Over the course of last night's Saints defensive debacle against the Texans, different friends of mine reminded me that "it doesn't matter."
Technically, yes, it doesn't matter. Preseason games don't enter into the season tally, and in many cases the coaches are more interested in testing out players than running up the score. It also doesn't matter in the sense that, ultimately, football (as with all sports) is entertainment and it's not like a Saints playoff season will result in more education or highway funding for Louisiana (unfortunately).
But it does matter when I'm sitting there watching it. Because I'm a football fan and there's a game going on in front of me. It's a misguided impulse, perhaps, but I think like an athlete. I like to win when I play games and I like my teams to win games. Just as much, I don't like my teams to lose to cities I like less than New Orleans. For me, watching Saints football is like watching a movie or TV show I've been dying to see — I want it to live up to its expectations. Yes, it's fun to watch with friends and good food, but for me, the game is the thing; it's not just the soundtrack for my beer.
Last night, I watched the game in my apartment after going swimming with my new Saints raft. The raft was a huge hit with the kids at the pool, and some adults too. At 6:30, I came in to watch the pre-game show while eating spaghetti. By opening kickoff, I was focused on the game and live-tweeted it (which, miraculously, didn't result in any loss of followers). So, yes, I did get into it. Because it may not matter, but I had to shake off a little fan rust myself.
Now that I'm in Louisiana, I'll probably have more chances to watch games with friends than I did while living in Chiefs country. Maybe that'll make a difference.
But it probably won't matter!