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Defender Picks

 


Bounty Bluster


Q
Dear Dead Huey P. Long, As a popular leader who often faced accusation of bribery and corruption, I was wondering what you make of the Saint’s Bounty Gate scandal? You saw you share of scandals. Can the Saints will survive this one? --Who Dat Fan in Destrehan

A

 

Like the New Orleans Saints, there’s nothing I love more than knocking the snot out of rivals, and I don’t mind putting a little extra cash on the barrelhead to get it done.  Unlike the New Orleans Saints, I am dead.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I survived a lot, a helluva lot.  Everybody had it out for ol’ Huey P., from those sumbitches at Standard Oil, to those sumbitches in the state legislature what tried to impeach me, to that sumbitch FDR who called me one of the most dangerous men in America.  They all accused me of playing dirty.  Truth is, they just didn’t appreciate my particular style of getting things done.

 

I survived all that, and I would’ve kept bull-dozin’ right over anybody else in my way, if it weren’t for Dr. Carl Weiss.  I’ll give Weiss this much credit: he knew there was only one way to stop Huey P. Long and that was with a .32 caliber pistol at point-blank range.  Weiss now rots in hell and I’m holed up at the Nola Defender HQ for the rest of eternity, which just goes to show some fates are indeed worse than death.

 

But I digress.

 

Roger Goodell cannot stop the New Orleans Saints with fines, suspensions, and draft picks.  Primarily this is because—and here’s a pro-tip from the ol’ Kingfish—the New Orleans Saints have the overwhelming support of the people and Roger Goodell is just another bully.

 

Roger Goodell is Standard Oil, protecting his own interests in the name of protecting everybody else’s.  He wants to protect the competitive integrity of the sport.  He’s concerned about player safety.

 

Hogwash.

 

Roger Goodell is practicing easy morality to make himself look good, while any self-respecting football fan knows damn well that bounty systems are a fact of the league and are, ultimately, less detrimental to player safety than the 18-game season that Goodell keeps pushing.  He drops the nine-pound hammer on Payton, Loomis, and Williams because this kind of behavior will not be tolerated, yet chooses to ignore allegations of bounty systems when Williams coached in Washington, D.C.

 

Very convenient, Goodell.  Some skeletons are best left buried.

 

Still, the people ain’t buying it.  The people root for the underdog, not the big dog.  Show folks you’re on their side, show folks you really aim to fight for ‘em, and they’ll stand by you.  Sean Payton has proved loyal to New Orleans, and already New Orleans is standing up for him and standing up against the powers that be in the NFL.  Hell, even the bums in the French Quarter askin’ people for a penny are wearin’ brand new “Free Sean Payton” shirts. That’s the power of the people, right there.

 

Look, the Saints slipped up more than once through this whole affair and they’re gonna have to pay the fiddler.  Sometimes that’s just the cost of doing business.  But this cost seems particularly and unnecessarily high.  So do you lie down and take it?  Of course you do.  But—and here’s another pro-tip—you don’t never forget it.  And you don’t ever stop thinking of ways to get back on top, ideally making your opponents look foolish in the process.  You gotta give the people something to root for.

 

Which brings us to Bill Pacells.  The Big Tuna.  Now that’s a damn nickname.

 

Who knows if all this stuff with Parcells will come to pass.  But from where I sit, it seems so damn crazy that it just might work, not unlike a certain onside kick back in February 2010.

 

Here’s what I know about football: to make it better, make it bigger and make it louder.

 

In 1924 I proposed new dormitories with a big grassy courtyard to be built at the Louisiana State University over in Baton Rouge.  We had enough money left over to build a football stadium on top of those dorm rooms and paint a couple of end zones on that courtyard, and the result is now the 16th largest stadium in the world.

 

I made a piddly little ceremonial band into a 250-member purple-and-gold phenomenon that came to be known as the Show Band of the South.  You know “Touchdown for LSU?”  I wrote that song.

 

When in doubt, let it all hang out.

 

And adding Parcells will guaran-damn-tee that America will pay attention to the Saints.

 

At worst, the Saints struggle through the season with every eye watching.  At best, Parcells lights fires beneath all those millionaire’s asses and marches the Saints to the Super Bowl at home in the Dome, in which case Goodell would be the one handing over the trophy.  Hoo boy.  How goddamn sweet would that be?

 

Win or lose, the Saints fans will love it, and NFL fans won’t be able to look away.  Goodell wants to punish New Orleans into irrelevance?  Nice try, you rascal, but you’ve already lost.

 

Ol’ Roger Goodell must have felt like a man gone mad with power when he thought up those suspensions, a real looney.  But Goodell will soon learn that you can’t out-crazy crazy, and with all of New Orleans behind him, Sean Payton is about as crazy as it gets.  If Goodell wants a pissing match, I hope that sumbitch remembers to wear his rubber boots.




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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde

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