Saints fans are pissed. You know how I know this? Because I live and work in New Orleans. When news broke yesterday that Roger Goodell had laid the smack down on their franchise they reacted about as well as could be expected… like a bunch of raving lunatics.
Seriously, for a good 45 minutes nothing got accomplished in my office. With the language being used you could have sworn I worked on a pirate ship. Rational, level-headed professionals were spewing out cuss words at a record pace. Even the HR staff had started lighting torches and sharpening pitchforks over in their little corner of the building. With the amount of F-bombs blowing up, I began to worry that Michael Bay had grabbed hold of my life and had begun shaping and molding it to make it his own, new unnecessary back story and all.
The point is, by suspending Sean Payton for the season, Roger Goodell didn’t just punish the New Orleans Saints. He punished the entire gulf coast region. I know the people in my office weren’t the only one’s spewing vile words of hate about Goodell. Everyone was in on the hatefest. Hell, they dedicated an entire 90 straight minutes of news coverage to fan reaction, the story itself, and all of the ramifications and things to come. Not 90 minutes spread out over 3 hours… 90 straight minutes. That’s the entire 9 o’clock and 10 o’clock news on channel 8.
The rest of the world didn’t exist in New Orleans yesterday, only the Saints, or rather, what was left of the Saints.
Honestly, I can’t blame them. I can understand how it feels to have something of unprecedented magnitude thrown down on a team you love so much. I mean after all, my football team up and moved to Baltimore back in 1995. I know that’s not on the same level as this, far from it, but to the city of New Orleans and fans of the Saints… it is.
They were already planning their Super Bowl parties. They believed it to be a foregone conclusion that the Saints would be the first team to ever play the Super Bowl in their home stadium. After the way last year ended, it was hard not to believe them. The Saints looked like as good a bet as any to reach the Super Bowl next season. Now, not so much.
And that’s what makes this so sad as someone who understands Saints fans from having been around them. They love to party and they love their team. Nothing else during football season matters. What happened yesterday robbed them of the chance to throw the ultimate party of all parties and they’re not happy about it. Again, I can’t blame them. What the Saints could have accomplished in 2012 would have been a once in a life time event.
Now where is my pitchfork?