Nothing shows how blessed we are to be LSU fans like February and March. From a sports perspective, these two months are spent figuring out how to cope with the loss of football season. We distract ourselves from the loss of football with spring sports such as gymnastics, softball and baseball, in which LSU routinely competes for national championships. Others who are unexposed to these sports live in a state where football never ends. They go straight from the College Football Playoff and Super Bowl to National Signing Day, the NFL Combine and free agency. I totally understand how people enjoy these, but they’re not for me.
As much as I love football, the over-analysis and nitpicking of tiny little things drives me crazy. If I see a college football player play really well, I just assume he will succeed in the pros. I’ve fantasized about just about half of each year’s first-round picks being on the Saints, and I spend every spring talking about how all of my favorite college football players would be fantastic on the Saints (I called Kamara in October 2016, no lies here). Same goes with free agency: I’ll watch 5 minute highlights of a player set to a Kid Ink song, and swear he’s the missing piece to send us to the Super Bowl. I’m normally all in on free agency, ESPECIALLY after a Saints playoff appearance, but I decided to take it easy this year.
I told myself I would forget about the Saints for awhile, not get too invested and just enjoy a typical dominant LSU spring and fantastic Pelicans season until Saints news happened. I was doing fine… until this tweet.
..WAIT A MINUTE
Soooooo Michael Thomas is recruiting Tyrann Mathieu to the Saints apparently. Okay, wow.
Let’s all just take a breath here.
Now let me try to do some actual analysis. It’s been confirmed the Saints will let 2013 first-round pick Kenny Vaccaro walk after an up and down five years with the team. Some fans might think the Saints filled that void when they (of course) signed former Ohio State Buckeye and Carolina Panther Kurt Coleman. John Sigler of Canal Street Chronicles wrote a piece about the Coleman signing where he explained this signing does not rule out signing Mathieu, especially since safety Rafael Bush is also expected to walk.
But let’s be real here… this probably isn’t happening. It would be fun to imagine, but the reason Arizona hasn’t already immediately resigned him is because of a high price and injuries. Saints fans shudder at the thought of paying top-dollar for an oft-injured safety, so unless he takes a big-time hometown discount, I don’t see it happening.
...but what if?
The Saints defense was a black hole of darkness and despair before this past season, where they not only played exceptionally well, but seemed to have a damn fun time doing it. They racked up 42 sacks, 17 fumbles, 19 regular interceptions and one butt interception. I mean just look at how much fun these guys have:
So… enter New Orleans native Tyrann Mathieu. Does he have fun on the field and play with a lot of swag? Uh.. yes.
It’s important to remember these highlights are from 2015, and his past two seasons were hampered by lingering injuries. But this kind of signing is about more than football for a number of reasons.
Tyrann Mathieu isn’t the only guy being connected to the Saints by baseless speculation. Just this week, the rumors about Jimmy Graham returning to New Orleans dominated Saints Twitter Monday. These moves would not only make sense from a football perspective, but I don’t think there are two other guys who could bring more excitement to the Saints’ fanbase. The Saints’ rejuvenation this past season was so strong because of the pain of three straight 7-9 seasons. Singing Mathieu would drop a gallon of gasoline on a raging fire of Saints passion that engulfed this city in October and November.
If you think PR moves don’t win championships, you’re probably not familiar with what an advantage the Superdome is with the Saints. It’s loud every game fo every opponent, but when it matters, the fans will win you games. The team made a big marketing push to make noise for the game against the Falcons on Christmas Eve. The Saints played a pretty good game that day, but the Falcons had no chance.
Signing Tyrann Mathieu would bring energy and excitement to New Orleans, and you don’t *need* rabid fan support to win a championship, but it helps a whole lot. The 2017 Saints surprised everyone with how much fun they were, and will be hard to top in 2018. Tyrann Mathieu could get you there before the season even started.
Also here’s this video because you should watch this every day.