New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is one of the best in the business. He’s a Super Bowl winner and one of the longest-tenured head coaches in the game. But he can also be a whiny little—well, he can behave like a spoiled brat.
Take the Saints’ recent 48-46 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Payton went for two after an early touchdown and a late one but missed both conversion attempts. After the game, during a visit to the local grocery store, Payton was questioned about the decisions by the butcher.
His response was not exactly polite, via Katherine Terrell of The Athletic:
I’ve got the guy at Rouses, or at freaking Whole Foods, asking me about the freaking two-point play. I looked at him, the guy from the meat section. I said. ‘Hey, your steaks don’t look too good right now, worry about your freaking meat.’ Driving me crazy.
An ESPN article describes a more civil exchange, but this is not the only time Payton has acted in such a manner.
Longtime Saints fans are likely not shocked about the story since it isn’t the first time they have heard Payton sound off after a loss.
Here are five more times Sean Payton succumbed to his more childish impulses.
In Week 14 of the 2017 season, the Falcons eked out a 20-17 win against the Saints. New Orleans may have mounted a comeback, if not for a penalty on Sean Payton. It seems that, while trying to call a timeout, he said a few things to the ref that the official didn’t appreciate:
I called a timeout, and then he asked me again, and I said I have already called a timeout….probably said it with a little more vigor then I was supposed to, but I had enough. I have to be smarter than that.
But admitting to his own mistake didn’t stop him from attacking the officiating.
Just one month later, after taking the lead during the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, Payton mimicked the Vikings Skol clap on the sideline.
He admitted to it when asked, but the Vikings got the last laugh in that game anyway. Karma?
It seems 2017 was a remarkably bratty season for Sean Payton. After the Saints lost a Week 17 game to the Buccaneers 31-24, Tampa Bay head coach Dirk Koetter tried to talk to Payton. The conversation didn’t go well:
After learning that Jones had reserved the bottle – a magnum of Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2007- at St. Elmos Steak House, Payton talked the staff to giving him the bottle – the last one the restaurant had in stock.
He left the empty for Jones with an inscription:
Who Dat! World Champions XLIV, Sean Payton
Funny? Yes. Bratty? Absolutely.
Sean Payton had every right to be angry after the Saints lost out on a chance to go to the Super Bowl last season when the officials infamously blew a pass interference call at the end of the game.
So at his season-ending press conference, Payton appeared to be wearing the Roger Goodell “clown shirt” made famous by then-Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia in 2015:
It isn’t hard to find mentions of Sean Payton being bratty (but with more colorful language) online. But, in all fairness, isn’t the behavior part of the job? Head coaches should advocate for their players at all times and do whatever it takes within the confines of the rules to win games.
Payton’s detractors tend to come out of the woodwork when he does one of those two things—and then beats their teams. Since he does have a Super Bowl victory to his name and has the Saints looking like a contender this year, he must be doing something right.
This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth for CCN.com. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or Rights and Duties of the Editor, or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us and we will look at it as soon as possible.
Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:40 PM UTC