Haslett needs to look at team's collapse
By Goose Goslin
I try to be a good citizen.
I try to be a good husband, father, son, brother, brother-in-law, cousin and even a good uncle on occasion.
Most times, I fancy myself a good friend as well. Sometimes I try to be a good counselor. I try to understand people and help them understand their situations as best I can. That is why in this space I often offer free advice to puzzled Americans everywhere.
So, today I would like to wander way down yonder to New Orleans and give a shout out to an old friend, James Haslett. Haslett, as you probably know, is coach of the New Orleans Saints.
Hey, Jimmy! After reading the New Orleans Times Picayune, I understand that you can't figure out why Saints fans booed your quarterback, Aaron Brooks, before the last game with the Carolina Panthers. The Times-Picayune quotes you as saying, "What I didn't understand was, we're right in the middle of this thing, we're trying to win games, we're trying to get into the playoffs, we haven't taken a snap yet, and they're booing. To this day, I still don't understand it."
Jim, my suggestion is for you to think about it this way. No one on the planet understands what happened to your football team the past two years. Why they collapsed during the stretch in both seasons is a far greater mystery than why fans anywhere boo any quarterback.
And another thing, Jim. No one understands why Matt Millen and Marty Mohrningweg have survived two lousy years running the Detroit Lions. Can you believe they got a vote of confidence from ownership? Me neither. To quote you, Jim, "To this day, I still don't understand it."
I hope you understand, Jim, that some folks up north here do not understand why you are not getting more heat, considering the last two Saints' seasons. As a longtime acquaintance, I do not try to understand that. I am just happy for you.
Jim, a lot of people are having a hard time understanding why Bill Parcells would want to put up with Jerry Jones in Dallas. He can not need the money, can he?
And how about the Georgia Bulldogs, Jim, not to mention the USC Trojans, the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns? They won the Sugar, Orange, Rose and Cotton bowls, respectively. Back in your playing days, Jim, those were the four biggest bowls.
The point is that none of those teams got a chance to play for a national championship this year. That's because the clowns who run Division I football do not have a legitimate playoff system in place. They let fat guys in ugly blazers control things. I can understand you not understanding that.
Here is something you should really understand though, Jim, when it comes to your quarterback. I do not mean to be presumptuous, and I would guess you already understand this. Nonetheless, as a concerned citizen, I feel compelled to outline the obvious: You are married to your quarterback.
Coaches have to be married to their quarterbacks. They are your alter ego on the field. That is relatively easy to understand. Therefore, you standing up for your quarterback is understandable.
But, let me remind you of something else I am sure you understand: Your quarterback goes down in flames, you go down in flames. Unless, of course, you get lucky with a guy like Tommy Maddox.
Understand this, Jim. You should take a lesson from a fella you know pretty well in Pittsburgh. You remember Bill Cowher. You were his defensive coordinator for several years. He was married to Kordell Stewart. He even kissed him on one occasion.
But, Bill brought in Tommy Maddox and Charlie Batch to form a sort of harem. It gave him options, Jim. You need this, too. Batch is available after this season, and if you do not give him a look that is something I will not understand.
Your backup quarterback is Jake Delhomme. That I do not understand. Well, maybe I do. It must be the Delhomme thing. I can tell by the spelling ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Â the French influence. You know the ragin' Cajun local angle there in the New Orleans melting pot.
The bottom line is this, Jim. Don't try to understand why fans boo the quarterback. Just find at least one good alternative for next season.
Do you understand? I hope so.
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