By Travis Stahl
Did you hear that New Orleans Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis lights to kill puppies? And Saints head coach Sean Payton enjoys throwing rocks at nuns. There is also an unconfirmed rumor that former Saints defensive coordinator Greg Williams was fond of bullying school girls until they cried. None of these are true of course, but we’re at the point now with the Saints that we would believe just about anything we heard. Monday the story broke that Loomis had listening devices placed on opponents sidelines. This train just keeps wrecking.
Until Loomis and Payton teamed up in New Orleans the team was the laughing stock of the NFL. We’re not that far removed from an era when Saints fans wore paper bags on their heads with regularity and the team was referred to as the Aints. Everybody rooted for the Saints though as the team was viewed as the ultimate underdog who would never see success. When Payton was hired to turn the team around, which he did quickly, everybody was more than happy to see the Saints win. Looking back though now, we see the price that was paid for victory was pretty steep.
The Saints managed to transform themselves from lovable loser, to Super Bowl champions, to the dirtiest team in professional sports. That’s a heck of a turnaround in a short amount of time. What the Saints are amassing here blows the Patriots spygate scandal out of the water. As more information continues to leak out about just how badly this team behaved it becomes more and more shameful for the city. The Saints were viewed as the saviors of the city after Hurricane Katrina, not any more. Even though the team’s fans are diligently sticking by their Saints, this has to hurt.
These new revelations about spying on the opposing teams probably means Loomis is done with the Saints. He was already serving an eight-game suspension for this upcoming season but that is probably at the very least going to be lengthened to a full year. The Saints version of spygate allegedly occurred before Payton was hired so at the very least he is in the clear on this deal.
It’s obvious to see the effects of these decisions written in the media everyday but what gets overlooked is what is this going to do for the team on the field. Any day now there are going to be Saints players suspended for their roles in the bounty program. Quarterback Drew Brees still has not signed his contract offer from the team. At some point, all this cheating is going to take its toll on the players who are actually playing in the games. Every year there are five teams that make the NFL play offs who weren’t in the year before. It would not be a stretch at all to see the Saints as a team that doesn’t make it in to the post season next year.