Thursday, July 29, 2010

Was it good for you, too?

I've wanted to write something like this ever since mid-February, but I've been a walking catharsis these last six months. Honestly, trying to write anything else about the Saints seemed more like an exercise or chore than something heartfelt. It's the feeling you get after sex: lazy, joyous and doing nothing but basking in the glow of what had just occurred. That's what this off-season has been for me; one long post-coitus sprawl.

Watching Drew Brees on Ellen? Great. Breesus on Letterman? #9 on Leno? Saints winning ESPYs? St. Drew on Oprah? Sure, I can handle all that.

You want me to dissect whether I think Al Woods is going to be an instant starter? Wihll Malcolm Jenkins break through in the secondary this training camp? How will Patrick Ramsey handle being number two on the depth chart behind Brees? Uh, don't kill my buzz, man?

That's not to say it was an uneventful set of months. I bought a house in May. I bring this up not to bore you with anecdotes of me taking advantage of a tax credit, but rather to transition into a story involving my folks that has nothing to do with the phrase "post-coitus sprawl."

Immediately following the NFC Championship Game, my dad said he'd collected several copies of the Times-Picayune for the family so we could frame them. I called him shortly after the Saints won the Super Bowl and told him to make sure he got me a copy to frame as well. It took him having to drive across the lake and wait in line, but the old man followed through and got enough copies for everybody. He'd get the two papers framed for me, but wanted to know if he should ship them to me right away. We agreed he'd bring them in June when he and my mother flew up for a visit. I was not about to trust the US Postal Service or UPS with handling this.

My parents arrived and after getting them settled, I ripped the thick, brown wrapping paper off the framed newspapers. Even though my girlfriend and I had far more pressing things to handle in the house, I grabbed the hammer and looked for a spot to hang them up, eventually settling on a spot in the living room so any visitors would see them right when they came in.

I see those framed newspapers every time I come home from work and it reminds me that the last year was not an illusion.

And as we begin the transition from that magical wondrous illuminating uplifting scrumtrulescent season to the 2010-2011 campaign, I've had time to reflect on what it's like to go from something so grand to, in essence, starting back from scratch. People often talk or joke about a movie being made for the Super Bowl season. And yeah, I'll participate in creating a dream cast, sure, but the reality of it is real life isn't a movie. Sure, we'd all love to still be riding off into the sunset with Indiana Jones and his father after grabbing the holy grail. Sadly, if life were like a movie, we'd be hanging out with some dude named "Mutt" and wondering why the hell are we dealing with aliens instead of some other religious artifacts.

It's not movies, it's television. Think about it: in a movie (in a basic sense), you get two hours and then the credits roll and you get the idea that everything has worked itself out and there will be no more complications on that issue because you just spent two hours seeing that get resolved. In TV, a problem sometimes gets solved in the half-hour or hour-long format, and yeah, things may be wrapped up for that particular week, but the character arcs remain. The cops have more cases to solve, Matlock has more people to put away, Dick Wolf's "Law & Order" noise still has more gongs to make, vampires are still fighting over some psychic bartender in northern Louisiana, some airplane crash victims are still trapped on the island, President Bartlett is still in charge, Baltimore is still a drug-infested shit hole, you get the idea.

Sure, some of these shows go off the air, but you get the idea that things just keep going on for these characters. There is no grand dénouement and suddenly everything just ends. We'll wake up at the start of every NFL season from this moment onward and know the Saints have Super Bowl 44. But there's still more seasons to be played, more adventures to be had, many more moments of exaltation and agony to behold. And we'll go forward, win or lose, like we always have. Only from now on, we've got a Lombardi Trophy.