Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I watched the whole first half and some of the third quarter of the game last night. I may not have told anybody about it, but I totally called a Saints victory, mainly because, did you hear? They have Drew Brees! And Reggie Bush! And Deuce MacCallister! And that rookie Colston looks pretty good, although maybe he just looks good because they have Drew Brees. Wait, the Saints have Drew Brees? I actually can't believe that more people weren't expecting the Saints to be pretty good. They've looked for the past couple of years like they should be pretty good, but Aaron Brooks was their quarterback, so finally they get a different quarterback and people stopped putting them in their "these guys might actually be pretty good this year" category. Why? Maybe nobody noticed that they got Drew Brees or something.

Also, I was already to pooh pooh this nonsense about it being such an emotional game and everything, but the Saints came to flipping play. They looked like they were running about four notches higher than the Falcons. How often do you see a team block both a punt and a field goal in the same half? And they weren't just "oh I got lucky and the ball hit my hand while I was jumping around like crazy behind the line" blocks, they were like Tecmo Bowl LT blocks, where some guy just runs through as if the blockers aren't there. Neither of the kicks had a chance. Anyway, I doubt the Saints are quite as good as they looked last night, since they won't be able to be so jazzed every game, but they are pretty good. At least, that's what ESPN tells me.

The other thing about the game last night is that, judging from the various stories during the run-up to the game that ESPN ran, I really thought that they had, probably as soon as the schedule came out, started planning their story, which would be something about how resilient New Orleans is and how much progress they've made and everything and how everything is all good and that they wouldn't let any inconvenient facts like how actually shitty it still is for most New Orleaners still get in the way of this amazing feel-good story. And, kind of, they stuck with it, but I was actually impressed, in spite of myself, with their discussion of the situation. Tony Kornheiser, who I guess now I have to hate a little bit less, actually looked, during his "opening comment" or whatever they call it like he had taken a good look at New Orleans and wanted to say to everyone how much help they still need. And he stuck with it through at least as much of the game as I saw. Every time he mentioned "the situation" he said that it's so important that people in America still send help and that the people of New Orleans want and need the tourists to come back so they can rebuild the parts of their city where they still live. I was expecting a canned story about how great it all is and Yay Us! and hey! it's U2! and Green Day! but the actual story was, folks, seriously, most of the city is still in shambles, but the parts that you would have come to see before anyway have been rebuilt so come back! Please! Also, they interviewed Spike Lee and didn't seem upset or uncomfortable (well, maybe except for Theisman who looked like he was hiding in the corner to get the hell away from the weirdo) that Lee was all "I can't believe that people in this country don't help each other!!! I'm so sad about it..."

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