Watching the Saints comeback win against Carolina only had one real downside and it was the announcing. I haven't seen a person's name mispronounced as often as Thomas Morstead's was since a moderator asked Presidential candidates who was the prime minister of a country I've never heard of.
I'm not going to tell the networks executives they should try hiring new play-by-play guys because if they thought Dick Stockton was great in 1975 calling games well they probably still think he's awesome. Fox subjects us to someone named Cleatus every week so lord knows they don't actually care what we think. Did you know Cleatus has a Twitter feed? If I send him a tweet wishing he would fall off a cliff would that be considered harassment?
Don't the Saints as a recent Super Bowl winner deserve at least the 'C' team announcers? At least during LSU games we get Vern Lundquist who might be old but he gets the names right and seems genuinely excited to be at the game. His call of the LSU's punter Brad Wing's touchdown that never actually happened was understated and fun.
*I can't wait for Vern to go bananas late in the fourth quarter during LSU-Alabama. Lundquist, Brent Musburger, and Gus Johnson are my favorite play-by-play guys. Maybe once Gus Johnson stops doing college games no one cares about on FX he'll start doing Saints games. A boy can dream can't he?
I'm not here to ask for the networks to hire new play-by-plays guys, I'm here to simply ask for Direct TV or Fox or whoever to give me the option to select Jim Henderson as the sound for the Saints game.
I know I could stream the Saints radio broadcast on my computer and synch it up with my TV but why can't Direct TV do all the work for me and add $20 extra bucks to my bill? I'm lazy and I'd gladly pay it.
Ok on to the games.
Last Week: 3-2
New Orleans (-4) at Tampa Bay: Biggest game of the year so far for the Saints. Why? They win and suddenly they are two games clear of the Bucs and if you throw in the tie breaker it's a three game lead. If the Saints win Sunday and go 5-5 in their final ten games it means Tampa or Atlanta has to go 7-3 to finish the season just to tie.
The Bucs defense is a whole lot of bad right now. The 49ers ran all over them and Alex Smith looked good. When I say good I mean really good, like a #1 overall draft pick should look good. The Saints have outscored the Bucs 69-13 during their last two trips to Tampa. The Bucs probably won't have LeGarrette Blount and I don't think Tampa has the speed on offense to take advantage of the Saints linebackers.
Bucs coach Raheem Morris got the rare unsportsmanlike penalty called on him against San Francisco. Since NFL coaches scream at referees like lunatics and don't get penalized I'm always curious what sort of four letter creation must a coach spew out for the referee to say, 'Did you just call me a @#$% #$^&& #$^^%$ who eats cookies in a dumpster? 15 yard yard penalty Morris!'
I know it would never happen but I'd love Drew Brees during the postgame interview after he throws for 400 yards and five scores to yell into the microphone, 'Hey Mickey Loomis, how many NFL teams must I personally destroy until you PAY ME? My tour of destruction continues until the brinks truck is at my door. ' I'd find it hilarious but Drew is way too team oriented, professional and a team leader to do it. Admit it though, it would be pretty awesome.
Carolina (-3.5) at Atlanta: The Panthers have a really nice offense don't they? The Falcons offense scored two quick touchdowns on Green Bay then got rolled.
I'm hardly ever right about anything so I just want to mention how right I was about Falcons defensive end Ray Edwards. He was mediocre in Minnesota on a great d-line and now he's bad on a bad d-line. One of my three right calls this year!
This week Carolina doesn't just keep it close. It's time for Cam Newton to win a game late.
Philadelphia (pick) at Washington: The Eagles have too much talent to keep losing. They'll make a run and everyone will hop back on the bandwagon and then Andy Reid will either mismanage the clock or the defense will go back to being atrocious when you least expect it. Remember this in a month when they are 4-4. They roll this week though.
Dallas (+7) at New England: The Cowboys will have Miles Austin back this week and the Patriots in spite of having a genius coach can't play pass defense. New England is going to get worked by Tony Romo so prepare for a week on ESPN of talking heads asking, 'Why are the Cowboys spectacular? And what's wrong with New England?' You have been warned.
Minnesota (+2.5) at Chicago: The Bears defense is old and their offensive line is so bad I felt sympathy for Jay Cutler on Monday night. Much like the DMV I thought it was impossible to feel anything but hate for Cutler.
Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at email@example.com, find him on facebook, follow him on twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/MilneMalbrough or download his podcast at Itunes.