Mike Smith challenges Trent Dilfer's assertions. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
So by now you've undoubtedly heard about the "firestorm" kicked off by Trent Dilfer's recent comments, and the link there will take you to Dave Cariello's excellent recap over at Canal Street Chronicles.
For those that did miss it, Pat Yasinskas ran down Dilfer's comments:
You’ll see and hear it in the video and I’ll just quickly summarize what Dilfer said. He pretty strongly said the Atlanta Falcons are not the best team in the NFL. He went on to compare them to the 2003 Kansas City Chiefs, who went 13-3 in the regular season, but promptly got bounced in the playoffs. Then, to put the star on the top of the tree, Dilfer went on to say the Falcons are not indestructible at home. As a matter of fact, Dilfer said he thinks the New Orleans Saints can come into the Georgia Dome on Monday night and win, and he wasn’t done there. Dilfer also said the Saints could come back to the Georgia Dome in the playoffs and knock off the Falcons.
Predictably, that kicked off a sharply worded retort from Roddy White, who called the Saints the Ain'ts. That then kicked off a long string of replies from Saints players, who equally predictably pointed to their Super Bowl rings and took great umbrage. At this point, both teams are probably all fired up, which should at the very least make Monday night's game a little more interesting.
But make no mistake: This whole situation is incredibly stupid.
Let's start with Trent Dilfer. It was difficult to listen to his comments over the sound of his giant floppy shoes squeaking on the studio floor, the honk of his round red nose, the woop-woop-woop of his spinning tie and the trademark circus music that plays whenever he's on ESPN. Am I seriously supposed to give a fargin' shaz what Dilfer thinks of the Falcons, especially when he can't muster up a single compelling reason why anything he said is true? Hell no.
The Falcons are better than the 2003 Chiefs. Could they be one-and-done? Sure. The Saints are an awfully tough team, and anything could happen. After watching the Falcons go 20-1 at home since 2008, does he have a single good argument for why they might lose at home?
Of course not. Dilfer has such a hard-on for the Saints that Drew Brees tries to edge away from him during interviews, so these predictions are comically predictable. He's getting attention before a big game and he's riled up thousands of fans with predictions that carry absolutely no weight, and that says every bit as much about us as fans as it does a royal doofus like the worst quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl.
I don't give a flying falcon what Trent Dilfer thinks. Neither should you. Neither should Roddy White. Yasinskas shouldn't be taking fire for being the messenger on this one.
As a matter of fact, I think it might be time for White to stop Tweeting leading up to games. I love the guy and his competitive spirit, but the last thing you want to give the Saints coming off a sour loss is bulletin board material, especially when it's a hated nickname. If anybody is going to beat the Falcons in the Georgia Dome, it's going to be New Orleans, and they hardly need the ammo. If I was Mike Smith, I might quietly point that out to our star receiver and hopes he gets the message in the future.
And hey, Saints players? It's a joke. Are you guys seriously so insecure and sensitive that you have to go running to your bling at the first mention of a historic nickname? You guys just won the goddamn Super Bowl last year. You know what you could do? Shrug White off and maybe jot that down somewhere in the locker room as inspirtation. You know what you shouldn't do? Cry about a lack of respect and post pictures of your ring like you weren't the best team in the NFL less than 12 months ago, a team that brought a ton of joy to the city of New Orleans and one that is going to make the playoffs again. It makes you look like a bunch of babies.
In conclusion, this whole thing was an indefensibly moronic exercise in hysterics, and I hate myself for writing about it. You're welcome.