Monday, October 08, 2012

Should We Celebrate a Saints Win?

Does anyone else have a little problem with the reporting on the New Orleans Saints win? I mean, the basic thrust of the narrative is that the team struggled during their four-game losing streak, but they pulled together and they overcame adversity and they finally got that win they'd been working so hard to achieve. Go teamwork! Yay for overcoming adversity! Hurrah for working hard!

...but I will admit, I'd like at least one person over at ESPN to point out that the "adversity" they overcame was entirely self-inflicted, that it was a punishment for cheating their way to a Superbowl win (and not just any kind of cheating, but the dirtiest cheating imaginable in any sport, deliberately injuring your opponent to prevent them from being able to compete against you) and that frankly, the fact that it was hard for them to win games means that the punishment is working exactly as intended. If anything, the way they reacted to winning tells me it wasn't enough of a punishment--if they're seeing it as a triumph that the NFL's disciplinary actions weren't enough to stop them from winning games, then they're clearly not engaging in the kind of introspection that should come to you after finding out that your teammates were out there trying very hard to inflict permanent injury on people because a trophy was more important to them than a living human being's health.

If I was Drew Brees, I don't know that I'd want my coach to be there for my big day. I'd be profoundly ambivalent about putting on a Saints uniform after the way it was tarnished by the actions of Gregg Williams and the Saints defense. I don't know that I'd go so far as to apologize for winning, but I wouldn't be comfortable portraying it as some sort of great triumph of the human spirit, either. The Saints were 0-4 because they deserved to be 0-4, not just through the quality of their play but due to the quality of their character as an organization, and I'm a little surprised that this is being so quickly forgotten in the rush to celebrate their achievements.

1 comment:

CalvinPitt said...

I'm not celebrating it (I'm an Arizona fan, so I'm more concerned about their inept O-line), but I imagine part of it is there are people (myself included) who see the penalties levied on the Saints as a load of crap. It's Roger Goodell acting like he cares about player safety (he doesn't, he cares about the appearance of caring). The Saints are the convenient scapegoat for a guy who loves to throw his weight around like the little tin dictator he is.

The victory is I suppose a sign of the Saints overcoming (for one week) being singled out for something I'd imagine every team does to varying degrees. You don't think other teams don't try to batter Drew Brees as much as they can get away with (and maybe even beyond that, a 15-yard penalty might be well worth getting to contend with Chase Daniel instead)?

That doesn't make the Saints innocent, but I find it stupid they've been singled out as the one evil team by Goodell.