It is all about revenge of the New Orleans Saints Fan in this funny short story written by Nola native Russell MacClareen.
by Russell MacClaren
Zachariah Boudreaux stomped into Commissioner Goodell’s sixth floor office and placed a cubic foot cardboard box on the commissioner’s desk. “Pull off the lid!” he demanded.
Commissioner Goodell gave a blank look, then yawned, “No time for your foolishness, Boudreaux. I won’t listen to who-should-have-won, who-should-have-lost, who-got-cheated and who-should-be-champions nonsense. Rams are N.F.C. champions, Patriots, winners of the Super Bowl. Up with Brady. Down with Brees. That’s most lucrative for me and for pro football.”
Strains of When the Saints Come Marching In rose from within the cardboard box.
“Get that damned music box out of my office!”
“Just pull off the lid!” Boudreaux repeated. “If you dare….”
“Why should I cater to you?”
“Because you lost over five million viewers for the Super Bowl this year. You lose more every year in your quest to hand pick the winners and eliminate smaller audiences like the Saints. You’ll loose more still for dealing with the kneelers. Let God to sort out the little problems.You should attend to the work of keeping football honest and thriving. You’re doing neither!”
“I do as I want around here. I am the god of football. My will is law, and viewers are my sheep. They’ll forget everything that happened by next year and be back for Super Bowl LIV. Don’t you get it? My Super Bowl broadcasts are the king of TV viewings. We command more money, viewership and respect than any other program. Sheep be damned!”
Boudreaux choked. “Those sheep remember how you levied the most severe sanctions ever against a team in 2012, suspending the Saints’ general manager, both Saints’ coaches and four defenders, as well as taking away their top draft picks and fining them $500,000. All this because you didn’t want them to win a second Super Bowl which would have been played in their home stadium that year.
“Then you turned around in 2018 and burdened the same team with the most flagrant non-call in NFL history. New Orleans fans exposed officials who made miscalls on your behalf that led to Saints losses, miscalls you determined not to correct or punish. You obviously have an ax to grind in your treatment of New Orleans. Continue your path of dishonor and football fans will turn their backs on the game. Then the NFL won’t be able to pay you your $49.5 million salary, give you your own private jet or see that your family has life-time health insurance.
“Lift the lid off that box and see righteous judgement. Or do you tremble at your fate?”
Goodell shook his head and snorted. “I’ll do this to amuse you, Boudreaux, but after today you are permanently banned from my office! Understand?” The commissioner yanked the top off the box, and the music grew louder. ♫“Yes, I want to be in that number….”♫
Looking into the box, Goodell saw a large pin cushion with two hat pins stuck in it. The heads of the pins swarmed in a blur of miniature sound and activity.
“Each pin head contains a legion of God’s angels, Goodell. Listen to them! Nothing of their music, nor their culture, nor their celebration of life is going away!”
Goodell laughed. “I’ll see to it that the Saints and their culture go away. I am master here!”
“Repent, Goodell, or be damned! That’s God’s message to you.”
Not bloody likely…. I’m the god who does the damning around here, boy. So shut your pie hole and get your damn ass out of my office–forever!”
The pins rose up and down in a procession of what looked like upright ants crawling around the cushion to the base of the box. The parade continued until the marchers walked through the side of the box. They grew in size and number until they took on the appearance of six-foot-tall men in black and gold with fleur de lis emblems on their shirts.
Each carried a band instrument of some sort, and when they stepped down from the desk to the floor of the office, they surrounded Goddell and cried out, “Who dat?” in a singular voice. The commissioner fell on his face and disappeared in a cloud of smoke. The angels continued playing When the Saints Come Marching In as they left his office.
* * *
Next morning, the New York Times reported:
Commissioner Roger Goodell Seems to be Missing.
This morning a second line band marched through NFL Headquarters in New York City, followed by a crowd of approximately 10,000 Saints fans. Commissioner Goodell could not be reached for comment.