Let's just say a couple of feisty New Orleans City Council members weren't willing to take the Atlanta mayor's snide remarks about the New Orleans Saints sitting down.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms got in the first zinger last week, when she was asked what teams she hoped would make it the Super Bowl, to be played in Atlanta on Feb. 3.
“Just anybody other than the Saints,” Bottoms said. “I know there’s going to be a bounty on my head for saying that, but if it can’t be the Falcons then, hey, as long as it’s not the Saints then I’m happy.”
On Tuesday, New Orleans City Councilman Jay Banks rushed to the defense of his home team, implying that the mayor is just sore because the Falcons blew a 25-point lead and lost to the New England Patriots in the 2017 Super Bowl.
“I’m sorry she feels that way. We would welcome them here,” Banks said. “At the end of the day they shouldn’t be mad at us that they suck.
“It’s not our fault that they choked."
The humiliation of that loss will likely be front and center during this year’s Super Bowl, which many prognosticators predict could end up featuring the Saints and the Patriots.
“That’s got to be hard for them either way,” Banks said.
Unlike their longtime rivals the Saints, the Falcons have never won a Super Bowl, also coming up short in their first bid when they faced the Denver Broncos in 1999.
“I get it that the green monster of jealousy is raging," Banks said. "They do not have a trophy and won’t be getting one anytime soon.”
Of course, it’s not just Super Bowls the Falcons have trouble winning. Their record for this season was 7-9, including two losses to the Saints.
“We will win there,” Banks said. “They should be happy that someone’s winning there. They can’t.”
Councilman Joe Giarrusso also got in on the act, taking a moment out of a Public Works Committee meeting Tuesday to let Bottoms know to be ready for New Orleans.
“I think I can say on behalf of the whole council: Mayor Bottoms, we expect to see you in a couple of weeks,” Giarrusso said.
Before heading to Atlanta, though, the Saints will have to defeat the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC championship game, which starts just after 2 p.m. Sunday.
Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints (NFC Championship)
While all in good fun, Banks said the day’s verbal sparring should be a lesson to those who would denigrate the Saints.
“You’re not going to throw bricks at the Saints and not expect a boulder to come back,” he said.
One politician remained quiet on Tuesday, however: New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.