10 Oct

The Saints defense braves daylight and plant life to pursue a rare outdoor win.

Get it? That’s how you spell “Falcon” in German maybe.

Last weekend just might have been the most enjoyable weekend of regular season football I’ve ever witnessed. I want to make sure I hit all the high points, so I’ll go with a numbered list. People love those.

1. The Saints shocked the world with a win on the road. Goddamn, that was amazing. They beat a football team in an outdoor place that most definitely was not the Benz Superdome. This shocking turn of events had no precedent in recent history, and no man could be more amazed at the final outcome than this guy.

In considering the possibility of a win in Chicago, the information at hand was of no use. The fact that the Saints have won the second-most road games of any team since Payton took over in 2006 was useless from a predictive standpoint. The same second-place standing in win percentage on outdoor OMG ELEMENTS road games over the same time period is a stupid statistic. Limited sample size or something, probably. It’s really the grass. That tricky, slippery grass on which New Orleans wins more frequently than 23 other teams.

Now that we eliminated all those irrelevant factors, we can focus on Drew Brees’s inability to win in the elements, on the road, outdoors, based on, I don’t know, our shitty memories and a couple yucky games that stick out or something of that nature, and for fuck’s sake, think about it – this game was played against the Bears!

That’s the real accomplishment of week 5 of the 2013 regular season. We Exorcised The Demons. Vanquished the misery of yesterday. Even if yesterday came 5 and 6 and 7 years ago and remembering that something like ten Saints players were even around for that yesterday, hell, it’s a big deal. Because the Saints are terrible against the Bears. Except when the game is in New Orleans like the last one was, because outdoors grass surface road game elements.

None of that matters, though, because the end result was a win, a fifth-straight below-20-points performance from the Regulators, and a 5-0 record going in to a big pre-bye matchup in New England.

2. The Seahawks lost. If The Season Ended Today, home field throughout. That’s pretty cool.

3. Tom Brady lost his streak. Thanks, Bengals and terrifying rain storms! Players with longer consecutive touchdown pass streaks than Tom Brady: Ryan Tannehill, Blaine Gabbert, Brandon Weeden, Chad Henne, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Terrelle Pryor, Nick Foles, Geno Smith.

Yes. That little comparison is trite and cheap and unfair. I enjoyed it.

4. The Falcons. Oh, boy, the Falcons. 2013 is a vintage year for Faalkenfreude. The Jets game was a whole hell of a lot of fun – don’t get me wrong – but I don’t think we’ve hit the high point of the Falcon loathing season. 1-4 is laughable, a Jets loss at home is rightly the subject of ridicule, but the following days in which Julio Jones was said to be out for the year* with a foot injury he got from dancing on TV I hope, and the NFL followed immediately with a seemingly-unnecessary announcement of a Falcons “home game” in London in 2014 that bordered on Official Piling On, combined to bring Faalkenfreude to simply unprecedented levels.

*It was at this point that I, in a moment of weakness, publicly came perilously close to feeling bad for the Falcons. No need to worry. It was a one-time lapse in judgement that I sincerely regret. I have let myself and my family down, and it will not happen again.

Not since #2points can I remember the misery of that fanbase being so powerful, so acute. The whole thing is crumbling, and their collective pain is visible.

To be clear, I’m not laughing at Hulio Jones’s injury. He’s probably a good guy and stuff, and I would never wish oh come on did you even click that last link? This is funny.

With the Saints at 5-0 and the Panthers and Falcons holding steady at 1 win, a division title seems forthcoming; someone even asked on twitter this week “What is the earliest the Saints could clinch?” and the dozen or so of you who have been reading since late last season will recall that we love us some playoff scenarios around here, and so we will play this game.

Week 9: Anything up to week 9 can’t happen. Simple math: by then all concerned teams will have had their bye weeks, meaning that the Falcons and Panthers have a maximum of 7 losses and the Saints can only be 8-0. No clinchy here.

Week 10: The Falcons and Panthers could have 8 losses to the Saints’ 9 wins, meaning a clinch scenario; unfortunately they play each other in week 9, so one of them has another win and is at least 2-7.* The best that team could do is tie the Saints, but more than enough divisional games remain that either would take the Saints in a tiebreaker given a worst-case scenario.

*No, we’re not doing ties.

Week 11: Earliest possible clinch! The Panthers and Falcons could each be 3-7 or worse, the Saints 10-0, and thusly it is all over with except the Falcon meltdown YouTubes, even with all the division games coming at the end of the season.

Even though it feels like it should at least be possible to clinch before week 11, it sadly is not, and it likely won’t come until much later than that. Since the Saints don’t play the Panthers until week 14 and 16, the division probably won’t be sealed up until at least one of those games has been played.

There is, however, a much earlier consolation. Even if the Falcons match the Saints’ record over the next five games (an unlikely occurrence), a Saints win on November 21 in Atlanta would remove the Falcons from NFC South competition with five weeks to play.

I expect that to happen, as the 2013 Atlanta Falcons are terrible at football.

I hope everyone enjoyed last weekend as much as I did; regrettably, we get our joy in partial doses over the next two weeks as the Falcons take a week off from entertaining us with their meltdownitude and the Saints follow with their own bye.

But this week we enjoy a trip to New England, sans Brady-touchdown-streak storyline, and another chance to prove the misconceptions wrong.

That is, if the Saints’ offense can find some way to overcome the outdoor road grass elements.

Saints 43, Patriots 12.

2 Responses to “Faalkenfreude”

  1. Monedula October 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Close. It is Falken. According to google translate Falcon is even the original Latin. ‘Faal’ is literally the Dutch word for ‘fail’. However ‘valk’ is the Dutch work for falcon. Also, I hear in some southern parts of the USA you actually spell it Failken.

    I am really anxious about one other thing… Will the Saints be playing the Falcons in Wembley? If so, finally since I am following the NFL the Saints will be playing in a stadium only a couple of 100 miles away from me. I will get me some nice seats, a Morstead Jersey and a London vacation!

    Yay I got a mention n your blog! I am ‘someone’ :)

    • The Angry Who Dat October 11, 2013 at 9:08 am #

      Holy crap, Falken is really German for Falcon. I had no idea. So close. I like it with the double-A though. Makes it look classy.

      I really doubt the Saints play the Falcons in Wembley, I don’t think the NFL will do that with a division game. But a game in London without even losing a home game? I’m down. I would even think about making the trip.

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