Oakland Raiders: Are the Saints now the Most Hated Team in the NFL?
Jerry Rump – May 25, 2012
Apparently, there is a new bully on the block. Surprisingly, it is not the team that usually fits this description, the Oakland Raiders, because the New Orleans Saints have surprised everyone by being flagged by the NFL for paying bounties to players for taking out opponents.
Dick Butkus must be absolutely appalled by this behavior.
In a scandal not seen since, well since Chicago Bears wide-receiver, Sam Hurd, was brought up on drug kingpin charges last December, the Bounty-gate scandal has shook the very core of league Commissioner, Roger Goodell’s soul, to the point where he has levied some of the biggest suspensions since uhh...well, his last round of suspensions.
Does this mean the Oakland Raiders have lost their hold on the title of the NFL’s Most Hated Team? Are the Saints now the new bad boys of the NFL? More importantly, will Saints head coach, Sean Payton, have to supplement his income with an appearance on Dancing with the Stars?
Raider Nation is all too aware of the stigma negative press can provide when it comes to the way a team is perceived by others. There are actually school systems that prohibit their students from wearing Raider garb of any kind because it carries such a negative connotation.
The Raiders have really never done anything the likes of Bounty-gate, Spy-gate or any other type of gate, but are undoubtedly the team all the other teams love to hate. Of course, it is this very aspect that attracts a great number of extremely passionate fans to the Dark Side.
Being the rebels and representing the Silver and Black has long carried with it the added attraction that one now has the responsibility to be a bad ass. After all, it began with the legendary Al Davis, and many Raider greats from Jack Tatum, Lester Hayes, John Matuszak, and so on and so forth, who set the bar proving that this team was something different.
The Raiders have ALWAYS been the bad guys of the league and flourished in this role. So, since it’s all about expansion these days, is it safe to say the league now has two teams that will sport this moniker? Is it now an AFC-NFC type of thing? And...will Jonathan Vilma make it past the first round in the upcoming season of Big Brother?
The league has announced that the evidence in the Bounty-gate case will be made public as soon as Roger Goodell gets done denying all the appeals from the players, just as he did the appeals of the coaches that were involved in the scandal. It is a shame Johnny Cochran is not still around, because this case dreadfully calls out for a…” if the shoulder-pads don’t fit" moment.
This just in, Scott Fujita is joining this year’s cast of Survivor.
So, we have one team that has always and will always represent the anti-establishment way of doing things in the NFL and one team that had to pay players to take out opposing players in order to get their first Super Bowl victory.
We have the Silver and Black, the Autumn Wind rollicking like a pirate and they have the "Aints." There is the mystique of Al Davis, and well, the persona of the guy that owns the Saints, (whatever that is!)
There are the fans in the Black Hole blasting AC-DC and in comparison they have the relaxing jazz scene of Bourbon Street. There are the years of building and owning the label of “The Outlaws of the NFL” versus the years of always starring in this year’s NFL Films release of Football Follies.
We compare greats like Ken "The Snake" Stabler and Bo Jackson to Archie Manning and uhh...just a minute, let me Google "Saints Greats" and we’ll fill in the __________. (George Rogers, maybe?)
We have super-fans with wicked personas like "Violator and Pain," they have a guy with a brown paper bag over his face. We are "The Men in Black," they are the "Bless you Boys." Really? The Bless you Boys? Ooh...sounds intimidating, doesn't it?
Needless to say, the evidence speaks for itself.
One little scandal cannot possibly begin to equal the entire history of a franchise. While mainstream media would love to have you think there is another team that can wear the persona that the Raiders created, it is safe to say the Silver and Black will now, and forever more be the only team that most definitely has a stranglehold on the title of being the NFL’s Most Hated Team.
Did you all see that Anthony Hargrove is going to be on the next episode of My Big Redneck Wedding? That should be awesome!
It does not bode well for the Saints this upcoming season, because for the first eight weeks at least, the media will be sure to demonize them every minute of the day. However, if they want a team that truly deserves to wear the "Most Hated" title, the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, and of course the Denver Broncos, would all be worthy candidates. Don't you agree?
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