Welp, it took the better part of three days for me to find a reason to stop punching myself in the crotch and find some semblance of a silver lining here. But I'll be damned if I didn't find one eventually. And it goes a little something like this… If you had to pick a season for the Saints to go ahead and fall flat on their asses, this one's shaping up to be as good as any. Meantime, if the Saints have been doomed to stumble into Goodell's abyss this season, at least the rest of the league is circling the drain right along with us. High five!

We tried to tell 'em, didn't we? We tried to tell 'em back in March while they were all mocking us and cheering Roger on. "You're next. One way or another, he's gonna bone you too. It's only a matter of time." 

And, by golly, here we are. Probably sooner than most of us even expected. And it's not just Green Bay. It's everybody. The whole 2012 NFL season got blown right the fuck up Monday night. It's a complete farce now. The whole damn thing has become a big steaming joke.

And it's too late to fix it now. The damage is already done. People all over the country are comparing the NFL to WWE and Roger to Vincent Kennedy McMahon, for crying out loud.

They're suggesting that an asterisk should be put on the whole season. Others are calling for filing the first three weeks of the regular season away as some kind of "extended preseason" never to be spoken of again, and just starting over from scratch in week 4 with a 13 game regular season. But none of that is gonna happen. 

The real officials are coming back this weekend, and for a little while, everybody's gonna go back to trying to pretend that everything's fine. Or at least that it's gonna be all better now. But it won't be. It's just a matter of time until the next controversial call and everybody remembers how much we all used to bitch about the real officials before all this started. And these real officials are stepping in right off the street, without a preseason, etc. It's not like everything is magically gonna be just fine starting this weekend. 

This weekend marks one full quarter of the regular season. 48 games have already been tainted by the replacement officials. Monday night's game was just the last straw, but people are already chalking up the first 20% of the season as a complete clusterfuck that perhaps shouldn't even count. And it remains to be seen whether or not there's going to be any significant improvement in week 4 with the real officials knocking off the rust and whatnot. If not, that's a full fucking quarter of the season shot to shit.

Meantime, it's not even just the replacement officials anyway. The whole damn system is out of order.

You've got Rex Ryan right there on tee vee making no bones about wanting to "put hot sauce" on Reggie Bush before last week's game, then Bush takes a helmet right to "that outside ACL" in the first half which knocks him out of the game, and Calvin Pace saying afterwards right out in the open that they "had to put him out." The league takes no action. You've got Bill Belichick trying to kill and/or affect an official's left arm after last week's game, drawing a $50k fine (no suspension, of course.) Nobody knows how to legally play defense anymore, because anything that even looks rough enough to draw a wince is gonna draw a flag and/or a fine/suspension. Nobody knows what the hell constitutes a completed catch anymore. And on and on like that. Forget issues of competent enforcement, the "rules" themselves are increasingly capricious and arbitrary.

It's been one thing after another for quite a long time now. And it's just a matter of time until the next thing. Hell, it'll probably happen this weekend.

Sure, people want to believe. And I'm sure they're gonna try, starting this weekend, at least for a little while. But it's not gonna work. Consumer confidence is already pretty much completely shot, at least for this season. People's minds are already made up, and Monday night was the clincher. The season is dead in the water. And by the time it's all over, there's gonna be precisely one team whose fans will choose to ignore it all and pretend that 2012 was just like any other season, and everybody else until the end of time is just gonna pretend that 2012 never happened.

So hey, good luck Seahawks! From here on out, my money's on those guys to win Super Bowl XLVII. Because nobody collects phony, bullshit championships quite like Pete Carroll.

Meantime, if the Saints were doomed way back in March to a "lost season" anyway, might as well be this one. Because this mockery of a season just doesn't matter anymore. For anybody. The eventual results are already irreparably tainted no matter what happens from here on out. And much like the personnel issues on the Saints' defensive roster, there ain't a whole hell of a lot that can be done to fix it. Not in time to salvage this season, anyway. It's already too late. The whole 2012 NFL season is already irreversibly fucked.

So, yeah, have fun with all that.

I know I will be. Because from this day forward, I'm just in it for the chuckles. I've already let it piss me off for close to a month. But no more. No sir, not this guy. As we've often said here at moosedenied, football should not be a drag and a downer. Sometimes it's harder than it should be. But I refuse to let all this bullshit kill and/or affect my head any longer. I refuse to allow this travesty of an NFL season negatively impact my mood for the next 4.5 months.

Oh, I'll still be watching. Believe that. And so will you. Talk all the shit you want about "finding better things to do" or "getting your Sundays back" or whatever. You ain't fooling anybody. And if you choose to continue suffering and bleeding every weekend over all this, well then more power to ya. Be a fan however you want.

But me? From here on out, I'll just be gawking at the trainwreck, eagerly awaiting the opportunity to see just how ridiculously fucked up this whole thing can possibly get.

Hoping for Kevin Kolb to go 16-0. Kevin! Fuckin'! Kolb!

Waiting for the glorious moment when the Falcons become the victim of the next baffling call that affects the outcome of a game. And then for them to take it right up the ass once again in week 17 with something at least theoretically "important" on the line.

For Green Bay to miss the playoffs by one game, or on a tiebreaker that ends up hinging on last Monday night's outcome. And the inevitable resulting discussion as to whether or not Roger should, 3 months after the fact, go ahead and exert his authority to retroactively reverse the outcome of that game after all and put Green Bay in the playoffs.

For Tom Brady and Peyton Manning to end up in the basement of their respective divisions.

That kind of thing. Whatever Roger least wants to happen, may the Football Gods hear my plea and make it come to pass. May chaos continue to reign all the way until February.

I want Cardinals/Seahawks in the NFCCG and Jets/Bills in the AFCCG. Take your pick for the Super Bowl. Pete Carroll vs. Rex Ryan. Kevin Kolb vs. Ryan Fitzpatrick. Mark Sanchez vs. Russell Wilson. Chan Gailey vs. Ken Whisenhunt. TIM FUCKIN' TEBOW! Just shuffle it all up and pull out some suck. It'll be glorious!

We don't need no water, let the motherfucker burn! Burn, motherfucker, burn!

Classy, right? To hell with classy. If the Saints are hopelessly boned, I want the rest of the league to be just as boned. If the Saints have to suffer Roger's bullshit, I want everybody else to suffer from his hubris and all-purpose fuckery too. Let 'em all get a big heaping dose, and we'll see who's still laughing at the Saints as they're choking it down themselves. Hey, we tried to warn 'em. So fuck it, let 'em find out the hard way.

Meantime, don't get me wrong here. Don't mistake any of that as an indication that I've given up and have already started shoveling dirt on the 2012 Saints, or anything like that. Because that's just not gonna happen. This team has been too damn good, won too many games over the last several seasons for me to give up on 'em at 0-3 (or 0-4, for that matter.) Until they're mathematically eliminated, my position will remain "So you're telling me there's a chance?"

Hey, who the hell knows? Maybe the Saints march into Lambeau this weekend, hand the Packers' asses to 'em, and commence with the most improbable Super Bowl run in human history. I'm not holding my breath or anything, but I suppose stranger things have happened. Not many, but there has to be at least a handful, right?

Hell, maybe that outcome just got a whole hell of a lot more likely now that I've resigned myself to its unlikeliness. It's not like I haven't been dead fucking wrong on pretty much everything else so far this year. High five?

What I am giving up on though is living and dying with each week's outcome. Hanging my hopes on the impossible dream that Roger's comeuppance would come in the form of having to hand the Lombardi Trophy to Joe Vitt. (His comeuppance will just have to come in some other form.) Bitching and moaning and complaining as it becomes increasingly evident that Roger won, that the Saints are in fact hopelessly boned (at least for 2012) and have been since spring.

And I'm damn sure done with driving myself crazy trying to figure out what the hell is going on around here. If the Saints themselves can't figure it out, what chance do I have?

So you guys do what you want. I'm choosing to embrace this shit show and enjoy it for the farce it is. Taking my pleasure wherever I can find it. And if all I can get is the occasional taste of some sweet, sweet schadenfreude, well then I suppose that'll just have to do.

Meantime, surely there's still plenty of fun to be had here. We've still got a whole month left to have fun with whatever might come out of Aaron Kromer's mouth. Then 10 weeks of Joe Vitt hilarity, intentional and otherwise. There's the ongoing wacky adventures of Hartley and the No-catching Motherfuckers. "Spagheads" might actually become a bona fide thing eventually. Might not be the kind of fun we were looking forward to, but fun is fun.

And before you climb up on your high horse and get all pissed off, there's a difference between "turning on" your favorite football team, and just doing the best you can to squeeze a little enjoyment out of a situation that's fucked beyond all recognition.

Only the Saints themselves can fix their current situation, and the league's situation is already beyond fixing. For this season, anyway. As fans, the only choice we're left with is to laugh about it or cry about it. And this guy ain't gonna spend the next 18 weeks crying about it. No sir. I'm not giving Roger the satisfaction.

We all may be going to hell in a bucket, baby, but I'll be damned if I'm not gonna figure out some way to at least enjoy the ride.

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