28 March 2012

Parcells, and a Window of Insight

There's recently been this drowning chorus of damnation from the legion of parrots and barking seals in the mass football media over the Saints' potential hiring of Bill Parcells. 


Like it's not fair or something. 


I have no idea why, but it seems like virtually every axe-grinding media buzzard with a platform (or footstool) is operating under the faulty assumption that the Saints either can't or shouldn't be allowed to win this year. Where was that in Commissioner Goodell's decree of punishment? 


Have these people not been paying attention to what's happened in and around New Orleans for the past 6 years? Or are they just conveniently setting all of that aside in order to slog forward on their sanctimonious quest to see who can bigger-dick the next guy on why the Saints are doomed?


Sorry fellas, who were you expecting to get the call? Curley Hallman? And remind me again please, what does "showing contrition" remotely have to do with trying to maximize an opportunity to win another Super Bowl? Contrition and the desire to win are mutually exclusive; there's no relational aspect between the two, yet too many of these clowns who shape opinion want to tell their audiences that the Saints are bad people for seeking out Parcells. It's a ludicrous position and it's revelatory of the fat-headed myopia with which these tools operate.  


Yes, I'm talking to you Michael Wilbon, Stephen A. Smith, Mike Florio, Len Pasquarelli, Jason Cole and the many other errand boys collecting a bill for the league. I tell ya what, why don't you go get your shineboxes and wait on Roger Goodell instead? What's the difference at this point? 


It's gotten to the point of discrediting the move to hire Parcells that both national and local columnists are intimating a second coming of the ill-fated Ditka era in New Orleans. 


So while we're discussing nonsense, can we please stop with the faulty comparisons between Ditka and Parcells already? Ditka was a screamer. Parcells is a thinker. 


In the football world of identifying talent, maximizing abilities, and leading franchises, Bill Parcells is the Vito Corleone to Ditka's Luca Brasi. They're coaches of distinctly different talent levels. There's a reason Parcells has been around--successfully--for so long, just like there's a reason Ditka retired to a TV job after his failed stint in New Orleans. 


Oh yeah, and there's also this little difference between Drew Brees and the rank, steaming pu-pu platter of Billy Joe Whatshisnames, Danny Wuerffel and Heath Schuler. Just stop it already. 

The Saints are here to win. Get over it. 


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Setting aside the gaping disparity in sanctions dispensed during the SpyGate scandal, do we not see the possibility of the Saints responding in 2012 like the Pats did in 2007? Do these talking heads not remember how personally the Patriots took to the bashing and to the "cheating" label they were saddled with after SpyGate? 


They took it so personally, in fact, that they went all scorched-earth with it, set the league record for points scored, and came within a complete miracle from being considered the greatest team of all time.


You don't think the Saints are ready to attempt the same thing?


So go ahead, keep on hating. 


If I'm thinking about this, you can sure as shit be certain the Saints' locker room is. Hell, Zach Streif came out and said as much


Just remember, the Saints are a team largely intact and highly talented. This is a team that, after finding its balance in 2011, eviscerated almost every foe in its wake (ATL, TENN). Only the trainwreck of five turnovers mixed with the chronic, reckless idiocy of Gregg Williams prevented the Saints from continuing on to Super Bowl glory. 


And this team will be back with an enormous, unseen-before chip on its shoulder. Yet all the pundits have already kicked dirt onto the grave of the 2012 Saints. 


On America's Game: 2009 Saints (the NFL Network program dedicated to chronicling each of the Super Bowl winners through the perspectives of players and coaches), Drew Brees pointedly remarked that "adversity really shapes you." The way in which Brees said this almost seemed like an invitation for adversity, for an opportunity to reveal the inner character of his team. 


Not that Brees and his team ever needed it, but we're talking now about adversity of the highest order: an attempted neutering of the franchise during the peak of its championship window. 


While the national (and local) media might expect the Saints to take this lying down, to recede meekly into the shadows, and to assume a loser's mentality, the overwhelming majority of the Saints' fanbase sees this in a diametrically opposite light. We're not going away. 


Maybe none of this will come to pass. Maybe Parcells will forego the chance for "upside, sublime." But what's not going to change--and I have no idea why anyone logically thinks it will--is the Saints' single-minded focus to win championships. It's an issue altogether removed from admitting to and accepting punishment for their misdeeds. 


Not only is acquiescing no longer in the DNA of this franchise, but it's also not a tenet of the sanctions that the Saints can't be competitive. The sanctions might be an attempt at that, but they do not represent a fait accompli. It's too bad the large majority of the "cognoscenti" can't see it that way.  


Simply, the mere fact that Parcells is in play is indicative of the Saints' mindset and resolve in the aftermath of BountyGate. The Saints' players and front office are among the most competitive, proud men representing some of the most loyal, resilient fans on the planet. 


What do you expect them to do? Shrink from the moment? 

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