- Oct 28, 2003
- Reaction score
Monday, October 5th, 2009
An Apology to the League
By Lee Stephen
With four weeks down in the 2009 NFL season, it has become abundantly clear that the New Orleans Saints have, shall we say, not exactly lived up to expectations. As one listens to the pundits and media gurus, one gets the impression that an apology is in order for the Saints’ failure to read the pre-season script. We aren’t supposed to be this good. We aren’t supposed to be 4-0. We aren’t supposed to beat teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets. Things work much smoother in TV-land when teams that are supposed to win actually win, and when teams that aren’t…well, don’t. So on behalf of the city of New Orleans and the Saints, please accept the following apologies:
We apologize for being proud to have beaten the Detroit Lions by the tune of 45-27. This should not have been a cause for excitement. After all, the Detroit Lions finished 0-16 last season, so there’s no reason to be enthusiastic in victory. Please forgive us. Rather than being encouraged, we should have been dismayed to have given up 27 points to the “worst team in the NFL.” Clearly it was a sign that our defense was suspect. Of course, some Saints fans will be quick to point out that seven of those points were attributed to the Lions via a fumble return for a touchdown, and another seven due to a muffed punt that gave Detroit a 1st down in the red zone. These “fanatics” will argue that, in reality, the Saints defense only surrendered 13 points, not 27. This argument is just plain silly. Points are points, and the Lions scored 27 of them against New Orleans. Since it is the defense’s job to prevent points, it is clear sign of our defensive deficiencies.
Unless of course, you’re the New York Jets, who in truth held the Saints to only 10 points, regardless of the final score.
We must also apologize for beating the Philadelphia Eagles, 48-22. That was our bad. Without Donovan McNabb, it was obvious that the Saints were going into the game with a handicap in their favor. Rather than being jovial over beating a team in a hostile environment, setting a record for points scored against them in their own stadium, and increasing our margin of victory from week one, we should have focused on the 391 yards that our suspect defense allowed Kevin Kolb to rack up through the air. Instead of being pleased with our performance, we should have sulked over the futility of our wasted offseason, during which our defense was not improved in the least. And besides, the McNabb-less Eagles were directly responsible for multiple Saints touchdowns after turning the ball over. Of course, braggart Saints fans will stand up again, saying, “I thought points were points, like the Lions scored against us in week one? We just scored 48 of them, McNabb or not.” Just ignore these people—things will be much more comfortable that way.
And just what are “garbage yards,” anyway?
We apologize for the anomaly in Buffalo. I say anomaly, because we’re supposed to be a finesse team—one that shuts down when the passing attack isn’t there. We didn’t mean to humiliate the Bills’ defense with 222 yards on the ground. That wasn’t supposed to happen. We were also mistakenly proud to have held Fred Jackson, who was oddly called a breakout star the two weeks before, to only 71 yards rushing, and Trent Edwards, who was heralded for having one of the highest passer ratings in the league prior to the game, to barely over a buck-fifty and a pick. It was during this week that the media corrected themselves, informing us that the Buffalo Bills actually had no offense, contrary to popular belief, which was the real reason the Saints were able to shut them down and hold Terrell Owens to his first no-catch game since his rookie season. For us to think Buffalo a worthy opponent was asinine. Rather than being celebratory for a 3-0 start, we should have been concerned about Drew Brees’ being “figured out” by a defense. And really, should we have really been so proud to have beaten such a horrible team? To win by only 20 points against the Buffalo Bills is downright embarrassing.
Not nearly as impressive as the New York Giants, who <a href="http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/33167120/ns/sports-nfl/">crushed</a> the Kansas City Chiefs (0-4) by eleven points in week four.
And lastly…the New York Jets. Yes, I’m afraid we must do more than just apologize for this one. We know, we know, the Jets were supposed to smother us with their superior defense. We heard all about it the week before. Oh, we were still supposed to win, barely, due to home field advantage. But we weren’t supposed to win the way that we did. Our defensive line was supposed to be shut down by the Jets’ veteran linemen, not rack up on sacks, quarterback hits, rushes, and fumbles. And our secondary? Well, after all (as the media was so prompt to remind us after the game) Sanchez is only a rookie, and he was due for this kind of letdown. Even if he was one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL the three weeks before, and a draft-day steal, and their new franchise hero, and a natural winner, etc. etc. etc. We’re sure he’ll be back to elite status in week five.
Actually, the Jets game should have scared us more than given us confidence. As so many radio personalities have been quick to point out today, the Saints didn’t win this game, the Jets lost it. Perhaps during the course of this week, Roger Goodell will do the right thing, review the game, and declare it a 10-10 tie. Winning the game the way we did really wasn’t like winning at all.
Unless of course, the Jets had won 24-10 on the heel of two defensive touchdowns. That would’ve been altogether different.
And so for all of these atrocities, we apologize.
We apologize for having a top-10 defense and a top-5 running game.
We apologize for being able to win without 400-yard performances by Drew Brees.
We apologize for not trailing through four games.
We apologize for scoring the most net points (78) in the league.
We apologize for "not playing anybody."
We apologize for begrudgingly climbing in your power rankings.
We apologize for not being the .500 team you all wanted us to be.
We apologize for making your experts look like idiots.
We apologize for not being the same old Saints.
Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to get busy preparing for our third New York opponent in as many games, when the Giants come to visit in week six. The word on the street is that Eli Manning has a bruised heel and might not be at his best for the next game or two. But rest assured, there’s no need to fret.
Our apologies are already prepared.
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In addition to sports satire, Lee Stephen is the author of a science-fiction novel series. Learn more about it at www.epicuniverse.com or check it out on Amazon.