Let's get one thing straight right off the bat: as a Steelers fan, I KNOW I can be obnoxious.
I have followed the Steelers since I was a young boy, watching Hall of Fame greats Lynn Swann, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Jack Lambert and others ran roughshod over opponents in the late '70's. I lamented when Brister, Strom, Blackledge and Tomzak seemed intent on ensuring that the Steelers never made it back to another Super Bowl.
I celebrated the arrival of Neil O'Donnell, until he took the Steelers to the Super Bowl and promptly gave the game away on two interceptions that I MYSELF could have avoided throwing (I hated it when he came to Nashville, and still says he bet on the Super Bowl and threw the game).
I drank from the same jug of Kool-aid in my support of Kordell Stewart as Vince Young supporters drink from today; I learned my lesson the hard way, just like they will have to learn theirs.
And I have watched, physically watched, my Steelers win six—count them out loud with me: ONE...TWO...THREE...FOUR...FIVE...SIX —Lombardi trophies through the years.
So yeah, I'm obnoxious, but I feel justified.
Steelers fans aren't alone in obnoxiousity—I know it's not a real word, but it's my article, and I felt like making it up—Browns fans come to mind, a fan base made up of people so ugly they must wear dog masks to the games.
Raiders fans are right up there too. People who throughout the week hold down normal jobs get all dressed up in Kiss-Army inspired garb and perpetuate the opinion that people who live in California are just plain crazy.
Jets fans qualify as well. With their "J-E-T-S, Jets Jets Jets!" battle cry, an awe-inspiring mantra if I ever heard one, they bring the Italian immigrant attitude to the stadium. Along with the Italian propensity to drink too much, consume too much pasta, scream too loudly, and argue any and every point of any and every situation (being third-generation Italian, I can relate...).
And don't even get me started on New England fans. A bigger bunch of obnoxious, elitist, band-wagon-jumping noobs has yet to be found (sincere apologies to the seven or eight "true blue" Patriots fans out there).
However, for all of their rabid support and rancor towards those who would denigrate their team, they all have one thing in common: each of their teams has won at least one championship.
So would someone please explain to me just what is going on in New Orleans?
Talk about Johnny-come-lately bandwagon-jumpers; an uneducated observer, after speaking to a Saints fan, would come away thinking that the team was one of the premier organizations in the history of the league.
In truth, their journey through NFL history has been more infamous than fame-worthy.
From 1967, the year they were founded, to 1986 they were unable to muster a winning season; in fact, they managed .500 only twice. They have yet to string together more than three seasons with a winning record; through 2008 they have only managed eight winning seasons in their existence.
Their 2-6 post season record is one of the worst in existence; their first win in the playoffs didn't come until the playoffs following the 2000 season, and they have reached the conference championship once in their history.
In the Super Bowl era, they are only one of five teams NOT to make it to a Super Bowl.
Let me say that again: the Saints have never been to the Super Bowl without first having to buy a ticket.
Of the seven Hall of Fame inductees associated with the Saints, only one was actually considered for his career with, and contributions to, New Orleans. And no, Archie Manning is not among that number, nor should he ever be. Not as a player, at least; his record of 35-101 doesn't exactly inspire one to beat the doors down for his benefit.
The Saints' biggest contribution to the sporting world? The paper bag.
You heard me; the paper bag. Recommended by local radio guy "Buddy D" Diliberto in 1980 for fans to wear to home games, least anyone recognize them at work on Monday. Fans, being the fickle creatures that they are, adorned the bags with the words "New Orleans 'AINTS" to voice their displeasure.
The bag caught on and is now a staple for fans of teams whose performance is somewhat inglorious. Well done, Saints fans.
Now, 42 years after they were approved as an expansion team, the Saints have somehow been able to put together an admittedly incredible season, going 12-0 so far this year. This is made even more amazing by the fact that their AFC counterparts the Indianapolis Colts, are also 12-0, which opens up the possibility of an undefeated Super Bowl this year.
And all of a sudden, Saints fans are jumping around like every day is Fat Tuesday.
Don't get me wrong; any Saints fans who may still exist that have been following them for longer than say, two or three years, is well justified in being pleased with this season. Finally they have a team they can be proud of, instead of having to begrudgingly support what they know is gonna be a stinker.
But to all the fans who rushed out this year and bought a Brees or Bush jersey, I say this:
Weaux it up. The Saints are unproven in the post season, and until they show they can be consistent not only throughout the year, but in the playoffs, all the hoopla is well and far over the top.
So cheer for your team, to be sure. Be supporters of their efforts. Show your team colors, but be mindful that your actions could show your true colors.
If the Saints falter this year or next, and you suddenly fall silent, then you will reveal yourself as a Benedict Arnold, choosing sides based on who you think is winning at the time.
If you are such a fan, I have only one thing to say to you:
Shut up and Geaux away. The Saints don't need you, and no one else wants you either.
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