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The best summation of the Saints’ zeitgeist between 2009 and 2011 was the classic Moosedenied post “We make the rules, pal.” The line was an expression of confidence: 2009 quickly became about watching a great team win a championship, not about wondering if that team was great or could win a championship, and that feeling bled into the next two seasons, buoyed by the Saints’ all-the-records offense in 2011. Here’s how we felt, said Grandmaster Wang:

We’re in this thing for us. Nobody else. Definitely not you. And if our achieving those goals leaves you humiliated and outraged, that’s your problem. Deal with it. Clutch your pearls if you must, but you’d be better served to grow a pair instead.

All true, and not even the Saints’ playoff losses in Seattle and San Francisco after the 2010 and 2011 regular seasons could put a stop to it. We’d reload and, like a hurricane that seems to ignore the atmospheric conditions and steering currents around it, do whatever the hell we wanted. Nothing, not even the antics of Marshawn Lynch or Vernon Davis, that happened on the field changed our mind. But our mindset doesn’t affect the win column.
So the NFL’s commissioner changed the mindset of the guy who does.
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The best summation of the Saints’ zeitgeist between 2009 and 2011 was the classic Moosedenied post “We make the rules, pal.” The line was an expression of confidence: 2009 quickly became about watching a great team win a championship, not about wondering if that team was great or could win a championship, and that feeling bled into the next two seasons, buoyed by the Saints’ all-the-records offense in 2011. Here’s how we felt, said Grandmaster Wang:

We’re in this thing for us. Nobody else. Definitely not you. And if our achieving those goals leaves you humiliated and outraged, that’s your problem. Deal with it. Clutch your pearls if you must, but you’d be better served to grow a pair instead.

All true, and not even the Saints’ playoff losses in Seattle and San Francisco after the 2010 and 2011 regular seasons could put a stop to it. We’d reload and, like a hurricane that seems to ignore the atmospheric conditions and steering currents around it, do whatever the hell we wanted. Nothing, not even the antics of Marshawn Lynch or Vernon Davis, that happened on the field changed our mind. But our mindset doesn’t affect the win column.

So the NFL’s commissioner changed the mindset of the guy who does.

Read more

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The Jimmy Graham Aweseome Stiff-Arm of Awesomeness

More reasons the Saints’ win over the Vikings was better than you think are right here.

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Read Rob Ryan’s lips

6 Things that Prove the Saints Were Better than You Think vs the Vikings

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Rob Ryan’s defense has gotten so normal and boring that it’s weird.
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GIF Study: Saints Week 1 Offense and Puppies

While Bradley is off exploring the land of Mordor (also called Saints defense), I figured I’d perform a little cosmic balancing and bring you the bright half of the Saints’ week 1 loss against Atlanta: the offense. And because this is the internet and Bradley is awful depressing this week, I’m going to throw in some puppies to help get you in a safe headspace.

Jimmy Graham:

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GIF Study: How the Falcons Torched the Saints

We know how you feel, Marques.

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Why Roger Goodell Must Resign

The National Football League, at this point in American history, has outgrown its former role as sports league, outgrown even its role as mega-profitable (yet somehow non-profit) corporation; rather, the NFL has become a landmark American cultural institution, with an ever-intensifying emotional hook into our collective psyche. That makes it, basically, a mirror of our culture, and so we feel some sense of national responsibility for what that mirror reflects.

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LOL okay
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How the SEC Destroyed Southern Miss — and Could Kill Football
Ask the old-timers, and they’ll tell you about the wins over top ten TCU and Houston teams, or about the long-ago 58-14 mollywhopping of Florida State, but their faces really light up when they start talking about beating Alabama, or Ole Miss, or Mississippi State, or LSU, or Auburn. So then you know what matters to old Southern Miss fans, and you understand why a university so used to winning in the shadow of the Southeastern Conference could think it was a good idea to hire a twice-failed aging dinosaur of an assistant: SEC people said it was a good idea.
The Ellis Johnson post-mortem is stunning not just because he inherited a 12-2, top 20 program and immediately went 0-12 with it, but also because that winless 2012 result was the program’s first losing season of any sort in two decades, and only its sixth in the seventy-five years since the arrival of Reed Green, its first great head coach. When Southern Miss went 1-11 in 2013, after firing Johnson and replacing him with Todd Monken, it completed its first back to back losing seasons since 1933 and 1934; the one win was its lowest two-season victory total in all 101 of its years. To open this year, Southern Miss lost, 49-0, to Mississippi State, against whom the Golden Eagles have an all-time winning record; it was the first time State had pitched a shutout in the rivalry since the first edition of the game in 1935, when Southern Miss was called State Teachers College.
The football program at the University of Southern Mississippi is at death’s door for the only time in its history, with only faint signs of potential resuscitation visible to people like me, who care enough to look. The story of how it got to this point is a cautionary tale not just for those who love the historically resource-strapped yet successful program, but also for those who love American football, despite all its flaws. Football’s greatest threat is the existential crisis posed by sub-concussive brain injuries, but the kind of thinking that pushed my alma mater into a bizarre dystopia is hastening the onset of a concurrent apocalypse that nobody sees coming.

Basically, the SEC is going to kill football.
Read more

How the SEC Destroyed Southern Miss — and Could Kill Football

Ask the old-timers, and they’ll tell you about the wins over top ten TCU and Houston teams, or about the long-ago 58-14 mollywhopping of Florida State, but their faces really light up when they start talking about beating Alabama, or Ole Miss, or Mississippi State, or LSU, or Auburn. So then you know what matters to old Southern Miss fans, and you understand why a university so used to winning in the shadow of the Southeastern Conference could think it was a good idea to hire a twice-failed aging dinosaur of an assistant: SEC people said it was a good idea.

The Ellis Johnson post-mortem is stunning not just because he inherited a 12-2, top 20 program and immediately went 0-12 with it, but also because that winless 2012 result was the program’s first losing season of any sort in two decades, and only its sixth in the seventy-five years since the arrival of Reed Green, its first great head coach. When Southern Miss went 1-11 in 2013, after firing Johnson and replacing him with Todd Monken, it completed its first back to back losing seasons since 1933 and 1934; the one win was its lowest two-season victory total in all 101 of its years. To open this year, Southern Miss lost, 49-0, to Mississippi State, against whom the Golden Eagles have an all-time winning record; it was the first time State had pitched a shutout in the rivalry since the first edition of the game in 1935, when Southern Miss was called State Teachers College.

The football program at the University of Southern Mississippi is at death’s door for the only time in its history, with only faint signs of potential resuscitation visible to people like me, who care enough to look. The story of how it got to this point is a cautionary tale not just for those who love the historically resource-strapped yet successful program, but also for those who love American football, despite all its flaws. Football’s greatest threat is the existential crisis posed by sub-concussive brain injuries, but the kind of thinking that pushed my alma mater into a bizarre dystopia is hastening the onset of a concurrent apocalypse that nobody sees coming.

Basically, the SEC is going to kill football.

Read more

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Here is Matt Ryan falling down because it is funny

That’s not even the best excuse to laugh at the Falcons, though.

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The greatest mascot photo ever and more on why the Southern Miss vs Mississippi State game today is awesome.
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Season previews in their usual form are a waste of time. Look at the MMQB Saints preview as an example: It’s speculation based on mostly-truths and mediocre opinions smoothly packaged under a respected brand.1 One goal of ours at B&G is to base our preseason speculation on funny attempts to quantify unquantifiable football things, so that, when we’re wrong, we can blame the stats we just invented.
For 2014, I have probably the worst predictive statistic ever. I also think I believe in it. Ryan and I call it ODR. I decided just now to pronounce it “Hodor.”

Season previews in their usual form are a waste of time. Look at the MMQB Saints preview as an example: It’s speculation based on mostly-truths and mediocre opinions smoothly packaged under a respected brand.1 One goal of ours at B&G is to base our preseason speculation on funny attempts to quantify unquantifiable football things, so that, when we’re wrong, we can blame the stats we just invented.

For 2014, I have probably the worst predictive statistic ever. I also think I believe in it. Ryan and I call it ODR. I decided just now to pronounce it “Hodor.”

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The Art of Choosing a Saints Jersey, 2014 — Summer Blockbusters Edition