“Yeah, but what has Drew done for us lately?”
Might as well go ahead and start printing up the “Pulling Back The Veil” tee shirts. Because at this point that’s clearly the inescapable overriding theme of this here Saints offseason, whether we like it or not. One after another, unpleasant truths are being exposed all over the place. And, as always, the one place we fans absolutely refuse to look is in the fuckin’ mirror. But why would we do that? It’s not like we’re the assholes here, it’s everybody else who are the assholes. Especially that selfish bastard of a quarterback we’ve been struggling to tolerate for the last six years, am I right?
I mean, it’s not like we didn’t all see this coming from a mile away. Hell, you could set your clocks by it. Doesn’t make it any less excruciatingly stupid. Our only hope was that it would never get to this point in the first place, but we all pretty much knew what was gonna happen if it did.
And sure enough, here we are. The single best thing that has ever happened to this here sad sack franchise has apparently pulled himself one hell of a SHOCKING HEEL TURN and now all of a sudden we’re booing his entrance music. Because his selfish GREED(!!!) is gonna leave our favorite football team a shell of its former self and crush all our hopes and dreams! Or something.
That’s irony, right?
As long as we’re involuntarily pulling the wool from over everybody’s eyes, let’s see if we can’t manage to be honest with ourselves here for half a fuckin’ second regarding “the business of football.”
Serious question: Who’s really being the selfish asshole here?
It’s often been said that Drew could run for mayor or even governor and win in a landslide. Which is quite the cute little way of making the point about how popular he is around here, and there might even be some literal truth to the notion. But the dirty little secret that’s coming to light here lately is that whatever truth there is to it is pretty much entirely dependent on our maintaining the illusion that Drew has pledged his absolute and unconditional fealty to us. That he unfailingly prioritizes our interests above all others, even his own.
We prefer to call it “being a team player” and being “admirably unselfish” and other such cuddly descriptors. But what it really is, is a fantasy we’ve created for ourselves that Drew’s primary mission in life is to serve us. That he loves us so much, he will go to any length, make any sacrifice to see to it that we get what we want. And all he’ll ever ask in return is that we love him back.
Oh sure, it’s not like Drew hasn’t done more than his part to perpetuate that fantasy. He’s a slick, polished, savvy, incredibly image-conscious politician-in-pads. He knows precisely where all our buttons are, and which ones to push at any given time. He’s keenly aware of the value of saying “all the right things” and telling us precisely what we want to hear. He’s ridiculously good at it, and intensely committed to the persona he’s deliberately crafted for himself. He’s the Ned Flanders of football players.
Oh and there’s also the little matter of his having actually been the consummate team player and admirably unselfish for every second of the six years he’s been here. He actually has given us all we could ever have hoped for, and a hell of a lot more on top of that. And it’s true that all he has ever asked in return is the compensation he agreed to in 2006, and that we love him back. So, you know, he’s got that going for him too.
And we’ve held up our end of the bargain, we’ve loved him back. For as long as the give and take was ridiculously slanted in our favor, that is. (In this league, we prefer to call that “value.”) We were more than happy with that particular arrangement. As long as it didn’t involve anything that could even potentially result in any kind of sacrifice on our part. As long as we could have our cake and eat it too, and Drew was telling us that if our cake wasn’t enough, he’d be happy to give us his.
Pull back the veil. You say you love the guy. And I’m sure that, in a way, you mean it. But in another, more accurate way, what you really love is what Drew can do for you.
But now the time has come when continuing this relationship is gonna actually cost us something. It’s gonna require that we give up a piece of our cake. “Hey, nobody ever said anything about that!” And, by golly, that’s just unreasonable!
Sure, we all want the guy to get paid. Just not to the point where it causes us any slight discomfort.
“Worth every penny!” is all well and good, as long as we can easily afford it without having to make any difficult choices or sacrifice anything else we might also want.
Who’s being the selfish, greedy bastard now?
It’s like screaming “PRICE GOUGING!!!” because that shiny new gadget you’ve decided you can’t possibly live without any longer, and absolutely must have right this minute, happens to not be on sale at the moment. “Regular price? It’s an OUTRAGE! The thing was 25% off back on President’s Day. But I didn’t want it then, I want neeeeed it now. And if I’ve gotta pay full price, I won’t be able to afford this bitchin’ accessory I kinda sorta wanted too. Be reasonable and quit trying to rip me off, asshole!!!”
It’s utterly ridiculous. And quite frankly, a little disgusting. Typical 21st century consumer culture. “I want it all, and I want it now! On my terms, and at whatever price I’m willing to pay.”
He’s the single best thing that’s ever happened to your favorite football team. How much more does he “owe” you? How much more does he have to do for you before he’s allowed to look our for his own interests without immediately being branded an asshole?
This just in: Drew Brees doesn’t owe you jack shit.
It’s we who are indebted to him.
And don’t even start with the whole “Drew owes the Saints because they took the risk and signed him when everybody else in the league was pretty much convinced he was done” bullshit. That debt, to whatever extent it ever existed in the first place, has been repaid tenfold.