The Sports Daily > The Saints Nation
Saints Nation: ESPN Has A Bounty Out on the Saints

Will the ridiculousness of this offseason ever stop? I just want the Saints to quietly go about their offseason with the general public showing little interest. Instead, the Saints are making national news what feels like every other day. Of course you’ve heard about the latest scandal that ESPN has concocted with “anonymous sources” alleging that Mickey Loomis is guilty of eavesdropping on other teams. I have no idea if this is true or false. But I have serious doubts ESPN, or anyone, will ever be able to prove this even if it were true. And I’m not at all convinced it is. If you follow Saints Nation on twitter you know by now how I feel about this. But one thing is clear to me about all this: ESPN is out for blood and they will stop at nothing to conjure up as many incriminating stories as they can possibly place on the Saints. Why? Because the Saints are fragile and ESPN preys on the weak, and they are desperate for web hits and ratings. Nothing boosts your listening crowd like a good old fashioned scandal.

Doesn’t this timing feel the slightest bit odd to you? ESPN is the only one who will even TOUCH this story. Their anonymous “sources” won’t reveal themselves for fear reprisals? Really? Are the Saints putting out hits on people now too?

I actually wondered if Sean Pamphilon could be the source here, too, but then I realized he would NEVER, under ANY circumstance, be the whistler blower. You see, his moral code stops him from alerting authorities of wrong doing, it only demands him to pile on. So if he has evidence, we should be worried, because now his moral clause kicks in as the story has broke. But I digress. If these actions happened in 2002 through 2004, why are they coming to light now? It seems quite convenient that on the heels of “bountygate” and Mickey Loomis suffering an 8 game suspension this story would break. Even if this story is true, you have to question the source’s motives to break this story while the iron is hot. You’ll also remember, ESPN pleaded for Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton both to be fired. You have to wonder since they’ve not yet gotten their wish if they’ll stop at nothing to further their cause. Right, wrong or otherwise, ESPN has it in for the Saints. Some of you might be thinking to yourselves while reading this “it’s not ESPN’s fault the Saints are run by a lying, cheating and dirty front office”. That’s a fair way to feel. But ESPN also has a responsibility to go with stories that have factual evidence. “Anonymous sources” is just not the proper way you try to cut a franchise off at it’s knees. Let’s face it, the Saints are in a very fragile state right now. They cannot afford for more like this to go public. The black eye they’ve already suffered is a dark cloud that will hover over the organization for many seasons to come. I may always be brought up in conjunction with the Super Bowl title. I do think this is a miscalculated effort to take out the Saints with one swift blow, though. The story just doesn’t have enough legs to back up the claims. Not yet, at least. And now, the Saints are vehemently denying these accusations in an effort to shift the ball back into ESPN’s court. I don’t see where ESPN goes from here, unless they either reveal their sources or they find new sources to corroborate their story. Oh, and by the way, anonymous won’t work this time. I mean a real, legit source, with an actual name. Otherwise, lawsuits are coming their way in a hurry.

One thing is for sure, the Saints better be squeaky clean from here on out, because ESPN has made it clear: if there’s dirt, we will find it. I actually feel slight relief that none of this happened on Sean Payton’s watch. At the very least it something he doesn’t need to worry about. It’s been a rollercoaster couple of months for New Orleans sports in general and it doesn’t seem to have an end in sight as we’re still sitting here waiting for Goodell to slap hard suspensions on numerous defensive players. 

I will say, I found it very interesting that the Saints signed John Kasay to a one year contract today. That’s kind of off topic, but kind of not. You’ll remember the Saints also signed Broderick Bunkley the day the penalties were announced, including a one year suspension of Sean Payton. In both cases I thought there was a subtle message being sent to both the league and the local fans. It loud and clear to me that “we’re not going to let anything stop us” and “regardless of what’s going on, we’re business as usual focused on trying to win and improve”. I love that message, despite the fact that it’s in a way an “FU” to both ESPN and the NFL for diffusing their “news” with their own signings. I just hope they’re not saving the Drew Brees announcement for the grand finale, but then again I could easily see it coming the same day the player suspensions get announced (which by the way would be when the Saints have more cap room, just saying…). 

As for this ESPN story, no need to get worked up or worried about it. Yet, anyway.