Divine Intervention and Video Monitors
So, I'm not trying to make light of the horrors that have affected southern Louisiana in the last few months, but sports-wise, I have to say that one thing has been made abundantly clear in the recent weeks and months:
God hates the Saints.
Quite frankly, I don't think this observation can be controverted. Misfortune seems to have set up shop squarely overtop of the Saints, slapping and punching and cornholing the organization and its fan base pretty much nonstop since late summer. (Of course, an argument could certainly be made that fate has been doing this to the team and its fans for going on 40 years now; it's just that the most recent examples have been much more tangible.)
I mean, look at what's happened to them: Katrina ravages the city, destroying the Superdome in the process (or, as Flava Flav would say, "in the progress"). People need to be evacuated, and the team is stuck playing "home games" in San Antonio and Baton Rouge ... not to mention the fact that they were robbed of one of those home games in week 2, as the Giants were granted an unprecedented home "road game." The team's best player, DroppaDeuce McAllister, gets hurt for the year in week 5. Two weeks ago, they get jobbed by the refs in Atlanta, as the Falcons missed a potential game-winning field goal, only to get another chance at it from 5 yards closer because the Saints were called for what may have been the first "defensive holding" penalty that's ever happened during a field goal attempt. Then, of course, last week, the Saints were driving for a go-ahead score in St. Louie, and their TE caught a pass and was tackled. While on the ground, a Rams DB ripped the ball from him and returned it for a TD. The refs ruled -- patently incorrectly, as replays showed -- that the TE never had control of the ball, and that the DB therefore intercepted the pass and returned it for a game-icing TD. The Saints had no timeouts, so they couldn't challenge the ball, and the play started with 2:10 on the clock, before the 2:00 warning, so the play couldn't be reviewed absent a challenge. If the play had started 10 seconds later, the call would have been overturned and the Saints would have had the ball at about the Rams' 15-yd line, down by 4. Instead, they were down by 11 and yeah, pretty fucked. What a season for the N'Awlins Saints and their fans.
On the exact friggin' opposite end of the spectrum, the Chicago White Sox continue to live what one writer has referred to as a "charmed life." They have been the beneficiaries of an inordinate number of controversial calls in this year's playoffs, a postseason which is rapidly and unfortunately looking like it's going to be remembered more for umpiring blunders than fantastic clutch hitting and pitching (of which there has been tons, despite the bargain-basement, low low ratings). Because of the umps' tendencies to fuck up at the absolute most inopportune times this year, debate is hotter than ever over whether or not instant replay should be implemented into bases-ball. Any baseball replay system would be regarding plays in the field, and not balls and strikes. Some feverishly oppose replay in baseball, and some think it would do much more good than it would harm.
What does y'all think?