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View Full Version : Saints players, coach complain about moving game to NY after loss



WVRed
09-20-2005, 04:02 PM
Maybe its just me, but given that Baton Rogue and San Antonio are not options for right now, and they did actually get a chance to play the game and try to win, whats the big deal? Im not trying to paint the Saints as whiners or anything, but I did think the Giants organization/NFL did try to make them feel at home with the end zones and banners.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/recap;_ylt=AuGk0lGHngOWuv8IgsO6tbk5nYcB?gid=200509 19018&prov=ap


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- To the New Orleans Saints, Monday night's bizarre ``home'' opener was unfair from the outset. And they played like they didn't want to be there in losing 27-10 to the New York Giants.

``They made this seem like the Super Bowl,'' quarterback Aaron Brooks said of the NFL and the hoopla after New Orleans had six turnovers and 13 penalties. ``We played a team that outplayed us today, but it was way overdone. Setting up a stage, traveling out here, was uncalled for.

``Try not to patronize us next time, traveling us to New York, saying we're playing a home game.''

Added coach Jim Haslett: ``We were in the visiting locker room, on the visiting field. It seemed like an away game.''

The Giants, visitors in name and jersey color only, had no complaints. Playing before 68,031 of their fans, they took advantage of New Orleans' sloppiness from the first play, a fumbled kickoff. Tiki Barber scored two touchdowns and the defense had four sacks.

``It was supposedly their home game, but we just played like it was our home game,'' said Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora, who had two sacks.

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NFL nomads after the damage to the Superdome and New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina, the Saints were given a home game here by the league. Historically more successful on the road under Haslett (25-17 going in), they couldn't overcome critical mistakes in falling to 1-1.

Efforts to make this resemble something akin to home appeared minimal at Giants Stadium, where -- surprisingly, considering the local team's popularity -- about 10,000 seats went unoccupied. Those in attendance generally were dressed in Giants blue and, except for mild applause when the entire Saints squad came onto the field before the coin toss, they rooted for their guys.

One end zone had SAINTS painted in white and a few Saints banners were scattered along the blue bunting on the lower level. Other than a www.saintshurricanefund.org sign on the message board, everything about the night said New Jersey, not New Orleans.

``It could go on and on like this, we have to take this one week at a time,'' Brooks said. ``At some point, it is going to wear down on us. We've got to be strong enough and mature enough to handle this situation and accept the responsibilities given to us.''

While they could be excused if their minds were elsewhere, Saints players have insisted that on game day, nothing distracts them from football. It looked that way in last week's upset of Carolina. It looked decidedly different Monday night.

``I think the guys have gone a great job of focusing on football in practices and meetings,'' Haslett said. ``It did not reflect that today. It didn't carry over.''

In the first half alone, the Saints committed 11 penalties for 72 yards, including an illegal contact by Sedrick Hodge that negated a third-down sack and set up the Giants' third touchdown.


AP - Sep 20, 12:07 am EDT
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``We've been in four complexes in four weeks, I've been in three hotels, now an apartment,'' Haslett noted. ``But that (performance) had nothing to do with where we live or what we do. We sucked on that field today.''

At least the Saints' other seven home games will be played closer to home: four in Baton Rouge, La., and three in San Antonio, where they train. For this one, they had to dress in the cramped visitors' locker room, with a makeshift Saints sign hung above the entrance.

The Giants (2-0) benefited in every way from the NFL's decision, beginning with the opening kickoff. Some Saints trickery immediately backfired. Michael Lewis handed off the return to Fred McAfee, who fumbled at the 10, with Chase Blackburn recovering. Three plays later, to tumultuous cheers for the ``visitors,'' rookie Brandon Jacobs squeezed into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.

Hardly the start the Saints needed, and it didn't get much better. The Giants took a 14-0 lead on Barber's 6-yard reception.

But the Saints are nothing if not resilient, and they came back with an 86-yard drive that was almost all Joe Horn. He had two catches of 15 yards, then a 21-yard touchdown reception. It was Horn whose cell phone antics in a game against the Giants two years ago drew him a measure of fame -- and a $30,000 fine.

``They didn't just beat our butts and drag us all over the field,'' Horn said. ``We gave them the ball and they capitalized.''

Hodge's penalty three plays after Carlos Emmons' interception led to Barber's 12-yard run for a 21-7 New York lead. While the Saints got closer on John Carney's 21-yard field goal near the end of the half, their miscues continued in the second half.

Brooks' fumble set up Jay Feely's 39-yard field goal. And when his pass deflected off Donte' Stallworth to safety Brent Alexander, the Saints were reeling.

Carney, who kicked the winning field goal last week at Carolina, even missed a 29-yarder, hitting the left upright. Feely then made a 30-yarder for New York.

When Horn fumbled as he was stretching for the end zone with 3:40 to go, most of the fans headed home, quite happy to see the visitors' victory.

``That's one of the loudest I've heard the stadium in a long time, and it wasn't even full,'' Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey said. ``As players, we hear that and it really helps us out.''

Notes: Saints kick returner Michael Lewis injured a knee in the fourth quarter and Haslett said it appeared to be serious. ... The Saints had a five-game winning streak, dating back to last season, snapped. ... New York's Plaxico Burress and Shockey each had five receptions for 64 yards.Barber rushed for 83 yards. ... Horn made nine catches for 143 yards, while Stallworth had eight for 17.6. Saints RB Deuce McAllister set a team record for yards rushing in a career with 4,305, beating George Rogers' mark of 4,258.

Danny Serafini
09-20-2005, 04:09 PM
The Saints are right, it was a joke to have that game at the Meadowlands. I understand it's been tough to find a home for them, but ANYWHERE would've been better than Giants Stadium. It's unfair to give the Giants 9 home games and the Saints 7, despite who got to wear the "home" colors.

Unassisted
09-20-2005, 04:16 PM
Since it was played on a Monday night, the game could have been played in any NFL stadium except Dallas, which hosted the official Monday night game. Hard to believe that Reliant Stadium in Houston or perhaps Atlanta or Nashville wouldn't have been available. Any of those would have been a fairer choice.

Blimpie
09-20-2005, 04:31 PM
Maybe its just me, but given that Baton Rogue and San Antonio are not options for right now, and they did actually get a chance to play the game and try to win, whats the big deal? Im not trying to paint the Saints as whiners or anything, but I did think the Giants organization/NFL did try to make them feel at home with the end zones and banners.I dunno know about the rest of the Saints, but I'll go ahead and call Aaron Brooks a whiner. Was it fair to call the Saints the "home team" last night? Of course not. But the league tried to make the best of a bad situation with all of their theatrics (painting of the endzone, French Quarter theme, etc...)

Aaron should remember that this was the only game where this had to happen the way it did. They had only days after Katrina to decide their game plan for Week # 2. I feel like the league did a hell of a job coordinating all of this stuff with Baton Rouge and San Antonio on such short notice. Can you imagine the sheer amount of logistical decisions that were made by the league during the first few days with regards to season ticket assignments (relative to the temporary sites in SA or BR)?

Last week, this same Saints team went to Carolina and played a very good game. The Carolina fans clapped--but still wanted to crush them. Now, they can't win because Giants fans were cheering for the their team? Hogwash. If the Saints don't turn the ball over six times in last night's loss, we never hear any of this junk from Brooks. LSU had to fly to Tempe and play their "home game" against ASU. It wasn't easy, but they sacked up and won the game.

Maybe Aaron should focus on the amount of money that was raised during last night's telethon efforts and quit trying to make excuses for their awful performance.

registerthis
09-20-2005, 05:58 PM
I dunno know about the rest of the Saints, but I'll go ahead and call Aaron Brooks a whiner. Was it fair to call the Saints the "home team" last night? Of course not. But the league tried to make the best of a bad situation with all of their theatrics (painting of the endzone, French Quarter theme, etc...)They did? How so? By playing the game in--of all places--the home stadium of the team the Saints are playing?

It's ridiculous--that decision was made with anyone BUT the interest of the Saints and their fans in mind. Is Aaron Brooks whining a bit here after the fact? Probably. But the fact remains, the NFL had a plethora of cities with adequate stadiums to choose form to host this game, and they select--New York. It was a completely New York-centric decision, unfair to the Saints, their fans, and the rest of the NL East who now will get one less home game than the Giants.

:thumbdown

kyred14
09-20-2005, 07:09 PM
Amazing that the most powerful sports league in America can make so many bonehead decisions. This was wrong in so many ways.

WVRed
09-20-2005, 07:45 PM
Since it was played on a Monday night, the game could have been played in any NFL stadium except Dallas, which hosted the official Monday night game. Hard to believe that Reliant Stadium in Houston or perhaps Atlanta or Nashville wouldn't have been available. Any of those would have been a fairer choice.

Im not 100% sure on Reliant, because its a retractable roof stadium, but the Georgia Dome is more of an all purpose facility(concerts, etc). Houston and Tennessee also had home games the previous day as well, so I doubt they would have wanted to have gotten the stadium ready again for the next day.

Its easy for us all to sit back and point fingers when I would say 99% of us have no idea(including myself) what is put into getting a stadium ready for a game, much less on short notice.

It could have been worse, the Saints could have been forced to forfeit.

I dont know how this will be taken, but I did find this somewhat of a good idea in the fact that if you remember, New York was the last place to experience a disaster. If anything, this would have been a perfect time for New Yorkers to reach out to their fellow brothers and sisters in New Orleans and say, "I feel your pain". And for the record, even though they pulled for their home team in the Giants, I did think New York did a decent to good job in handling this.

Caveat Emperor
09-20-2005, 08:29 PM
If you think Aaron Brooks and the Saints are mad, think how ticked Parcells, Gibbs and Reid probably are right now.

In a league where 1 win or 1 loss is determinative of playoff births, incentive activations, and coaching jobs, to give one team in a division an additional home game is an unbelievable advantage.

gilpdawg
09-21-2005, 12:52 AM
If you think Aaron Brooks and the Saints are mad, think how ticked Parcells, Gibbs and Reid probably are right now.

In a league where 1 win or 1 loss is determinative of playoff births, incentive activations, and coaching jobs, to give one team in a division an additional home game is an unbelievable advantage.
Parcells has more things to worry about after that gag job last night.

cincinnati chili
09-21-2005, 01:05 AM
Didn't the Texans owner offer Reliant Stadium from the outset?

New York should have been the last resort. Whether it was the NFL's intention or not, it certainly makes it look like they tried to nudge the Giants into playoff contention to boost the playoff tv ratings.

RedFanAlways1966
09-21-2005, 07:52 AM
Money, money, money... that is what this amounts to in the end. How many tickets would be sold for a NYG-NO game at a "neutral site"? I don't know, but I'd bet my life savings that it would not sellout or have as many people as in Giants Stadium. I am a big Bengals fan, but I highly doubt that I'd pay $70 for an NFL ticket to a game where "my team" is not playing... even if it was in my backyard.

And if New Orleans would have loss to the Giants in a neutral stadium? I highly suspect that the same guys from the Saints would be compaining. I cannot remember, but did these same guys moan about this game before the kickoff to start the game?

It is an imperfect world. Hurricane Katrina was not in the playbook prior to the season. I am sorry, but no sympathy from me towards the Saints. There are a lot bigger issues stemming from Katrina than this. The NFL is a business (bottom-line). They are in business to make revenue. They had to move this game for obvious reasons and they chose to move it to a place that would welcome the game and buy the tickets for the game. I highly doubt that a 3rd site would have generated the revenue that Giants Stadium did.

WVRed
09-21-2005, 08:40 AM
Money, money, money... that is what this amounts to in the end. How many tickets would be sold for a NYG-NO game at a "neutral site"? I don't know, but I'd bet my life savings that it would not sellout or have as many people as in Giants Stadium. I am a big Bengals fan, but I highly doubt that I'd pay $70 for an NFL ticket to a game where "my team" is not playing... even if it was in my backyard.

And if New Orleans would have loss to the Giants in a neutral stadium? I highly suspect that the same guys from the Saints would be compaining. I cannot remember, but did these same guys moan about this game before the kickoff to start the game?

It is an imperfect world. Hurricane Katrina was not in the playbook prior to the season. I am sorry, but no sympathy from me towards the Saints. There are a lot bigger issues stemming from Katrina than this. The NFL is a business (bottom-line). They are in business to make revenue. They had to move this game for obvious reasons and they chose to move it to a place that would welcome the game and buy the tickets for the game. I highly doubt that a 3rd site would have generated the revenue that Giants Stadium did.

While I somewhat agree with this, the Chargers and Broncos played a Monday night game a couple of years ago in Arizona when the wildfires were in California and Qualcomm was being used as a shelter. Admission was free, but donations were taken up throughout the game.

If I were the NFL, I would have looked into something similar.

registerthis
09-21-2005, 08:52 AM
Money, money, money... that is what this amounts to in the end. How many tickets would be sold for a NYG-NO game at a "neutral site"? I don't know, but I guess we'll find out when the Saints start playing games in San Antonio.

If they had held the game practically ANYWHERE in the South-Gulf region, interest would have been high. I simply don't buy the argument that NY was the *only* realistic place this game could be played.

Chip R
09-21-2005, 09:42 AM
I think the Saints are whining a bit. A good team would sac up and use that as motivation to play well. An "us against the world" mentality. That's probably one reason Brooks isn't a top QB. He's looking for excuses for the team's poor play. Some college teams play more games on the road than they do at home. That's life, deal with it. Also I didn't hear too may Saints players talk about how unfair this was before the game. OTOH, they do have a point. Stevie Wonder could see that this was an attempt to hype the game as much as possible. And where better to have a hyped up product but the NY metropolitan area. I'm not sure why the NFL made such an attempt to make this like a home game for the Saints. I think their hearts - and wallets - were in the right place but playing the Giants in the Meadowlands doesn't make it a home game for the Saints no matter how much you want to dress it up.

SandyD
09-21-2005, 10:20 AM
Aaron Brooks is a whiner. Always has been. He makes at least one whining comment after every loss.

And some Saints players have complained about playing so many games on the road. Before the Giants game.

Haslett generally doesn't. But I kind of think his quotes were taken out of context. And his feelings about moving from place to place, and not having a home reflect the feelings of a lot of evacuees.

My brother, who is as big a Saints fan as there is, said that the move to New York was for publicity and money. And he felt that they could raise more money for Katrina relief from New York than at a neutral site.

Chip R
09-21-2005, 10:44 AM
And some Saints players have complained about playing so many games on the road. Before the Giants game.

Haslett generally doesn't. But I kind of think his quotes were taken out of context. And his feelings about moving from place to place, and not having a home reflect the feelings of a lot of evacuees.

My brother, who is as big a Saints fan as there is, said that the move to New York was for publicity and money. And he felt that they could raise more money for Katrina relief from New York than at a neutral site.

Peter King had a nice column about talking to Haslett about all this.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=cnnsi-saintsmarchingo&prov=cnnsi&type=lgns

Sandy, you certainly can understand what the Saints are going through much more than we can. I can sympathize with the players a little since they are in that situation. However I sympathize more with the regular people like you and your family and the many other evacuees who aren't as well off as the Saints are.

I agree with what your brother said but it just so happened that that game was scheduled against the Giants when it was. They would have played it on Sunday but the Jets were playing there too. I don't know if they would have played it on the road in another city if they were scheduled to play St. Louis or Chicago or Seattle. They certainly wouldn't have played it on Monday. And if they raised more money for the victims by having it on Monday night, then that kind of outweighs the Saints' inconvienence of having to play an extra road game.

SandyD
09-21-2005, 10:58 AM
The Monday night thing was a joke. You know, the Dallas stations didn't pick up the game until 7pm because of the Dale Hansen show or something ... a Cowboys show I guess they have at 6:30pm on Monday nights.

They also switched to the Cowboys game on the opening weekend at 3pm ... right BEFORE Carney's FG to win the Saints first game. Even tho Cowboys kickoff was still several minutes away.

The Rangers have been very generous and considerate of the evacuees in the area. The Cowboys, on the other hand ... ;)

EDIT: by "joke" I mean the whole part on ABC and part on ESPN thing.

Blimpie
09-22-2005, 11:49 AM
Depends upon your perspective, but some whould argue that the home field advantage is less useful to NFL teams than it is for teams from any either pro sport. Last year, home teams won just 54% of all games. IMO this is most likely due to the overall parity of the league.

I would say that--due to their more intimate arenas--the home field/court/ice advantage is far more prevalent in both the NBA and the NHL than it is with the NFL.