The next blogger we’re bringing on board to learn more about is Kevin Held of Hakim Drops the Ball. Kevin is best know for mocking his wife on twitter, and I can only assume she doesn’t have an account (or doesn’t exist maybe?), because otherwise he’d be divorced by now. He’s also known for both incredible and beautiful profanity laced rants. Most of all the dude knows his Saints, so checking out his stuff is also a must during the long boring offseason. Kevin injects an overwhelming amount of humor in his blog unlike Saints Nation, so you can also always count on laughs… or being offended. Either way I see that as a positive. You can also follow him on twitter.
Enjoy his Q&A below.
*** Fair warning, this post contains profanity ***
Saints Nation: Kevin – Alright man – tell us about you. What made you become a Saints fan? How long have you been one?
Kevin: Guess I first became “aware” of the Saints during the ’87 strike-shortened season. Prior to that, I had a greater knowledge of the rosters of Gobots and M.A.S.K. than the Saints. I was an inside kid. Bugs were outside and the air-conditioner was inside. Disappointed my dad to no end, but whatever.
My dad was stoked because this was the Saints first winning season in history and his enthusiasm caught on for me. I remember being very sad when the Vikings beat the shit out of them in the postseason. My paternal grandparents had one of those Bud Light team schedules tacked to their kitchen door. They kept it up most of the offseason, so I had to look at the 44-10 score line longer than most people.
Saints Nation: Tell us about Hakim Drops the Ball. What made you decide to start it? Where can we find your stuff?
Kevin: (LONG STORY ALERT!!!!) I started working at WWL-TV in August 2003 and left in February 2008. After working at the station only a few months, I asked (badgered, actually) to publish some sports columns on WWLTV.com. Those went over well and I continued to write for the station until I left. The last thing I wrote for WWLTV.com was a running diary of Super Bowl 42. By late 2007 I’d grown despondent working at the station and wanted to get away. I was also unhappy that I couldn’t say “fuck” and didn’t have a forum for some of my more inane thoughts on random stuff. That’s what led me to start Hakim. Looking back at the first few months of HDTB, it was a giant mess: random topics, short posts, nothing really that funny.
Saints Nation: What makes your blog better than any other Saint outlet you can find on the interwebs? Or at the very least, what makes it different?
Kevin: It isn’t better than anything else you can find out there. I’m just another jackass with a blog who’s trying to be funny. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I don’t. How am I different? Well, I did come up with “The Shockmeister,” “Puntmaster Flex” and “Legatron.” I’ve also co-op’d internet memes for my own snarky devices. So there’s that.
Saints Nation: Jeff Duncan is always boasting about how he’s “not a fan” and he just reports the stories. He claims his detachment from the team makes him better because he’s an unbiased reporter. Do you buy that? Can you be a fan and still be a good reporter of the team you cover?
Kevin: You can be a fan and a reporter. I think “reporters” or “analysts” seem to forget about another word when it comes to covering the Saints: “professional.” I don’t see how you can write and cover any team and not be a fan or have a strong rooting interest for your subject. I just don’t understand how one can’t be enthusiastic about a team and still give their best effort in covering them. If Duncan and anybody else are able to do that, good for them, I suppose.
For instance, I got to cover Saints training camp in 2006 and 2007 while working for WWLTV.com. After the 2006 season, I wanted to give Drew Brees a handshake and a hug every time I saw him. But I didn’t. Cause I was being “professional.” I still went to games and got drunk and yelled like a fool. That’s me being a “fan.” I was afraid that one day I’d be sent to watch the games with the reporters as part of my job, because I knew cheering was not allowed. Also, it meant working on Sunday. Fuck that noise. But had I been sent to the media section, I would have respected the space and kept my enthusiasm in check.
Long story short: Bobby Hebert is a fucking mook and needs to get his shit together. You can be “the voice of the fan” but you still have to sound like a reasonable, coherent human being. That’s why everybody and their mother loves/respects Jim Henderson. He called the games in a professional manner and showed genuine enthusiasm when the situation warranted. He was able to be both a professional and voice of the fan.
Saints Nation: What’s your routine for staying on top of Saints news? NOLA.com? Canal Street? Twitter? If a fan wanted advice on the best way to follow the Saints, what would you tell them. ($5 pay off if you mention Saints Nation in this response)
Kevin: I try to avoid NOLA.com as much as possible, honestly. I’m well versed in the stupidity lurking in the comments section. I get most of my info from Canal Street Chronicles and Twitter. If anybody wanted be a well-versed Saints fan, I’d recommend CSC, Moosedenied, Ralph’s column, Chicks in the Huddle, and following Bradley Handwerger on Twitter, as well as Saints Nation, Larry Holder, Les East, Jeff Duncan and Sean Fazende. And follow the aforementioned trio of CSC, Moosedenied and Ralph. I know I’m forgetting somebody and I’m going to feel like a real shit later on when I realize who.
Saints Nation: Let’s talk a little Saints. Brees is obviously coming back. What about Nicks & Colston?
Kevin: I’m preparing myself for somebody walking. I think the Brees deal will get done and the team will end up franchising Carl Nicks and allow Colston to walk. Thinking about that makes sad nonetheless.
Saints Nation: Besides retaining key parts, what changes would you like to see the Saints make this offseason?
Kevin: Defense. Defense. Defense. If Spagnuolo can “coach ’em up” with the talent already on the roster, great. But I want to see some kind of effort made into acquiring some new players. I need something here. I’m still having fucking night terrors of Alex Smith to Vernon Davis. Deep. Twice. In four minutes. Fuck Gregg Williams.
Saints Nation: After winning the Super Bowl, how do you feel about the 2010 and 2011 seasons overall?
Kevin: I’m still obviously bothered by the end of the 2011 season. I’ll go to my grave knowing—KNOWING—the Saints would’ve beaten the Giants in the Superdome. And with the way the Patriots played in the Super Bowl…eh, it’s best not to dwell too much on that shit. Honestly, if the defense wasn’t smart enough to double team the Niners’ best receiver in the final minutes of the game, then the team didn’t deserve to make it to the Super Bowl. Again: fuck Gregg Williams.
Saints Nation: Anyone who has listened to you on the podcast has experienced your magical and beautifully verbose rants filled with pop culture references and wit. How do you come up with all that stuff?
Kevin: I’m gonna frame this question, hang it up on my living room wall and show it off when guests come over. I don’t really think there’s a method to my madness. If anything, I’d say I’m not putting enough into the podcasts and HDTB. Look at Wang. He’s consistently brilliant. I wish I could give you a proper analogy between Wang and myself, but I wouldn’t be doing the guy justice. I would say I’ve had moments of brilliance over the years on HDTB and the podcast. Take my postgame rant during the Saints loss to the Cowboys during the 2009 season, for example. I’ve gone back and listened to that rant—and others like it—every so often. Not because I like the sound of my own voice (honestly, I sound terrible on-air and in real life), but because I always like to make sure I’m being coherent and what I’m saying is interesting and honest. I can’t just be all “fuckity fuck,” I’ve got to throw in a few other words like “football,” “Saints,” “Breesus,” and “I don’t know.”
Saints Nation: Anything else you want to communicate to Saints Nation’s 17 fans?
Kevin: My favorite episode of The Simpsons is “Lisa’s Rival” aka “Homer’s Sugar Mound.” And everybody should read the short story “Son of Bold Venture” and check out the blog of the same name. Good writing to be found there. Uh, what else? I’m a fan of “This Old House” and “Simply Ming” on PBS, and I like drinking Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Oh, and before I forget: fuck Gregg Williams.