Sunday, December 7, 2008

Best of Saints Game Preview: Week 14 vs Atlanta

Posted By on Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 1:52 AM

click to enlarge Reggie Focused

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Photographs by Jonathan Bachman

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In which I take all the best news, quotes, pictures and everything else Saints-related toss it together and serve it up for our readers. This week the Saints (6–6) try to reclaim some sort of respect by undercutting the Atlanta Falcons' (8–4) season. The season may be on life support in that forgotten corner of the hospital no one talks about but ... I don't know where I'm going with this. Hey, if the Saints can't make the playoffs, they can at least mess up Atlanta's season, right?

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  • Best Reason to Care About This Game: Ultimately, Sunday's game will likely be forgotten in the grand scheme of this whole cursed season, but it will give New Orleans fans a solid look at the character of their team. If the Saints lay down and just let the Falcons knock 'em around for four quarters, it'll be a sign that Payton has lost his team and his players are already looking for the season to end. The Saints probably still remember the embarrassment at the Georgia Dome, and will probably bring their best effort, if only for pride's sake.

  • Best Quote of the Week: "At this moment, they are free ... We're obviously delighted." NFL union lawyer Jeffrey Kessler talking about Deuce McAllister and Will Smith, who will both be available to play Sunday. Well, "free" is a relative term, since the federal judge that blocked the players' suspensions did so only temporarily. Gotta love this NOLA.com image that went along with their story, though.

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click to enlarge vilma chatting

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  •  Best Game-Related Storyline to Follow: What's harder to wrap your mind around: the fact that the Atlanta Falcons have eight wins after their franchise player was sent to jail or that they're doing it with a rookie quarterback? If the Falcons end up winning the division, it should be bittersweet for Saints fan because, even though New Orleans couldn't buy that kind of luck, it'll mean the last-to-first trend in the NFC South will continue until next year. (That is, if the Saints could stop getting injured.)
  • Best Non-Game-Related Storyline to Follow: There was a point during this season where I actually began to worry about Saints' fans' well beings. How y'all manage to stay sane through a season like this one is a wonder and then I remembered that this is not the first season like this one. Saints fans know they're getting pulled around and toyed with, but they stay true to their team and they were their fan dom — however futile or cursed — as a badge of honor.

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click to enlarge Saints helmet thingy

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  • Best Random Saints Item Found on ebay: I want the meet the people that came up with and actually put together this light/fan pull-chain with a Saints helmet on this. How this was even a concept that came up in someone's mind has my head spinning.
  • Best Place to See the Game: Monkey Hill on Magazine uptown is serving free food and offering drink specials for tomorrow's game. What more could you possibly ask for? (Maybe a Saints win ... and the reason behind Mokey Hill's URL ... but nothing else.)

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