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Scoot's Blog

Tune in to "The Scoot Show" for lively, candid discussions about news, politics and culture with WWL's "Radical Moderate!"

Weeknights 8pm-Midnight

Twitter: @scootwwl
Email: scoot@wwl.com
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Scoot: Is Ebola turning you into a germophobe?

Now that a second hospital worker who cared for the Ebola patient who died in Dallas has contracted the deadly disease, are you becoming a germophobe?

For those of us who have admitted we are germophobes, our lives will not really change. But will the fear of an Ebola outbreak in America cause others to become even more conscious of germs?

When two doctors treating Ebola patients in Africa contracted the disease and were flown back to the United States for treatment, the CDC assured us that the chances of Americans getting Ebola was so miniscule that there was no need for concern. After a hospital worker in Dallas came down with the disease, the CDC announced it was changing its protocol for handling Ebola patients. Suddenly, one gets the impression that even the CDC underestimated Ebola.

Deborah Burger of National Nurses United claims that nurses across the nation have not been properly trained to care for Ebola patients.

The fear of a possible Ebola outbreak in America has topped the news and social media. Both the news media and social media thrive on this kind of story. Ebola is serious, but there is often a tendency to exaggerate stories to attract a greater audience, which is the goal of both the news media and social media.

The news media is not necessarily exaggerating the serious nature of Ebola, but, instinctively, the new media creates a sense of urgency that often transcends reality.

With movies like, "Outbreak" and "Contagion," Hollywood has given us all a capsulized scenario of what can happen when a deadly disease spreads. But we should remember that as realistic as movies can be, the ease with which a disease might spread in the real world is quite different from what we see in a 2-hour movie.

Ebola is real and so is the threat that it will spread – but the possibility of average Americans contracting the disease does not match the visions we have from movies.

The good news is that many of those who become more paranoid about being exposed to Ebola will change their awareness of germs everywhere and that might prevent then from even getting the flu this season.

The fear of a widespread outbreak of Ebola in America still seems like a very distant possibility. Let common sense overpower the temptation to become hysterical as the news continues to promote an outbreak as a real possibility.

This is one time when I'm glad I'm a germophobe – my habits need not change!
 (0) Comments
Tags :  
Topics : Health_Medical_Pharma
Social :
Locations : Dallas
People : Deborah Burger




 

Scoot: Does Ebola have a new face?

Does an attractive 26-year-old nurse contracting Ebola in the United States change the face of the disease?

When Nina Pham, a nurse who treated Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, was diagnosed with Ebola even after wearing protective gear, the idea that Ebola could spread to average Americans dominated the news. The face of Nina Pham gave a new face to the deadly virus.

635488007680512814-101314nina-phamThe American doctors who contracted Ebola working with patients in Africa and returned to the United States for treatment did change the images of those suffering with the disease – but it seems that the young nurse with Ebola drastically changed the perception that Ebola was not reserved for the stereotypes we have seen on the news daily.

During the 1980s, there was much criticism of the government for not being more proactive in trying to control the spread of AIDS. At the time, AIDS was perceived as a disease of gays and street drug users. But in 1984, Ryan White, a typical American teenager in middle school in middle class America was diagnosed with full-blown AIDS following a blood transfusion.

Fear immediately spread and when Ryan tried to return to school in 1985, he was denied admission over fear that other students would contract AIDS – even though Ryan was cleared by health officials.

Parents, teachers and students aggressively protested the school system allowing Ryan White back in school. After protests and court battles, Ryan White returned to school in February of 1986, but 151 of the 360 students stayed home because out of fear that AIDS would spread to others just by being in the same school with Ryan.

Ryan White became the new national face of AIDS and suddenly the concern of contracting the disease became real for many average Americans. AIDS was no longer seen as a gay and street drug user disease. Even President Reagan and President George H. W. Bush embraced Ryan White with honors and empathy.

Is the young Dallas nurse, Nina Pham, the Ryan White of Ebola?

It is unfortunate that there is such a great tendency to dismiss a problem until it appears that it could become your problem. Most Americans felt very little fear from Ebola because they would never travel to West Africa and the chances of coming in contact with someone who had traveled to that part of the world seemed too remote to be a serious concern. But when Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the CDC, changed his position from reassuring Americans that they are not in a position to contract the disease to the CDC reassessing protocol – concern among average Americans justifiably grew.

The truth is – we share this planet with other human beings – other human beings who look, act and talk differently. Our bond is not with human beings in general – our bond is with human beings that look, act and talk like us.

Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. was just as human as Nina Pham, the Dallas nurse who is the first person to contract Ebola in the U.S. – yet, the face of Nina Pham suddenly makes the disease more of a reality for all of us.
 (0) Comments




 

Scoot: Two teachers, one student

The arrest report in the case of the two Destrehan teachers accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student has been released by police. The report indicates that the teachers allegedly "had consensual intercourse with a 16-year-old juvenile." The teachers are identified as Shelley Dufresne and Rachel Respess. The report shows that both teachers engaged in sex with the same student at the Kenner apartment of Rachel Respess.

The arrest report also shows that the alleged sex began on the night of Friday, September 12 and continued into the following morning. Investigators are awaiting a forensic analysis of a cell phone that may contain video of the teachers and the student.

Even those who know this alleged sexual activity is blatantly wrong – there is still an instinctive reaction of "Wow – how did this guy get so lucky?"

If we have come a long way since the Women's Lib Movement in the 1970s – much of our culture continues to celebrate the male prerogative when it comes to sex. There is little doubt that reaction to this case would be different if the teacher has been male and the student had been a 16-year-old female, which demonstrates that the double standard with sex is still in place.

One reason for the double standard is the fact that in most cases – the male has the physical strength to control a sexual situation with a female – or in this case – two females. But if the law defines female adults having sex with a 16-year-old male student as a crime – even if consensual – then reaction should be the same as if it were a 16-year-old girl. Yet, reaction to a male in this situation reinforces gender inequality.

As I wrote in a previous blog, the 16-year-old male student knew what he allegedly agreed to do with the teachers was wrong and yet, he voluntarily drove to the apartment where the sexual activity allegedly took place and according to the arrest report he stayed there all night. If the adult teachers did participate in sex with a 16-year-old student – they should be held accountable. But the argument could be made that a 16-year-old student would know that sexual activity is wrong even with another 16-year-old.

In a world that has fought against gender discrimination – the silent reaction that many have about a 16-year-old student having sex with two attractive young teachers is affirmation that when it comes to sex – males are "triumphant" and females are "trash."

Isn't it time we recognize and correct this obvious discrepancy?
 (0) Comments
Tags :  
Topics : Law_Crime
Social :
People : Rachel RespessShelley Dufresne




 

Scoot: Do you have a 'right to die?'

We have the freedom to make many choices in America, but only three states – Oregon, Washington and Vermont – grant individuals the right to die.

A 29-year-old woman with a brain tumor has chosen November 1 as her "deathday." Brittany Maynard moved to Portland, Oregon and plans to take advantage of the state's Death with Dignity Act and will be prescribed a lethal medication on November 1.


Maynard says that she wants to die with dignity, rather than suffer the slow and painful death from her brain tumor. She says she wants to die in her own bed at home with her favorite music is playing while surrounded by her husband and family. She says she is not suicidal, but is choosing to die on her own terms.

Do you think Americans should have the right to choose to die? This ethical question inspires a passionate debate. We have either witnessed or heard stories about people who have endured a long and painful death. Assisted suicide is a way to prevent an individual from suffering. But then there is the question about whether that is playing God.

Many believe that God gives life and only God can take life and to make a decision that has been left up to God is considered a major sin. However, the other argument is that if humans are blessed with the intelligence to create a means that would prevent intense suffering – shouldn't we embrace that option?

Even without laws permitting citizens the right to die – we are all free to choose death over life. That's called suicide. We have a right to abuse and destroy our bodies with substances – yet we debate whether we should have the right to choose death over life.

This is obviously a question that can only be answered by individuals facing a painful death and their families. The concept of right to die laws is not based on giving a depressed teenager the right to choose to end their life. Doctors are involved in the process and an assessment is made based on an individual's case.

When I think about this 29-year-old who is choosing to die on November 1, I think about the life she will be missing and the life she is taking from her friends and family. Brittany Maynard says in an online video that her message to everyone is to live your life to the fullest every day. But if she choose to die while she is still capable of communicating - think of the things that might be said during that time and the shared moments with others. If each day of life we have an opportunity to touch others with our thoughts, words and presence – shouldn't we take advantage of that blessing?

I believe that each individual and their families must make that very personal and final decision and I am not attempting to pass judgment or speak for Brittany Maynard and her family. But life is precious and in any moment of any day we never know how we might impact the lives of others.

I recently met a listener, Ms. Donna of Houma, who was dying. Her daughter said she was a big fan and she wanted to meet "Scoot." In the few weeks I knew her before she passed away, I had a chance to visit her 3 different times at her home in Houma. In the time that I spent with Ms. Donna – she touched me and taught me that expressing love and appreciation only takes a hand – a word – or just eye contact.

I know she was in pain, but if Ms. Donna had chosen death – I would never have touched my life and that means she touched the lives of so many others. I witnessed how her family came together and appreciated every moment they had with this wonderful woman.

The lesson to be learned from the debate about the right to die is that every living moment we have the ability to touch the lives of others. There could come a time when the pain of dying becomes so unbearable that pain medication is no longer working and that may be the right to time ask permission if you can leave this world.

I hope in the case of 29-year-old Brittany Maynard that she considers the moments she is taking from those close to her – as well as the moments she will be missing.
 (1) Comments
Tags :  
Topics : Social Issues
Social :
Locations : OregonPortlandVermontWashington
People : Brittany MaynardDonna




 

Scoot: 4-year-old passes out heroin at day care

In a society that continues to embrace the concept that individuals are not accountable for their actions, the debate over holding parents accountable for their children gaining possession of guns or drugs rages on.

Police in Selbyville, Delaware have arrested the mother of a 4-year-old girl, who mistakenly brought hundreds of packets of heroin to her day care center and began handing them out to the other children thinking the packets were candy. What candy looks like heroin?

Ashley Tull, 30, was charged with 3 counts of child endangerment and maintaining a drug property, which means she knowingly allowed drugs in her home. A woman who identified herself as Ashley Tull's sister said that her sister had no idea the heroin was in her home and the charges and the media attention are unfair.

The mother faces 3 counts of child endangerment because she has 3 children ages 4 to 11. She is not allowed to have contact with her children, who are now in the custody of relatives.

I often talk about holding parents completely accountable if their children get their hands on guns and hurt themselves or others or bring the guns to school. And yet, there are always those who defend the parents saying that "kids are mischievous and parents are not always responsible." Well, I disagree!

Children are innocent and throughout the animal kingdom, adult animals care for their offspring until they are believed old enough to care for themselves. Why would homosapiens be exempt from the rules instinctively followed by other animals?

Police say an investigation continues and more charges may be filed. If Ashley Tull's sister is correct and her sister was not aware of hundreds of packs of heroin in her home and within reach of her 4-year-old daughter, then at the very least, she is guilty of associating with an individual who brought the heroin into her home with children present. Either way – she should be held accountable.

The other disturbing aspect of this story is that the 4-year-old girl knew to hand the packets of heroin to the other children, which would lead me to believe that she was simply imitating the actions of her mother and other adults. How else would the child have known to share the heroin with others? Similar to when a young child gets ahold of a parent's gun and the child knows exactly what to do with the gun - is it not reasonable to assume that the child was imitating the behavior they have witnessed in their home with adults?

People point to different changes in our past that have led this country down the wrong path. I hear the arguments that it was the removal of prayer from public schools or legalized abortion or the idea that parents can no longer spank their children as the reasons for America's societal downfall.

I have often discussed on the show that many of the widespread problems we face in America are the direct result of the continuing erosion of respect for personal accountability. We now live in a society that instinctively reaches for something or someone else to blame for mistakes and bad judgment. There was a time - and it wasn't that long ago – when our society expected individuals to be held accountable for their actions.

In the case of the mother whose 4-year-old daughter brought hundreds of packs of heroin to day care and began handing them out to the children – the mother should be held accountable for either allowing the heroin in her home and within reach of her children or for associating with an individual who brought the drugs into the home.

A few of the children at the day care center in Delaware that did get the packets of heroin were taken to the hospital as a precaution, but fortunately, all of the children were released.

When are we going to start holding adults responsible when they allow their children to gain possession of dangerous objects that have the potential to hurt others?
 (6) Comments
Tags :  
Topics : Law_Crime
Social :
Locations : DelawareSelbyville
People : Ashley Tull




 

Scoot: Why an FCC ban on "Redskins" is scary

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will consider a petition calling for the agency to ban the name "Redskins" from the airwaves.

The nickname of the Washington Redskins of the NFL is considered a derogatory term by many and the recent controversy over the team's name has led to a demand that the team change its name. Dan Snyder, owner to the team, has vowed to never change the name.

A growing number of network sports anchors and reporters are refusing to say the name "Redskins" when reporting on the team and simply refer to the team as "Washington."

Whether the name "Redskins" is offensive will continue to be debated, but the idea of an FCC ban on the word on broadcast radio and television carries with it a frightening precedent.

The FCC is a branch of the administration and it regulates the public airwaves over which broadcast radio and television stations carry their signals. The FCC has no control over cable or satellite radio and television.

The petition to ban the name "Redskins" was filed by George Washington University Law Professor John Banzhaff III. Professor Banzhaff applied his complaint to the radio license renewal of a Washington, D.C. radio station – WWXX-FM – which is the flagship station for the Washington Redskins and is owned by Redskins' owner Dan Synder.

The professor argues that the name "Redskins" qualifies as hate speech and fighting words, which could provoke violence. However, the FCC does not currently have rules that ban hate speech. The agency does have rules banning indecency, but it is unimaginable that the name "Redskins" would fall into that category.

The idea of the FCC – the government – banning hate speech should send chills up the spine of every American. If the government banned the name "Redskins" because it is hate speech and could incite violence – that would open the door to an administration banning political opinions it considers hateful to a particular president. It is no secret that President Obama is not a fan of the right-wing media. If the FCC had the power to ban hate speech, theoretically, President Obama could ban certain words or phrases it deems anti-administration in the name of maintaining civility in society. And that would mean that any president could use the FCC to censor speech that it considered "hateful." As much as you might disagree with opinions made against President Obama or President Bush in the past, I would hope that there would be respect for the freedom to express opinions that you find hateful.

We all hear speech – on radio and television – that is considered hateful – but a president having the power to ban speech it considers hateful to their administration blatantly defies our precious Frist Amendment rights.

Even if you consider the name "Redskins" to be offensive – it should be up to the American public to determine what is acceptable for broadcast – not a sitting president. The FCC does not have a ban on the N-word – but the use of the N-word is now unacceptable for use on radio or television as a result of the collective voice of the public – the audience.

I could even argue that the FCC's ban on obscenities amounts to government control of free speech. It is the public – the audience – that should ultimately set the standards of what is and what is not acceptable on radio and television and the public does a very effective job of setting standards.

Opposition to the FCC banning the name "Redskins" or even obscenities is not an endorsement of offensive language – but rather respect for the unique freedom we have in America from a government that controls our speech.
 (0) Comments
Tags :  
Topics : Politics
Social :
Locations : Washington
People : BushDan SnyderDan SynderJohn Banzhaff IIIObama




 

Scoot: Did 16-year-old know it was wrong to have sex with teachers?

Two female teachers at Destrehan High School face charges of having sexual relations with the same 16-year-old male student from the school. Shelley Dufrense was arrested Tuesday and Rachel Respess turned herself in to Kenner police Wednesday. Kenner police are involved because the alleged sexual activity took place at a house in Kenner.

An investigation into the alleged sex with a student began after the student apparently bragged about having sex with the teachers. Most of us can think back on teachers we had who were really "hot" and we might have done the same thing if given the opportunity. But would we would have known we were doing something that was wrong? And if it wasn't wrong for the 16-year-old male student – then why are the teachers facing charges?

The teachers were wrong and in any cases involving teenagers and adults – the adults should be presumed responsible – but that should not exonerate the 16-year-old student. Reaction to this scandal says a lot about our society's prevailing attitude of males being encouraged to have sex early. If this had involved two male teachers and a 16-year-old girl – would there be more outrage?

In the case of the 16-year-old male student – he appears to have voluntarily consented to sex with the both teachers and at 16 he should be expected to know right from wrong. Let me be clear – I am not excusing the responsibility of the adult female teachers who were involved – but is it not fair to suggest that the 16-year-old male student willingly participated in something he knew was inappropriate?

The teachers should face charges, but the teenage male should also be held accountable for his actions. I have experience with being 16. In fact, no one has been 16 any longer than I was 16 and at that age I was impressionable but I would have known that what I was doing was wrong. It could even be argued that a 16-year-old male having sex with a 16-year-old female is wrong – so why would it be wrong to hold the male who had sex with the teachers somewhat accountable?

At the age of 12, a babysitter tried to have sex with me in a hotel room in Oklahoma City. It was during the summer and I was on a business trip with my Dad. He had meetings to go to and he hired a babysitter to stay in the room with me. I remember she was very attractive with long black hair and wearing a black dress.

At one point, she came over to the bed I was lying on as we watched TV in the hotel room and she tried to kiss me. Her advances continued and while I didn't exactly know what she was trying to do to me – I didn't feel right about it and I run into the bathroom and locked the door until my father returned. I remember hearing their conversation while I was still locked in the bathroom. She said, "I tried – he wouldn't let me and he locked himself in the bathroom."

At the time I did not realize what my dad was trying to do. It wasn't until I recalled the incident years later as an adult that I realized that my father had hired someone to give me my first sexual experience at the age of 12!

My father was part of a generation that encouraged young males to have early sexual experiences. I never blamed him and I never brought up the fact that I know what he did. I was so embarrassed by what had happened that I could never bring it up to him.

I was always very shy with sex. I was also an insecure kid and teenager, but I think I was that was natural and the incident in the hotel room did not cause me to be extremely shy and insecure with females. Obviously, I got over it and never felt like it had any lasting impact on who I am today.

The point of sharing this very personal story is that even at the age of 12 – I knew that kind of physical contact with an adult, or at least someone much older than I was at the time, was wrong.

As we condemn female teachers who allegedly had sex with a 16-year-old male student – we should also understand that at 16 – we know what is right and what is wrong.

Of course, I have thought about that day in the hotel room in Oklahoma City and knowing what I know today – I have wished I could relive that moment!
 (3) Comments
Tags :  
Locations : Oklahoma City
People : Rachel RespessShelley Dufrense




 

Scoot: Something is wrong with the Saints

There is a general rule that changes in a teenager’s personality could be a sign that something significant is wrong with them, or at the very least, that something has changed.

Football teams have collective personalities that are defined by their coach and leaders.  It is obvious to me that the personality of the Saints has changed and something is wrong.

I am not going to speculate on what may be wrong with the Saints right now – but we would all be naïve if we failed to admit that something is wrong.  And whatever is wrong is being covered up with the typical cliches, like “we can do better” and “we know we have to fix the problems.”  But more alarming than the repetitive cliches is the obvious lack of emotion and passion from the Saints top leaders.  It is almost as if those who lead and speak for the Saints have become unemotional droids.  But why?

There are many more questions about why the Saints are showing so little passion for winning before, during and after games than there are answers.  But make no mistake about it – something has changed.

We have all experienced changes in our personal lives distracting our professional lives and we have all experienced moments when we are humbled in life – but the ONLY solution to any changes is the willingness to admit that the changes have affected our professional lives and then act to resolve the issues.

Someone knows what is wrong with the Saints and maybe all of the players know – but we should not expect retrospective revolutions.  The Saints are better on paper than the Falcons, the Browns and the Cowboys and yet, they lost games to those teams.  If talent is there and performance is lacking – then it is the absence of the human factor of passion that is missing.

After the Saints beat the Vikings at home, I wrote a blog about the Saints blatant lack of “killer instinct.”  A few criticized me for criticizing the Saints even after a victory – but the absence of passion for most of that game should have been seen as the symptom of a growing problem.  Sunday night’s performance proved there is a problem.
 
If after the embarrassing loss to the Cowboys Sunday night on nationwide television, Coach Payton and Drew Brees had displayed a defiant tone of “this is not who we are” – “we will change things now” – “we have failed the fans and ourselves and that is unacceptable” – I would sense a determination in the leadership of the team that is currently missing. 

The lack of passion in the explanations following the loss to the Cowboys is disturbing.  Fans are left with the possibility that the coach and many of the top players have their fat, lucrative contracts and they are now complacent.  While it can be argued that their performances made them deserving of those big contracts – they are also being paid for current and future performances.

Someone told me once, “Scoot, it’s easier to become #1 than it is to stay #1!”  I have never forgotten that and it is so true.  Humans fight for what they believe they deserve and once they get it – there is a tendency to become complacent and fighting that complacency become the challenge.

Another possibility is that the Saints are so loved by their fans that there is an attitude of “we can do no wrong.”  Regardless of the quality of play, the Saints have a sense that fan loyalty is so strong that they really don’t have to win – they just have to be the Saints.  In any relationship, personal, professional or political, it is unhealthy for any individual or organization to think that they do not have to prove themselves every day.

As the painful emotion from the poor performance against the Cowboys Sunday has settled – it is easier to now see the overall picture of how the Saints are acting before, during and after games and whatever it is – it is uncharacteristic of the Saints under Sean Payton.

We may never know what individual or team issues have changed the Saints, but they have changed.  Through fan support of the Saints and everything associated with the team – the team works for the fans and there is nothing wrong with an employer telling employees that their performance and attitude is totally unacceptable.

Share your thoughts with me:
Email:  Scoot@WWL.com
 (3) Comments
Tags :  
Topics : Religion_BeliefSports
Social :
People : Drew BreesPayton




 

Scoot: Young Muslims Denounce ISIS

The temptation to label all Muslims as terrorists and evil people seems overwhelming from my perspective of hosting a radio talk show.  When a topic revolving around Muslims or Islam is discussed, it has become predictable that there will be callers who condemn ALL Muslims and Islam as an innately evil religion and many paraphrase the Koran, which I am certain they have not read.
 
Sound bites that support hate are easily conveyed through social media, but there is a great tendency to pay attention to only the messages that support preconceived opinions.
 
There is a new social media campaign that communicates young Muslims’ condemnation of ISIS.  The campaign, #Notinmyname, is run by Active Change Foundation, a British organization.  The campaign features Muslims saying ISIS does not represent them or their religious beliefs.  The general message is ISIS is not representative of Islam – a religion of respect, love and harmony.  But, this campaign will fail if people do not listen with an open heart and mind.
 
The general condemnation of Muslims started after 9/11 with the unreasonable, but convenient conclusion that “all of the terrorists were Muslim – therefore all Muslims are terrorists.”  In the context of history, it is literally impossible for ANY Christian to justify condemning all Muslims based on the behavior of a few.  But true hypocrites do not see their own reflections.
 
Whether Americans want to admit it or not, there is a tendency to hate those who are different.  The angst inspired by the 9/11 attacks on America led to a desire to find a target to blame and for many Americans that was Muslims and the nation of Islam.
 
Many Americans are quick to stereotype all Muslims as militant terrorists, forgetting that Muslims were in our news nightly during the war in the former Yugoslavia.  Muslims, who were white with light hair and light eyes, were seen and talked about every day in the news.  If there was not the wholesale condemnation of the Muslim faith then, how can it be justified today? 
 
It is easier to hate a group than it is to make an effort to distinguish good from evil within a group…and that goes for every group.  As humans we have a desire to reduce every-thing to good and bad and in doing so we tend to either love or support an entire group based on the behavior of a few.
 
Preconceived ideas are difficult to change, but as humans, we have the intellect and the ability to recognize it is wrong to be judgmental. 
 
It can certainly be argued that Timothy McVeigh was a terrorist, as he was not a Muslim.  I have often ridden in cabs driven by Muslims and have found no reason to feel threatened.  It can be argued there is less debauchery in the personal lives of Muslims than many other religions, because strict Muslims do not drink or smoke.
 
America was founded on an effort to escape persecution for religious beliefs, yet, in America we have been far too tolerant of those who are willing to persecute based on religious beliefs.

The campaign #Notinmyname should be received with an open heart and mind and should serve as a reminder that as a nation we have been judgmental of others, which defies the spirit of America.
 
If you have a comment – my email address is: Scoot@WWL.com; I may read a few responses on the show.  You can send me a tweet: @ScootWWL.
 
 (1) Comments
Tags :  
Topics : Religion_Belief
Social :
People : Timothy McVeigh




 

Scoot Blog: Do the Saints lack a "killer instinct?"

In the 3rd quarter of the Saints - Vikings game Sunday afternoon in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome – a fan in front of me so captured my mood and the mood of many of the fans that I took a picture.  This Saints fan began reading the complimentary sports section from The Advocate that awaited many fans at their seats.  My first thought was, "I can’t believe this guy is reading a newspaper during the game!"  Then I realized his action reflected my mood and other members of the Who Dat Nation.  He reminded me of the guy who starts reading the church bulletin during the homily!  The guy is bored!

The Saints game had become boring, not because the Saints were running the ball or trying to run the ball, because the Saints lacked passion on the field.

In the opening drive, Drew Brees and the Saints surgically sliced through the Vikings defense.  Then, with the Vikings offense on the field, the Saints defense, which had two poor performances in their 0-2 start, received a loud, standing ovation as they took the field.  Fans were saying, "Welcome home boys; we know you are going to be great!"

The defense did its job and the Saints offense was back on the field.  On the second possession the Saints combined running and passing over 7 plays to go 82 yards for the score.  The extra point was missed and the Saints led the Vikings 13 – 0. 

After the first two drives it looked like the Saints would score 50 points, but with the score 13-0, I felt the Saints lose the killer instinct they seemed to have at the start of the game.

After opening up with a 13-0 lead, the Saints offense seemed to be coasting.  Could they have subconsciously convinced themselves they were rolling back home and had the game won?  The thought crossed my mind.  There was an obvious lack of passion and dedication on both offense and defense.

The Vikings marched down the field twice with the Saints defense missing assignments and tackles.  The Saints defense did stop the Vikings from getting in the end zone and the Vikings had to settle for two field goals and the score was 13-6.

Honestly, Drew Brees has not been as sharp as we have seen him in the past.  Some say it’s because Brees missed so much of the preseason and "game speed" is different from "practice speed."  With less than 2:00 remaining in the 1st half Brees threw 2 passes that were nearly intercepted and the Saints punted.  The half ended with the Saints leading the Vikings 13-6.  But I wondered what happened to that team that came out in the first two drives and went through the Vikings defense like runny grits go through a strainer.

When the Saints came out for the 2nd half the lack of spirit seemed even more obvious.  The Saints continued to make mistakes and I was shocked at what appeared to be no sense of urgency on the field, which inspired sloppy play.  The Vikings scored another field goal and the Saints led the Vikings 13-9 and that would be the last time the Vikings would score.

The Saints offensive line had a difficult time protecting Brees, and then something happened that ignited team passion.  Near the end of the 3rd quarter, a Vikings defender hit Brees and body slammed him to the turf.  In a rare moment of visible anger Brees got up and went after the first player he saw, which was not the player who slammed him to the turf.  But Brees got mad and showed great emotion.  That moment sparked the Saints!  That drive ended with Brees hitting Colston for a touchdown and with just over 12 minutes left in the game the Saints led the Vikings 20-9, and that would be the final score.

Why did it seem to take Brees getting slammed to the ground and immediately displaying angry emotion to fire up the Saints?  Why was the team so sharp in the first two drives then appear to lose passion?  I showed the picture I took of the fan in front of me reading the newspaper during the 3rd quarter to someone at the station and she told me about a friend, who is an absolute diehard Saints fan, who sent a text during the game saying, "I’m SEEING the game but not FEELING it."  That is the exact feeling I had in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday.

The Saints won and a win counts even if a team underperforms, but if any team begins to feel complacent after scoring on the first two drives, then I would have to say that team lacks the "killer instinct" of a champion.  I also thought it should not have taken Brees being manhandled and visibly showing emotion to spark the team to improve.  But that’s what appeared to happen.

I can only speak as a fan watching the game, and I know I reflected the sentiment of many other fans in the stands. the Saints appeared to settle after a dominant opening.  And, teams that expect to get to the playoffs can never settle! 

We can all relate to the challenges of getting a big lead and the temptation to feel satisfied.  It happens in business and in everyday life.  Sports are a metaphor for life and we can all learn from the motivation and dynamics of a team.  If you have ever become complacent after getting ahead on something, you now know what that looks like to others.

I love the Saints, but I have to be honest and say that they have become predictable and maybe too complacent overall.  The entire organization knows how loyal the fan base is, but that can never be taken for granted.  The players and the coaches, with the exception of performance bonuses, earn the same amount of money whether the team wins or loses.  But the fans and many businesses suffer.

It is not fair to demand that your team win or demand team perfection, but it is fair to demand that your team play to its potential.  And, the Saints have not done that yet this season.

The Saints will need to be better than they were in the win over the Vikings at home to beat the Cowboys on the road this Sunday night!

What did you feel while you were watching the game Sunday?  Share your thoughts and I will read some of the emails on the air.  Scoot@WWL.com

 
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