Sunday, December 29, 2019

Well, the Saints pounded the Panthers this afternoon, slapping Will Grier and his boys all over their home stating, ending the season 13-3. Takes one back to the 2009 season when Brees, Payton and the lads brought their first Superbowl trophy back to the still-battered New Orleans faithful.

I was in New Orleans that night. Had just moved there, as a matter of fact. I’d long been sympathetic to the team. My dad loved Kenny “Snake” Stabler and Bobby Herbert with the passion one only sees in football fans when their favorite teams are goddamn embarrassments. Saints fans used to wear paper bags over their heads at home games in the Superdome. This was a thing.

That was a long time ago, though, and after 2000, the Saints were a challenge in the NFC South and, especially after the horrors of Hurricane Katrina, they became something to the people of New Orleans, folks who put up with crooked, incompetent government in the city and state and slobbish contempt from most of the rest of the nation. Not everyone who goes to New Orleans to party is a tedious, drunken asshole, but eventually every tedious, drunken asshole comes to New Orleans to party.

And speaking of party, the largest one I ever saw was the French Quarter after the Saints slapped the taste out of Peyton Manning’s mouth with a 31-17 smacking of the Colts. I watched the game at the 150-plus-year-old restaurant on Saint Peter street where I worked at the time. I’d been in New Orleans just over two months, moving to the Crescent City the previous December, and didn’t really know anyone. Even the few folks I’d met through worked dodged the party the head chef threw at the closed eatery didn’t show because, frankly, everyone else in the city had better places to be.

After Manning scowled his way off the field, the city erupted. The Quarter and especially Bourbon Street was jammed with people laughing, high-fiving, and getting even more drunk and loose. I lived in the Quarter, on Dumaine the other side of Bourbon, and had to walk four blocks into the CBD just to cross the street. A band loaded into the back of a pickup truck and eased it’s way down Burgundy, smashing a cacophony of guitar rock that barely edged it’s way past the Second Line band making it’s way down Rampart.

That party lasted past 2 a.m. and that year the Saints were 13-3 going into the post season. Now, I’m not saying the stars are right for a repeat. For one, the three games the Saints lost this year weren’t because they’d pulled the first team and let the back benchers and recently retired get their rings. rather than the befuddled O-line bumbling and ham-handed backfield that were this year’s loss. I’m just saying.

And I don’t even know why that popped into my head except that it would be fitting if the Saints capped my own personal decade in Sin City with another Vince Lombardi Trophy. Someone asked me what my “guilty pleasures” were, thinking I’d say some goofy band or silly movie, but no. It is football, a sport run by foul, mendacious corporate beasts with the souls of lizards, who exploit starry-eyed kids for the moos and bellows of the bunch of thuggish, low-browed jackasses that make up the fanbase. A sport that without question encourages long-term physical and mental damage to it’s players all for the praise of a bunch of chowderheads who’ll curse your children if you screw up once.

Or if you just decide you’ve had enough of the beating your mind and body takes every Sunday, they’ll act like you pissed on Mother’s apple pie. Ask Andrew Luck, friend. The owners, a wretched collection of greed heads who’ll destroy neighborhoods because their stadium’s 10 years old just to then pick up and leave town in the middle of the night. Or worse, if you take a stance against this country’s injustices and, coincidentally, the sins of the rich who let it happen, they’ll shut down your career when they need you desperately. Ask Colin Kaepernick, buddy.

Ah, me. That’s neither here nor there. New Orleans is 350 miles south of here but might as well be on the moon. The College Football championships, featuring LSU meeting Clemson – both Tigers, both undefeated – happens in the Big Easy second week of January and I’m blessedly thankful to not be there. Nor would I miss the party should the Saints snag another Superbowl win. I’m not even sure why this wandered across my mind today, but it did.

I guess I’m still in the surly mindset I’ve had all weekend. Plus, one forevermore vicious thunderstorm rolled through this evening. Some assholes attacked a Hanukkah in Mosney, NY, with knives five people injured but, thankfully, no one killed. However, this capped off a string of attacks on Jewish New York City residents last week, one for every day of the week. Another example of the rise of anti-Jewish sentiment throughout the nation or maybe the pigs have just stopped pretending to be decent.

Over in White Center, Texas – yes, that’s the name; this is Texas, after all – a gunman shot two people, killing one and sending the other to the hospital in critical condition. Unusually, the shooter was taken out by two gun-toting churchgoers doing the Lord’s work. One assumes, though, this is a more favorable outcome for those that claim all we need is more guns than the shooting in nearby Sutherland Springs a couple years ago. They’re figuring it out, I guess.

In other news, Trump continues to wet himself in fear of Nancy Pelosi and impeachment while at the same time apparently trying to get the whistleblower killed. What? Wait, no, Matt, that’s close to libel, son, you want to rethink that? Trump’s just joking like he always does, the card. Don’t take it too serious, friends and neighbors, he’s just the president. You got a problem? Trump Derangement Syndrome is your problem, because that’s a real thing.

He’s just the President. He can’t help himself. Two more days until 2020. Buckle up, kids.

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