Sunday, January 21, 2007

The N-word, the F-word and the C-word

Observations on NFL Championship Sunday

--I said before the NFC Championship game that it was the Saints' to win or lose. I said that afterwards, too.

--My preparation for the game included wearing my Reggie Bush home jersey; loading up on Hot-and-Spicy Tabasco Cheez-Its; watching Saints highlight videos and pregame shows; reading every article on the Saints within grasp; lamenting my inability to find my 1987 vinyl pressing of Aaron Neville's anthem "Who Dat?"; propping up my Saints license plate and pennant in the spots that had guaranteed victory throughout the season; rearranging said license plate and pennant with every turnover; and, perhaps most ironically, hoisting several copies of this newly acquired sign:

This approach seemed to work, as the Saints and Bears traded off on one of the most thrilling three quarters of football either team had played all year. In a rare move, however, I quit watching the game early in the fourth quarter, immediately after Bernard Berrian's 33-yard touchdown catch. Not only did I a sense a blowout afoot, but I also remembered how Berrian caused a heartbreaking fantasy loss for me earlier in the season. And how he stole my name for half of his last name. Jerk. But I digress.

After calmly leaving the room, I grabbed my "We Believe" sign and--no longer believing--tore it to shreds. Then I tore the shreds to shreds. And then I tore those shreds into tiny pieces. Ah, therapy!

My dad, who has followed the Saints since 1967 and often makes me look reserved by comparison, told me to not be too depressed because the Saints have a great thing going and have reached new highs this season. And while I understand the optimism there, part of me also wanted to see the Saints win it all. Sometimes I wonder if heartbreak isn't stronger when you almost get there, especially when you're tasting it for the first time. But, rather than dwell on it, I turned my attention to other things for awhile. Well, okay, I tried.

Several hours later, facing a pile of confetti in need of a celebration, I did a little artwork. After all, the Saints deserve credit for having their best season ever, even if they did blow it on one quarter of the most uninspired play this side of the Washington Generals:

Because, really, you do. Besides, the Pro Bowl will feature the Saints-Chargers matchup that everyone deserves to see.

--Rex Grossman is the George W. Bush of the NFL: a man of debatably mediocre talent who, nevertheless, happened to be at the right place at the right time. And who has about the same effect on the people of New Orleans.

--Watching Devery Henderson beat Charles Tillman for a hard-fought reception early in the game made me rethink my stance on the whole UL-LSU rivalry.

--The Colts' stunning, last-second victory in the AFC Championship was the most thrilling event of the evening. Not only did it break the so-called Manning curse, it also kept Super Bowl XLI from being the blandest and least-riveting game ever to fall in February. Not only would I have bypassed a Bears-Patriots matchup altogether, but I would probably have sought a job cleaning toilets just so I could suffer less that night.

--Not only is Super Bowl XLI the first to feature an African-American head coach, it'll actually feature two black coaches! This overdue racial progress bodes well for the campaign of Barack Obama, who'll need the extra votes now that everyone in New Orleans resents his support for the Bears.

--Linguistically speaking, it probably wasn't the smartest strategy to say, "Who Dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?" to a team that calls itself "Da Bears."

So, congratulations to the Bears and the city of Chicago for making it to the Super Bowl once again. You have truly captured the nation's heart with your inspiring consistency and story of revitalization. It couldn't have happened to a more undeserving team.

Go Colts!!


Donnie McDaniel said...

You ended it in the best way possible Ian. Go Colts!!!! BTW, I'm your neck of the woods right now. My dad is bad off and I'm in Lafayette now.

Nick said...

It's going to be tough since Tillman is a big part of Chicago's defense, but I'll be rooting for the Colts since I like Manning and Indy will likely be the underdog. Hopefully Manning can have a good game without Peanut getting burned too bad.

It just seemed like once the snow picked up yesterday, the games just went downhill from there.

Hillary For President said...

umm..."Geaux" it not a worde. I just thought you should know sints you keep using it.

yournamehere said...

The Bears haven't been to the Super Bowl since 1985, so it isn't like they're a fixture.

That said, I will be pulling for my neighbors two hours to the north on I-65! Go Indianapolis!