From a religious standpoint, Saints would encourage forgiveness and condemn retribution on those who have wronged us. But for the strict followers of the football faith, we find it hard to not seek out revenge…payback…vengeance. Revenge has few boundaries. There is no statute of limitations….and it can exacted on the loosest of affiliations. For me, I want to punish Matt Hasselbeck this Sunday. It’s not simply because he is related to Elisabeth Hasselbeck by marriage – although completely rationale and justified if you are a regular viewer of “The View”. I want reprisal for that stunning playoff loss in Seattle last season.
For those of you who may not remember (and I can’t imagine who you might be), the Saints (10-6) traveled to Seattle (7-9) in an upset of epic proportions. While the Saints did not play their best football by a long shot, they did have to play on the road in the loudest outdoor stadium in the league. Home field advantage, one could argue, made the difference.
This week, Matt Hasselbeck made the following comments in a press conference:
“The only thing that can really stop them (Saints) is maybe the crowd noise and helping the pass rushers get off the edge. The speed rushers get off the ball. Maybe St. Louis had a little bit of crowd noise advantage. Or even last year in Seattle. We probably had a little bit of a crowd noise advantage. Our guys on edge were able to get off the ball. That’s not just for the Saints. That is for any home team.”
Really? You admit it?
The NFL prides itself on fairness and on an equal playing field – and I agree, as noted in read my previous post (Saints: The Long Good Bye). However, this virtue does not need to be taken so far that all common sense is thrown out the window. Let’s review:
The teams with the best overall regular season record in each division earn a playoff birth
Overall regular season rank determines the seeding for the division winners, but NOT the wild card teams
The seeding system itself is designed to reward the “best” teams with a home game or a bye week in the playoffs. The league recognizes that home field advantage is an edge and that is doled out based on who “deserves” it – overall record.
Which begs the questions: Why would your reward system only apply to two-thirds of the teams that earned a playoff spot? Why do you punish two teams in the wild card positions simply because they were the best of the rest or had the misfortune of having the division leader run away with it?
I have no issue with the division leaders securing a playoff birth. However, seeding criteria should be applied consistently across all six teams in each conference. If I am still this upset…imagine how the Saints feel? They are still licking their wounds from an embarrassing performance and will be looking to launch a world of hurt on Matt Hasselbeck and the Titans.
A win will be sweet vindication. Now what can I do about that little problem I have with “The View”.