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Dec 5, 201607:55 PM
Full Sport Press

'The games we play in New Orleans and beyond'

That’s A Wrap

Don’t kid yourself. The Saints season is over.

associated press

Math is a funny thing. Even though it is one of the hardest sciences it can be used to create a false reality. Wacky calculations can foster such absurdities as — “Well, everyone is living longer these days so 40 really isn’t that old. Even better, those wicked numbers probably have your co-worker saying the old tried and true, “Well, the Saints aren’t mathematically out of the playoff race.” It’s hard to figure out whether we should punch that dude or hug that dude. Sure, it’s great to have hope because sometimes reality is just too much. So, the Saints are done and there’s no way to paint a pretty picture. 

New Orleans, the city, has been painting pretty pictures on the silver screen for decades. Especially since Louisiana got into the game by expanding the incentives program in 2002 and opening a floodgate of free money. Then in 2015, the state passed legislation putting a cap on the amount of incentives spent per year and the local industry has faltered. Just like the Saints. And since I have some experience with both industries, I figure I would mind meld the two into one, as the two popular Crescent City exports stumble along in search of their former or new selves.

 

Rolling and Action

Movies – Rolling and action are the most famous sayings of film set life. Don’t think so? Ask your mom. She knows these sayings. Also, whenever shooting on location those two words are also the most likely things a passerby will yell to screw up the shot. I used to get mad when regular folks would do this, but after awhile I found it hilarious. 

Saints – The most famous duo is obviously Drew Brees and Sean Payton. Also, the most likely thing people will talk about at the bar. One of them is still arguably the best quarterback in the league and signed a very team-friendly contract. The other one could be leading the team to their fourth losing season in five years and is signed through 2020. Yep. 

 

Cut!

Movies – Okay maybe cut is is the most famous saying. Pretty self-explanatory but should be used with caution when shooting kitchen scenes. 

Saints – Caution? What does that mean? GM Mickey Loomis is here to sign some free agents to big, fat contracts! Any Saints fan knows where I’m painfully going with this one. Too much money has been spent on “insta-fixes.” Brandon Browner, Coby Fleener, C.J. Spiller, Jairus Byrd — all underperforming, all counting or have counted fat stacks of New Orleans’ money. None of these signings were improvements over what the Saints had. So, why would you pay Willa Mae’s money when you could’ve just stuck with delicious Popeye’s?

 

Let’s Go Again

Movies – Let’s go again is the director’s call when they want to go again right after you cut.

Saints – Dear God, no. No one wants another one. Back-to-back seasons of 7-9 finishes could easily be followed with yet another 7-9 finish. If they’re lucky. Even worse, is the complete repeat of 2014, 2015 and 2016. Each season the Saints have stumbled out of the gate to a 1-3 start, only to fight their way back to 4-4, to then lose the next game and falter to a 7-9 finish. The team’s freakish consistency the previous two seasons does not bode well for the rest of this year. 

 

One More for Safety

Movies – One more for safety is when the director gets a successful shot but just in case something was technically wrong they go again. 

Saints – If only they could be so lucky. Way more often than not, the Saints follow a success with an absolute clunker like Sunday’s if it had been 100 percent better we could call it a punchless loss to the Detroit Lions. Time and time again, over the past three seasons the Saints are unable to string meaningful victories together. In 2014, big game victories over Green Bay were muted by early season losses to the awful Cleveland Browns. In 2015, back-to-back wins over the playoff-bound Colts and Giants were followed by a baffling loss to the Titans. No consistency whatsoever. 

 

Second Meal

Movies – Producers have to provide a second meal to the crew six hours after lunch or pay a penalty. 

Saints – Last year, the Saints’ defense was handing out second, third and fourth meals to NFL offenses every Sunday. While there has been an improvement this year, the numbers are still pretty ugly. There are quite a few stats you can talk about but only one really matters when you’re talking about defense — the Saints rank 30th in points given up per game. In a related note, props to Jairus Byrd whose games played (28) are finally north of his millions guaranteed (26). 

 

First Draft 

Movies – First draft is just what it says — the first version of the script before the studio knocks every bit of originality of it.

Saints – Not so much first, but how about the last three drafts? One of the storylines coming into the season was that the Saints were drafting better. But are they? Really “good” drafts provide a wave of good players that are contributing in, at least, their third years. Now we don’t need to go into the hilarious 2014 draft, but 2015 is starting to look like a bust as well. First-round pick Andrus Peat is looking like a solid 4th rounder. And remember Stephone Anthony? I assure you, the last thing you want to hear about your 2015 second-rounder is how well he’s doing on special teams. 

 

Last Looks 

Movies – Right before you roll on a shot, hair and makeup is called to give the actors a “last look.” 

Saints – Here we go again. The team will most likely head into the off-season without a winning record and definitely without a playoff appearance. How do you feel about them going into next season? Do you think they look good? Are they ready for prime time?

When the Saints kick off on week one of the 2017 campaign it will have been 1,340 days since they’ve been in the playoffs. And probably 1,340 days since they’ve had a winning season. 

What other NFL contenders would find that acceptable? What other teams wouldn’t make significant changes? In New Orleans, Coach Peyton is signed through 2020 and GM Mickey Loomis’ seat is as cold as the other side of the pillow. That’s the reality.

 

That’s a wrap. 

 

And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.

 

Beer Pairing: NOLA Brewing’s “Rebirth” Pale Ale  

Playlist Recommendation: Everclear – “So Much For The Afterglow 

 

 

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Full Sport Press

'The games we play in New Orleans and beyond'

about

              

Mark Patrick Spencer is a writer and assistant director whose work has published in the pages of many literary journals, including Hobart and Midwestern Gothic

Spencer has worked in the entertainment business for 10 years. He broke into film as a production assistant on the football-based "Friday Night Lights," in Austin, Texas. Spencer moved to New Orleans in 2014, and has assistant directed films such as "By Way of Helena," and "Kickboxer: Vengeance."

Spencer lives in Uptown, where he can be found sitting on his porch telling lies about how great he was during his high school football years. 

Contact Spencer at markspencer7@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at @TheSonOfNoise. Follow Full Sport Press at @FullSportNOLA.

 

 

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