Part of being a true fan of a team involves a stubborn refusal to understand that the other team has fans of its own who care about their team as much as you care about yours. Impossible! The other team is nothing more than Opponent. When you are watching on Sunday afternoon, all you want to know is: How do we kill these guys? Whom do we boo? Die, humans wearing different colors than the colors for which I have grown accustomed to cheering!
We are here to help. With a slight nod to Drew Magary’s Why Your Team Sucks series, we want to give you three people to scream at on the television every Sunday, peppering Cheetos flecks in every direction. The Jets play the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome at 4 p.m. on Sunday. Here’s whom to boo on the Saints.
Reggie Bush. Coming into the NFL — fresh off recruiting violations that will, some point in the next year or so, cripple the University of Southern California athletic department — Bush was expected to be a combination of O.J. Simpson, Barry Sanders, and one of the Mon-Stars from Space Jam. He turned out to be a little fragile and a lot inconsistent; the Saints have shuffled starting backs throughout Bush’s career, most of whom have been more durable, line-moving types like Deuce McCallister, Mike Bell, and Pierre Thomas. Bush was once considered one of the most exciting athletes in sports. Now he’s that football guy who started dating Kim Kardashian again. It’s a long fall.
Sean Payton. The Bill Parcells disciple is considered a brilliant football mind — and one of the strangely high number of NFL coaches to have attended Eastern Illinois University — but one thing he isn’t considered anymore is something he probably should be: a scab. Payton is the real-life Keanu Reeves Shane Falco character in The Replacements, one of the journeymen and dock workers who filled in for NFL players for three weeks back in 1987. He played for the Bears and was terrible. And remember: When this guy was offensive coordinator for the Giants back in 2002, he had his play-calling duties taken away by Jim Fassel. Jim Fassel!
Jeremy Shockey. Oh, yes. Jeremy Shockey. Scourge of the Giants — a.k.a. the supposed star whose team finally won a Super Bowl when he wasn’t playing — the man who didn’t attend the White House champions’ party, the one who got in a shouting match with Jerry Reese, the one who became a distraction for a team that had just won a Super Bowl. He commenced, mercifully, to do nothing for the Saints last year, though he does have two TDs this year. He was the loudmouthed New York superstar who never backed up his talk but loved popping off anyway. His Giants career is best summarized by this animated GIF. Oh, and he doesn’t like the gays. What more do you want?