NFL Countdown: 9. A Storm Is Coming…

YES. YESYESYESYES. Nine days until America returns. Well, America never technically left, but have you seen what’s been going on since football ended last February? I’ll give you the cliff notes: NOTHING GOOD. Let’s see, a black and white French film dominated the Oscars; Whitney Houston died; politics somehow became even more polarizing; people decided it was a good idea to start shooting each other in public places; and worst of all, Eric fucking Spoelstra won a championship. Things are so bleak right now that the best thing to happen in America this year happened on MARS. But all of that changes in just nine days. In less than a fortnight, America’s sanity will return; we will go back to caring only about the NFL; the Academy will retroactively give Best Picture to Rocky IV; and everyone will be far too wrapped up in provincial athletic rivalries to care about things like shooting each other or who gets elected president.

I’ll be getting you fully engorged prepared for the NFL season by serving up a new post each day until Opening Night. I know what you’re thinking- why are you starting the countdown at 9 and not 10? Well, the season starts on a Wednesday this year because of the Democratic National Convention, a fact completely overlooked by yours truly until 30 seconds ago. Sorry, blame Obama. The fact that he forced the NFL to move its opening game is as much evidence as I need to declare him a Muslim, fundamentalist, socialist, racist whateverelseHankWilliamsJuniorthinksheis…Then again, the season now starts a day earlier, which I fully support. If Romney was smart, he’d mandate that the NFL begins in July and that helmet-to-helmet hits are not only legal but encouraged. THESE ARE THE ISSUES THAT AMERICA CARES ABOUT, MITT.

So what can you expect here this season? For starters, lots of Dark Knight Rises references. In fact, this blog will make a lot more sense if you just read it in your head using the Bane voice. I put the over/under on Gotham City Rogues/Heinz Field stadium implosion references at 19 this season, and that’s honestly being conservative. I’m sorry; it’s simply what’s going to happen.

But in the broader perspective, the weekly format is going to change a little compared with last year. Because I have a real job these days which requires me to “work on Mondays” and “write” and “devote actual time and effort”, it’s unlikely that I’ll be churning out anymore 7,000-word, hopelessly meandering posts about pretty much every single thing that happened in the NFL and America during the previous week. And that’s probably for the best. What I’m thinking, for now, is to have a different theme for each weekday (e.g. game of the week, Head Coach/Fantasy Player Who Should Be Shamed Into Retirement, weekend preview etc…). I really have no idea what those specific themes should be just yet, and they’ll probably evolve over the course of the season, but feel free to submit any suggestions.

Alright enough jibber-jabber, let’s kick this off with your team previews, starting with America’s most morally bankrupt franchise…The New Orleans Saints

Of all the Star Wars characters to choose from, OF COURSE he picked the bounty hunter.

The Saints rolled through the 2011 regular season, going 13-3 and 8-0 at home while Drew Brees broke Dan Marino’s record for passing yards in a year. Their convoy through the NFC, however, came to a crashing halt when Vernon Davis went full-Tidwell on them in the divisional round, thus beginning a string of misfortune for Who Dat nation which included an FBI investigation for wiretapping and full-season suspensions for Sean Payton and Jonathan Vilma. But at least Drew Brees remembered all those nicknames at the ESPYs right guys?!
Added– Curtis Lofton, Ben Grubbs, the unadulterated scorn of Roger Goodell
Lost– Carl Nicks, Tracy Porter, Robert Meachem, Shaun Rogers, Gregg Williams, Sean Payton, Jonathan Vilma  and Mickey Loomis.
-Can we talk about how no teams’ stellar reputation is less warranted than the Saints?  ESPN acts like Brees, Sean Payton and the rest of the gang single-handedly rebuilt New Orleans after Katrina, then went around delivering teddy bears to every orphan in a 1,000-mile radius. In reality, the Saints organization is a veritable jambalaya of horrible human beings. Payton and his staff stole painkillers from the team doctor while Loomis, the G.M., covered the whole thing up. Even before the bounty scandal Gregg Williams (now with the Rams, and suspended indefinitely) was a blatant asshole who made a career out of building porous defenses that were only remotely successful because the Saints offense gave them 30 points-per-game to work with. And if Saints players seriously overlooked the whole “Hey this is the NFL, I’m probably not even going to be on this team in seven months” thing, and purposely tried to injure opponents for an extra 1,000 bucks then they are either the most shortsighted human beings on earth, or there’s some bizarre Manchurian Candidate thing going on in their locker room. Either way, if you root for the Saints, just know that you’re rooting for a contrived narrative of redemption and your whole life is a lie.
-In brighter news, in the wake of the bounty scandal, Commissioner Goodell is going to be fixated on the Saints like Sauron’s eye on Frodo. If Roman Harper so much as farts on a defenseless receiver he’s getting suspended for 5 games.
-I’m actively rooting for Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham to become a dynamic scoring trio for the sole reason that InSproGraham would be an awesome nickname. Then they could take pictures of themselves everywhere and give them weird color schemes that confuse the shit out of colorblind people like myself.

John Gruden says Draft THIS GUY– Brees, Marques Colston, InSproGraham.
Hate Draft– Every Saints receiver not named Colston. I drafted Lance Moore this year–apparently because I hate myself–and I guarantee he goes for a combined six points in the 12 games I start him, and 135 points in the 4 weeks I don’t.
Don’t Draft– Luke McCown.

Fun with names!
Hey aren’t you…-LT Charles Brown. Fun fact- Every time Charlie Brown gives up a sack, Marques Colston slaps him on the back and yells “Good grief!”  then dies laughing while Brees sighs warily. (Honorable Mention for this award goes to DE Will Smith and WR Joe Morgan)
How aren’t you a porn star– Chase Daniel, backup QB, 1998 Playmate of the Year.
How aren’t you playing professional lacrosse- DE Braylon Broughton. Every Delbarton class since 1956 has had a student named Braylon Broughton…true story.
NameVP– Gonna have to award this Olympics style for this roster:
Bronze- Brian de la Puente, which in Spanish means Brian of the Bridge. TROLLING.
Silver- Turk McBride, pretty sure that’s every characters’ name in the Expendables 3.
Gold-WR Nick Toon. FACE, HERE.

Vegas Over/Under- 10 wins.
Pino911 Official Pick- OVER. The losses of Payton, Vilma and the rest of the bounty hunter crew will give this team plenty to rally around, which, if you watch ESPN, is apparently the only way the Saints have ever won their games in the last 7 years. Let’s not forget that Hurricane Isaac is headed directly for the Gulf Coast. If that thing turns out to be a Category 5, this time might go 16-0.


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