How To Piss Off The Team You Just Beat: Return To Their Field And Celebrate
The New Orleans Saints came from behind last night to beat the Atlanta Falcons 17-14 in the Georgia Dome. This is notable for two reasons: 1) The Saints clinched a playoff berth, and 2) it was the first time the Falcons lost in Atlanta all season.
Perhaps because it was a special occasion, or perhaps because they defeated a division rival on the road, the Saints decided to head back out to the field and, you know, take some pictures.
When it was over, several Saints defensive players came back onto the field to pose for group pictures, gleefully celebrated on the Falcons' home field, while a small group of Saints fans cheered from the stands.
"We didn't want to wait until next week to clinch the playoffs," Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma said. "We wanted a remembrance of this. That's why we went out and had our picture taken on the Falcon."
The "Falcon" refers to Atlanta's midfield emblem, which has always represented a sort of sacred ground for NFL players. Terrell Owens, then a member of the San Francisco 49ers, once famously celebrated on the Dallas Cowboys' midfield star (albeit in a much more flamboyant manner, and during a game) and retaliation was prompt.
In the Saints case, does some postgame picture-taking warrant retaliation? Probably not. But this is the NFL in 2010. A Falcons player will inevitably reference it on Twitter, citing "disrespect," which will start an inevitable chain of events that will lead us to two well-dressed men in an announcer's booth breathlessly telling us about the "level of animosity between these two teams" the next time they face each other.
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