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They're N.O. Saints: Is There a Such Thing as Running Up the Score in the NFL?

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 26:  Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints is surrounded by his team after Brees throws a nine-yard touchdown pass to running back Darren Sproles #43 and breaks the single-season passing record in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 26, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.   (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Jay Renard DavisContributor IIIDecember 28, 2011

On Monday night, when Drew Brees vaulted himself into the NFL lore by breaking Dan Marino's single season passing record, I rushed to view the onslaught of Tweets. (I often do that now that I am learning my way around the Twitterverse.) Never one to disappoint, my good friend Gi3Clarkson provided a gem: 

"At Bree's pace...the only memorable MARINO performance will be in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective"

He went on to further tweet that he knew I would appreciate that clever reference. He was right. I snorted Pepsi.

After I rinsed my nostrils out, I got to thinking about how Marino must feel about losing a spot in NFL history. I mean, for God's sake, he doesn't have a ring, does he have to lose his records too? I was actually concerned about Dan Marino's feelings.

Here's the problem with me thinking about feelings. Football is a sport that doesn't really afford a man time to concern himself with another man's feelings. You get hit hard, you get up. You lose the game and hurt inside, you don't cry (although, you can cry if you win a Super Bowl, but I digress). You DO NOT show any feelings in football. You just don't!

If another team beats you like you stole something on the way to helping their star quarterback eclipse the single season passing record set by Dan Marino, you don't show your feelings.

Wait...rewind, and read that last sentence again.

Okay, now replace the phrase "beats you like you stole something" with the phrase "runs up the score against you". Changes things a little, doesn't it? Suddenly it's okay to show anger and outrage. An unnamed Falcons player demonstrated that after the game. 

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 26:   Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates after throwing a nine-yard touchdown pass to running back Darren Sproles #43 and broke the single-season passing record in the fourth quarter against the Atlan
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

"No need for that," one player said. "It came on our watch, but it didn't have to come that way. We won't forget it."

It should be noted that he was so emotional he had to remain anonymous.

After reading about this poor man's outburst, I had to question my conventional thinking. Maybe it's okay to mix feelings and football if the other team beats you by too many points. Perhaps we should provide a support group for those players who need a cathartic cry if an opposing team beats them in a manner that they don't approve of.

In light of my new outlook on football's emotional transition, I have written the New Orleans Saints a brief letter:

Dear New Orleans Saints,

You don't play nice. Your job is to win gamesas politely as you can. Below I have provided some constructive criticism to help you in this brave new NFL. I hope this does not hurt your feelings. I have included hypo allergenic Kleenex if it does though.

1) Please stop passing the ball so often. Once you are up by three points, be a good sport and just run the ball.
1a) Do not run the ball for too many yards.

2) Please do not "go for it" on 4th down. It would also be swell if you didn't fake it on punts or field goals. Since teams don't expect these plays, it's not very nice.

3) If you have a player on your roster who is approaching a monumental NFL record (while facing a team mired in mediocrity) please, pretty please, disallow them from having an excellent game. This should be a no-brainer since a defense may not be able to stop them.

Thanks for listening guys,


Now I just have to CC the New England Patriots, the 1940 Chicago Bears, the 1917 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, the entire BCS, Naples High School and all the American soldiers who served in Operation Desert Storm.

I've got a busy night.

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