The last time the Falcons and Saints played, way back on Dec. 7, was an important moment in this long, regional rivalry. In the course of the Falcons victory, one quite controversial (an indispensable word in the rivalry lexicon), Saints coach Sean Payton turned into an absolute jackwagon. He clutched his throat, making a choke sign in the direction of Falcons running back Devonta Freeman. He later charged onto the field like a rabid jackal trying to get a timeout, but instead drew a penalty that doomed his team. Rather than condemn Payton for being a such a jerkwad we gather today to thank him. For the Falcons-Saints rivalry requires such events to keep it fresh, to remind us that Saint Hate is an emotion primary to those who identify as Falcons fans. A lot of people move into our sphere from somewhere else and have come late to the Falcons party. They need to know that if they are to fit in, New Orleans should be their primary focus of contempt. It’s not New England, regardless of its obsession with the numbers 28-3. It’s not Carolina, even as Cam Newton plans his next first-down gala celebration for when the Panthers come to town. It’s the Saints. Always the Saints. That is particularly important to keep in mind this weekend here on the verge of Sunday’s game in New Orleans. For this game has actual repercussions, not always the case. It hasn’t been since 2011 that the Falcons and Saints have met with a combined winning percentage this healthy (19-9, .679). The division hangs in the balance.