But I feel it necessary to show my gratitude to the Panthers “bad boy” for choosing the worst possible person to trash talk during yesterday’s game in the dome, Saints Coach Sean Payton. You see, we Saints fans are used to Smith showing his ass and acting like a rookie with no home training so it was really no surprise that he tried to pick a fight with everyone in a black and gold jersey who crossed his path. But you know where you f*cked up, Stevie boy? You got in the face of our coach. You must not have heard that hell hath no fury like a pissed off Payton.
The game between these division rivals started off close and that most likely led to some misguided overconfidence on the Panthers’ bench. Jeremy Shockey once again behaved like a scorned lover, shunning any Saints player in his path. After all, he’s got plenty of good reasons to be bitter. This is the team that picked him up despite the fact that he was recovering from a serious injury and known for having a pretty shitty attitude. This is the team that helped him get yet another Super Bowl ring. This is the team that didn’t dick him around and let him go early enough for him to sign with another team. What a bunch of assholes those Saints are. That Rex Ryan sized chip on his shoulder is totally appropriate. #obvioussarcasm
Then there’s Steve Smith, a man who I’m certain would pick a fight with a bunny rabbit if it looked at him the wrong way. After every catch, he behaved as if the defender he was playing against had just stabbed his grandma. It was all pretty typical and rather entertaining to watch, until of course he got in the face of Coach Payton. That’s when I realized Smith isn’t just obnoxious, he’s insane.
No one knows for certain what Smith yelled in Coach Payton’s face. What we do know is that Payton didn’t respond with words. He used much more powerful weapons to retaliate. I almost wish I could get inside Coach’s head after witnessing Smith’s antics. Was he giggling inside? Was he contemplating how many points would be the equivalent of a “Go f*ck yourself”? Something tells me the #45 on the scoreboard most certainly did the trick.
Thanks to some ammunition provided by Smith’s antics, the Saints offense came out in the second half locked and loaded. The defense was fired up too. The Saints scored 21 unanswered points. But you wanna know which moment in the game probably really had Payton fighting back a shit-eating grin? When his old pal Stevie Smith coughed up the ball and it was recovered by Tracy Porter. The game was already out of hand at that point but the poetic justice of the king shit talker, failing to walk the walk after all that talk, shows just what happens when you mess with the wrong dude. You go from looking like a ferocious Panther to the little pussy that you are.
Although this game didn’t change anything in terms of seeding for the Saints in the playoffs, it was huge for many other reasons. The team and individual players broke a number of records, including Darren Sproles for most all-purpose yards in a season, most yards of offense in a season, and Drew Brees broke Peyton Manning’s 2010 mark for single-season completions. Beyond that, the Saints sent a message to the league that they’ve got Super Bowl swagga, and they’re not showing mercy on anyone. Don’t expect another flat, Seahawks-esque performance. That’s not what this team is about. They are aggressive, they are hungry and if you want to beat them, you better be ready to put up some major points, because once they put their foot on the gas, there’s no slowing them down.
I love this Saints team and I believe in them. The Lions have some serious weapons of their own and could put up quite a fight against the Saints next week in the dome. But you know what? If Packers backup QB Matt Flynn can have a career day against their defense, imagine what our MVP will do.
Let the games begin!