Such poignant words. Such similar situations. Much like in Brokeback Mountain, the Saints and I are entangled in a sordid, twisted love affair. At times it feels so right, but it often feels so wrong. And once again, after I’ve given my all, they’ve broken my heart. Damn you, Saints. I wish I knew how to quit you…
The stormy weather in the Sunshine state set the perfect backdrop for Sunday’s game against the Bucs, which played out like a rerun of a bad movie for us tortured Saints fans. As much as I wanted to believe we could pull off the upset in Tampa, I couldn’t ignore the nagging question lingering in the back of my mind. “How will they blow it this time?” My brain conjured up images of the usual suspects…Jason David blowing coverage to give up a 70 yard touchdown in the final minutes. Reggie Bush fumbling the ball on the goal line. Martin Gramatica coming off injured reserve just so he could botch a game winning field goal. But who knew, who knew, it would be you Brees? Et tu, Drew-te?
Everything that I implored the Saints not to do in my game preview they did in the 1st half of the game. We out-cute-ed ourselves with the “reverse” on 4th and 1 and the pitch to Reggie on 3rd and 1. (No Deuce, no Pierre, just cutesy-ness.) We also seemed off balance in our efforts to involve Reggie Bush in the game. He couldn’t run the ball, he couldn’t even catch the damn ball. He couldn’t run back punts or kickoffs. He couldn’t even run forward on punt and kick returns. He was completely out of sorts and served more as a distraction than anything to our offense. And Lance Moore’s touchdown celebration dance still lacked focus and strong choreography. I’m mean seriously fellas, I’m not writing this for my health. My pregame notes are on point! Read em, follow em, and freakin’ execute!!!! Sonofawhoreson bitch!!!
Wanna know what else I wrote about in my pregame notes? I wrote about the double-edged sword of getting national media attention. They’ve been riding Drew Brees’ jock all week long and something told me it would backfire in the end. Not even I anticipated that backfiring would equate to 3 freakin picks. (Not to mention all the near-interceptions we got lucky on.) What happened Drew? I know you got stung by some dropped passes but does that mean you have to counter with consistently throwing the ball into double coverage? AARRRGGGHHHH!!!!!!
Of course, it wasn’t all bad. You see, it wouldn’t be the Saints without a little “Freaky-Friday-esque” personality switching. Our defense kept us in this game peeps. Sure they gave up some big plays but they made some big ones as well. Jon Vilma “acted a donkey” as we N’awlins folk say. He forced a fumble, broke up a pass, and stripped the ball from that smarmy Jeff Garcia. Jason David (who got burned for a touchdown) showed flashes of Week 12 Jason David by breaking up a couple passes of his own and nearly getting an interception. Bobby McCray continues to impress. He put the pressure on the quarterback sneaking in two sacks. McCray, Vilma, and Scott Shanle finished the day with a combined total of 4 sacks on a very mobile quarterback.
Know who else came to play? Gary Hartley. Hell yeah Gary Hartley. He made 2 field goals on a sloppy field and something tells me had we given him the opportunity to win the game for us, he would have stepped up to the challenge. I like this kid. What an asset he would have been earlier in the season, before we dug ourselves into this black and gold hole.
We can look at this one of two ways. 1) The Saints let us down…again. 2) The Saints spared us from postseason disappointment. Let’s face it, this team could only go so far in the playoffs with a questionable defense and one dimensional offense. We can’t beat the Giants without a commitment to the run and a way of controlling the time of possession. We can’t beat the Cardinals without a solid secondary. And no, apparently we can’t beat the Bucs, not even when they practically hand us the mutha f*ckin game with minutes left and all we have to do is get in field goal range to tie things up or score a TD to put these bitches away for good….AAAARRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!
Okay, I’m back. Shortly after the game, (and a couple “calm down beers” later) I text a friend and fellow Saints fan who traveled to Tampa Bay to watch the division battle up close and personal. My question to him: was it as painful to watch up close and personal as it was to watch at home. His blunt and poetic response says it all. “Think fat c*ck, dry asshole.”
And the “Brokeback” theme comes full circle.