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Forecast: Why Saints fans are freaking out

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Forecast: Why Saints fans are freaking out by Ralph Malbrough HOUSTON, Tx. -- Since the Cowboys game my inbox has been flooded with e-mail telling me I’m in denial, haven’t been watching the Saints play, and know absolutely nothing about ...

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Old 12-25-2009, 06:57 AM   #1
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Forecast: Why Saints fans are freaking out
by Ralph Malbrough

HOUSTON, Tx. -- Since the Cowboys game my inbox has been flooded with e-mail telling me I’m in denial, haven’t been watching the Saints play, and know absolutely nothing about football.

I know for certain only one of those things isn’t true, I always watch the Saints. All the angry e-mail and calls to my podcast got me wondering, “Why are a great number of Saints fans in full, unabridged freak out mode?”

Read your favorite Saints blog and the freak out comes with four letter words and statistical breakdowns of the offense and defense.

The reason a lot of Saints fans are panicking isn’t because the defense looks shot or the offense is suddenly not scoring 40 every week.

It’s simple why some Saints fans are worried: expectations can ruin a perfectly good party.

Since about week five we’ve all known this season was special and different from the 40 or so that preceded it.

For the first time we’ll only judge the Saints season a success if they at least play in a Super Bowl.

We’ve never experienced this before, and as the playoffs draw closer, we know this season ends in either pure ecstasy or unbearable agony, and it’s ok to freak out just a little.

We are either going to walk out of the Superdome celebrating an NFC Championship or we walk out following the most disappointing loss in the Saints history.

There isn’t anything else that will happen.

2006 was magical and burst on us almost like snow during a New Orleans Christmas. It was something fun and unexpected that everyone loved, but it was so almost out of thin air it seemed to happen like a blur.

During 2006 it was all so new – the return to the ‘Dome, the win in Dallas, the comeback in Green Bay, and finally to cap it off a win over the Eagles in the playoffs.

There wasn’t an expectation of anything. We were just happy as hell the Saints were still in New Orleans and winning.

I was bummed out over the loss to Chicago, and watching the fourth quarter knowing the Saints weren’t going to the Super Bowl was agony, but the season was so fun I got over it in about an hour.

2009 is completely different.

Personally, I knew this season would be magical when the Saints absolutely crushed the Raiders in the preseason.

The Saints looked and felt like a 12 or 13 win team, and I told myself if this season was magical, I would enjoy the hell out of it.

No worrying about the Super Bowl during the season and wondering every week if the Saints were capable of winning the Lombardi trophy.

Nope. It kills the fun.

When I was a kid and Jim Mora’s teams were fighting the losing battle against the 49ers, Cowboys, and the rest of the NFC, all I cared about was winning a playoff game.

I didn’t enjoy the 1992 season at all. The Saints went 12-4 but all everyone talked about, all I wanted was a playoff win. The ‘Dome Patrol was fantastic and I feel like I missed it because all I thought of was playoffs.

Buddy D even said the season didn’t matter, playoffs was the thing.

He was right and wrong.

Yes, winning a Super Bowl is how history judges a team, but what I’ve realized through all the losing the Saints have done is what I want most is for them to be relevant in the NFL.

The Saints have never had a season like this one and probably four of my top 10 moments being a Saints fan has happened this year. Somebody might say that shows how bad the Saints have been but I say it just proves the 2009 season is the season of our dreams.

If I close my eyes I can still see my girlfriend during the Washington game asking me how I could be so calm after the Redskins missed the field goal and Drew Brees came on the field with one last chance to tie the game.

“It’s no fun being nervous during a miracle.” I said.

Brees then hit Robert Meachem to tie the game.

When the ref announced they were overturning the call on the field in overtime and the Saints got the ball I laughed like a drunk at a table who just got dealt a third straight blackjack.

It was just too unbelievable for words, which might be the slogan for the 2009 season. If you’ve read this column regularly you know I’m hard on the Saints and when they were a mess I’d tell you they were a mess.

I wouldn’t dream up scenarios where a 5-5 Saints team was going to the Super Bowl. If you wanted to hear everything was OK when Jim Haslett had the Saints stuck in mediocrity, then you probably stopped reading me along time ago.

If the Saints handle their business against Tampa Bay then they’ll have the best shot they’ve ever had to win the Super Bowl.

What makes sports great is the uncertainty. If we knew this season was ending in a Saints Super Bowl victory then the euphoria we’ll feel when we party wouldn’t be as great.

Call me corny or whatever, but when I look forward to the uncertainty of the playoffs, I see the possibilities of ecstasy, not disaster.

Of course if the Saints lose to Tampa, I’ll deny this column even existed and look for the nearest cliff to jump off.

The games

Last Week: 1-4

Season: 37-38

New Orleans (-14.5) vs. Tampa Bay: The Saints 2009 schedule is set up like a dream. Just as they seem out of gas and ripe to be beat again, the perfect team comes to town. The chase for perfection really did take a lot out of the Saints, because when they played bad teams like St. Louis, Washington, and Carolina, the Saints were their Super Bowl.

Now, the Saints can pound Tampa, take next week off, and get ready for the playoffs. As an added bonus the Saints shouldn’t need any of the injured (Shockey, Greer, Ellis) to beat the Bucs.

Tampa even won last week, which is the best time to play a bad team late in the year in my opinion. A bad team is more likely to break a losing streak then start a winning streak in December. I wouldn’t expect the Saints to come out anything other than mad. Sean Payton has been excellent getting the Saints ready against bad teams. Last year the Saints had their toughest loss of the year in Chicago and bounced back the next week to dismantle the winless Lions.

Remember that team was basically eliminated from the playoffs and had absolutely no reason to play hard against Detroit besides not wanting to be the Lions first win. The 2009 Saints have everything to play for.

The last time the Saints defense looked good was against Tampa anyway.

I’ll be very surprised if this is a game after three quarters.

Saints 38-13

Chicago (+7) vs. Minnesota: The Brett Favre story will end badly. If TO or Randy Moss had refused to come out of the game the media would have crushed them but Favre does it and everyone shrugs and says the Vikings will work it out.

Really? Basically Favre is doing whatever he wants and told Brad Childress to go fly a kite and no one sees a problem. The Vikings also have issues on their offensive line and if teams can stop the pass rush the Minnesota secondary can get lit up.

You think the Bears might have one last good game in them Monday night?

Bears 24-21

Philadelphia (-7) vs. Denver: The Eagles defense is a mess and Andy Reid always seems to screw things up, but Desean Jackson scare the you-know-what out of me.

He’s always open, like no one is near him (doesn’t the defense know to put two guys on him?), open. He and Tennessee’s Chris Johnson are the most exciting players in the NFL right now.

Steve Smith of Carolina went on a rampage in the 2006 playoffs and nearly got the Panthers to the Super Bowl. Jackson might do that.

The NFC playoffs are shaping up to be spectacular. Saints - Cardinals and Vikings - Eagles would be as good as it gets. The Broncos are trying to take the title of December Failure away from the Cowboys.

Eagles 34-17

Washington (+7) vs. Dallas: Go ahead and believe in the Cowboys if you want. If the Saints faced them in the playoffs I’d be worried because they have the perfect defensive personal to give the Saints fits. If they played 10 times the Saints would win six. The thing is the just when the Cowboys seem to be together they crumble. Earlier this year they had won four in a row, including one in Philadelphia, and then they went to Green Bay and got rolled.

The Redskins were a train wreck Monday but I bet they pull it together against Dallas. Think of me Sunday night when you are watching the game screaming, “Why didn’t Tony Romo play like that against the Saints!”

Redskins 19-17

Pittsburgh (-2.5) vs. Baltimore: I usually pull against the Steelers but I want complete chaos in the AFC. If things fall right there could be seven 8-7 teams fighting over two spots. How awesome would that be?

Steelers 27-24

Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at ralphmalbrough@hotmail.com, find him on Facebook, or listen to his Saints podcast at Forecast Radio on Blog Talk Radio

Forecast: Why Saints fans are freaking out | wwltv.com | Football

Last edited by papz; 12-24-2011 at 07:47 PM..
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Old 12-25-2009, 12:34 PM   #2
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Re: Forecast: Why Saints fans are freaking out

Granted I don't have access to Ralph's e-mail, but I don't think Saints' fans are freaking out. To be realistic, the Saints have not played well in nearly a month. To their credit, it has only cost them one loss. We have seen other teams slide throughout the season and it has meant multiple losses.

Obviously our injuries have hurt us, a lot. But the Saints have earned a bye and their WL record will most likely mean the game against Carolina is meaningless, so the team will have a good chance of being much healthier by the time they play their first playoff game.

We are nearly a month away from the divisional playoff game and a lot can happen between now and then. Within that same amount of time, the media darlings have gone from the Vikes, to the Cards and now the Eagles.
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Old 12-25-2009, 04:49 PM   #3
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Re: Forecast: Why Saints fans are freaking out

Merry Christmas! Good article- Freaking probably right none of us have been through anything like this with this team. Each week watching these games is emotionally draining. The bottom line for our success is to give Brees the time to throw. Also the defense just needs to keep Brees on the field and at least grab one turnover or interception. It really is a simple formula, stay focused Who Dats!
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Old 12-25-2009, 05:28 PM   #4
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Re: Forecast: Why Saints fans are freaking out

This is THE magical season for the Saints in their short history. If we can't go to the Superbowl with this team or one slightly altered from this one, we will never go. Brees is a once in a century quarterback (see the Chicago Bears for how bad it can get). We have a top coach on offense and defense, and the breaks have gone our way. It only has to continue for a few more games for us to reach the promised land.

If Brees is hurt it is over. It has to be this year (great Karma and breaks) or next year at the latest. The time is now. Who Dat.
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Old 12-25-2009, 06:18 PM   #5
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Re: Forecast: Why Saints fans are freaking out

Freaking out? With all those 7-7 teams out there hoping for other teams to lose while they win out, I am certainly not freaking out. The Saints have the best record in the NFC and the second best record in all the NFL.

It's nice for the Saints to finally be in this position. I'm loving this.

Last edited by iceshack149; 12-25-2009 at 06:20 PM..
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Old 12-25-2009, 09:13 PM   #6
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Re: Forecast: Why Saints fans are freaking out

one loss and I am freaking? LMAO. one win and I am calm as a church mouse. This guy does not know what it is to be a long time saints fan. Seen it all now. well almost. one thing left SUPERBOWL!
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Old 12-26-2009, 01:16 AM   #7
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Re: Forecast: Why Saints fans are freaking out

I have to agree with alot of this article. I said something very similar, in a post earlier. I can't speak for the rest of you, but I know, when I am close to something this big, every week gets more and more hectic, and stressful. That's why they call these things cinderella stories. If Cinderella had been sold into slavery, and the witch had taken over the kingdom, then I wouldn't call that a "happy ending".

I reallize how over the top that analogy is, but it's kind of the point. I want to WIN the superbowl, not discuss on here, for the next eight months, about how it was still a great season, and damn, I wish we could have won it all. I also know that no one else wants to do that either. I like the wave, and it has been a fun ride, but wow, talk about a major downer, if we aren't in Miami. Geez. I don't know how I would react.

We all have different ideas, about how we see things, and that's great. It makes for interesting conversations.

What's popular is not always right, and what's right is not always popular.....
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Old 12-26-2009, 11:40 AM   #8
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Re: Forecast: Why Saints fans are freaking out

Freaking out at the moment - no! Concerns - maybe. Nervous - yes.

We are either going to walk out of the Superdome celebrating an NFC Championship or we walk out following the most disappointing loss in the Saints history.
This. Either ways and I will be freaking out. Will be much white rum flowing....... down my gut.
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