Saints & NFL 2012 Thoughts
1) Sean Payton, and head coaches in general, are much more important to the team than many people thought. Yes, coaches donít tackle, catch passes or block, but team performance obviously suffers without a good coach. NO and SF are perfect examples.
2) Brees is a good QB but Sean Payton makes him great. Paytonís absence has brought Breeís down to what looks like an average QB. He should be glad that he closed the deal on his contract before the season started. Paytonís absence will cost Brees. His contract may be fixed but his endorsements arenít. Expect to see less of Brees.
3) Watching the Saintís these last three weeks has been painful, considering the team that has been on the field the last several years. Yes, the D had been marginal for years but the O was unstoppable. Now, our offense canít keep the defense off the field and our defense can't stop an average offense.
4) Seeing the impact of the bounty-gate penalties levied by the NFL, it is hard for me to believe the Saintís were as innocent as the players claim. If there was no proof Benson and other owners would not have stood by as Goodell issued what now looks to be a death penalty. I am beginning to believe that the evidence is not only there but that it is so damaging to the team and NFL that it cannot be made public. This is not to say that Goodell isnít an egomaniacal SOB, but things just donít add up.
5) Lastly, the sub-refs are a total joke and are making a mockery of the game. Their calls, lack of calls, ball placement and clock management have likely cost the Saints one if not two games and we are not alone. Not saying we deserved to win with the way we have played, but we, the fans, definitely deserved good refs. I have made up my mind to do two things for the remainder of this season:
5.1) To continue to cheer for the Saintís no matter how bad things get.
5.2) To not watch another non-Saints game or NFL related programing until owners put a product worth watching on the field. These amateur refs are beginning to make 1987 scab-ball look good. I am not a fan of union labor extorting money and benefits from struggling companies. I was not a fan of the recent player lockout which was no more that a battle of billionaires against millionaires. The issue of owners vs. refs appears to be different. I am getting sick of these billionaires extorting new stadium deals from struggling cities, suing small business owners over questionable copyright claims, all the while receiving special antitrust privileges. Now they are arm twisting the refs. Enough already. There isnít much an average citizen and fan can do about these issues but I for one will choose to spend my time and money elsewhere. I was about to hit the ďBuy" button for tickets to the Saints Ė Denver game but since I donít like being taken for granted or spending time and money on cheap products, I think Iíll go watch one of the MLB playoff games. They still seem to have some respect for the game and the fans.
Re: Saints & NFL 2012 Thoughts
Agreed on most points. Last year's season had a strange air about it. The lockout I felt was the reason. This year its the suspensions and replacement refs. It feels like 2005 to me. I have yet to get mad at a Saints game. That's totally odd. But I think since the opening drive of the season, there's been a sense of no expectations from me. Like, if we don't shoot ourselves, the refs will do it for us.
Its strange. I do and will watch every game. I will represent with my Saints gear. I will cheer them on. And I still have hope this gets turned around. But I can't get mad. When the Saints lose, it usually ruins my day. Now I shrug, scratch my head and get on with it.
Maybe I need to see a voodoo doctor.
Re: Saints & NFL 2012 Thoughts
Benson did not stand idly by over this, he HAS fought it, but in a very low-key, business-like, gentlemanly manner. He has been having closed-door meetings repeatedly with Goodell to plead his case, since this began, and he hired Louis Freeh formerly from the FBI to conduct an independent internal investigation into what really happened. If he bought the NFL's version of the story hook line and sinker, why do the investigation, and why not fire Payton, Loomis, the whole crew and clean house? Instead he has stood by them -- would he do that, IF they are really that guilty and the evidence was so damning?
He is sticking up for them, without defying Goodell or making a big public stink about it, or starting a big PR war over Bounties the year before hosting a Super Bowl. That's a good business decision. And he is probably just as cautious and touchy about the pending concussion lawsuits as any owner. So he is laying low. Working behind the scenes. He got Payton into the Hall of Fame game, after Roger originally said Sean couldn't go, remember?
My theory is that Benson went up there to meet Goodell in August, and basically told him, "my guy Freeh is looking into this, and his findings better jive exactly with what you've been saying, otherwise you are in a world of deep doo doo my friend, when I go public with it -- I will have your head if your evidence is less than 110% ironclad on this" and the two of them have left it hanging like that, for the time being. We'll see. Ever since that Goodell/Benson meeting in late August, Goodell sure seems to be churning out the signed affidavits dated in September 2012, I'll say that much.
Meanwhile, the other owners ARE going to stand by quietly, and let Benson fight it on his own, because face it -- anything that makes a strong team weak, will help them with their own teams. Why the heck not? But I guarantee you that behind the scenes, there is a group of disgruntled owners who are quietly, unobstrusively "less than satisfied" with the job Goodell is doing as commissioner. Benson, Jerrah, the Krafts, the Snyders in DC. Probably the Rooneys. Discontent is slowly growing, but these things take time.
I say the evidence is not being made public, NOT because it is damning, but because Goodell is simply a secretive weenie who doesn't want people looking into his bizness and asking questions about his job performance. Nothing more. He did the same thing with the evidence in Spygate, wouldn't show it to anybody. So don't let 'em wear you down. They WANT you to feel bad.
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