Sunday, February 7, 2010

N.O. Saints: Modern-Day Seabsicuits

We all know the story of the legendary horse that could, Seabiscuit (or we've at least seen the movie). Where, against all odds, Tobey Maguire takes the undersized horse and beats all comers. Seabiscuit went on capturing Depression-era America's heart as everyone identified with not being given a shot in hell and winning despite all odds.

Could that happen today with the New Orleans Saints?

If you ask me, yes.

After years of governmental deregulation, refusal of regulation, and catastrophic mismanagement, America once again finds itself down-and-out, wondering if another Great Depression is yipping at our heels. And what city, what team best personifies all the things that went wrong with this country in the past decades? New Orleans and their Saints. We don't have to rehash Katrina and its devastation and the Bush administration's "response." We all know that New Orleans is still in the shitter, and we are right there with them. This is the team that America needs right now. Not because it'll get the Dems off their asses or give the Republicans sanity. It's just it would be nice to witness a feel-good moment after the past few years we've had.

But Bill, why are you so down on the Colts?

Actually, I'm down on Peyton Manning. For the past decade I've been hearing nothing but how great Peyton Manning is. Anytime I'm unfortunate to turn on a football game, I hear the announcers constantly rhapsodize about how Manning is, perhaps, the greatest man to ever play quarterback. And then I'm switched to commercial, where he's in all of them!

All this despite the fact that Manning only has one Super Bowl ring!

In the "Manning Era," I've seen Tom Brady take his Patriots to four Super Bowls, winning three of them. In his first year as a starter, he won a Super Bowl with a fairly mediocre team. He came 35 seconds away from winning his fourth Super Bowl with a perfect record. And face it, if Reche Caldwell could've actually caught a ball, Brady would've probably been to five Super Bowls, and today's would've been Manning's first.

I saw Ben Roethlisberger take a mediocre Steelers team to a 15-1 record in his rookie season and then win a Super Bowl in his second season. Big Ben pulled off one of the greatest Super Bowl comeback drives to win his second ring.

But no, Manning's the greatest. Yeah, he's got records. But he's only got one ring. And it's not as though he's like his father, a great quarterback on a crappy team. No, he's had the likes of Marshall Faulk and Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison. He's had a Freeney- and Mathis-led defense. There are going to be more than a couple of Hall of Famers on Manning's Colts teams.

And yet, this "greatest quarterback ever" has almost always figured out a way to lose. His team has had a few seasons starting off 10-0 or better. They'd have home field advantage through the playoffs. Yet, the Steelers or Colts or whomever always ended up befuddling this amazing quarterback and send them packing.

If Peyton Manning is the greatest quarterback to ever play the position, he's also the greatest underachiever.

Is that why you're rooting against the Colts today?

Pretty much.

Do you really think the Saints have a shot?

Actually, I do. Both teams are offensive juggernauts, and neither team has a great defense (which usually dictates these things). So, there really could be a bunch of scoring in this game--though there probably won't be.

With pass-rushing stud Dwight Freeney hobbled with a ligament sprain in his leg, he's just not going to be too much of a factor. It's the same thing Hines Ward had in last year's Super Bowl, and he was basically a no-show. I'm thinking Freeney will probably suffer the same fate. I definitely can't imagine his playing any meaningful minutes after halftime.

That's going to give Drew Brees a whole lotta time. If they can keep it close as they go through their first-half jitters, they could definitely pull it off.

But Peyton Manning's the greatest quarterback of all-time. He'll simply outscore the Saints.

Possibly. But, while the Saints don't have a great D, they do have a great defensive coordinator. Greg Williams knows how to coach--in the coordinator position, he sucked as a head coach. I'm sure he's looked at the old tapes, has studied how the Chargers, Steelers, and, more recently, the Jets have befuddled Manning. You may not be able to sack P-Man too often, but he can get confused--despite his reputation. I've seen it. If at any point in the game, Manning starts getting his "happy feet," you'll know the Saints have him. I actually expect to have him.

So, really, all that stuff about New Orleans' being a feel-good story is all bunkem. You just want Manning to lose.

No, no, no. While I hate Brady and New England, I am a patriot. We do need a feel-good story. New Orleans needs a feel-good story. I know what it's like living in a depressed city and pinning your hopes on your sports team. I know, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't mean anything. But it sure as hell feels good.

And New Orleans is down right now. America is down right now. I think the Indianapolis Colts should, for the good of their country, tank this game. I put America's need for a New Orleans victory right up there with job creation, health care, deficit reduction, and the Teabaggers taking the opportunity at their convention to go all Jonestown and drink the friggin' Kool-Aid.

Saints 35
Colts 31

Eh toi!!!


傷害 said...
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休息 said...
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