The Saints are done, and so am I !by J.W. Miller on 01/06/20
This time last year, I wrote about the three ways your favorite team can get knocked out of the playoffs: 1. They lose the game because of their own mistakes, like the 2017 loss at Minnesota that came after the Saints whiffed a tackle on a Hail Mary; 2. They can have the game taken away from them, like last year’s infamous No Call loss to the Rams; 3. Finally, you can get sent home because the other team is better and you just get beat, which perfectly describes Sunday’s 26-20 overtime loss to Minnesota.
The Vikings beat the Saints up front on both sides of the ball. The Saints’ offensive line could not stop the Vikings’ pass rush, and their secondary put a bag over Michael Thomas’ head all day. The Saints’ defensive line couldn’t stop the Vikings’ running game until it was too late, and QB Kirk Cousins always seemed to have enough time to find the open receiver. “No,” the Vikings tight end did not commit offensive pass interference on the winning touchdown pass, and “No” there isn’t a conspiracy against New Orleans. Our team has simply been the victim of unbelievably, cataclysmically BAD luck.
How else do you explain the normally flawless Wil Lutz’s missed short field goal at the end of the first half that could have provided the eventual winning margin? Or the apparent fumble that Vonn Bell picked up and carried into the end zone for the late go-ahead touchdown that was called back because Dalvin Cook’s knee was down? Or Drew Brees’ first-of-the-season fumble late in the game one play after Taysom Hill’s long run gave Who Dat Nation hope?
Don’t waste time trying to find reasons why fate has so often favored the other team. Fate is spiteful and pitiless, unforgiving and cruel. Fate can kick you in the codpiece every day of your life if she wants to. Do you think Saints fans deserved a break after the ignominy of the last two years? Fate disagrees. Welcome to sports. Or, as my old boss Jim Finks would say after a tough loss: “That’s show biz!”
The game was so frustrating that it could make you want to hang it up and retire. No, I don’t mean Brees, who I think will play another two or three years. I was talking about me.
The Saints’ season is over, and so is mine. I’ve been writing this column for ten years, and I think it’s time to give you back the opportunity to do something else with your lives other than reading the periodic ravings of a madman. Why am I putting away my keyboard? Let’s just say it’s not easy being witty and charming for 10 years running.
Jim Mora liked to say that a coach can stay in one job too long, and I believe a columnist can do the same. I believe somebody in my position has a responsibility to identify worthy topics they care about to share with readers like you. But when I sort through the issues of sports today to find interesting subjects, I often feel like I’m sifting s*** in the hopes it will turn into gold dust.
This is not an emotional decision. It comes with great thought that I will share with you in the coming weeks. I was planning on ending JWMillerSports.com after the Saints won the Super Bowl, but I guess that boat sailed. I am going to continue writing this column over the next month or so until I end at all with one final farewell. Until then, I will share your disappointment that the Saints lost their chance for another Super Bowl while Drew Brees is still around.
But, honestly, do you know what I feel worse about? The crumbling sports book ticket in my pocket that would have paid $1,100 if the Saints had won the Super Bowl.