Saint ATN

N/S Saint ATN

17 posts in this topic

Hi All, 

Some of you may have noticed, I don't post much anymore. It's true, I don't. My overall passion for football has fallen over the years and now the NFL has treated this whole kneeling thing has turned me off just about completely. 

It's a strong subject and one that polarized people across the board. It has here, it has driven people to and from this site. My personal tipping point came when the NFL changed its policy to now force players to stand during the National Anthem. I'm a combat veteran, which means squat to most but I'm one of the few many who has risked life and limb for our country, we're a minority. My voice is just my voice and I've used that voice and have spoken up for many social justice issues. I'm an active member of my community and I vote and pay taxes. I employ 200+ people in multiple states as a business owner. I've been involved in numerous court cases for social justice and even won every American the right to view every single vote in every voting machine used. I've also had the gov't overreach and had to sue the Govt along with the Justice Dept and after a 5-year battle prevailed. I've changed history in my own wee way in the world. 

This issue isn't about kneeling, it was a protest to a social injustice issue being ignored by the larger populace. High profile athletes put their reputations and bodies personally on the line to raise awareness of this issue of unarmed Americans being executed without trials on the spot. The NFL and the media co-opted this peaceful non-violent display of solidarity and turned it into a disrespect of the flag. Further twisting it as a disrespect for veterans. As a veteran, I fought for their right to do whatever they want, or that's the America I thought I served. We took an oath to honor the constitution against threat foreign or domestic. It's hard to forget that oath when you put your life on the line for it or to just give it up once you're done the serving. It's a motto of sorts, a litmus that never leaves your soul. The whole creation of the issue was dragged thru the media mud and twisted to media maneuvering. The owners turned their eyes to the dwindling sales and reacted or overreacted IMO. The whole issue got completely missed and in the end, the NFL made its choice to not allow peaceful protests. 

I love freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of absolute expression, and I'm aware of the consequences of saying what I say and where I do so. Freedom of speech does not come with bodyguards, that we're all aware of. My absence has been about my own self-reflection and about what I will or will not tolerate. The game has changed since we were lads and lasses, literally and figuratively. The changes in the last 10 years have really confused many and one rule took years to clarify, and that's the catch rule. Still up to new interpretation this year. It's kinda maddening and it has slowly added pebbles to my bag of dislike for the NFL. 

I love Y'all, you're the reason I've modded someone else's site for well over a decade. I love talking about football or had. I'm not mad at anyone here. This site has been a gathering place for many who love our team. Over the years we've lost some due to banning, some have sadly passed away and I still wish David would create a memorial page to them as he promised. David is/has been busy trying to raise his 3 kids as a single father. He created this site out of the love for the team and the spirit of people who were like-minded and cared about our saints enough to be civil on the not very civil internet at the time. We created a home and a safe haven for many. We are a small band nowadays and even smaller without my voice as of late. 

I used to love racing to get information here, I used to pride myself on it, now I find it hard to even look. I realized over time that I was pretty much the only one doing so. Between the changes in the game, the changes to people who post or don't post for whatever reason here or not anymore I got disheartened. Why try, no one cared, I gave up. I just stopped altogether. It's a void growing in me daily and I find it hard to reverse. I'm hoping this season can rekindle a bit of that fire. I just thought I owed it to you all to explain my absence, it's not you, really, I'm just having a hard time with it altogether. 

Chuck, Tuma, Kinsey and 8 others like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Saint ATN said:

I used to love racing to get information here, I used to pride myself on it, now I find it hard to even look. I realized over time that I was pretty much the only one doing so. Between the changes in the game, the changes to people who post or don't post for whatever reason here or not anymore I got disheartened. Why try, no one cared, I gave up.

Etienne, 

Certainly you have every reason to feel the way you do and change your participation how you see fit.  But for the record, you're not the only one doing so.  There are many people who probably check this site daily if not 10 times daily.  Post counts are down, but that's for a lot of reasons including some of the ones you've mentioned.  But people do care and enjoy each other's participation so don't let that idea be the reason you're less involved.  Just my quick reaction.

Bonckers, Saint ATN, Kinsey and 1 other like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I plan on getting more active again once the regular season starts. Etienne, I understand where you're coming from, but I don't want us to lose you as it would greatly sadden me like it has in the past when we've lost other posters as well. 

Saint ATN and Bonckers like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ATN, the info you post is valuable stuff for fans on the go an I look forward to the info. But it’s your opinion, just like what you posted above, that I value the most. Your have great insight on many topics and issues. You have challenged my thinking on many occasions and I am thankful for that. 

There are many great contributors  here st the WDZ, and you are chief among them. 

I certainly understand and share your frustrations with the game and in general how polarized everything, even football, seems to have become. But stick it out. We need quality rather than quantity. And we need your take on issues. Maybe now more than ever. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I joined up here around '02 or '03, give or take. My life has gone through the gamut of life's situations, disappointments, and emotions. But this place has always been a constant. I can always come here and read words of wisdom, especially from you, ATN. I would hate to know that we would lose another voice of reason and knowledge.

Bonckers, Saint ATN and nolaspe like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey y’all,

Your old pal BlackNGold4Life signing in.

For starters, let me say... I LOVE you all. Longtime members (I’ve been here since ‘02) like ATN, Rap, Richard, David, CPEddy, David E, J57, Boris, Wade, Nolaspe, BayouBabe, Faceman, J57 (I could go on forever) have helped me get through some of the darkest years with this football team (which I love more than ANYTHING; am obsessed with). You all became my second family.

The old timers know my story: From the Bay Area, hatred for the 49ers, Gave Aaron Brooks his own college jersey, posted Mike McKenize updates religiously, met Will Smith at the UFC fights, brought my father to this site, tried SO HARD to meet ATN in real life, etc etc etc.

From the River City Relay, to the Minneapolis Miracle, you’ve been there for me... I’ve been there for you... We’ve been there together. 

ATN - if you read this sir, you’re the best man that I NEVER met. Our shared love for this football team and conversations on chat EVERY Sunday, I cherished. I was the pessimist, you were the optimist. We were surely going to blow it, you ALWAYS said “we’ve got this.” You’re the f*cking rally monkey, brother. And I love you.

As for me y’all. Still living in Vegas, still passionate as ever for our Saints, still attend any west coast games (brought my son to his first saints game last year in LA. We lost, but he’s now third generation Who Dat for my family). Being married with two kids (one soon to be 7, one 18 months) and working full time, I’ve strayed away from here. I still lurk from time to time, my emotions still strong, I guess I just got busy with life. 

The off-season is usually slow for me. I don’t post much. But come regular season, I’ll be in chat; front and center. 

This site will always be my second home.

Love,

Brandon Hunter

(BlackNGold4Life) 

Edited by BlackNGold4Life
Bonckers, faceman, Saint ATN and 1 other like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Etienne, nothing but respect from this side. I share a lot of similar feelings on the NFL in general. I am at the point where I only watch anything that involves the Saints. I could tell you nothing about any random AFC team. But, I can tell you how badly Tottenham just screwed the pooch on the summer transfer window. :)

 

Saint ATN likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Etienne I cannot say I 100% understand where you are coming from. As I myself did not serve, nor have I done even half of the amazing things you have in life whether personal or for Justice of the American people as a whole. I can tell you that many here from you to Alan, to many others have helped me through the darkest moments of my life. I have shared more here on this site (my home on the internet) than I have with others in my everyday life or even family. You guys have helped me through two divorces and countless other issues I have faced. I would be greatly saddened to lose you and feel this board has lost more than its fair share.

I understand your disdain for the situation. Saying that you have changed my stance on many things including the one this post represents. I come here several times a day as a relief and break from my day. My new job doesn't allow me to post as much as I used to, but I am here a lot lurking mostly. I never served but have many firends who have and even have some who have lost lives in the militray. So it took me a while to come around to the point you made. I do miss one forumn that taught me so very much about the country we are and opened my eyes to a lot of things in politics in general. I do not want you to leave, but if you feel that is what is necessary to do, and what is right for you I can support that in the hopes you live the life that makes you the happiest you can be. I know nothing lasts forever, but your place here cannot nor ever will be filled. I am here if you ever need to talk and that stands for all of you. You are all family to me and hold a special place in my heart. I had many great long conversation with Alan on the phone and on this board I never got to meet him before he passed, but I helped him and he me. So Please reach out when ever you need it. 

Sincerely 

Lawrence Bonck 

Saint ATN likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think just about everything that can or should be said has already been mentioned.  The one thing I will add is that this site has grown with all of us.  Time is a blur for when we started here, many of us came over when the Saints Digest board closed up and this has been internet home ever since and I'm not even sure when that was.  As life changes so does our priorities, we all still love the Saints but have other loves in our lives to spread our time over.  I think this is what causes the post count to be down.  I've seen it for myself and I think many others that we like to jump in, get a quick fill on Saints news and then jump out.  There is no apology needed when you spread time out to other loves, but would hate to see you or anyone else leave our little internet home completely.  We could make a long list of those who have taken that route, and even though I didn't agree with everyone of their viewpoints, they did make this place what it is and each time someone leaves, it changes a little (or a lot in some cases).  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi ATN,

I have been on this site since the NOLA boards went in 2000. In all the time I have been here I have probably only made 50 posts, through all the incarnations of the boards. If you looked up 'lurker' in the dictionary I am sure there's a picture of me. That being said, I visit the site very regularly - several times a day during the season, unless we're losing and I'd rather avoid the negativity. Not criticising those who vent; it's just my way. The main reasons I don't post much is that despite my long love for the game and my passion for the Saints, my technical knowledge is nowhere near just about everyone else in the Zone, so I prefer to read and learn. I have also read a lot of the political stuff with interest, especially when the PIT was still around, but as a foreigner, I've always deemed it impolite to comment on political issues in this house.

One thing I can say, though, despite only having ever met one of you ('Hi Drew'!), and sharing a same day/same year birthday with another ('Hi Slidell'), I feel I know you all like family. And ATN, I for one have always appreciated all the news you have posted over the years. While I get NFL news from all over the web, this is pretty much the ONLY place I come for Saints news. So, thanks for all the news from the past, and rest assured that if you do post any in the future, I for one will appreciate those too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been on this site in its many incarnations since the second day it was started, Dave E was working at Thrifty Liquor across the street from my house and knew I was a fan and I joined-19 years ago! It has been a home for me ever since, I've met and e-met so many great people as a result of this site that I am certain that my life has been enriched greatly and my knowledge and perspective on a lot of things has broadened as a result. One of my regrets regarding this site is all of the lost history of our early years and seeing the evolution of our family here. The Katrina thread was a piece of history that chronicled one of the largest natural disasters that directly and indirectly affected each and every one of us. There are many other threads in other Forums that would be interesting to read now in retrospect, but through it all the one thing that was readily apparent-our Passion! Passion for the game and passion for our beliefs and the ability to express that passion in our house. Etienne, our relationship alone is an example of how we have both benefited from this site,we started off as polar opposites,not so much now as we have learned and evolved our worldview and through it all we respected each other.You have done yeoman's work working this site and doing your other passions, it stands to reason you get worn out, but the results of your work here and in the world are greatly appreciated and deeply respected.

faceman, Saint ATN, Bonckers and 1 other like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Etienne,

I can't speak either as a veteran or even as an American, but I can give you a perspective from how the anthem protests are viewed here in the UK. I'm 100pc with you on this. Everyone I've spoken to here in the UK sees this for what it is: an attempt by the White House and the alt right to co-opt veterans and patriotism and distract from the social injustices that are the genuine root cause of the anthem protests. It's classic political spin, or actually flat out lying in many instances. The NFL made a grave error cow-towing to the President and has simultaneously disrespected its talent -the players - and its fan base. The disciplinary process is already unravelling.

Not a single player means any disrespect to vets, the flag, or patriotism as a whole, in all of this. And nor does anyone who rejects the President's obvious spin.

The fact that the Cardinals GM can go on conservative talk radio to talk politics and in the same breath tell players that they can't turn the sport into politics tells you everything you need to know about the irony of the protests.

I am hesitant to bring politics onto our own board, since we're hear to have a lively discussion about the Saints, but at the same time, it's important to know how people react. It disappoints me that the NFL has chosen to act in the way it has, but I hope the Saints organisation recognises the players' true motivations.

 

Saint ATN and boricko like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ATN,

You my bro!

We're living in an age of political polarization that is tearing our bonds as fellow citizens apart. I am proud and thankful that the service of you and countless others have done to protect - not the symbols of freedoms - but the actual freedoms themselves.

The NFL is a collection of corporations that have to balance the forces of polarization. As a result, they have made some unfortunate stances to placate segments of our society.

The players themselves have not. I stand with the players at the end of the day. I could give a rat's ass about the billionaire owners, it's the players that I root for and want to see succeed.

It's easy to get mad and turned off by the billionaire's club of owners.  Take solace in the fact that your support may not necessarily be for them.

The busyness of my life is what prevents me from posting as often as I used to "back in the day".

Keep the faith...the Saints are coming!

Edited by herb
Chuck, fjw70, OzSaint and 2 others like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ATN,

My family is a military family,while I have not been in the military my grandfather on my mom's side was in WW2 in the Pacific Theatre,my dad's brother was in Vietnam and 3 of my uncle's on my mom's side were also in Vietnam. My cousin John was in Desert Storm. I have the utmost respect for veterans and those that are active. For a lot of years I lurked on and off this site to get info. It just made since to just join but we need you here,like it was said before you are our rally monkey,man! Guys like you, Faceman,Dru just to name a few,I depend on for info. I can't post to much content because were I live my internet provider sucks. But this site is the best out there and my escape from the outside world. All that to say this,I no we are in your corner and we got your back my friend.

Leo Pellissier aka the gunslinger.

Saint ATN likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ATN,

great post as always. While I personally didn't serve I have family members who did. I have the utmost respect for our military. I completely agree with your sentiments on the protests( they are not flag or anthem protests, but injustice protests). That being said, there is so much polarization these days, its important to focus on the common ground. 

I haven't posted much, but I always check this site. I always appreciated you posting all the Saints content on the interweb to this forum. 

I hope you stick around, you're one of the posters whose opinions I value. 

Who Dat

Saint ATN likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now