Over the next several days I’ll be interviewing other Saints bloggers in an effort to make you aware of the other folks out there that are also a fantastic resource for feeding your obsession on all things Who Dat. Let’s face it, the offseason is painful, and it’s long. Saints Nation isn’t going to be enough on it’s own to get you through the boredom. Not even close. So this is where this series comes in. The first person up is Ralph Malbrough of WWLTV, who is also the creator and leader of the Chronic Podcast. You’ll recognize his name and his podcast for frequently welcoming me as a guest and being plugged on this website. For the life of my I don’t understand why Ralph keeps calling, since when is my opinion valued? Ralph is kind enough to interview the other Saints bloggers like we know what we’re talking about, when in reality he knows more about Saints football than all of us combined. He also enjoys the occassional glass of cabernet, with Aristocrat tequila as a mixer. Enjoy Ralph’s unique take below, it’s really great stuff. You can also follow him on twitter.
*** Fair warning, this post contains profanity ***
Saints Nation: Alright Ralph – tell us about you. What made you become a Saints fan? How long have you been one?
Ralph Malbrough: It might sound strange but I can’t remember not being a Saints fan. My first real vivid saints memory is Walter Payton breaking Jim Brown’s record:
My family weren’t huge sports fans but we always had Sunday dinner at my grandmother’s and the Saints game was just on the TV. What the fuck else can you watch on Sunday? The funny thing is since my parents were not huge sports fans no one explained football to me. I just figured it out myself. Also I literally have no memories of my life before I read the sports page. Peter Finney, Dave Lagarde, and Bob Roesler’s Friday picks column (my favorite) really shaped how I view sports.
Saints Nation: Tell us about your podcast. What made you decide to start it? Where can we find your stuff?
Ralph: I started doing one back in 2007 when I found blogtalkradio. The best place to find the podcast is HERE. Basically, I did because I enjoy hearing Kevin rant and really like to get Dave worked up and it’s my excuse to do it weekly. You can find my columns during the season at WWLTV.com
Saints Nation: You spent some time working for WWL. What was that experience like? Give us your craziest story.
Ralph: One of my favorite stories is back in 2004 Aaron Brooks is the QB and the Saints are in the middle of winning their last 4 games to go 8-8 and there is a a reporter from Aaron Brooks’ home town in Virginia.
So he’s interviewing Brooks and I just go by and put my recorder on. I don’t interrupt. Buddy always liked Aaron Brooks sound because he could always spin it and it made for great radio. Well Brooks unleashes a expletive laced tirade against Benson, the media, the fans. Just fantastic and I’m literally the ONLY NOLA media guy to get it on tape. Literally I have never been as excited about getting a story as that ever again. I totally understand why media guys like Mortenson and Florio chase stories. If you get them first it’s better than sex. It just is.
So I get it and find Kenny and I’m just like dude listen to this and Kenny,” Holy shit! Ralphie Boy that is awesome!.” So Buddy hears it was all he talked about for 2 days on his show. Not a crazy story but good times and I think maybe a look into how news gets broken.
Saints Nation: What makes your podcast better than any other Saint outlet you can find on the interwebs? Or at the very least, what makes it different?
Ralph: I don’t know if it’s better. I think Dave, Kevin and I just do it like a conversation. We are Saints fans and we aren’t going to try and bullshit people into thinking we are going to break down the X receiver against the Tampa 2 defense.
But I will say we have as good of insight as anybody. Like when Dave said there are two kinds of safeties in the NFL. One that makes big hits and one that creates turnovers and Malcolm Jenkins is more into big hits than turnovers. Simple yet dead on.
And we want to try to make people laugh and if we have to say Fuck Alex Smith 89 times in 40 minutes. We will do it.
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?
Ralph: Every person who covers the Saints as a regular media person like Duncan or like we do is biased. We have opinions about what makes good football and what we write or say is influenced by that. Period. We all have a certain way we see things and to say we don’t is bullshit.
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)
Ralph: The best way to follow the Saints is through twitter. Listen, I don’t use it nearly enough to promote myself but I follow saints nation, pro football talk, canal street chronicles, Duncan, etc Twitter is a must use especially for Free Agency.
When I was working at WWL TV back in like 2002 there was an assistant news director who was like, “The internet is not how most people get their news. It’s not a huge important way to get and gather news.”
I told him, “Then I’m 8 hours ahead of you minimum. The web is always first.” Now twitter is first on the web. Plus, following twitter during free agency is awesome. Great time waster.
Saints Nation: Let’s talk a little Saints. Brees is obviously coming back. What about Nicks & Colston?
Ralph: I think Nicks will be back and Colston will be gone. Saints fans should prepare themselves for Colston leaving. Also be prepared for the national media to scream, “YOU CAN’T PAY TWO GUARDS 8 MILLION EACH!.”
Pete Prisco will lead the screaming. The media will howl because it’s never been done before but I’d argue no team ever had the two best guards in the NFL and a 6 foot QB who needs great guards more than tackles.
Saints Nation: Besides retaining key parts, what changes would you like to see the Saints make this offseason.
Ralph: I’d love them to add youth at DT and linebacker. Also I really want them to try to get as many veteran cap casualty guys as they can on defense. The Saints are a destination for veteran players who want a ring. They need to use that card. I also believe the Saints should be in full WIN NOW MODE. They shouldn’t trade the 2013 #1 pick but anything else is on the table. Fuck the future, they have probably 4 more years to get more trophies. If 2017 rolls around and the Saints are like,”Drew Brees is shot, our cap situation is fucked and we don’t have a 3rd, 4th, and 5th round pick.” but they have another Lombardi Trophy and two Super Bowl trips I’m totally fine with it.
Saints Nation: After winning the Super Bowl, how do you feel about the 2010 and 2011 seasons overall?
Ralph: The Saints went 24-8 and didn’t lose at home in 2011. They fought their guts out against the Niners and had a heartbreaking loss but in 2009 they got great breaks against the Vikings and Colts.
They tried to upgrade DT (Rogers, Franklin) but it didn’t work out. As a Saints fan I want them to be in contention and not waste Drew Brees’ prime years. They haven’t.
Saints Nation: Anything else you want to communicate to Saints Nation’s 17 fans?
Ralph: This is going to sound really cliche and but enjoy the journey. This year I read columns and blog posts from guys I like who said, “I just want to skip December and start the playoffs.” I was like HELL NO. I want enjoy this killing machine Drew Brees is driving as many weeks as possible.
And also Andrew’s grades are the Tits. They always make me think about how I view certain players and he does drugs and midget dwarfs on gameday.
Finally, this offseason is going to be rough because the Saints are going to have to keep core guys and upgrade the defense. Really hard to do so try not to panic if Colston and Porter leave on the same day. This front office has a track record of being good and we haven’t had good players leave in a long time.
Don’t freak out and if August comes around and they don’t have any wrs then drink heavily.