Ralph Malbrough / Contributing Writer

Does the thought of Atlanta being handed the Lombardi trophy by Roger Goodell make you want to take a long nap in a running car? It does for me, but seeing Matt Ryan named the Super Bowl MVP would probably be the exact right ending to this no joy, miserable excuse for a football season.

City leaders are getting pretty worried Saints fans might lose their collective minds if they have to deal with seeing fans of their most hated rival and the Commissioner who threw a Molotov cocktail into the Saints season for an entire week.

I think the city will put on a fine Super Bowl, Falcon fans would be treated well, and nobody will spit in Goodell's food. At least I hope so. The last thing the city needs is bad press of some nut job doing something stupid.

America doesn't really grasp how angry the city and Saints fans are over what happened regarding the bounty investigation. The rest of the country moved on a long time ago. They think the Saints were guilty of something and maybe got a too severe punishment but think, 'Whatever, not my team, so I don't care.'

Their attention has moved on to Lance Armstrong begging to be forgiven by America's Queen of Forgiveness, Oprah Winfrey, or Manti Te'o and his cancer ridden dead girlfriend who was as real as Santa Claus.

America might be onto something else but Saints fans are having a hard time letting go of the bomb the NFL dropped on us. Sean Payton is still suspended and everyday he can't hire a replacement for Aaron Kromer is a day the Saints don't get any better.

No need rehashing the holes in the NFL's bounty evidence. I know you are mad Saints fans you might feel like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and want to scream, 'I WON'T BE IGNORED ROGER!'

As Bill Clinton might say, 'I feel your pain.' If you are looking to make a statement but don't want to break any laws or make the city look bad I don't know what to tell you. Just buck up and grin and bear the next two weeks. They are going to be really long.

The Games

Atlanta (+4.5) vs. San Francisco: This might sound strange but the Falcons comeback win was as painful as any Saints loss in 2012. Why? If Atlanta had lost after having a 20-0 halftime lead they would have been destroyed as an organization for a generation. Some losses talk forever to recover from. The Cleveland Browns still haven't recovered from John Elway's drive and the Chicago Cubs are still cursing Steve Bartman.

The Falcons were 30 seconds from having a nuclear bomb incinerate them until about 2020. It would have been glorious.

As for the NFC Champioinship game, the stampede to think the 49ers will roll is misguided. Yes, Colin Kaepernick looked awesome against Green Bay, but I'd argue the 2012 Packer defense is the 2011 Saints defense in a different uniform.

The Falcons will play loose because they stared into the eyes of the abyss and lived.

Falcons 31-23

Baltimore (+9.5) at New England: The Falcons are the team I hate the most and Ray Lewis is the player I hate the most. A Falcons-Ravens will cause me to consider a DVD Marathon night of Homeland.

I don't mind players like Tim Tebow talking about God because at least he walks the walk. It's not Tebow's fault ESPN covers him like he is an actual NFL quarterback.
I don't like a convicted felon telling me anything about God and the special journey he's on.

Ravens 27-26


Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at, find him on facebook, follow him on Twitter at!/MilneMalbrough or download his podcast at Itunes.

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