Drew Brees jokes ‘The lightning must’ve thought I was wearing a Falcons jersey’

Drew Brees jokes ‘The lightning must’ve thought I was wearing a Falcons jersey’ after fake viral video stunt

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Take a lap, Drew Brees. The former New Orleans Saints quarterback sent fans into an uproar after a video hoax went viral alleging he had been struck by lightning while filming a promotional ad in Venezuela. He circled back after the social media buzz erupted to put them at rest, saying on Instagram that he’s fine and joking that “The lightning must’ve thought I was wearing a Falcons jersey.”

Look, as zingers go, that’s a good one. It doesn’t make up for a dumb marketing stunt that upset a lot of people, but Brees deserves a hat tip for it. The sponsor in question, PointsBet Sportsbook, later shared a follow-up video of Brees roughed up in an ambulance to promote their services. The reaction so far hasn’t exactly been positive, but they must feel any exposure is good exposure.

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Fans on Twitter react to the fake Drew Brees lightning strike publicity stunt

Fans on Twitter reacted to to the fake Drew Brees lightning strike video, getting their jokes off about the poorly-received publicity stunt:

Come on, man. The New Orleans Saints fanbase rushed into concern when a video allegedly showing Drew Brees being struck by lightning while filming a commercial went viral on social media, but multiple local reports from New Orleans outed the marketing stunt as a forgery.

That news prompted Saints fans and observers on Twitter to shift gears, first in relief for Brees’ health, and then towards getting off jokes about what a boneheaded decision this was by his sponsor. Here’s what they’re saying after the truth came out:

Saints to wear their alternate black helmets in Monday night game vs. Buccaneers

The Saints will wear their alternate black helmets in Monday night’s road game with the Buccaneers. Check out these photos from their debut:

Hey, this is cool: the New Orleans Saints announced that they will be wearing their alternate black helmets for Monday night’s game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s the second time this season they’ll be going with the black lids.

Hopefully they won’t wear their white-and-gold “Color Rush” jerseys with them again. It wasn’t a look in Week 4’s game with the Minnesota Vikings, with the dark helmets and light uniforms clashing in a bad way. See for yourself in these photos from the game:

Patrick Mahomes says he told the Chiefs to trade up for him, leapfrogging the Saints

The Saints planned on drafting Patrick Mahomes in 2017, only for the Chiefs to trade up for him. Now Mahomes says he ‘gave the Chiefs a little bit of info’ to spur that move:

Sean Payton has gotten a lot of attention for sharing his story about that one time he almost drafted Patrick Mahomes, having flown out to Lubbock, Texas to put Mahomes through a private workout at the Texas Tech campus. He famously returned to the New Orleans Saints team facility under cover of darkness with intentions of picking Mahomes at No. 11 overall.

It didn’t work out, though; the Chiefs traded up ahead of the Saints to select Mahomes in the 2017 NFL draft, and the rest is history. Mahomes has made the Chiefs an annual Super Bowl contender, set all sorts of passing records, and reigniting the second leg of Andy Reid’s coaching career.

But here’s a new wrinkle. Mahomes played an active part in getting the Chiefs to trade up for him. Kansas City was initially slotted in at No. 27 overall, but moved up to No. 10 in a deal with the Buffalo Bills. That put them one slot ahead of the Saints. Mahomes discussed his pre-draft experience on the New Heights podcast with Jason Kelce and Travis Kelce, recapping his visit with the Chiefs (and how then-offensive coordinator Matt Nagy helped him impress Andy Reid with an early peek at their playbook).

“As the process went on, I got a feeling I was going up in the draft. I had a couple of teams that said they were gonna draft me — and I mean, that’s true, it’s not like these coaches are making it up — I talked to them in the draft process and they were like, ‘Hey if you’re there, we’re gonna take you,'” Mahomes relayed. He continued, “I kind of gave a little inside info to the Chiefs: ‘Hey, if y’all let me go anywhere below, at the time I didn’t know about the Saints, but if y’all let me go 12 or below I’m gonna get drafted by someone else.’ So I gave the Chiefs a little bit of info on that because I wanted to be here.”

So maybe Payton didn’t tip his hand if Mahomes was cautioning the Chiefs about starting trade talks at No. 12 (with the Arizona Cardinals). Kansas City caught wind of the Saints’ interest anyway; news of Payton’s visit was widely reported on ESPN and Pro Football Talk. Mahomes has reflected on it, too, and though he appreciated Payton as an “offensive genius” he ultimately wanted to play for the Chiefs, so he made moves to make it happen.

There was thought at the time that the Saints could pick a quarterback early with Drew Brees entering the final stage of his career, and there also wasn’t much consensus on where Mahomes would be picked. Pre-draft projections suggested he would go off the board late in the first round or somewhere in the second round. But as more teams got to spend time with Mahomes one-on-one and he began to win over coaches and talent evaluators around the league, it became clearer he’d hear his name called very early on. It’s just a shame it wasn’t with New Orleans.

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National reactions: Saints’ shutout by 49ers draws plenty of criticism

National reactions: Saints’ shutout by 49ers draws plenty of criticism

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Here are the latest national media reactions to the New Orleans Saints’ 13-0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12, ending the longest active streak of games played without being shut out:

Peter Schrager backtracks, says Sean Payton did not address the Saints

Peter Schrager backtracks and apologizes after Alvin Kamara callout, says Sean Payton did not address the Saints before their win vs. Raiders

There’s some much-needed clarification: NFL Network’s Peter Schrager backtracked on his previous report that former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton gave the team a “pep talk” before their win over the Las Vegas Raiders a few weeks ago, offering his apology from his official Twitter account.

“Misinterpreted this one,” Schrager wrote, “Payton was in town that week; didn’t address the team. I’ll own this one and eat it.”

What prompted this reversal? Alvin Kamara publicly asked Schrager who was feeding him misinformation about a supposed team meeting with Payton. If anyone would know about that happening, it would be Kamara, the team captain and face of the franchise. Schrager responded quickly, saying that he “Made a mistake on this,” and pledging to own up to it:

So that lines up with what’s been previously reported by local media, who said Payton was meeting with friends at the Saints facility while in town on other business (he was also spotted sitting courtside at a New Orleans Pelicans game). Still, someone misinformed Schrager about the whole affair. What’s more concerning is that the Saints are 3-7 on the year so far and these are the kind of rumors whirling around them. They’ve got to start winning games and quiet the noise.

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AI generator renders a future Saints quarterback almost as frightening as reality

An online AI generator produced a rendering of what the future Saints quarterback may look like, and the results are almost as frightening as their current reality:

Yikes. The New Orleans Saints quarterback situation isn’t much to write home about, but things could be worse. Neither Andy Dalton nor Jameis Winston have inspired confidence in the fanbase this season, but whoever is under center this time next year might not even look human.

An enterprising Saints fan on Reddit known as u/FauxJello took advantage of the artificial intelligence trend to create a rendering of what the next Saints quarterback may look like. Described as a “deep learning, text-to-image model” made public earlier this year, Stable Diffusion spat out an image after being fed a written description and some reference photos, and the results are unsettling at best. See for yourself:

Stable Diffusion
Stable Diffusion

It appears that the Stable Diffusion AI made a composite of various Saints quarterbacks to predict what the next one may look like, which checks out as something a machine would do in this kind of situation. We can see Drew Brees’ old No. 9 jersey, of course (and the prospect of New Orleans letting another quarterback wear it someday is concerning on its own), but there’s also Winston’s long undershirt sleeves and Taysom Hill’s Olympic javelin-style windup to throw in there. If you turn your head and squint, you can see some Chase Daniel in the posture, bizarrely. Just try not to focus on the fingers welded together, the reversed elbow, whatever’s going on with the team logo, and the enigmatic cloud over its face from the helmet.

Anyway: all jokes aside, it’s totally unclear who will be quarterback the Saints in 2023. It almost certainly won’t be Dalton or Winston, though the latter is under contract next season, and it’s been made clear that Hill’s days as a full-time quarterback are behind him. Whether the Saints pursue a veteran free agent or trade acquisition, or roll the dice on a rookie in the 2023 NFL draft, the quarterback room should look much different this time next year. Hopefully it’ll be an upgrade.

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Saints fans launch petition asking team to fire Dennis Allen

Saints fans online launched a petition asking the team to fire head coach Dennis Allen after his hard-to-watch start to their 2022 season:

Well, the people are speaking. New Orleans Saints fans saw their team lose four games in five weeks and started a petition on Change.org asking that head coach Dennis Allen be relieved of his duties. More than 500 like-minded fans signed it as of 11:00 a.m. on Monday morning, with dozens more signatures flooding in.

It’s safe to say that a change would be popular with the fanbase after the Saints spent their summer talking up Allen and the strength of his roster only to start the season at 3-7. The petition was organized by Saints fan Jordan Cole, who made the case for Allen’s dismissal. Some of their points:

“Dennis Allen is 11-34 overall as a head coach. The Saints team under his watch have been an embarrassment. Dennis Allen has not shown the leadership it takes to be the head coach of the New Orleans Saints. And should be relieved of his duties. The Saints have become a disgrace an abomination and downright pathetic.”

Yeah, that’s tough to debate. Allen’s team has failed to compete week in and week out, and they just lost to a Pittsburgh Steelers team with an even worse record than them by double digits. Between a never-ending rash of penalties, inconsistent play in all three phases of the game, and a void of leadership where Allen’s influence should be, it’s clear that it’s time to move on and try something different. The only question is whether the Saints themselves recognize that.

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A flock of stray pigeons stole the show in the Saints’ ugly start vs. Steelers

A flock of stray pigeons stole the show in the Saints’ ugly start against the Steelers. They had the best seat in the house in a game for the birds:

Talk about a game for the birds. The New Orleans Saints stumbled out into a penalty-ridden start against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium, clawing their way back from a 10-0 deficit to tie the game at halftime, but the main topic of conversation was the flock of pigeons picking their way across the field.

Neither team’s pass defense was on top of its game — the Steelers were missing star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick after a sudden case of appendicitis, while the Saints were down big free agent acquisition Marcus Maye with an injury — so the pigeons were able to make plenty of plays of their own through the air.

But, hey, we’ll take the entertainment and funny tweets over focusing on negatives like the Saints logging more penalty yards (40) than net yards gained on offense (32) in the first quarter. Here’s a quick look at some of the best reactions to the birds from fans and observers on Twitter:

Michael Thomas has something to say about Bills’ handling of Josh Allen injury

Michael Thomas has something to say about Bills’ handling of Josh Allen injury

Well that’s something. A major storyline across the NFL this week has been the Buffalo Bills’ handling of an elbow injury for franchise quarterback Josh Allen — who didn’t participate in practice all week, wasn’t seen on the field for warmups on Sunday morning, and was still activated for their Week 10 game with the Minnesota Vikings.

Now ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that “Bills officials spent a lot of time this past week leaning on the advice of their doctors and other arm specialists, and the team was reassured that Allen is not at risk to make the injury worse if he plays.”

It’s a curious approach, made curiouser and curiouser by a remark from New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas on social media. Thomas commented in response to this news from his official Twitter account that, “That’s how you do it.”

Thomas, of course, is ending his second consecutive season with the Saints on injured reserve after suffering a dislocated toe early in 2022; he missed the entire 2021 season after a setback in ankle surgery to his other foot. It all started in 2020 when he injured that ankle in the season-opener and played through it to try and help the team’s playoff push in Drew Brees’ final year, which didn’t help his health. Thomas and the Saints are still feeling the ramifications of that move years later.

So what’s his point in remarking on Allen’s situation? Did the Saints ignore advice of their doctors and push Thomas to keep playing back in 2020? Or did those doctors advise him to keep playing without concern for a worsened injury? All of those conversations happened behind closed doors in meetings no one reading this was privy to, but it’s hard to believe that Thomas isn’t reflecting on his tumultuous last few years as another big name in the league experiences a similar situation. If Allen is going to play through this injury, let’s hope it works out better for him and the Bills than it did for Thomas and the Saints.

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