What’s up, football fans? There is a lot going on this month. After all, November is when the NFL’s contenders and pretenders really separate. And it’s Men’s Health month. While I already rock a goatee, our receiving corps—including the normally clean-shaven Marques Colston and Kenny Stills—has grown moustaches for Movember. Let’s just say they look kind of different, LOL.
There is rookie initiation, like fetching food or drinks. I’m talking about getting breakfast sandwiches from McDonald’s or bringing Gatorade to a team meeting, not some five-course meal. And, yeah, I had to do that.
The Saints are now 7-2 after our big win over Dallas, 49-17. We really needed that one, having lost two of our last three in close games. Our offense set an NFL record with 40 first downs and also had a franchise record 625 total yards. A big difference was running the ball so well, which helped keep the Cowboys’ offense off the field. It also gave our defense plenty of rest, part of why we held them to 0 for 9 on third down. When the opposition doesn’t convert, that’s basically a turnover.
The game was on Sunday night, and we play well in primetime. It was at home in front of the NFL’s best fans, and we played complementary football—the offense controlled the clock and scored, then the defense stopped them and got the ball back. Great combo.
I’ve missed the last two games because of injury, and it’s frustrating because I like to be on the field as much as possible. With the upcoming stretch, they didn’t want to rush me back. I was a little antsy, but I took the time to step up my study of the game. Watching from the sidelines and playing the game in my head was like doing mental “reps.” It helped me see things a little differently, like observing the adjustments that offenses are trying to make. I used a little notepad on the sidelines, writing stuff down. I also let my teammates know if I saw something helpful. I’ve been doing a lot of coaching the past couple of weeks, and hope to be back in action very soon.
Most often, the teams that make the playoffs win in November, when teams kind of separate themselves. The next few weeks will pretty much define our season, with the 49ers, Falcons and Seahawks coming up. This is what it’s all about. But you’ve still got to take it game by game. Then when you look up in December, you can see where you’re at—and start jockeying for position.
If you look really close, Marques Colston has the beginnings of a sweet Movember mo.
With regards to the incident in Miami that everyone is talking about, I can’t speak to it firsthand as I’ve never been in that locker room. But, what happens in the locker room, how we function and talk and kid each other, is often different from a “regular” workplace. So if you take something out of context and put it in the media where people just read it, it may sound crazy. Everyone should really wait until all the facts come out before rushing to judgment.
While I can’t relate to what allegedly happened, I can speak on my locker room, where I haven’t encountered any racism or bullying. Yeah, everybody cracks jokes, everybody has fun, but since I’ve been with the Saints, nobody’s been singled out. It’s all pretty harmless. There is rookie initiation, like fetching food or drinks. I’m talking about getting breakfast sandwiches from McDonald’s or bringing Gatorade to a team meeting, not some five-course meal. And, yeah, I had to do that.
We also have our rookies stand up after meetings and tell us about current events. We’re so busy with the NFL schedule that we don’t have much time to watch all the news. And we make it a competition. More than anything, it’s about bonding and feeling part of our team.
In other news, I recently designed some cool bow ties with wool fabric, my Autumn Fest collection, and named each after a plant that flowers in the Fall—sage, hyssop and rosemary. (I’m wearing one in the photo up top.) My Rock Avenue Bow Ties is also proud to be getting our entire collection into a great store in New Orleans, Luca Falcone Custom Lounge on Magazine Street. That’s big for us, a great fit for the brand.
Oh, and if you didn’t hear, my Ohio State Buckeyes are now ranked #3 but need help with a loss by Alabama or Florida State. Go Bucks!
—As told to Ashley Jude Collie