Sunday, February 7, 2010
What a Saints Super Bowl win means to me ("I Can't Explain")
Grandmaster Wang can't be the only Saints blogger getting in on all The Who love here. Oh sure, he gets more attention and comments because he's "got a nicer looking web page," "writes pieces in a timely manner," and "is consistently hilarious." But I digress...
Now that I've turned my Bennett Brauer button off, let's get on with this piece.
What would a win do for me, your humble narrator? Well, there's the obvious fulfillment and validation for following and supporting a team, particularly special because it's your hometown team and the first team you ever really followed. I suppose the sheer euphoria would last me all the way through next season. Lord knows if there's a lock-out, a potential Saints Super Bowl win would have to sustain me for that painful period when there's no NFL to be had. And at the same time, if the Saints won the Super Bowl, the team could go 0-16 the following year and I wouldn't ... well, I can't say I wouldn't care, but it wouldn't be the soul crushing bout of depression it could have been otherwise.
I know for a fact what I won't be doing and that's casting myself as some sort of bullshit "Ghost Whisperer" for sports fans whose teams haven't won a championship in forever. (I'm looking at you, Bill Simmons.)
And while Saints fans have long understood that the whole "this team is rebuilding the city" story line is mostly bollocks, the Saints are providing enough of a positive vibe for people around town and for fans to go through the daily grind. I may not live in the GNO anymore, but I understand what a positive vibe means for the city. A Super Bowl win would take that positive vibe to new, uncharted heights. And while I obviously have my disagreements and dislikes about the city and what goes on in it, I want this win for the people.
You've read or likely heard before that my father was one of the first people in line to buy season tickets when the franchise came to town in 1967. He stopped going to games after Archie left because he believed the franchise didn't give two shits. Being fan and going to games hurt too damn much, so he cancelled his season tickets. Yeah, he's been to some games here and there--he's even gone on the road to Seattle, Kansas City and Washington D.C. to watch the team over the last few years--but I don't think he would ever entertain the thought of getting season tickets again. I want a Saints win for him.
My older brother -- you heard him in the NFC Championship Game postgame radio show. You could listen to his voice again and understand what this Super Bowl berth means. And at the same time you'd know what a Super Bowl victory would mean. I want the Saints to win for him.
Many fans have had personal tragedy tied in with this team. People have lost family members over the years and have poured themselves into their Saints fandom as some sort of coping mechanism. Maybe it's Katrina-related, maybe it isn't; point is, they've turned to the Saints. My friend Ralph has really leaned on the Saints this year after losing his dad. For him, and all the others like him, I want the Saints to win.
I've done the radio show with Ralph for a few years now, and Dave over at Canal Street Chronicles joined us in the past year and has really helped bring the show to where it should be. Dave's admittedly only been a Saints fan for 10 years, but you don't get involved in a Saints blog--probably the best, most well-run sports blog for the team--if you don't give a damn and aren't passionate about them. Same thing for Grandmaster Wang. And what of the callers to said radio show? You don't just call an internet radio show hosted by three schmucks if you're from El Paso, Lafayette, Birmingham, Charlotte or Las Vegas -- not unless you have passion for the team. I've never met any of these people face to face and with the exception of maybe Dave and Wang I likely will not have an opportunity to met them. And I want the Saints to win for them as well.
It almost goes without saying that I want the Saints to win for themselves. Tom Benson deserves to have this kind of chapter written into his legacy with the fans. I want this so much for Drew Brees and Sean Payton that it hurts. If the Saints were ever smart enough to have a Ring of Honor in the Dome, you'd have to put those two guys in it with a Super Bowl win. Hell, bronze statues would be in order. Jeremy Shockey deserves to have a new chapter in his career where he's not just some drunken, womanizing hooligan. The word "champion" should have to go in front of all that. Darren Sharper may not have too many years left in his career. Hell, I could even see him retiring after this year. But I want him to have another ring. Anthony Hargrove has been through a personal hell and back. Mark Brunell has been around the league almost as long as Brett Favre. Thomas "Puntmaster Flex" Morstead deserves a ring, if only to show that drafting a punter with your fourth and final pick in a draft can be worthwhile. Marques Colston was nearly Mr. Irrelevant in the draft, Pierre Thomas wasn't even drafted, and Robert Meachem was a first round pick who vanished for his rookie season. Reggie Bush, gunning for that big contract and more importantly some respect around the league, deserves a win. I could run down the roster, but they all deserve rings. I want it for them.
And if the Saints do win, knowing what a win would mean for everyone I mentioned (even those I didn't mention) makes it even more special for me.