Yesterday, I facetiously wrote that not much new was going on, Saints-wise. Today, I can write the same thing with a straight face, because it’s true. Every day can’t have bombshells.
Mickey Loomis gave his side of the Drew Brees negotiations yesterday. Wasn’t much more than you should expect; but for what it’s worth, I believe he’s sincere. He wants Brees badly; yet he’s under a lot of pressure to make a deal that doesn’t mortgage the entire future. I could have told you that, but not quite in Mickey’s tone of frustrated desperation.
“I feel with him. He wants to be here right now. I want him to be here right now. We’ll work hard to get that accomplished” he said. “Drew loves the Saints and we love Drew.”
And, Mike Florio gave an interview in Houston and is apparently on the Saints’ side now. Here’s the money quote:
“You know, anything the NFL does going forward, I’m gonna take a skeptical eye and I’m gonna force them to prove that what they’re doing is right.”
The link comes via BlackAndGold.com, and what I’d like to do now is address one aspect of what will soon be called Goodellgate, a small but nagging meme that even Saints fans are keeping alive. Here’s how it’s put by one of the commenters there, in response to another comment wondering why Goodell hates the Saints so much:
They lied to him. Just like Con Vick. They were told to stop and they didn’t. But the dude went overboard.
There is no evidence the Saints—Payton, Loomis, Vitt, anybody—lied to the NFL. Supposedly, they were warned after the Super Bowl that there was evidence of a performance pool, and they’d better put a stop to it. The implication was: stop it now, and we’ll just drop the whole thing.
The media narrative is that Payton and Loomis did nothing but go underground, lied to the league about it, and got caught by later evidence. In fact, as should be obvious from the player suspensions, the league has no hard evidence of any kind—not enough to pin on anyone, at any rate—of a continuing “bounty” program after the 2009 season. If Payton and Loomis told the league they’d tamped down the problem, they were in all likelihood telling the perfect truth. Which would explain Payton’s anguished reaction to his suspension. (But not the way he bent over and took it like a bitch. Sean, you need to talk to Vilma’s lawyers.)
Someone, of course, is lying in all of this. My money is on the man who gets paid by the NFL to lie with a bland, straight face whenever told to: Roger Goodell. I just wish Saints fans would get over this worship of authority figures.