I’m taking the 4th off…y’all just go ahead and continue the conversation as you wish. But I’ll at least drop another dime in the jukebox and play a song appropriate for a 21st century Dependence Day Celebration.
Well, no point in trying to get all cute and thematic this morning. The big news is pretty sad, and I don’t feel like making a joke out of it. Sean Payton has filed for divorce from his wife of 20 years.
I can’t think offhand of another NFL figure who has gone from such a high high to such a desperately low low in so short a period of time. Super Bowl champion; lauded for maybe the gutsiest call in the big game’s history; best-selling author; session drummer. Payton had it all. And now? He’s disgraced, unemployed, and shortly to be homeless. (Well, only until he moves into his bachelor digs, which will still probably dwarf my house. But I wouldn’t trade places with him for that.)
This has been a year from hell. Payton—even if it turns out he really did bring all this misfortune on himself—must feel like Job. But unless he also has the faith of Job, I don’t see him making the kind of comeback Saints fans are hoping for in 2013. I mean, if all this happened to you, would you be the same person?
Maybe he’ll have a fire in the belly to re-prove himself. Or maybe he’ll be angry and bitter and reckless. Maybe he’ll call end-arounds on every fourth-and-short. Or maybe he’ll just be impossible to work with, and drive wedges between himself and the people around him.
Or not. But as this is the lowest point of the offseason, when there’s nothing left to do but speculate irresponsibly, I’m not going to let the rest of the blogosphere pass me by. No, sir. So here’s my irresponsible speculation: Sean Payton will never be the same coach after all this. He may be better, though I don’t see that happening. I rather think he will be more like Bill Parcells in his last coaching incarnation in Dallas: competent, but hardly the same fiery, driven monomaniac he was during his Super Bowl years. Payton may have recapitulated Parcells’ career (even the divorce) at double speed.
In fact, it would not surprise me now if Payton doesn’t come back. He may well feel so burnt-out following all this that he resigns as Saints coach, takes a few years off to golf and play bongoes and generally go to seed, then make a half-speed comeback with some needy team that doesn’t do a proper job of psychological vetting. Then, for a few years, every time there’s a coaching vacancy his name will pop up, but nothing will come of it; and a couple decades from now the NFL Holographic Network will do a show on “The Top Ten Coaching Disappearances,” and Payton will come in at #6.
Onward. Seems there are some folks in the NFL who aren’t too thrilled at Drew Brees’ golden boy status. Well, haters gon hate. I should know, they say that often enough about me. Because I say things like this:
Why in the world would the Atlanta Falcons want to “better showcase Matt Ryan’s skills“? Isn’t that a pretty good description of what happened to them in New York last January—albeit unintentionally? And weren’t they outscored by their own defense? Call me a hater, but I just don’t see this working. So I’m all for it.
And finally, SaintsWin has a timeline of this entire offseason from hell. If there’s anything you forgot about, go take a look and refresh your memory. It’s bound to sell more drinks.
On the Jukebox
This is for you, Sean. Lighten up. Laughter helps.