Walking out of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome after the Saints 36-20 loss to New England my mom said, “Maybe if the Saints are going to be so terrible you shouldn’t waste your time flying in for more games?”
I said, “If it’s really the end of Drew Brees and Sean Payton era, I’ll probably try to come to more.”
The Saints defying all expectations and logic by turning their season around 180 degrees hasn’t changed my mind about how I’m going to enjoy the Saints 2017 season. Whether the Saints go 12-4 or the wheels fall off again and they go 4-12, I’m 100 percent certain we are closer to the end of the Drew Brees era than the beginning. He’s still 38 and father time is undefeated.
When it seemed the 2017 Saints season was going to plummet off the cliff I told you not to turn away and to enjoy Drew Brees while we had him, even if it meant his brilliance might be wasted again.
Now that the Saints are 4-2 and it looks like we are getting one last great ride with Drew Brees, all the more reason to go all in and savor every last moment of 2017 Saints football. Maybe he’ll play past 40 and all these young kids on defense will give us three or four more fun years as he ages gracefully.
My experience watching the NFL tells me it’s a violent game and we are probably into overtime of enjoying Drew Brees’ career. All I know right now is we have the first place New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees, so don’t go selling your tickets on Stubhub for a couple extra bucks, and you better tell Aunt Betty to not plan any family reunions up north in December, because there’s important football to be watched. These last four Saints wins have been so much fun precisely because we thought the Sean Payton/Drew Brees era was finis, ended, done. It was a wrap. Except it wasn’t.
My wife’s favorite team is the Houston Astros and they are currently having the best season in their history. After winning Game 7 in the American League Championship Series she was euphoric but she was also sad because, “It means I only have another week of baseball.” She just loves Astros baseball; doesn’t matter if it’s spring training or Game Four of the World Series. The winning is great but she just loves the experience of it. That’s the attitude we need for the 2017 Saints. We thought all the magic was used up and the story was over but there are still perhaps a few more chapters to go.
All offseason all we wanted was just one last great ride. Just give us one more great Drew season we pleaded. It looks like we got our wish, so clear the rest of your fall Sundays, eat horrible food, make some great drinks, and after three straight 7-9 seasons, enjoy the wish we may have been granted but didn’t believe would actually happen.
Saints Fan Mood and Meditation Music: Fats Domino My Blue Heaven
Fats Domino passed away this Wednesday so of course the New Orleans legend is our Saints mood music this week. ‘My Blue Heaven’ might not be one of his songs that you think of immediately, but it’s probably my favorite. Saints football is kind like heaven right now is it not? If Fats Domino’s music doesn’t make you smile you aren’t living your life to its fullest.
Last Week: 3-2 Season 16-14 New Orleans (-7.5) vs. Chicago: Lots of you might have this Bears game pegged as a trap game. The Saints are riding high and this seems like the classic let down moment. I don’t see Sunday as a trap game for the Saints, those will come later. Sunday is an ‘Announcement’ game for the 2017 Saints. This game will be about letting the rest of the NFC know the Saints are back and coming to the Superdome means you are going to get your head kicked in.
The Bears defense is very solid. They are 7th in yards, 14th in points, and 16th in third down conversions allowed. Defense isn’t Chicago’s issue, offense is their problem. The Bears just won a football game where they had five first downs and their rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky completed four passes.
The Bears were outgained 293-153, out first downed 20-5, only had the ball 21 minutes, and ran only 37 plays on offense. They won because Carolina turned the ball over three times and Chicago turned two of those turnovers into defensive touchdowns. If the Saints can manage not to light themselves on fire and Drew Brees can stop turning the ball over this will be a very fun afternoon.
Whenever Sean Payton is doing weird stuff to motivate the Saints, like promising free pedicures to players who wear the right cleats on a wet field, I know the Saints are on their way to 12-4. I don’t have stats to prove it, but in 2013 the Saints had Gatorade and Popeye’s chicken on the road to 11-5, so I feel like my logic is sound.
Are you ready to live in a world where the Saints head into November as the NFC’s best team?
Atlanta (-5) vs New York Jets: The Saints rise from the 0-2 deathbed has been made sweeter by the collapse of the Falcons. You can argue Atlanta is two plays from being 1-5. The Falcons were getting over blowing a 28-3 Super Bowl lead like a bug gets over a collision with a car windshield. It was never going to happen. You know what TV market had the third highest ratings for Falcons-Patriots Sunday night? New Orleans. So don’t pretend like all you people weren’t gleefully watching Atlanta stumble all over themselves in the fog in Foxboro. I wish I could’ve enjoyed all the national media stories this week about the Falcons 2017 collapse in true leisurely style wearing a silk rope and smoking a pipe like Hugh Hefner would’ve.
Falcons 23-15 Carolina (+2.5) at Tampa: We are one more horrible Bucs performance from Tampa having a new coach.
Panthers 27-20 Miami (+3.5) at Baltimore: When exactly does John Harbaugh have to answer for the fact the Ravens offense consists of Joe Flacco running around sad and confused?
Cleveland (+8) vs Minnesota: The most Browns thing ever would be winning their only game all season in London where their fans can’t even enjoy it. Browns 17-12
Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at Saintshappyhour@gmail.com, find him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SaintsForecast or download his podcast at Itunes.