Monday, 02 April 2012 10:52

Did Payton, New Orleans Saints Fail In Handling Success

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payton2blueMike Freeman threw Saints coach Sean Payton "under the bus" in his recent column in He will not get an invitation to the coach's next fund-raiser party.

Freeman writes that through a variety of league sources say the phasering of the Saints franchise by Roger Goodell is as much about Payton and the Saints as it is about the commissioner attempting to change the NFL's ways from the old days of headhunting and bounties to a modern sport that is more civilized and less dangerous.


Write Freeman: "To the NFL, and to almost everyone in football not within the state of Louisiana, Payton has been the most arrogant man in the sport for the past several years. The league warned him about his association with felonious skunk Michael Omstein, who has been convicted of fraud. Payton mostly ignored them. Later, the NFL determined Omstein actually placed a bounty bet.

The writer notes that when a lawsuit by the team's former head of security, an ex-FBI agent, alleged there was a cover-up of Vicodin abuse. That the coach's name eventually surfaced as part of the legal action. He denied any wrongdoing and the league rolled its eyes.

That the Saints were getting out of control, and to the NFL, Payton has been the reason.

Writes Freeman: "Payton has been able to act with impunity and great arrogance because of the market he's in. The city of New Orleans, one of the greatest on the planet -- has suffered greatly with a long line of losers going back decades that caused fans to cover their heads with paper bags and stick their faces in them to hyperventilate.

"Fans don't care if Payton berates reporters with loads of foul language or bans them from covering practice (which is against NFL rules) or has Vicodin issues or is sued by the former head of security. They don't care if Payton was a bully. He won. He brought them a Super Bowl. That's all that matters to fans."

Payton berating reporters? Payton a bully? That's news to me.

Freeman notes that Payton is becoming out of control in an somewhat isolated media market,

True, News Orleans isn't a major media market like New York where the media hammers players and coaches when they lose. Like Buddy D used to do with the Saints.

The writer wrote that he knew Payton when he was an offensive assistant coach with the Giants when he was a nerd.

He thinks the power in New Orleans has changed Payton into something different and that difference, in his opinion, is what allowed the culture of the bountygate to grow.

Freeman thinks every team in the league should use Payton and the Saints as an instructional video of how not to handle success.

It took a lot of years for the Saints to enjoy this success even though they have gone from the toast of the league to just plain toast. Pass the jam.

The Appeals

When NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he would expedite Sean Payton's appeal he meant it.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that hearings for Payton and GM Mickey Loomis will occur on Tuesday. The appeals were filed on Friday.

Goodell said last week that if Payton appeals, both the hearing and decision will be expedited to the extent that the appeal would extra time for draft preparations and/or Tuna fishing, Payton may not get much time at all.

All Saints appeals will be heard this week, including the appeal filed by assistant head/linebackers coach Joe Vitt and the appeal filed by the team.

SOME hither, others yon: Former Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey wants a retraction and an apology from NFL Network and the man who outed him as the whistleblower on the Saints bountygate, NFLN analyst Warren Sapp. Shockey, a free agent, hasn't ruled out taking legal action.

AS THE TEBOW WORLD TURNS: Jimmy Fallon: " strip club in New York is offering Tim Tebow his first lap dance for free. It'll be the first time where the customer is the one who keeps yelling 'No touching.'"...The famous Carnegie Deli in New York has already named a sandwich after Tebow. They should also name one after his throwing motion -- the submarine. Or better, yet, maybe they should name one after Mark Sanchez, the Jets starting quarterback, the Po Boy...Could the Kentucky Wildcats beat the NBA Washington Wizards? They couldn't beat the Wizards if they played 100 games at Rupp Arena...

by Ed Staton

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