New Orleans Notebook: The way we lose

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This is what it looks like when you’re a loser in the NFC Championship Game. You’re the B-squad. You get to go to the loser’s postgame interview room and speak to almost nobody. You hear the crowd still chanting upstairs. All the A-team media members are on the other side of the Superdome.

Their flamboyant owner shuffled underneath the stands to a walkway where a designated umbrella holder was waiting to give him his traditional Mardi Gras outfit. Once on the field, he got twenty years younger. Well, good for him.

There was no masking the disappointment of Vikings Coach Brad Childress. “We had no three-turnover games all year and to have five….”

“I told him to go home and lick your wounds and we’ll do the same,” Childress said when asked the obvious question about Brett Favre.

I sat with a TV reporter in the media tent when the Vikings were driving. “Looks like they’ve won,” he said to me, just before I cautioned him to remember the last time the Vikings were in the NFC Championship game. These are the Vikings, a team that knows how to break its fans hearts.

Here’s the full news conference

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10:09 p.m. – Brett Favre is speaking now.

“I know people are rolling their eyes or will roll their eyes…. in a situation like this I really don’t want to make a decision right now based solely on what’s happened. I do know the year could not have gone any better besides not going to Miami. I really enjoy the guys, I just don’t know whether I can hold up, physically as well as mentally — especially after a day like today.”

“Either way, I’m going out on top,” he said.

Here’s his full talk with reporters:

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10:17 p.m. – Sidney Rice is speaking. “We had lots of opportunities we didn’t capitalize on as a team; it’s real hard,” he said. Most of the few reporters in the room are packing up while Rice talks. Only about four people were left in the room by the time Rice finished.

Pitchers and catchers report in a month. The Vikings are yesterday’s news.

  • Ben Chorn

    I’d like to see some kind of poll of what fans say were more decisive in this game (on both sides):

    Fumbles

    Interceptions

    or Penalties.

    Obviously the fumbles and interceptions hurt the Vikes, but the penalties definitely hurt the Saints.

  • Bismuth

    @Ben – Fumbles, no doubt. We lost two likely touchdowns because of fumbles within the 10 yard line and gace the Saints a short field on the other, which led to aTD. Interception #2 was particularly ill-timed, and the Saints did help us out quite a bit with their penalties, but even those two combined can’t account for the 218 differential of total yards, and wouldn’t have mattered if you add 14 points to the VIkes and subtract 7 from New Orleans.

  • Tyler

    Penalties hurt the Saints? Not as much as the penalty that WASN’T called on Favre – the high-low hit he took. Shoddy refereeing, in my opinion.

  • Bob Collins

    I hollered to a colleague in the pressbox, “Oh, they got him again” meaning personal foul, as that play was unfolding. I was very surprised there wasn’t a flag there.

    But that was one sorry half of football that usually isn’t — and probably shouldn’t be — rewarded with a trip to the Super bowl.

  • JackU

    The call I yelled at the TV about was the Ben Leiber interference call that set up the field goal. In real-time from the comfort of my couch and via replays shown by Fox it sure looked like the Saints receiver reach for the ball, fell down and tripped Leiber. It was almost as though it was a “give back” for the call in the end zone. (I’m not saying it was, I’m just say it kind of looked like that.)