And How Was Your Weekend?
Mine pretty much sucked, thanks to that game. It started out ugly and stayed that way for quite some time, in between Pierre Thomas getting knocked out cold and Drew Brees throwing an interception that resulted in a second 49ers touchdown, both within the first quarter. At least the friends I watched the game with were entertaining. And I made a couple of excellent hors d'oeuvres. (If you haven't yet been to the Pioneer Woman's blog to get recipes that involve meat, and cheese, and bacon, and butter, you should go now.)
And while the whole game was a nail-biter, the last few minutes were the absolute worst. I think that one hurt more than the loss to the Seahawks in the playoffs last year and even to the Bears during the NFC championship game back in 2007. As one of the talking heads on the radio said, what made this loss so hard was that we actually came back from behind to win the game--twice--and then still lost anyway. When Jimmy Graham made that catch and got 66 yards for a touchdown with less than two minutes left in the game, we were all jumping up and down and screaming, hugging each other and high-fiving* all over the the place. We'd won, or at the very least, the 49ers would manage a field goal that would send us into a nail-biting overtime. (If only.) But then the 49ers got a touchdown drive with 40 fucking seconds left on the clock, and there was nothing but stunned, unbelieving silence amongst our regular Saints-watching crowd.
If you weren't completely invested in the Saints winning this game, you probably thought it was a damn fun football game to watch. I mean, the lead went back and forth between the Saints and 49ers four times in the fourth quarter. And as I told Kenny, if the game had ended with Graham's touchdown, we would have talked about that game for years. Instead, we're left to watch that highlight reel and feel nauseous.
We still talked about going to the airport to welcome the Saints back and really fully intended to do so. But the game ended at 7:30, and by around midnight, when we we found out they wouldn't be back for another 2-3 hours more, we finally gave up and all went our separate ways. The vast amounts of beer consumed to drown our sorrows probably didn't help our resolve much.
Oh well. Another game, another season. I've been saying all season that if I had to choose between the Saints going back to the Super Bowl this year or next year, I'd pick next year. You know, when the Super Bowl is in New Orleans? If that happens, this city will go bat-shit crazy. Count me among the many in New Orleans right now who are, I think, pinning all of our hopes on grand thoughts of that rapture-inducing fantasy to get over this loss. Yes, I know it's just football--we all do, I guess. I don't know why it affects so many so much here. I guess because it really does lift almost everyone's spirits when the Saints are winning.
I still love you, Saints. Who Dat!
*The only time you will ever find me high-fiving is during a Saints game or sarcastically.