Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Other Saints futile cheats

The newest allegations against the New Orleans Saints, that GM Mickey Loomis allegedly bugged opponents’ boxes in the Louisiana Superdome from 2002-04, is the latest in a series of revelations that taint the team’s recent accomplishments. But these are hardly isolated incidents — indeed, the Saints have been cheating for as long as they’ve existed. And they've hardly ever had anything to show for it. Here’s a comprehensive look back at the franchise’s futile cheating over the years:

1966: The Saints name themselves after religious icons in order to gain divine favor.

1967: In their first brush with snooping, the Saints sign running back Charlie Brown.

1968: The Saints offer a performance-based incentive to the player who conceives Brett Favre.

1969: Coach Tom Fears implements an illicit drug regimen, leading to high players lying on benches and watching their helmets dance.

1970: The Saints move the goalpost to the front of the end zone just so Tom Dempsey can make a kick.

1971: The Saints draft Archie Manning for the express purpose of spying on the quarterbacks of the Colts and Giants.

1972: Beset with allegations that they don’t care about safety, the Saints respond by losing a game 37-2.

1973: Head coach John North steals a Cleveland Browns playbook, which totally comes in handy in 1975.

1974: The NCAA discovers that Tulane has been hosting the Saints for seven years, but declines to investigate because “they’ve suffered enough.”

1975: The Saints move into the Louisiana Superdome, launching the most unfair and most squandered home-field advantage in pro sports.

1976-77: The Saints spend 26 weeks spying on the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and lose anyway.

1978: Following the Saints’ suspicious sweep of the San Francisco 49ers, the NFL punishes the Saints with the death penalty — Joe Montana.

1979: Leading the Oakland Raiders 35-14 on Monday Night Football — and with the franchise’s first-ever playoff appearance in sight — Saints coaches promise each member of the defense a $15,000 bonus and a lap dance if they just hold on. They lose, 42-35.

1980: The Saints decide to play a clean game against the Jets, just for kicks.

1981: New coach Bum Phillips introduces performance-enhancing players into the locker room. However, most are well past their freshness date, and have no noticeable effect.

1982: The Saints’ vow to cheat in October is thwarted when nobody plays any games that month.

1983: In Week 16, the Saints ply the Los Angeles Rams with cheap shots and late hits but spare kicker Mike Lansford because hey, what’s he gonna do?

1984: Running back Hokie Gajan hides a microphone in his helmet that picks up opponents’ sideline communications. But the intel is drowned out by phrases like “duck on a junebug” and other folksy things Hokie says.

1985: Bum Phillips resigns in disgrace after Joe Theismann’s leg breaks.

1986: New coach Jim Mora gets in trouble for mocking his team until officials realize that’s just what he does.

1987: Spare Bears quarterback Sean Payton is fired after failing to put the lid on the Scab Saints’ aggressive play.

1988: At season’s end, several sportswriters hit the unemployment line for having said the Saints will reach the Super Bowl — not for saying it, but for lying about it.

1989: The famed Dome Patrol defense is rumored to have a $47 million bounty out on Joe Montana. It’s adorable.

1990: With quarterback Bobby Hebert holding out, the Saints recruit Steve Walsh, who later admits to being paid to suck.

1991: Linebacker Pat Swilling arouses suspicion for yelling, “Cha-Ching!” after every big tackle.

1992-93: Prior to the playoff game against the Eagles, a secret radio placed by the Saints on the Philadelphia sideline malfunctions. It finally cracks to life in the fourth quarter, after which the Eagles score 26 unanswered points and cruise to victory.

1993: Emboldened by a 5-0 start, the Saints use their bye week to fly to heaven and personally thank Jesus for their seven-season run of luck. As soon as they get there, quarterback Wade Wilson shatters a mirror.

1994: The Saints take advantage of Fox’s new NFL coverage to keep an eye on Terry Bradshaw’s signals.

1995: The Saints lose to the Carolina Panthers despite holding an unfair advantage in existing.

1996: The Saints place actual diddly poo on opponents' sidelines.

1997: The Saints play badly on purpose in order to draft Peyton Manning in 1998.

1998: Coach Mike Ditka reportedly receives money from the Saints, as well as microphones to communicate across the stadium, for his role in encouraging players to hit hard and focus on beating certain teams.

1999: The Saints draft Ricky Williams, a beast of a player who the NFL eventually suspends for being so high above the competition.

2000: Before the Chargers game, Saints defensive coordinator Ron Zook promises $100,000 to whoever makes Ryan Leaf look bad. Leaf wins the money.

2001: The Saints are denied their request to play the Carolina Panthers 16 times.

2002: On the cusp of a playoff berth in early December, the Saints make locker-room bets that they can’t squander their hopes in epic fashion.

2003: The River City Relay, the Saints’ successful last-ditch attempt to score a final touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars, is ruled a legal play. However, the football used in John Carney’s shanked extra point later tests positive for steroids.

2004: The league rules that Aaron Brooks’ constant, incongruous laughing constitutes a positive drug test.

2005: The Saints brazenly invade other teams’ stadiums and claim multiple home-field advantages.

2006: By exceeding all expectations for a rebuilding team, the Saints are scrutinized for their alleged use of reverse psychology.

2007: Frustrated by being blown out by the Indianapolis Colts in the nationally televised season opener, Saints defenders tackle Archie Manning.

2008: The Saints play the Chargers in London, but discover the Geneva Convention applies there too, nullifying the point.

2009-10: The Saints win the Super Bowl. That has to be some kind of sorcery.

2010-11: The Saints secretly place land mines in Marshawn Lynch’s shoes. They figure even if the mines don't detonate, surely any of the 11 defenders on the field will take him down. Win-win!

2011-12: The Saints enjoy a superb 13-3 season and a deep run in the playoffs, losing at the last second to the No. 2-seeded 49ers. And it’s all possible because of Gregg Williams’ proficient and bloodthirsty defensepppahahahahahahahaha!

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