Sean Payton was your typical unassuming NFL head coach until an onside kick in the Super Bowl catapulted him and the New Orleans Saints to a Lombardi Trophy. The team quickly went from lovable underdog to one of the most feared offenses in league history.
Payton went from a fresh-faced rookie head coach in 2006 to the leader of the world champs three years later. He helped ignite a city that had faced horrible devastation outside the walls of the legendary Super Dome.
However, despite all he's done for New Orleans and the Saints organization, Sean Payton needs to be marched out of town for allowing the public relations disaster known as "Bountygate" to take place.
The bounty scandal has put a black eye on a organization that's done a great deal to repair their image over the last decade. It wasn't long ago that this franchise was the laughing stock of the league before Drew Brees arrived in the Big Easy. Now, the team has received a harsh ruling from Commissioner Goodell, and their brilliant head coach is suspended for the entire season.
Sean Payton can deny it all he wants, but pretending like he had nothing to do with the bounty program is the equivalent of a parent denying it's their fault their kid acts like Junior from Problem Child. Payton might not have participated, but he was aware of the bounty program's existence and obviously did nothing to stop it.
Actively attempting to hurt an opposing player ruins the game and is downright disgusting. Because of Payton's success, he'll most likely remain the head coach of the Saints until the team stops performing on the field.
Who's to blame for Bountygate?
So explain to me how attempting to seriously harm an opposing player for money is any different than an underachieving 4-12 season? Both are examples of players and coaches not performing to the best of their abilities, either physically or morally, and both should land you a gig on FOX's pregame show sitting between JB and Terry.
Things don't work like that in sports though. Teams turn a blind eye to your behavior if you put butts in the seats. Let's hope the next time a scandal like this happens in sports, the team's front office will have the guts to clean house and show their fans that they don't support idiotic behavior like this.
I guess they're used to that stuff in New Orleans. Just walk down Bourbon Street at 3 a.m. Unfortunately, Sean Payton doesn't have Hurricanes from Pat O'Brien's to blame his behavior on.