For the record, we here at moosedenied never intended to go on hiatus for a month.

Unfortunately, shortly after my last post, I received a fax from the league office informing me that I was being locked out of my WordPress admin section. This left me with no recourse but to decertify as a blog and file for an injunction. Yesterday, that injunction was granted, and now the plan is to do what any enterprising fan would: Sue their dongs off and hope that it gets me my 15 minutes as some kind of working class hero.

Meantime, while I'm clearing out a month worth of spam from the comments and shopping for process servers in Manhattan, I figured I'd throw a bunch of shit at the wall and see what sticks.

–The lockout, in two sentences:

Homer: You know, Mr. Burns, you're the richest man I know… way richer than Lenny.
Burns: Yes, but I'd trade it all for a little more.

–To the extent that I care enough about any of this bullshit to "take a side" I'm leaning more and more toward the owners by the day. If for no other reason than that I'm getting about sick and damn tired of the players' sanctimony, and the incessant pandering to fans' blue-collar righteousness.

To hear some of these guys talk, you'd swear that they're coal miners or steel workers or something, and it's Hard Times because The Man done put 'em out of work and the bankers are gonna come a-knockin' any day now. Suddenly we're supposed to be able to relate to all these real-world troubles they're dealing with… because we've all been there, right? "Damn, bro. What am I gonna do if my kid gets sick while I don't have any health insurance? I'd have to sell the beach house and at least a handful of cars." Quit trying to cozy up to the commonfolk and (suddenly) acting like we're supposed to be "bros" or whatever. It's phony. It's a blatant attempt at emotional manipulation. It's insulting.

Equally insulting is Drew Brees' "Daddy's gonna make it all better" approach. Oh don't you worry your simple little heads about it, fans. You'll have your NFL football, just stay calm and try not to cry. Drew's gonna see to it that The Good Guys prevail, and you're never gonna have to worry about the bogeyman hiding in your closet ever again. Meantime, just remember that I'm on your side and anything those evil old men on the other side tell you is a pack of damn lies! Yo Drew, how about you save that shit for Baylen and Bowen?

"Millionaires vs. Billionaires" might be a superficial take on it, but it does strike right at the heart of the matter.

Sure, the eight-figure-signing-bonus guys want us fans to fixate on the (false) notion that it's all about taking care of the poor poor pitiful guys at the bottom of the roster who "only" get a free ride through college and an entry-level salary of $325,000/yr for as long as they can hold onto the gig, before heading back to their hometown or college town and putting their local fame and well-chosen General Studies degree to good use selling cars or insurance, or coaching high school football, or reading the scores on the local news. Hard Times indeed.

I'm a bit more sympathetic to the "effort" (to whatever extent that it actually exists) to take care of the legions of half-mutilated bodies The League left in its wake back in the days when (they'd have you believe that) being a Green Bay Packer was no better than being an actual meat packer.

But we all know that those issues are little more than the fine print in all this. Disingenuous, emotionally-manipulative fine print.

Look, you'll never hear me begrudge the players their money, whether it's "only" $325k/yr or an eight figure signing bonus. All I ask is that you spare me the sob stories. Spare me the implication that you're no different from coal miners or steel workers. Spare me the appeals for blue-collar solidarity. Spare me the boo-hooing about having to go to the trouble of finding a gym and *gasp* having to pay for it. And spare me the tongue-in-cheek references to how you're gonna have to hit your uncle up for a temp gig at the local factory to make ends meet.

At least the Billionaires aren't being phony about it. Jerry Jones isn't pretending he's my "bro" all of a sudden. Daniel Snyder isn't asking me to "relate" to his Hard Times. They're not pretending this is about anything other than what it is. Oh, they're assholes too. Don't get me wrong. But at least I can respect the fact that they're not pretending otherwise.

–Last night, on a dare, I drank a 15 ounce bottle of A-1. I was sad when it was over, and wanted to do it again. Is that wrong?

–Assuming you're not Chinese, or a wall, I'm pretty sure I can kick your ass at ping pong.

–Saints Mock Draft Version 1(.0!!! Oh how I loathe the pointless tenth)
1 (24) – Mark Ingram – TB – Springfield University Nittany Tide
2 (56) – Bruce Carter – LB – North Carolina
3a (72) – Jerrell Powe – DT – Ole Miss
3b (88) – Pernell McPhee – DE – Mississippi State
7a (225) – Noel Devine – TB – West Virginia
7b (242) – Danny Aiken – LS – Virginia

"Oh you're so full of shit, Wang. It's not enough that you continue to insist on a tailback in the first, now you've got the Saints taking TWO OF THEM??? Take your anti-Reggie agenda and go fuck yourself." Guilty as charged. And being as I mainly did that just to piss you off, mission accomplished. High five!

Hey, it's no secret that if I had my way, the Reggie Bush Experience would come to a merciful end this offseason. You disagree, fair enough. You believe that Reggie and the team are going to be able to come to terms on a far more palatable contract. I think that's going to be extremely difficult. You believe that the Saints are fine at tailback. I disagree. You think that improving the pass rush, most likely at the left defensive end position, is a far greater need. I say a defensive end is unlikely to make much impact as a rookie. And when exactly did you abandon your "BPA!!!!" "philosophy" (this time) anyway?

Hey, if it makes you feel better, think of Devine as a BPA pick to replace Courtney Roby as the team's kick returner. And as an insurance policy if worse comes to worst, he provides better insurance at tailback than Roby does at wideout, and the tailback position is more likely to need insurance than wideout anyway. Worried about room on the roster to carry five tailbacks? Why? He's replacing Roby on the roster. You just carry five tailbacks and five receivers, rather than the usual four tailbacks and six receivers. And if you're not comfortable with that, I'm not so sure Heath Evans is all that necessary these days. Stick Dave Thomas in there on the 4 or 5 plays per game where you're lining up a fullback.

"Whatever, Wang. There's no way in hell they're doing that." Fair enough. I'm not trying to guess what the Saints are going to do, so I can come back and shout "Called it!" afterwards. Being "right" on a pick is like hitting double-zero on a roulette wheel. It doesn't make you good, it makes you lucky. So I'm not concerned with being "right." I'm just working out what I'd do. And before you say it, yeah, I'm just as glad as you are that I'm not the Saints' GM. High five!

–Best shows currently on tee vee: Fringe, Justified

–Funniest show since Arrested Development: Archer

–Saints Mock Draft Version 2(.0!!!)
1 (24) - Drake Nevis – DT – LSU
2 (56) - Terrance Tolliver – WR – LSU
3a (72) – Joseph Barksdale – OT – LSU
3b (88) – Kelvin Sheppard – LB – LSU
7a (225) – Stevan Ridley – TB – LSU
7b (242) – Lazarius "Pep" Levingston – DE/DT – LSU

(Psst: That one too was mainly just to piss you off.)

Jeff Duncan hates bloggers. Just throw it on the ever-growing pile of things Jeff Duncan hates, I guess. Has Duncan always been this assy? Or did the world piss in his cornflakes just recently? Maybe it's just "legitimate media" arrogance manifesting itself. It does seem to be a common theme with him.

On the first day of the combine, Duncan replied to a tweet from one of his colleagues about the high number of media credentials issued by calling it "a hack attack!" One suspects that there were a few too many unfamiliar faces representing new media publications, and it left Jeff confused and irritable.

On the day the Redskins released Clinton Portis, Duncan again took to Twitter to pre-emptively bemoan all the questions he was gonna get from the common folk about whether or not the Saints ought to sign him.

On the day the Saints released Jeremy Shockey, Duncan wasted no time in taking to Twitter yet again to go all Kenny Wilkerson with it, dropping a cryptic comment implying that he pretty much hated Shockey's guts. Requests for elaboration, of course, were met with tumbleweeds and cricket sounds. War stories are only for members of the club, I suppose.

And most recently, Duncan (for some reason) saw the sentencing of Greg McRae to 17 years in prison as an opportunity for some kind of "A ha!!!" moment against "idiot bloggers" and, I guess, to puff his chest on behalf of the entire "legitimate (print) media" industry. Or something.

Hey, don't get me wrong, kudos to Brendan McCarthy and the Times-Pic for their efforts in exposing a heinous act and serving the principle of justice. (I mean, it's not like an "idiot blogger" could ever accomplish something like that, amiright Jeff?) But for a sports columnist to use the work of a colleague in the crime bureau as the basis for a petty "Wooo! Bloggers suck, journalists rule!" Twitter bomb is just… bizarre.

Perhaps Jeff is confusing bloggers with Message Board Guy. It's the message boards (one in particular) that we know for a fact Jeff actually bothers to read, because that's where he goes to hype his book, and certain columns he thinks will go over particularly well. And it's Message Board Guy who never tires of bitching about anyone and everyone in the legitimate media. (Psst… hey Jeff, they bitch about us bloggers too. High five?) It's Message Board Guy who leaves all the inane comments below his columns on nola dot com. Maybe Jeff's just got his internet jargon mixed up.

I've long suspected that many legitimate media types are secretly envious of us bloggers because, while they get to earn a living off their work, we get to say "fuck" as much as we want. Fuckitty fuck fuck fuck. We don't have to deal with editors (then again, judging by nola dot com, neither do they these days) or deadlines. Or try to figure out a way to conjure up 500 words when there's absolutely nothing going on. We bloggers can just say fuck it, pop a brewski and play some ping pong. High five!

But I'm sure it's not that, given that not a single one of them has taken me up on my offer to trade places. Not yet, anyway.

Come on, Jeff. Bloggers aren't your enemy. Embrace your unpaid internet colleagues! Hell, at this point, you're basically one of us. A quick glance at nola dot com's Saints page pretty much confirms it, what with all the YouTube videos, the hastily-published segments and/or rough drafts of what will eventually be full-blown articles, the lists of links to content from elsewhere, the constant solicitations for ideas (Send in your mailbag questions!) followed by half-assed five-minute segments dismissively replying to them, and of course the daily "your name in lights!" post to draw attention to the one person who managed to compose a halfway-coherent comment that day.

Is that what's got you so cranky, Jeff? Is it that they're trying to pull you down to our level? Or is it that it's only a matter of time before they start slapping credentials on some of us and asking you to treat us like we're on your level? Or is it a whole lot of both?

Either way, how about you go ahead and get over it already and quit being a dick?

Please feel free to pimp us on your favorite social media service: