Posted on: February 8, 2010 4:21 pm

Monday Mailbag - SB44 & The Saints

You know, I love writing these sports blog entries. Really, it's just a hobby of mine. CBS' Community Admins continually feature my entries on the CBSSports.com home page, truly a honor given how many other great users and well-written blogs are out there. Why I keep getting featured is beyond me. Perhaps my entries spark great debate like my BCS/SEC entry a few months ago. Either way, I was generally suprised when my last entry, my Super Bowl "Preview," was featured. I didn't feel like that was one of my better entries. I was more suprised at the comments that I got from everyone. So, for a second straight Monday, let's get to the mailbag.

Are you serious? America's Team? I know the Saints are getting lots of PR, but I would slow your roll annointing them as America's Team.  Even though I am a Colt fan, I don't know 1 person who is rooting for the Saints. And as far as what the city has overcome, give me a break.  What about New York??  8 years ago a couple of Jets crashed into a couple of big buildings, you might have heard about it. - Indians33Fan

I have no idea why Browns or Steelers fans would root for the Colts, being old AFC rivals and all, but generally the consensus that I got was that the majority was rooting for the Saints. Why? For the same reason why everyone rooted for the Jets in the AFC Championship Game. The Jets were underdogs, the Colts have been here before, etc. Maybe the Saints aren't "America's Team," but yesterday, I think they were.

And here's why the New Orleans Saints got more attention than New York did on 9/11. Because New Orleans almost lost it's sports teams because of Hurricane Katrina. New York City has two football teams (in New Jersey), two baseball teams, two hockey teams and the Knicks. New Orleans has the Saints and the Hornets, both were very close to moving to San Antonio and Oklahoma City respectively. New Yorkers could have turned to anyone one of a half dozen or more teams. New Orleans turned to the Saints and Hornets. There weren't any other teams to turn too. That's what makes this win special for the city, because everyone is connected to it.

spoken like the true Eagles fan... anything you can say to take a shot at those Cowboys. - oupioneer

Actually, this wasn't a shot at Dallas. If anything, they did more this year to keep their "America's Team" title. Yes, the are Philly fans who constantly take shots at Dallas. Those are Philadelphia fans. I am an Eagles fan, and Eagles fan only. Big difference. At least to me.

As a Cowboys fan, let me say this about that moniker: They can f***in have it. NFL Films gave our team that name, not us. And if the Saints win four more of these, let's see just how much you'll be loving the Saints at that point. - TheBunk

Well, maybe I was wrong about Dallas keeping their "title." I guess making the playoffs and beating the Eagles three times in one season is still not good enough for Cowboys fans. And I will still like the Saints in they win more Super Bowls, I will never love them, they aren't my favorite team. Now if they beat the Eagles in four consectutive NFC Championship games, we might have some problems, but I'll always have respect for the New Orleans Saints.

That loss could not have happened to a better team. Indy was Wayyyyyyyyyyyy over rated. No running game and all they had was Peyton. Now we know which QB is better Brady or Manning.. Brady by far now!!!. What happened to the Miracle man in the end. Throws an interception.. Nice  Love it!!! - STEVENB2662

I don't think Indt was overrated. Joseph Addai and Donald Brown (from UConn) had one of their best rushing games all season, especially Addai. And I can't fault him for the interception. It looked liked Wayne made an adjustment to the outside as Manning was throwing it and then Tracy Porter stepped in front of it. Peyton's worst throw came at the goal line to end the game in my opinion. One of the few times he forced a ball in the Super Bowl, but again, he's down two scores. I'm suprised the Colts didn't call a timeout there on 4th and Goal. That in my opinion was truly a mistake. But don't hate on Peyton, instead give props to Sean Payton and the Saints for a great gameplan and holding the Colts to 6 plays, two three-and-outs, in the second quarter.

Wow!! America's team. I always thought America's and the team of the people was the Steelers. Just who are these "people" that has replaced the Steeler Nation? - Goldpanther4

The Steelers were the anti-Cowboys decades ago when the two team were battling out for Super Bowl titles. And Pittsburgh is still home to one of the Top 5 football fan bases in the country in my opinion. I don't know about America's team, but the Steelers being "The Team of the People" has a nice ring to it. Maybe bring back the old WWE ccatchprase and call the Steelers "The People's Champion."

And now for an epic three-part comment to bring it home.

"America's Team"?  What the heck is that supposed to mean anyways?  For one game- yes New Orleans can lay claim to it.  However, given the visibility of the Cowboys- you either rabidly love them or visciously hate them, and you find that anywhere in the country.  They are akin to baseball's Yankees- you cant find anyone in middle ground on that team. - Texsux

This comment was so good, I had to include all of it. I have no idea what "America's Team" means. If it means the biggest stadium, fan base, anti-fan base, history and all of that, then yes, the Cowboys are America's Team. Personally, I think America's Team should be the Green Bay Packers. They're owned by the citizens of Green Bay! And aside from Minnesota, Chicago and Detroit, does the average football fan hate Green Bay and Lambeau Field? I think not, but hey, I'm an idiot according to most people so who cares what I think.

You seem to be rather young, so it's time to educate you on a few things.  Americans tend to root for the underdogs in these things.  Fans with no previous allegiances were rooting for the Cardinals last year, the Giants the year before, and the list goes on. - Texsux

I disagree with the word underdogs here. Americans tend to root for the better story in my opinion. This year, the Saints were the better story. Yes, usually being the underdog is the better story, but I think that most Americans wanted to see the Colts beat the Bears and Peyton get his ring. That was the better story this year.

Your bias against the rest of the NFC East is showing.  You forgot to put a jab in there against the Redskins. - Texsux

Okay, I try to be as fair and unbiased as I can. Really, I do. Naturally, as a sports fan, I fail miserably. I can see where I took a shot at the Cowboys. I don't see where I made fun of the Giants. And I stopped making fun of the Redskins a long time ago. Why?

Daniel Snyder does it for me.

Category: NFL
Posted on: February 1, 2010 11:52 am

Mailbag - NFL Pro Bowl

Last Friday, I wrote an entry on the best All-Star games in the USA that CBS was kind enough to post on the featured section over the weekend. I had to wait all weekend but I finally got the response that I was looking for. So without further ado, a mailbag of sorts based on the comments I received over the weekend on why the NFL's Pro Bowl is terrible.

(Quick tangent, I didn't watch the Pro Bowl this year, but from what I hear, the game wasn't all that bad. No rushing though.)

Yeah, I'm a Dolphins fan, but there is no reason for Dan Carpenter and Yeremiah Bell to play an All-Star game at home. Some sports may choose to use team venues to host the events, but Hawaii was part of the mystique of the Pro Bowl. - User tarheelsunc50

I actually didn't have a problem with the NFL picking more Dolphins to play in the game. It might give the local fans more of an incentive to try and watch the game live. But tarheel is right about moving the game back to Hawaii. It's the only logical place to play the game. He also agrees with my idea of playing the Pro Bowl in the preseason. Hopefully we can get someone who disagrees.

Good points, but gotta disagree with the NHL all star game. They've just changed the style of the game to more friendly and not based an brute strength. A lot of players use the game to show off or "dangle" if you will which the crowd finds entertaining. - my buddy Zach

Okay, this is a comment from my friend from home. He's a hockey nut and thinks that the NHL's best players showing off thier best offensive moves and skills is great. I don't disagree with him and for one game, not a bad idea. Could I have put the NHL ahead of the NBA, possibly. But I prefer the NHL regualar season and especially the playoffs over one offensive minded game.

Modesty apparently does not thrive near you.  Regardless, your ideas presented for the Pro Bowl are terrible. - User nellafoxes

Not sure what that first sentence actually means. But I do know the second half. Nella disagrees with basically everything I said except putting the Pro Bowl back in Hawaii. Playing the game in the preseason could cause more injuries and most of the players aren't in playing shape yet. The injuries would be a concern, but major injuries happen in training camp and the preseason anyway. And so what if the players aren't in top shape yet. It's an exhibition that could give the NFL's best an extra game to prepare.

playing the pro bowl during preseason is great. the best players of the previos year could play. the baseball all-star game could also be played in preseason. - User scgodfather

I like this idea for MLB. But how about taking it one step farther? Get a full team with a 4-5 man starting rotation and play a 7-game series sometime in spring training and have that decide home field for the World Series. You're telling me you wouldn't watch a 7-game series in April of baseball's best? Major props to the godfather from South Carolina.

Play the pro bowl like they play all the other all-star games. Put it in a city where they have a team and play it after week 8 the halfway point of the season. - User Scott40

This isn't a bad idea. The NFL is the only sport that doesn't have its All-Star game in the middle of the season. Unfortunately, there are too many logistical issues to make this work. The NFL's season is already too long and demanding. Playing the Pro-Bowl mid season might give the rest of the players a week off, but you'd have the same number of players (if not more) claiming injury so they wouldn't play anyway. Also, playing the Pro Bowl in Hawaii for the most part guarantees warm weather and teams wouldn't be fighting to host the event. It only makes sense to play it before or after the season. Nice avatar logo though Scott, like your style.

NFL Pro Bowl pre season would be just as bad as it is this year. What team in their right mind want their players possibly getting hurt right before the season starts for a meaningless game? It's bad enough to risk injury in a February game that means nothing but at least they would have time to heal. - User kidman2020

Again, NFL teams risk injury during training camp, practices, pre-season games, etc. I'd have to check but I don't think anyone got hurt in last night's Pro Bowl. Most serious injuries are generally "flukes" and most minor injuries come from game-to-game wear and tear. This doesn't mean someone couldn't get hurt, clearly a risk, but I think more players would be keen to try this idea.

And finally, the response I waited all weekend for.

MLS !? soccer thats crazy - User JoeKnowsSports

There is a Sports God. I knew that my entry couldn't go a whole week without someone calling me crazy for putting the MLS ASG first. Thank you Joe for making my weekend. Joe also wrote that he liked the College Football games (Shrine Game, North-South, etc.). I chose only to rank the major pro sports, and probably wouldn't have included the college games anyway. To me those games are more a scouting tool for NFL teams rather than a true "All-Star" game.

I'd like to thank Community users Harst and SSAGENT_022 for their comments as well. Sorry I couldn't get you guys into the mailbag. I'd also like to thank CBS for giving my entry a national stage for people to read it. Why they continue to do that is beyond me but someone must like this stuff. I've got a full week of entries for this week ending with my Super Bowl Preview so check back everyday for some new stuff.

- Eagle

Category: General
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com