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Saints vs Broncos
Sep 22nd, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)I went to the Saints – Broncos game yesterday, and I don’t blame Martin Gramatica for anything. The guy had not missed a kick in a Saints uniform, so he had a lot of credit built up, as far as I was concerned. And all told, it was a great game. The Broncos won, but it was by far the most gripping game I’ve ever been to. It reminds you why you just might piss away your Sundays with the NFL and be at ease with it.

Things looked ugly for the Saints early, as their first drive stalled. The Broncos scored, turned a Reggie Bush fumble into seven points, and led 21-3 early.

From there, the Saints got their act together. The sun started to really beat down on the stadium. I was in section 532, up into row 33 and I think there were maybe three rows behind us and that was it. Honestly, they were fine seats and we were able to see everything on the field at all times. Our section was really cool, too – there were a lot of Saints fans present, and the Bronco fans that were there were chill. I never once felt like some animal was going to freak out because I wore my Bush jersey, and I probably couldn’t say the same about western New York, where I am originally from. (During the playoff game between Buffalo and Jacksonville in 94 or 95, I wore my winter jacket, which happened to be a Saints jacket… and Bills fans were tossing snowballs at me. If you wonder why that entire city crumbling, well, there ya go.)

I actually don’t feel that terrible about the game. The sun was shining, I got to see all my favorite players (would have liked to have seen Deuce McAllister enter the game), it was an up and down game that came down, essentially, to an attempted field goal, and it was a loss on the road to a team in a different conference. It’s not that critical in the playoff picture. I say all this because the old me would have been freaking out with vicious attacks, cruel taunts, unflattering impersonations and twisted carcicatures against Saints players and coaches. I just don’t have the bile any more.

The Saints are 1-2, and I just learned that Jeremy Shockey is out 3-6 weeks. Knowing Shockey, it will be three weeks. Our schedule really is easy, and I remain convinced that the team is gonna be fine. That being said, Reggie Bush is the Saints’ leading rusher and receiver, and has scored 4 times in 3 games. I was really considering bookmarking all the horrible, stock, by the book articles that trashed the frigging guy since he left with a partially torn MCL last year, but Christ, I am 34 and I just don’t have time to keep track of the shitty, shitty sportswriting that we see in this country. I knew I would be validated – he’s a fucking star – and… great? I am smarter than the average sportswriter? I already knew that.

 

164 Yards and a Score
Sep 8th, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

I grew up in western New York, and the fans there were always busting on Bruce Smith and Jim Kelly. You play football, you have a target on your back. That’s fine.

I hang out at a few bulletin boards for my favorite team, the New Orleans Saints. There are guys there that don’t like Reggie Bush. Even out of our own little sphere, he seems to get an inordinate amount of shit. And for what? I’ve always maintained that he was key to the team getting to the NFC Championship game in 2006. In 2007, everyone on the team sucked in the first four games. (If the Saints had lost to the Bucs today, I would not have been able to say that they “sucked.” Getting drilled 41-10 last year to open, at Indy? Yeah, that performance sucked.)

But I guess my point is, after watching Bush go for 164 total yards and a score, is that these sportswriters are able to churn out generic article after generic article, none of it backed up by actually watching the games. They look for some universal narrative that won’t get them mocked by their peers, and “Reggie Bush being a disappointment!!” seemed to be the one they grabbed onto. At least for the next seven days we don’t have to hear it.

(I am also enjoying the headlines that read, “Bush stays course as Saints hold on to win.” It’s great to see even a random NFL article make fun of the colossal joke we have as Prez. But hey, they didn’t like Truman at the end, either! So it’s all good there!)

You really have to watch these games to get a good feeling for how the players perform, and I think I’m going to be writing less-cocky opinions in the future, because I’m definitely not able to catch all the games. I don’t want to turn into one of those choads still banging the drum that the Cardinals are an embarrassment or whatever. (Maybe historically, but they went 8-8 last year and started things off correctly this year. We get used to these 13-3 to 10-6 turnarounds, but there seems to at least be some slow, steady progress there.)

The other thing about a sort of statistics-based view of the NFL that always gets me is a story I remember about one of the Saints teams under Haslett. Completely poised to go to the playoffs, there is some rumor that Joe Horn or Joe Johnson slept with Willie Roaf’s wife. Enough strife immediately appears to have them completely blown out to end the season, and they end up going 7-9. I’m not saying that there can’t be a more measured and nuanced look at football, that somehow brings you to the conclusion that Reggie Bush is the worst #2 pick of all-time and the Texans are now geniuses for not trading down and continuing to make the playoffs, but I’m going to need to see cuckolding quantified before I am totally ready to sign off.

 

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