Going into Week 4 of the NFL season, my Facebook feed is still getting battered with threatened boycotts and “Who Supports the Troops: Pass It On,” etc.

Who’s the greatest Patriot of all? I AM!

Those are my third least favorite kinds of Facebook posts these days. The most onerous, of course, are the flurries of electoral vomit that clogs my feed like a ball of knotted hair in a drain. Trump this, Biden that, taxes, Russia, Hunter, Ivanka. Supporting the Troops, etc.

Who’s the greatest Patriot of all? I AM!

My second least favorite posts are those attention-seeking head scratchers like, “NEVER AGAIN!” or “THAT DOES IT!” With no context implied. Just a loud howl into the digital echo chamber always presented in all caps against a tinted background.

Do you ever get these? From people you hardly know? Who are these people? What do they want from me? Am I supposed to drop everything (meaning my incessant scrolling through my Facebook feed) to tap out a concerned inquiry like “What’s up, Boo?” or offer an inspirational homily like “Oh honey, everything’s going to be OK!”

Even though I have no idea WHAT THEIR PROBLEM IS! Nor if everything will actually be OK.

Those things drive me crazy.

Who’s the greatest Patriot of all? Tom Brady, that’s who! Which is our segue back to the somewhat unconvincing boycott of the NFL this year – and the Saints in particular.

Their season opener against Brady and his new crew – our conference rivals, the Bucs – had the highest ratings of any afternoon game broadcast by Fox since 2016. So much for shut up and dribble.

Yes, I know that’s a mixed metaphor, but shut up and punt just sounds weird. It’s not, y’know, part of our shared collective lexicon.

And speaking of shares – and other TV ratings jargon (and nifty little segue), a share is the percentage of people who are watching TV at any moment who are tuned into any given show. A rating is the percentage of the general population who are tuned in – and the number upon which ad prices are established.

Therefore, shares are always higher because the focus group is smaller. Lesson over.

So, how did the Saints perform over the first three weeks of the season? (Other than generally crappy, but we’re focusing on ratings and shares today, not Drew’s arm strength nor our defensive backfield – or lack of both thereof.)

Against the Bucs, the ratings topped out at 49.5, with a 62.6 share. You do the math. Basically, half of the homes in the entire market had the game on at one time or another.

Two more high profile games followed; against the Raiders on Monday Night in Week 2, against the Packers this past Sunday. And the numbers are holding steady locally, dipping a bit nationally. But Sunday night’s game was up against an NBA playoff game – which has never happened before – and the Emmys. (To say nothing of the season premiere of “Fargo” on FX.)

And that’s saying something.

Truthfully, it’s hard to read the effects of the proposed boycott when all the seats in the Dome are empty anyway. That’s how you make a point; you don’t go to the game. Hit ’em where it counts – in the wallet. In that regard, it’s working. Because cardboard people don’t buy concessions. Or tickets, for that matter.

Wouldn’t it be cool to dress up in a cardboard costume and sneak into a game? But you’d get busted once you tried to start a wave.

And another way to drag the ratings down is up to the team, of course. Losing games loses interest, enthusiasm, ratings and shares.

We’re not supposed to lose nationally televised Big Games until the very end of the playoffs when everything is on the line, a city filled with hope and joy, ratings of 100, a 1,000 share, 1,000,000 hopes and dreams on the line. And then.


As the legendary TV journalist Linda Ellerbee used to close out her news broadcasts: “And so it goes.”

Or better yet: THAT DOES IT!

(Oh, and one last thing: It’s not about the Troops. Or the Flag. Just so you know.)