By Ryan Chauvin
No sports story in the history of my fandom of the New Orleans Saints (which, for the record, does go farther back than 2006, but whatever) has made me feel more like an unstable mental patient than this undying saga about whether or not the Saints actually employed bounties. There are days I’m amused (Vilma sued the Commissioner!) depressed (Scott Fujita, one of the nicest men on the planet, who even after he left New Orleans, spent a large chunk of his Super Bowl check on NOLA charities), enraged (Vilma sued the commissioner!), but most of all I’m confused. The drama surrounding the Saints has been indicative of the fall of the American media.
It seems that this story has brought out every sanctimonious tendency in American sports journalism. Every few weeks, when the Commissioner carefully drops another breadcrumb, reporters from everywhere have another excuse to rehash why they are so disappointed. Sure, Mike Freeman and Pete Prisco at CBS Sports have certainly led the way in this self-righteous crusade, but they aren’t alone. But despite all the handwringing about how wrong the Saints are in all of this, there has been a significant lack of true investigative journalism and unbiased reporting. Instead we’re getting a pure recitation of NFL press releases.
Freeman has taken to the word arrogant to describe the Saints recently, and while that might have had a part in Sean Payton’s demise, it’s time to acknowledge that arrogance has been the driving force behind every stakeholder in this little shindig.
Let’s begin by focusing on the very center of this storm: Roger Goodell.
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