the 1992 Chargers!”

Yep.  We’ve been beaten over the head with that bullshit on twitter all day.  I already covered it in that format, but it’s worth a review.  Come with me, kids, on a trip through the first four games of the 1992 Chargers’ season.

In case you missed it, the ’92 Chargers are the only team in NFL History to go 0-4 and make the playoffs.  They did it in spectacular fashion – in both segments.  The 0-4 start included four wins by an average of over 16 points.  The rest of the season?  11-1.

“So you’re saying there’s a chance!”

No.  I’m saying that this team isn’t the ’92 Chargers.  The 1992 Chargers lost their first four games to the Chiefs, Broncos, Steelers, and Oilers.  Those four teams combined for a 1992 regular season record of 39-25 (.609) and 3 playoff berths.  As of week 4 of 1992, the four teams were all 3-1.  The Chiefs’ loss was to the Oilers.  The Oilers’ loss was to the Steelers.  That group, the four teams who beat the 0-4 Chargers, were collectively 2 games from perfection 4 weeks into the season.

The Saints’ 4 opponents are collectively 6-10.  They haven’t even played each other.  No guaranteed losses there.  That’s 2-10 against non-Saints opponents, if you’re keeping track.

One more fun look, if you missed it: The Saints are now the highest-scoring 0-4 team in the history of the NFL.  Not post-merger.  The entire fucking history of major professional football in America.  Holy shit, man.  A little further investigation (that I took on in a delirious fit of self-schadenfreude) reveals that the record for most points scored by an 0-4 team through 4 games moved only 9 points from 1962 (90) to last Saturday (99, set in 2002).  The Saints smashed that record by 11 points.  110 points, 27 per game, and not a win.

Good job, defense.

So Sunday, I’ll enjoy some good food.  The weather will be beautiful. The all-day tailgate should be fun (Sunday night games are the best).  Drew’s going to set the big record Sunday night, one that’s stood for decades.  And the Dome, as usual, will be the only place I want to be.  Maybe we’ll come away with a win.  Who knows? Maybe we’ll at least enjoy some high comedy.

One thing we know for sure: it won’t be boring.