Perhaps not content with their wiretapping report being stopped dead in its tracks by Louisiana state police, Outside the Lines and John Barr did the next best thing - a negative piece on suspended Saints coach Sean Payton. On Sunday morning OTL aired a profile looking at what could best be described as Sean Payton's dark side. The roughly 9 minute segment features no real news of any kind, but interviews with former players and coaches and a radio host talking about Payton's arrogance and heavy-handed dealings with the local New Orleans media. Here's the link to the segment for you to make your own judgments.
On its own merits... what's the point? After speculation over a media job, Payton has gone out of the public eye since his suspension. Furthermore, to say that Sean Payton is arrogant and difficult to deal with is hardly national news. It's no secret the man is not Doc Rivers. To try to paint Sean Payton as this purveyor of evil reeks of grasping at straws. John Barr could go to New England, Pittsburgh, and 20 other NFL cities and do the exact same report. You think Bill Belichick is bringing a six pack to hang out with the Patriots beat writers to watch Breaking Bad? You think Mike McCarthy is going out to Five Guys with reporters between practices? Please.
The only real "explosive" information in the segment is what Barr called a "threatening" phone call that came from the cell phone of Saints PR man Greg Bensel (who personally denied making the call) and accused Barr of being in New Orleans solely to dig up dirt on the franchise. Barr makes no mention about what was said in the "threatening" phone call or just how "threatening" it was, which is strange because someone close to the franchise threatening an ESPN reporter seems like it should be bigger news. It's just another bizarre step in ESPN's reporting around the Saints organization.no comments