January 1, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton during their game against the Carolina Panthers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-US PRESSWIRE

Schechter's Lectures No.11: The Life of a New Orleans Saints Fan

This week, we take a little bit of pity. I thought things were tough as a Jets fan. Don’t get me wrong, they are. It is not easy to watch the season unfold with Tim Tebow waiting in the wings. I have never seen a quarterback have the ability to divide a fanbase, but this guy has actually done it. He can actually get fans of the same team into heated arguments with each other. Despite all of that, there is a set of fans that have it worse, New Orleans Saints fans.

Take your seats. School is back in session.

It started out with the Bounty situation. The GM was suspended. The coach was suspended for an entire year, forgetting the fact that their former defensive coordinator was suspended indefinitely. The guy named as the interim head coach, was suspended too! This poor team had to play the first six games with an interim interim head coach. Yes, the team has a program in place, but there is no question about the fact that the team is going to not perform the same way without their head coach. A team takes on the personality of it’s head coach, and when the coaching situation is flip flopping, the identity of the team becomes a question. It’s really hard to watch a team in flux like that, believe me. The Jets identity has been in flux for a zillion years.

Then, the situation with the involved players. Jonathan Vilma and company are not exactly bench players. These were influential players that were suspended. The Saints basically had the heart of their defense taken apart by the league. But then, you had the appeals, and the appeals, and the appeals. Right now, Jonathan Vilma is allowed to play, but his hearing is coming up. Will he still be permitted to play? How about any of the other players? It’s a situation that is a roller coaster, and it cannot be easy to watch.

All the while, the Saints are sporting a 2-5 record. Not good.

And then, the fans get the icing on the cake Sunday morning, as the news of the Sean Payton contract situation came out. For anyone that missed it, we learned that the league, due to some of the language in the contract, voided Sean Payton’s extension. They threw it out! So on top of all of this, Payton will be available to be signed by any other team following the season. So, if the Saints survive this, they can’t even guarantee that they will come out of it with their coach.

It’s rough being a Jets fan. It’s far rougher being a Saints fan.

School’s out. See you next week.

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