Prince Akeem: Sir, did you happen to catch the professional football contest on television last night?
Cleo McDowell: No, I didn’t.
Prince Akeem: Oh sir, the Giants of New York took on the Packers of Green Bay. And in the end, the Giants triumphed by kicking an oblong ball made of pigskin through a big “H”. It was a most ripping victory.
Much like Akeem in Coming to America, this new season of football has me all tingly! I watched the first batch of preseason match-ups with the same intensity I’d typically reserve for a playoff game. I was just so happy to see the players again…to get caught up in the hype of it all. In many cases, like Michael Vick and Vince Young putting on a show for the Eagles or backup QB Ryan Mallett taking care of business for the Patriots, the games didn’t disappoint. Even Tim Tebow decided to shake those haters off against the Cowboys. But those games were just appetizers for a Saints fan like me. Tonight, it’s the main course. Drew Brees and company feast on the 49ers defense…if only for one series. I’m so excited, I just want to sing at the top of my lungs. “TO BE LOVED…TO BE LOVED…OH WHAT A FEELING! TO BE LOVEEEED!!”
Don’t even act like you’re not excited. We get to see our boys in action again. We get to see which rookies will rise to the occasion and how our new free agency acquisitions will gel with their respective units. I’m particularly interested in who will emerge defensively as a playmaker. Will it be draft pick up DE Cameron Jordan? How about free agent nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin, who will be facing his former San Francisco teammates? Oh the story lines, the drama, the magic of football!!! AH…TO BE, TRULY, TRULY, TRULY LOVED!
The Saints will make their preseason debut with the deepest roster in team history. Our coaches have a nice crop of talent to whittle down and you couldn’t pay me to be in their shoes. (Well, actually you probably could. They make pretty good money.) In order to live up to all the offseason hype they’ve been getting, it will be important for the Saints to find those missing defensive pieces that made us a laughing stock in that playoff game that I can’t speak of. If I see anyone with a ventilator after a 20 yard run tonight, I want them cut immediately. We need speed, youth, and agility. What we don’t need is my grandpa making washed up running backs look like something out of a Madden game.
King Jaffe Joffer: So you see, my son, there is a very fine line between love and nausea.
The 49ers coaching staff has gone public with saying they don’t care if they win against the Saints tonight. That bodes well for them, because they won’t. I present to you Nola Chick’s very first score prediction of the 2011 season:
Prince Akeem: Fascinating! Semmi, look at this! America is great indeed. Imagine a country so free, one can throw glass on the streets!