Speak out, you've got to speak out against the madness. You've got to speak your mind, if you dare. ~David Crosby

Welcome to 2013, bitches. Hope you weren't expecting this here soap opera to suddenly come to an end when the clock struck midnight Tuesday morning. Turns out it was just the beginning of the next episode, and it looks like this one's gonna be just as packed with incessant plot twists, intrigue and reality tee vee show drama as the last one. And you know what? I think I'm just fine with that. I've grown accustomed to it. And as frustrating and downright bizarre as it can be sometimes, it's sure to be a hell of a lot more entertaining than staring at a test pattern until August (or April, whichever comes first.)

When it comes to Saints football, all I really want is to be entertained. Winning football is entertaining, of course. Kicking the asses of chumps and sticking it to jerks and whatnot. Championships, also big BIG fun. (High five!)

But I have to agree with our friend Angry Who Dat that while 2012 was for the most part brutally shitty and at times just excruciating to witness, in true modern Saints fashion, it was never ever boring. Even the stuff that made me want to shove a screwdriver up my nose was (in a way) riveting, edge-of-your-seat entertainment.

The scandals and pseudo-scandals, the trolling and counter-trolling, all the chaotic wackiness. Giant Sean Payton Face and all the anti-Roger signs in and around the Benz™. The constant "What the fuck could possibly happen next?" of it all. It was just absolutely impossible to get bored and lose interest. In many ways, the whole thing sucked horribly. But in other ways, it really didn't. It was way too batshit fuckin' insane to have completely sucked.

I suspect that as 2012 shrinks in the rear view and the sting of the "lost season" eventually subsides, more and more Saints fans will eventually come around to the notion that "You know, in hindsight, it was kinda fun in its own crazy way."

Me? I'm already there. And sue me, but part of me was already beginning to dread a so-called "return to normalcy" this offseason. The 2012 season may not have ruined the Saints, but it may have ruined me. I'm not sure "normal" is capable anymore of giving me that perpetual throbbing Saints boner, especially in the offseason. I'm afraid I may have become addicted to the drama. The intrigue. The controversy. I've gotten used to Saints football as a year-long reality tee vee show. And, God help me, I like it. I'm not sure I want "normal" anymore. Because abnormal has been pretty damn amusing.

Which is why I applaud Anonymous Spaghead™ for dropping that New Year's Day nuke on us via Larry Holder. Because this thing promises to be fun. Big ole crazy-ass fun.

That sickening thud you heard last Sunday afternoon was the sound of all the delusions of impending greatness regarding the so-called "steady season-long improvement" of the Saints defense plunging from the sky right into the very same steaming pile of dog shit from which they had risen in the first place. (It probably should have happened the previous week in Dallas, but they were fortunate enough to land in a dump truck full of pillows which just happened to have been parked outside Cowboys Stadium at the time.)

Whether or not you choose to accept the notion that 7042 total yards allowed — most in NFL history, and 454 points allowed — most since the 1980 Saints, legitimately qualifies the 2012 Saints defense as "THE WORST IN NFL HISTORY!!!" is largely irrelevant. What matters is that it was inarguably shitty. Incredibly shitty. Historically shitty. Mindbogglingly shitty. Unacceptably shitty. Far more shitty than last year's was. Shittier than any Gary Gibbs defense. Shittier than any Rick Venturi defense. Shittier than any defense featuring Jason David, Kevin Kaesviharn, Josh Bullocks, Tebucky Jones, Jonathan Sullivan, Rob Kelly or Colby Bockwoldt. It might not have been the single worst defense in NFL history, if you say so, but it was damn sure close enough.

And perhaps most importantly, it was every bit as shitty in week 17 as it was in week 1.

922 total yards and 75 points allowed in weeks 1 & 2, 976 total yards and 75 points allowed in weeks 16 & 17. (No, that's not "comprehensive analysis" and not the end-all, it's just an illustrative anecdote.)

In retrospect, it seems pretty clear that the midseason spasm of relative competence (using the term very loosely) that got everybody all excited was little more than a temporary "hot" streak at best, and pretty much a complete illusion at worst. That shutout of Tampa is the very definition of an outlier. This defense is no better than it was in September. And it's not just a case of LYING STATS(!!!) making it look worse than it was. I watched every snap of every game this year, and the stats tell the absolute truth. It was every bit as bad as the stats suggest.

And we've been racking our brains all season long in a futile attempt to figure out why. Which is why I can't figure out why Anonymous Spaghead™ is catching so much shit over what he said to Holder. Hell, at the very least it's every bit as plausible as any other explanation that's been offered all year. But, as is typically the case, Message Board Guy is reading this thing all wrong.

Let's start with the low-hanging fruit. Get the fuck off of Holder's back, would ya? Sheesh. Larry's not "reporting facts" here, he's simply relaying one man's opinion. There's absolutely no obligation to "corroborate" with a "second source" or any of those other things you think you know about how journalism is supposed to work because you watched All The President's Men that one time.

Nor is there a damn thing wrong with Larry respecting the player's request to remain anonymous. Hell, that's precisely what a journalist is supposed to do. (I learned that by watching All The President's Men that one time.) And quit with all the retarded "If he won't name the player, he should have kept his mouth shut and not published the comments in the first place!" bullshit. You cannot be serious with that. You really think it's not newsworthy that there's at least one Spaghead™ who is totally not on board with the way this defense is currently being run? You really would prefer to have remained ignorant of that pretty significant bit of information?

And don't even get me started on the completely ridiculous "Anonymous source = Larry made the whole thing up to stir shit and get page views!" nonsense.

Larry did absolutely nothing wrong here. Hell, it's perhaps the most "right" thing anybody on the NOLA Media Group™ Saints beat has done in a long, long time. When's the last time anybody over there told us anything we didn't already know?

Not that I don't appreciate the standard-issue game recaps and opinion pieces and whatnot, because I do. And things have been an awful lot better over there since Holder, Mike Triplett and "Splendid" Nakia Hogan took over and for the most part got James Varney and Jeff Duncan the fuck out of our faces. (Thanks for that, fellas.) Still, the fact that NOLA Media Group™ actually broke this thing might be the most shocking part of it all. In a good way. A splendid way, even. Right, Nakia?

We need more of this kind of thing from our local Legitimate Media™, not less.

More low-hanging fruit: "COWARD!!! If you're gonna call somebody out, at least put your name to it! What a punk! Clearly he doesn't have the balls to stand by what he said like a REAL MAN(!!!) would. Therefore why should I give any credence to what this guy thinks?" Oh, for the love of fuck. Take that meathead macho bro-code bullshit and shove it up your frat brother's ass.

Anonymously or not, it took a lot of stones to break ranks and speak his mind. And if you can't figure out why it was imperative for this guy to remain anonymous, you're an example of why people use the phrase "more balls than brains."

Jonathan Vilma can posture all he wants and swing his dick about how offended he is that somebody would air dirty laundry through the media because "We're not the Jets" or whatever, but he's full of shit on this one. And he knows it. He's deliberately choosing to focus on silly bro-code issues in an effort to dodge the real issue here. He's deflecting, and it's telling that he flatly refuses to answer the simple question of whether or not he disagrees with the substance of what Anonymous Spaghead™ said. Perhaps Vilma would be more willing to answer that question on condition of anonymity?

Meantime, as our friends at the Who Dat Social Club so saliently pointed out, the fact that "We're not the Jets" ought to lend even more credence to the anonymous comments. Precisely because there's no history of loose cannons in the Saints' locker room going off half-cocked and breaking the bro-code and spouting off in the media. It's so out of character for the Saints collectively, it so blatantly flies in the face of the Saints' "house rules" that the current situation has to be pretty damn compelling for a guy to break ranks so "egregiously."

And if the situation is that compellingly bad, then it needed to be said. And I applaud Anonymous Spaghead™ for having the stones to say it. Anonymously or otherwise.

But, among other kneejerk reactions, Message Board Guy immediately concluded that it must be some lone butthurt rogue who already knows he's on the way out and figures he'll get himself a parting shot in before being shown the door. Nevermind that it doesn't make a lick of damn sense.

I mean, think about it for a damn second. What's in it for him? Spite? That's it, just spite? Now don't get me wrong, I'll concede that spite can be one hell of a motivating factor. But enough to commit career suicide? Really? I don't think so. It doesn't make sense. There's nothing for Anonymous Spaghead™ to gain here, and everything to lose.

It's certainly not gonna help him salvage his job with the Saints, if indeed he's a guy who's already on the way out. Especially considering that there's about a zero percent chance that the guys in the Saints' locker room don't already know damn well who said it. He might have chosen to remain anonymous to the general public, but privately? They know.

And it's certainly not gonna help him to find a job with another team. Who the hell wants to hire a guy who just got fired from arguably the worst defense in NFL history, and on top of that, spouted off in the media and threw his last DC under the bus on the way out? Not exactly the kind of thing you want on your résumé.

If you just have to trash your soon-to-be-ex-boss to make yourself feel better, you do it privately. Or you at least wait until you've secured your next gig before doing it publicly, Mike Karney style.

No, the "lone butthurt rogue trashing Spags out of spite" theory just doesn't hold water. It's about as retarded a theory as they come, actually. Aside from spite, nothing good could come of it for Anonymous Spaghead™. It's completely contrary to his own self-interest.

It makes a hell of a lot more sense, and is therefore a hell of a lot more likely, that Anonymous Spaghead™ is a guy who knows damn well that he's going to be part of this here defense going forward. And that he can't stand the thought of he and his teammates continuing to flounder under Spags next year and beyond. And that he knows that the guys in the locker room will have his back. Maybe not all of them, but enough of them.

It's the only explanation that doesn't involve a guy willingly setting himself and his career prospects on fire just for the sake of sticking it to The Man. Anonymously.

And if that's true, then it definitely needed to be said. And it's about damn time somebody sacked up and said it.

"We're all totally on board, everything's fine, getting better all the time, it's not nearly as bad as it looks" and all that rah-rah bullshit is all fine and good during the season. That's what they're supposed to say, that's what they're supposed to think for as long as there are still games to be played. There's no room for dissent during the season.

But it's the offseason now. It's time to dispense with all the rah-rah bullshit and get real about it. I'm just glad to know that there's at least one guy in the locker room (hopefully among many others) who's got sense enough to see through all the baseless optimism and realize that everything's not fine. Not by a fuckin' long shot. It's a hot mess, and it's high time somebody on Airline quit trying to sell us a fairy tale and acknowledge it.

Sure, the one thing Vilma's right about is that ideally you'd like for all this to stay in-house. But, this just in: Sean Payton ain't exactly in the house right at the moment. And if you need to get the message out to the decision-maker and get the ball rolling on this thing without resorting to a bunch of cloak-and-dagger type shit that might result in getting Payton suspended for another year, then putting it out there through the media is pretty much the only option you've got.

So my hat's off to Anonymous Spaghead™. In my opinion, it's not that this dude is grinding some kind of personal ax. He just had the stones to step up and speak out against the madness. To do what had to be done for the good of the team going forward. At great personal peril, I'm sure. And in my book, that's worthy of standing applause.

Meantime…

You know that something is going on around here. It surely, surely, surely won't stand the light of day.

Make no mistake about it, this is just the first public indication of what's almost certainly a full-blown mutiny.

There's no way in hell this is the first anybody's hearing of this. (Except for us, of course.) No, it's perfectly clear that this thing has been bubbling up all season long behind closed doors. By the time the first shot is sent across the bow, you can be pretty sure that diplomacy has long since failed and the war is already well underway. And from that point, there ain't no coming back. I don't think there's gonna be a whole lot of hugging it out going on here. Like it or not, this thing is happening.

And it appears to be a long, appears to be a long, appears to be a long… time… such a long long long long time before the dawn.

Hey, what else is new, am I right?

The good news is that regardless of how this whole thing plays out, at least it'll surely be big fun to watch it all unfold. And that's plenty good enough for me. If we can't have Saints football in January/February, Saints drama will just have to do. And it'll do just fine, thank you very much. Hell of a lot more entertaining than whatever the league is putting on tee vee these days, anyway.

Meantime, if any of you other Spagheads™ are somewhat less than fully gruntled and need to get some shit off your chest, and for whatever reason Larry just doesn't do it for ya, feel free to hit me up. I'll be more than happy to put it all out there for ya. We here at moosedenied have your back. As an Illegitimate, I wouldn't even have to edit out the profanity. You could use all the damn hell ass profanity you like. It'll be fun!

Come on, you know you wanna. 

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