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Garland Robinette

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Twitter: @garlandWWL
Email: garland@wwl.com

Garland: Who Dats, don't be THIS guy.

Saints fans are still understandably fuming about how NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handled the whole "bounty" investigation into the team's pay-for-performance program.  Fans and players alike maintain that Goodell never provided any evidence that there was any intent to injure other players.  I still get angry calls and texts about it almost every day on the "Think Tank" by fuming Black & Gold fans.

It was cold comfort late in the season when former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue vacated the suspensions of four current and former Black & Gold players.  Though none of the players actually served any suspension time during their appeals, the whole saga was yet another off-field distraction for a team without their coach.
Now, Goodell is coming to New Orleans, as the biggest sports and media spectacle in the world gets ready to crank up.  And many fans say they are far from "over it."  On WWL's Facebook page and across other social media sites, many fans gleefully boast about what they would do if they had the chance to run into Goodell next week.
Really?  I mean, REALLY? 
We've seen what happens when fans in other cities are, to quote Hokie, "turds."  Saints fans have told us of ugly treatment received on the road in some cities.  And the enduring memory of the 2007 NFC Championship game is a Bears fan holding  a sign reading, "Bears finishing what Katrina started."
Har-har.  Very funny.  1,800 people died, and this clown stood grinning outside Soldier Field.  The memories of those days and months still cause nightmares for many.
Look, it's impossible to transfer or transplant Southern Hospitality to other parts of the country.  It's just not in their genes.  Visitors from other parts of the country often give you a double-take when you say "Yes Sir" or "Yes Ma'm."  For us, it's just part of how we were raised and how we live our lives.  Tourists come to our region for our warm and open engagement, something many of them are sorely lacking in their hometowns.
There are practical, pragmatic reasons to not say something stupid or embarrassing to Roger Goodell.  While he is in New Orleans, he will be tailed and trailed by a mob of media, waiting for *something* to happen with the locals.  And any negative image (or videos) of locals dissing Goodell will wind up on the evening news, and will also likely go viral across the internet and social media.

We talked to Michael Bayham, the Saints fan who took the infamous picture in Chicago.  And even he agrees it's time to move on.

"This game is far too important to this city and region," Bayham said.  "I understand the frustration of fans, but I think Who Dats need to also remember the spotlight we're in this week."

The Super Bowl is an extremely rare opportunity to showcase a city's vitality in any year. This is the first one we've had since before Katrina, and it will be an unprecedented opportunity to let the world know just how far our city and region have recovered from one of the worst natural (and man-made) disasters in history. 
So, those are the practical reasons not to act an ass around Goodell.  But the basic, bottom line reason:  If you do something stupid around Goodell, you will come across looking like that Bears fan in 2007, now and for years to come.
Tone down the rhetoric.  Just like the Saints are more than just a football team to our area, this Super Bowl is more than just a football game.  It would suck if one or two "fans" doing something stupid become the face of a city that has come so far in a few short years.
Photo by Michael Bayham

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Topics : Sports
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Locations : ChicagoNew Orleans
People : Michael BayhamPaul TagliabueRoger Goodell

01/31/2013 12:07PM
Garland: Who Dats, don't be THIS guy.
Please Enter Your Comments Below
01/31/2013 3:56PM
Rod Guidry in Sacramento
I heard they are making a new movie called Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest and this guy is the perfect the Dumbest part. In fact you will not only see his picture here but, if you look up dumbest in the dictionary you will find his picture on side of it.
01/31/2013 4:00PM
Rod Guidry in Sacramento
Well, this organization also fired a good coach in Lovie Smith. They could make it as the dumbest oganization in the NFL. Look for them to take two steps backwards.
01/31/2013 4:03PM
Rod Guidry in Sacramento
The way I see it if Sean Payton and Tom Benson and Drew Brees can forgive Goodell, so can I. God Bless Saints and Saints fans.
01/31/2013 4:09PM
Rod Guidry in Sacramento
I love New Orleans. Katrina was our country's worst national disaster. It takes a low class individual to do such a thing. I won't be pulling for Chicago. I hope they finish last in their division this year.
01/31/2013 9:49PM
Image in the Big Easy
I agree with Garland - we've come so far and it's scary to think that a few individuals could set back our progress. Those whose opinions matter - Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis, Joe Vitt, etc., have decided to put the season and lack of evidence behind them. True fans will do the same,, if not for themselves then for the team.
01/31/2013 10:57PM
Not one person in the Saints organization has REALLY forgiven this idiot. True Saints fans will show Goodell the exact amount of respect that he has shown the Saints. He jack slapped us with unprecedented penalties and our coaches had no choice but to accept his punishment. The player suspensions were over turned by an arbitrator but the NFL is still keeping our 2nd round draft pick!?!? Now, if Goodell proves his ignorance by choosing to appear in public in New Orleans, I expect Saints fans will jump at the chance to jack slap his sorry self. We would love the opportunity to shove our 2nd round draft pick down his throat. I would personally never do anything physical to this chump, but I would love the opportunity to actually see it happen. My advice: stay home Goodell - seriously! You made an example out of the Saints and completely ignored the other teams!?!? Whatever happens - you deserve it!
02/01/2013 6:31AM
Dirty Deeds
I guess it would be best to just put everyone's dirty deeds behind us and disregard bad behavior. Doesn't surprise me coming from you Garland.
02/01/2013 11:33AM
I totally agree with you. We the people of Louisiana need to show the whole world who the bigger and better person is. People already think we are nothing but lowlife, classless people. LET'S PROVE THEM WRONG!!!!
02/01/2013 6:04PM
Still the one
Although I am angry about with the way our team was defamed this season I also remember the commish stood for us to keep our team here after Katrina
02/03/2013 8:55PM
marie laveau
Marie Laveau Made her presence KNOWN Goodell not welcome in the dome
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