Sean Payton's move to Dallas is still the talk of New Orleans. Remember back on January 21st when I commented on how quiet the Saints' offseason was and asked for your craziest guess as to what out-of-nowhere news would break through and slap us in the face? No? That's OK. I don't read my stuff either. Well, I think this "Payton moves to Dallas" news qualifies as something none of us saw coming.
Jeff Duncan writes that this move opens our coach up to criticism that will surely diminish his popularity in New Orleans. Maybe it's premature to say that, but to announce it on the one-year anniversary of the greatest day in Saints history seems like a bad move. Surely, the Paytons could have handled this a little better. The crazy rumors on Sunday about Payton becoming the Cowboys' new GM probably made matters worse. If not for that startling prelude to the story, maybe the news would not have been received with the same level of shock.
The turmoil in New Orleans over this must be substantial because Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis, and Tom Benson all released statements today to quell the fires. Payton's 'Play it Forward' foundation also released this statement:
The Payton's are still connected to the city and its people and will have a residence in NOLA as well.. All of us have a place in our hearts that we want to retire in. For them it's Dallas. With a daughter getting ready to go into high school this was the time to make that decision. They have been there for that city and donated over 1.2 million to help and will continue to. Hope everyone will come to support their family decision and dreams and just be appreciative for what they do. I know their hearts and it is frustrating to hear people judging them on what they don't know. Home Team is an incredible book about the journey ALL of you have been through and his heart for that city and that team is not diminished by a move
Not sure how this should make worried Saints fans feel better. The last part seems more like a book plug. I think many would agree that Payton has the right to live wherever he wants and he can certainly afford to do so. But, the choice of Dallas has many already seeing a blue star on his jacket and visor. Now that Payton resides in the same city as Jerry Jones, it reminds me of Emperor Palpatine standing behind Anakin Skywalker and quietly whispering, "Give yourself to the Dark Side." It seems only a matter of time before Payton is wearing a black helmet and apparently suffering from some sort of respiratory disease.
This may turn out to be much ado about nothing, but it's sure to be the main topic of discussion around the Saints for the foreseeable future.