In a laugh out loud article entitled “Rankings that Matter”, an Atlanta sportswriter recounts his recent interview with Dallas sportswriter Rick Gosselin regarding his 2010 NFL Rankings which put the World Champion New Orleans Saints at #8, with the Cowboys (surprise, surprise) at #2, Packers at #4, Vikings at 6, and Falcons at #7. His explanation for the Saints’ ranking is, not surprisingly, just as ridiculous as the rankings themselves.
“It was just a miracle type season for them. I think they’re a really good team but almost everything went right. I covered both the NFC [championship] and the Super Bowl and I thought the better team loss twice. The Vikings basically beat themselves in the NFC game and [Peyton] Manning was taking the Colts in [for a potential tying score before an interception] in the Super Bowl. It’s hard for even great teams to come back after winning the Super Bowl, I saw it here in Dallas, and the Cowboys were a great team. The Saints are not a great team, but they won the Super Bowl.”
I honestly don’t even know where to begin poking holes in this asinine explanation. Guess I’ll just have to take it from the top.
1. Miracle Season
Some might say a miracle season would be defined as one in which a crap ass team tends to win some games, perhaps 13 of them, based solely on luck. This would also imply that since this team sucks, nearly all of their wins came down to some tricky/kooky play or twist of fate. Well, in case you missed it, the Saints won 13 games last season, outscoring their opponents 464-307. They also had a double digit lead over more than half of their regular season opponents, 9 of them to be exact. And they won their 3 playoff games by a 48 point margin.
Wow, a dominant team, with a superior record and home-field advantage won a Super Bowl? I haven’t heard of that kind of miracle since a virgin gave birth to a baby in a manger. (eyeroll)
When one assumes that “everything going right” for a team has more to do with some sort of “mystical fairy dust” they sprinkled on their jerseys than, you know, actual talent and a little thing called offensive dominance, I figure it’s safe for me to assume that person has either suffered from some sort of long term oxygen deprivation or is completely insane.
2. The Better Team Loss…Twice
This may be my favorite idiotic, losers mantra ever!! You know what, I’m gonna go ahead and declare that despite going 13-3 , the Saints had a perfect regular season in 2009 because the better team loss three times. How does that work for you?
The Saints and the Vikings played a competitive playoff game. It was one for the books in fact. All season long, both teams proved they had offensive firepower and both proved they had vulnerabilities. The game came down to which team could make the fewest mistakes. The Saints did their job by forcing fumbles, making big defensive plays, and not racking up as many costly penalties as the Vikings. That’s what championship teams do. I mean, it wasn’t like the Vikings had a shot to blow them out 34-3 the way they clobbered the Cowboys the week before…you know, the same Cowboys team that is apparently the best in the NFC for next season, but I digress…
As for the Super Bowl, the Colts got outplayed and out-coached, plain and simple. Why can’t these media schmucks accept this? How did the Colts get into a position to be down by a touchdown in the 4th quarter by an “inferior” team? Additionally, doesn’t an interception imply a huge play on the part of the defense? Sure Peyton Manning’s last pass was off the mark, but it took Tracy Porter being aware and making the right play at the right time to seal the deal for Super Bowl XLIV. Don’t minimize the accomplishments of a talented team or trivialize them to suit your own half-cocked, blatantly biased ranking system. It’s insulting to the Saints hardworking players and quite frankly, it makes you look like a prick, Rick.
3. “The Saints Are Not a Great Team But They Won the Super Bowl”
Hmmmm…how would one define a “great” team? Do you look at the numbers, as in:
#1 in Total Offense
#1 in Passing Yards in the NFC (#4 Overall)
#2 in Rushing Yards in the NFC (#6 Overall)
Uh.. I’m no math whiz, but those numbers seem pretty damn great to me. Almost reminds me of the 2006 World Champion Indianapolis Colts.
#1 Quarterback (Drew Brees was #2)
#3 in Total Offense (Behind the Saints)
#2 in Passing Yards (Behind the Saints)
#18 Total Rushing Yards
Eerily similar stories on offense. But what about defensively? Well, the Colts defense in 2006 ranked 21st while the Saints in 2009 ranked 25th. Uh, pretty similar there too. But does anybody remember anyone referring to the 2006 Colts as “not that great”? I think it’s a safe bet that most Super Bowl teams are pretty darn good, if not great on at least some level. If that weren’t the case, we’d probably see the Lions in the playoffs a lot more often.
Also since when is a team’s greatness defined by the games they “almost loss”? Maybe they should change how the team standings are categorized to suit this stupidity: Instead of just “Won, Loss or Tied”, we can have:
“Almost Won But a Player Got Hurt”
“Almost Tied But the Vuvuzelas Were Too Loud”
“Sorta Won If It Weren’t for that Damn Penalty”
“Got the Snot Kicked Out of ‘Em”
“Game Didn’t Count Because Superfan Forgot to Wear Lucky Drawers”
Now under that system, I can definitely see why the Cowboys would be ranked #2 for next season.
In conclusion, I’m not naive enough to think that winning back to back championships is an easy feat. It’s damn tough in fact, just ask the last 5 Super Bowl winners. All I ask is that if some alleged “expert” is going to put together a ranking of teams, he rely on something other than a bunch of thoughtless excuses he pulled out of his ass to back up said rankings. If you think the Saints will suffer a sophomore slump of sorts, so be it. I can respect that. What I can’t respect is pissing on the accomplishments that lead the franchise to its first ever Super Bowl victory, all in a thinly veiled effort to be a cheerleader for one’s own overrated team that’s in for a major ass whipping come Thanksgiving Day. But honestly Rick Gosselin, we shouldn’t be that surprised. After all, you’re the same man who predicted the Patriots, Giants, Eagles, Steelers and Chargers would be the top 5 teams in 2009. Despite the fact that your rankings are about as accurate as Jamarcus Russell, I give you Kudos for at least being consistent in your ignorance.
As for you Falcons fools getting giddy because some dude who appears to be about as objective as a team mascot ranked your team above the Saints, you’ve once again proven yourselves beyond pathetic. I won’t even dig into those of you who feel a need to refer to Hurricane Katrina in your lame and misguided attempts at trash talk. I’ll instead remind you that your most notable accomplishment as a franchise thus far is back-to-back winning seasons. Choke on that until we meet again in September…oh and this too: