On the occasion that the New Orleans Saints are having a remarkable season, this non-New-Orleans fan would like to pass along some supportive advice.
First, congratulations on the awesome season that your team is having! The Saints have not always been such a good team, and the fan base is relatively cleansed of bandwagoners (**cough** COWBOYS **cough**), so it is wonderful for the rest of us to witness the team to which you’ve pledged your loyalty outperform the rest of the league in such a striking way. It couldn’t have happened to a more honorable team or fanbase.
Having said that…
It occurs to me that some of you are kinda new to this “winning” thing, and you’re not exactly showing your classy side when it comes to supporting your (currently undefeated) team this year.
Since your national exposure is in its early stages, we still have plenty of time to fix things before the rest of us begin to unfairly loathe your team and hope for you to die. (**cough** PATRIOTS **cough**) Just follow these very helpful tips:
1. Get rid of “Who Dat”. Immediately. It just doesn’t work. Some fanbase customs just don’t work. Cheeseheads and J-E-T-S, those work. On the other hand: Terrible Towels? Don’t work. You can keep “Geaux Saints” because it’s punny in a good way. But “Who Dat” is obnoxious and infantile. It’s already overused this season. Just seeing it makes my eyes bleed.
2. Stop bragging so much. We get it, your team is good. We can see that in the Power Rankings. We respect you, as long as you don’t rub EVERY VICTORY in our faces. You don’t have to prove anything to us, UNLESS you become one of those awful bragging fanbases who karmically invite all the trash talk that they get when their team inevitably shits the bed someday. (**cough** EAGLES **cough**) Save yourself the future pain. We will not kick you when you’re down if you don’t kick us now.
3. Don’t buy or wear any Shockey jerseys. The guy is an irresponsible dick. He will embarrass your team soon enough; it’s not a question of “if” but “when”. We’ll forgive his presence on the team since it has so many other redeeming players. (Like they said at KSK, you really can’t hate Drew Brees.) Support them instead.
4. Hype up the “Katrina” factor a bit more. No, really. That’s the one thing you THINK would be overplayed. Probably coming from the media, yes it is. (I still get seizures when I think of Mike Tirico introducing that first post-flooding MNF game at the Superdome) But we still feel terrible for your city. Really terrible! Come to think of it, we feel even MORE terrible because some of us (save for Krucoff and Bakes) promised to take one of those homebuilding trips to NOLA and never quite got it on the calendar. (And, if you’re like me, you’ll feel extra terrible if you dropped out of such a trip within a week’s notice) Milk it for all it’s worth! Remember, people outside of NYC were rooting for the FREAKING YANKEES in the 2001 World Series because of 9/11. Trust me, you can drag out that sentiment at least for a couple more years.
5. Don’t feel ashamed to remind the rest of the country that you haven’t won any titles for all those years. Somehow, that also works when it comes to earning the good wishes of the rest of the league’s fans. It makes no sense, of course, but it works; after all, your average NFL fan often can count their Wonderlic scores without taking off their shoes. This will be important in the playoffs. Unless, by some weird perversion of sports, you end up facing the Chicago Cubs in the Super Bowl, you will probably be the designated franchise underdog team (sort of like a “Cinderella” in NCAA hoops) throughout the postseason, even if this year’s roster is a powerhouse on the field. Take advantage of that! It’ll make people hate you less when your team is up for the big trophy. They’ll think it’s your “turn” for a title. You’ll appreciate their support.
6. Last and most important: if you lose an important game (or get knocked out of the playoffs), be gracious in defeat. People also remember how a fanbase responds to disappointment. You’ll want to pick yourselves up, dust yourselves off, and get back on the horse and keep things going for the future. This will help a lot if you do not take 1,000 temper tantrums and blame anyone/everyone else for the reasons why your team unfairly lost a game. (**cough** SEAHAWKS **cough**) Instead, raise your heads, be humble, shake hands with your enemy, congratulate them on the win, and move onward to the next game. There’s always a next game.
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