By Drew Markol, Contributing Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Is there a team out there that you can really get behind?
Look at all of those poor souls who were devoted to the New Orleans Saints for so long.
Years and years of losing. No, check that, decades and decades of defeats, and the true diehards waited.
Then a catastrophic hurricane.
Then a Super Bowl win.
Jubilation first and national respect right behind it.
And now what?
The bounty thing is just embarrassing on so many levels and now these allegations about the opposition having their boxes tapped during games.
Where does it end? What's next?
We'll find that out later.
What it does now is knock another team off the list of those you want to root for.
Have you heard a peep out of any Saints' fans lately? Of course not, they're in hiding waiting for the other cleat to land on their head.
If someone came up to you and said he was a Saints fan, what's the first thing you'd think of?
"Wow, you cheer for a team that intentionally tried to hurt its opponents and spy on them?"
Kind of reminds you of another team known for spying, the New England Patriots of a few years ago. Funny how they haven't won a Super Bowl since the whole Spygate thing became public, but that's not the point right now.
The point is, they're hard to root for, too, because everyone knows they cheated.
With that in mind, who can you root for? Is there a team out there to latch onto?
Let's start with football.
First team you think of is the New York Giants. Super Bowl champs. A maligned coach in Tom Coughlin who has been redeemed time and again because he produces wins.
They might have a chance, but we're looking for staying power. The Giants made the playoffs last year, barely, with a 9-7 record.
What they did, and this has become the modus operandi in the NFL it seems, is get hot at the right time.
They reeled off a couple wins (albeit quite impressive ones), beat the aforementioned Patriots, and hoisted the shiny trophy.
I just worry about what's next for them. Repeating as Super Bowl champs doesn't happen these days. Too much parity and too many things that can go wrong. We need to find somebody else.
How 'bout the Dallas Mavericks? Sure, we're switching sports, but I don't care. A year ago, the Mavs did the whole country a favor by knocking off the despised Miami Heat. But did they just postpone the inevitable?
It seems only a matter of time until the Heat win the whole thing, maybe more than once. The Mavs, unfortunately, only seemed to postpone the inevitable. Nicely done, fellas, but the Heat storm is still coming.
And that's not what we're looking for. We need a team we can like that can win it all consistently and not have a bunch of guys we don't like on it.
The St. Louis Cardinals seemed like that team last fall. A good bunch of guys in Middle America led by a superstar, Albert Pujols, who was not a convicted felon, or surly to his teammates, and not full of synthetic substances.
And then Pujols left for the West Coast. Scratch the Cardinals.
Last year's Stanley Cup champs, the Boston Bruins? They're already on the outside looking in this year after being ousted in the first round of the playoffs. So, scratch them, too.
Is there a lesson to be learned from this? Sadly, it might be to not fully attach your heart to a team because it could be broken the next day. The Saints are just the latest, and one of the worst, examples. All of the good will they provided is now not worth a string of beads on Bourbon Street.
Whoever would have thought dat?
Drew Markol has been a sportswriter and columnist for several Philadelphia- area newspapers for over 25 years.
05/01 10:24:33 ET