Saints To Quit Now Before
Saints To Quit Now Before They Humiliate Themselves Any Further
NEW ORLEANS, LA--After a 4-7 start and several ugly losses, the New Orleans Saints are calling it quits. The team has no chance of getting to the postseason and will no longer take the field each Sunday only to be humiliated in front of millions of people. Owner Tom Benson justified the decision by saying it was necessary to preserve the integrity of the franchise.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“We donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t want anyone to think weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢re quitters here,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? said Benson. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“There just isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t much point to us parading our guys out there every week so we can get our asses kicked. YouÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢re risking injury and youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢re also risking being embarrassed. Well, weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢re through. This team has too much pride to stand pat while our opponents walk all over us. No sir. WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢re going to quit instead.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
Benson announced his decision to the team immediately after SundayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s game. Now that the season is over, they will begin looking ahead to next year.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Hey weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢re not just folding our tents here,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? he said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“We are actively working to make this team better. The rest of this season will be spent evaluating our club and fixing whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s broken. In the meantime the Saints and the city of New Orleans can breathe a sigh of relief that this ragtag bunch is finished for the season. This is just another way for us to give back to the community.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
Coach Jim Haslett also attempted to put a positive spin on things. Even though he will most likely be gone from the sidelines next year, he insisted he had no regrets. He also said he was proud of his players for the effort they put forth each week.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“I sure am proud of the guys in that clubhouse,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? said Haslett. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“They leave it all on the field every Sunday, and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s all you can ask from a team. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢m sorry things had to end this way but I agree with Mr. BensonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s decision. We were getting our asses handed to us out there. ThereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s no other way to put it. But thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s all over now. They wonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t have the New Orleans Saints to kick around anymore.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
Haslett is not worried about his job status. As far as heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s concerned he is still the head coach, until Benson tells him otherwise.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“I canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t worry about my future right now. I have a job to do, and even though we quit on this season I still have to prepare for next season,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? he said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢m operating under the assumption that IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢m going to be the head coach until I hear otherwise. And I havenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t heard from him yetÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¦. Oh, wait a minute, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s my cell. Hold on...yep, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s him.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
The team has already notified fans that the season has been canceled via a statement on their website. Some tickets will be refunded, but Benson has indicated that season ticket holders would not get their money back.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Give them their money back? ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s crazy,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? said Benson. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“We did this for them. It was a favor. In fact, several thousand of them signed a petition begging us to stop the season. There was a lot of pressure on us. I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t think anyone will complain about this decision, especially when you consider the alternative.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
In the Saints locker room, players quietly packed their bags and said their good-byes. Some of them will be back next year and some will not, but nobody wanted the season to end this way. Still, the players understood Tom BensonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s decision.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“It was probably a good time to stop right now. Things werenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t going to get any better,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? said running back Deuce McAllister, who rushed for just 612 yards this year. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Our offense turns the ball over too many times and our defense, well, letÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s just say our defense stop showing up about five weeks ago. They got a head start on the offseason. Lucky bastards.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
Other players were disappointed and regretted the fact that they wouldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t have an opportunity to redeem themselves. Quarterback Aaron Brooks, who embarrassed himself repeatedly this season, was looking forward to a shot at redemption. Unfortunately, heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ll have to wait until next year.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s tough ending the season on a note like this,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? Brooks told a group of reporters gathered around his locker. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“I didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t exactly cover myself in glory this year. I mean, did you see some of those picks I threw? What was I thinking? Now IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ve got to got to Vegas, pick up some strippers, smoke some weed, and reflect on what I need to do to become a better quarterback.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
Predictably, the Saints are under fire from the league for their decision to give up on the 2004 season. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue openly criticized Benson and called for the team to be penalized in next yearÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s draft. He also ordered the team to issue a public apology.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“What the Saints are doing is an affront to the league and an affront to the game of football,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? said Tagliabue. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Come to think of it, what they were doing before was an affront to the league, too. I mean, throwing an interception to a linebacker thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s standing behind you is an affront to everything the league stand for. So maybe it wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t such a bad idea, after all. But they still should have kept going for the city of New Orleans. Those people need something to occupy their time other than drinking and fornicating.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
November 30th, 2004
RE: Saints To Quit Now Before
I actually called for this to happen last year.
I'm still not sure how I feel about the outcome considering we still didn't make the playoffs and Haz, Venturi and Leon are still here.
RE: Saints To Quit Now Before
In related news, Jim Haslett was offered a contract extension today to be the head coach of the team through 2020. When reached for comment Haslett said, "I just don't know what happened this year. Everything looked great in practice. But I'm excited about being the coach of this team forever. I think we're going to have a heckuva team next season. You should see what Aaron has been doing in workouts."
Aaron Brooks was quoted as saying, "We'll get better. Eventually, this team will catch up to me and then we'll be unstoppable."
Tom Benson and Governor Blanco finally met again today to discuss the team's stadium concerns. Blanco again offered a guaranteed subsidy that would be the best in the league. The Saints countered with a proposal that called for a $75 Billion retractable roof stadium that could actually be launched into space. They also asked for all New Orleans are tax revenue to be given directly to the team. It was rumored that Tom Benson asked the Governor if she could talk to President Bush about having the U.S. give the City of Los Angeles to him. After the conference Benson was quoted as saying, "It's not up to me. In the end, it just boils down to whether the people of Louisiana and America want the Saints. I give tons of money to this community and this team has a real impact. I'm only asking to be allowed to stay competitive with other teams in the league."
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