Don’t Be A Pamphilon, Bro

The 90 minute narcissistic diatribe of Sean Pamphilon on yesterday’s Sports Hangover in response to listener questions was teetering on the edge of torturous until “Sandusky guy” (AKA Darrell, in Mid City) called in.

Sandusky guy taking it to Pamphilon:

“Well, Sean, I’ll give you one thing, my brother, you’ve got guts. This is the second time I’ve heard you on the air so ill give you that. Other than that though, all the ….. and platitudes and all of that you’ve been doing… all the attempts to justify what you’ve done…I just remember the hurt in Steve Gleason’s voice when he made his statement, you know, and he felt like you had betrayed him and as far as I’m concerned what you did was pretty despicable, and you know all these claims that you’re making–that you didn’t do it to become famous and all this other stuff–listen, my brother, you have gained notoriety because of this and saying that you didn’t do it for that reason is really just an insult to our intelligence, because the simple fact of the matter is that no one had ever heard of you before this happened…definitely not as many people as have heard of you now and you didn’t make this public a week after you heard it or a month after you heard it…you waited until this bounty scandal was all over ESPN and all over the sports world before you made those things public…it was for maximum effect. You gained notoriety from it, and I find your actions despicable and I think that you coming on the air and trying to defend this stuff is beside me. And I know that you aren’t as low down of a human being as this guy that I am about to mention, it’s almost like Jerry Sandusky getting on the news and trying to justify what he did.”

The laughing ensues and everything Darrell had said got lost in the wash.

God damn it, Darrell. You had him. And then you allowed him to focus on the Sandusky reference and make you out to be a moron for the comparison and avoid in its entirety everything that you had said previously. Would have been better without it. Oh well. Pamphilon went on to talk about how Darrell is crazy for the reference and never addressed anything that Darrell had mentioned.

So, the Sandusky comparison…is it really that far off? (I AM NOT SAYING SEAN PAMPHILON IS A CHILD RAPIST!) Sandusky, no doubt is a monster in worse ways than Sean Pamphilon would ever be, but I can say that Sandusky robbing children of their dignity and their innocence is something that can be compared to what Pamphilon did to Steve Gleason. We’ve all seen the utterly helpless shell of a once vibrant man Steve Gleason has been reduced to. He is just as dependent on others as a child is on his parents, more so in some ways. And the one thing that Steve Gleason had left, that Sean Pamphilon stole from him, was his good name and reverent status among the Saints organization. Sean Pamphilon took the trust that was granted to Steve Gleason for the making of a documentary of his life , which was to be a sort of “gift” for his newborn son, and abused that trust to further his own agenda, gain notoriety for himself and his upcoming documentary, The United States of Football.

That is what went down.

Take away all of the surrounding circumstances, moral stances that Sean Pamphilon has taken, the influence of the NFLPA, Scott Fujita and Drew Brees and look at what actually occurred. Did the NFLPA ask Pamphilon to release the Williams tape to absolve players of wrongdoing and hid behind the “just following orders” escape strategy? I think it’s certainly plausible. Are Scott Fujita and Drew Brees Executive Members of the NFLPA? Yes. Does that make any of this ok? Fuck no. Did the one person whose opinion matters in this entire thing give his blessing for this tape to be released? Obviously not. If he had, we wouldn’t be talking about any of this in the first place. If you or I were making a documentary of a dying friend’s life so that his newborn son could have a  window into what kind of man his father was and someone came along and asked us to further their own interests by releasing parts of this private film, would you or I do it? I know I wouldn’t. And I would suspect that you, or any rational and empathetic human being wouldn’t as well.

Sean Pamphilon, you, sir, are a dick. Steve and Michel Gleason were the ones calling the shots on this and you disregarded their wishes and feelings for your own personal gain. You actually had the nerve to say, “Well, I was gonna sell it! At least I didn’t do that!” Fuck you.

When it comes down to it, I admit that I feel conflicted when I put myself in Sean Pamphilon’s shoes. He seems like a genuinely caring person who sees the bigger picture of CTE and the long term effects of football on players long after their playing days are in the rear view mirror. The conflict disappears though when I consider Sandusky guy’s comments and that Pamihilon’s release of this audio did nothing to advance the public’s perception of concussions and the long term trauma that football players endure. If that were the goal of his releasing this audio, it should have been in the context of his USOF film which would probably have had the blessing of Steve and Michel Gleason as well. If he’d done that, the justifications, rationalizations and minimizations wouldn’t be necessary in disturbingly lengthy blog posts and interviews by Pamphilon or anyone else.

I just read The Angry Who Dat’s interview with Sean Pamphilon and it makes me realize that this guy probably shouldn’t have been trusted from the get go to do this story on Gleason and that maybe the Gleasons should have checked him out a little better. Pamphilon admits in the interview that he was only privy to 3 team meetings throughout his year of semi-access to the Saints, and the dude released the audio from one of them. 33% of the inside information he learned was released to the media. He says he is nobody’s bitch, but that sure seems like a bitch move to me. A move like that will from now on be referred to as a pamphilon.

I didn’t trust him before learning this and trust him less now. He hints that he has more info that is going to be released at some point and that his United States of Football film will be of epic proportions. Well, why didn’t he just save the Gregg Williams audio for release in his USOF film?

The answer to that question seems pretty obvious at this point.

P-R-I-V-A-C-Y is priceless.

PERSPECTIVE

DREW BREES

“Me. Hook it up.”

Heard the interview on WWL with Drew Brees talking about his frustration with the Saints and the contract negotiations? Listen to it here. Really is a little depressing. Notably, Drew said:

“What’s frustrating on my end is the lack of communication. I know that we’ve reached out on quite a few occasions, and at times I know I’ve been frustrated by the lack of response.”


I don’t think the negotiation should have been this difficult.”

I don’t know what to think at this point. The longer this drags on, the more I am inclined to think that the Saints should become a little more flexible in their stance. We’ve got like 17 linebackers under contract. Will Herring being one of them. He may have hit lots of home runs in the charity softball game this week, but that’s more than he’s done while wearing a Saints uniform. There is dead wright on the roster that can be cleaned up in the future to make extra cap room for Drew’s future numbers. I am of the belief that Drew’s cap number for this season will be less than his $16.6M cap number playing under the franchise tag.

All in all, if what Drew said on the radio the other night is true, stop playing this game of chicken and start talking again. I don’t care who is right or who is screwing up the negotiations. Just get the god damn deal done. Period.

JONATHAN VILMA LAWSUIT

Coming to a courtroom near you: Vilma vs. Goodell

Maybe the lawsuit filed by Vilma against Roger Goodell violates the CBA and maybe it doesn’t. We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out. Article 43 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement states:

“Any dispute (hereinafter referred to as a ‘grievance’) arising after the execution of this Agreement  and involving the interpretation of, application of, or compliance with, any provision of this Agreement, the NFL Player Contract, the Practice Squad Player Contract, or any applicable provision of the NFL Constitution and Bylaws or NFL Rules pertaining to the terms and conditions of employment of NFL players, will be resolved exclusively in accordance with the procedure set forth in this Article, except when another method of dispute resolution is set forth elsewhere in this Agreement.”

If Vilma was merely suing Goodell for suspending him, this clause would seem to cover Goodell’s ass and keep this out of the courtroom, but that’s not Vilma’s claim. Vilma is suing Goodell personally for defamation of character, alleging that Goodell went out of his way to lie, misrepresent facts, and intentionally tarnish his reputation with the intention of swaying public perception into the league’s corner as it concerns the allegations against Vilma and the Saints. If you’re a Saints fan and you’ve paid any attention to the sentiments of fans throughout the league and the media covering this shit storm, you’ve noticed that they have all been eating the cheese that has been spoon-fed to them by Goodell and the league at large. Even local reporters covering the Saints, namely Jeff Duncan, have started referring to the Saints fans (who have been vocal about calling the NFL and Goodell on their shenanigans) as delusional, tin-foil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorists. (It’s one thing to cover the Saints with an unbiased perspective and another to demean the readers who butter your bread…but this is a rant for another place and time.)

In my opinion, this move by Vilma and his attorney can’t hurt matters. How can it get any worse for Vilma? He’s already been shut down for the year, is going to lose out on millions of dollars, has had his name dragged through the mud, and will forever be the face of this whole scandal. So what’s he got to lose?

ROGER GOODELL 

“Why wouldn’t you trust me?”

This was the NFL’s official response yesterday to Vilma’s lawsuit:

“We have not yet reviewed the filing. However, our commitment to player safety and the integrity of the game is our main consideration. We recognize that not everyone will agree with decisions that need to be made.”

Stop with the payer safety schtick already. You really aren’t fooling anybody. When the player suspensions were issued, NFLPA President Dominque Foxworth had this to say in regards to player safety and the notion that it’s the league leading the charge for player safety:

“Over the years, it has been the players who’ve fought the league to make changes to the prevailing attitudes about health and safety in football. We led the change in the way concussions are addressed; successfully opposed 18-game seasons; demanded a change in the NFL’s leadership on brain trauma research and prevention; created new benefits for cognitive injury; shortened and limited contact in practices; created a better injury protection benefit and a $100 million health and safety research fund. We continue to fight the NFL in 500 workers compensation cases.”


Just stop it, NFL. Stop pretending like you could give two squirts of piss about anything more than the dollars you are making hand over fist. If you were so benevolent and cared about player safety, you wouldn’t have been fighting against the benefits players were seeking throughout the negotiations of the last CBA. You wouldn’t still be lobbying for an 18-game season. And most of all, you would have listened when current and former players cried out saying that bounty programs are as commonplace in the NFL as PEDs were in baseball during the steroid era, and not just scapegoated the Saints.

FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE

That’s what I’ve got.

Faith in the players and coaches that are left to fight.

Hope for the 2012 Saints season.

And nothing but L-O-V-E for my city, its team and its fans.

WE GOT THIS

Look around the landscape of the NFL and ask yourself how many teams you would you rather be a fan of heading into the 2012 season. The NFC South? L-O-fucking-L! NFC West? Not much there other than the 49ers and Alex Smith, who I am confident will slump after that freakish streak of good luck last year. NFC East? The Giants just overachieved their way to a Championship. Good for them. I’d take this Saints roster in a heartbeat over Eli Manning and company any day of the week. That leaves the North. Yeah, Green Bay is good and I always have found it hard to hate them, with the exception of that smug discount double check motherfucker. He can go fly a kite.


No disrespect to the good teams of the AFC, and there are a few in Baltimore, New England, Pittsburgh, and Houston (Denver has every right to think they are going to be great with Peyton Manning this year but I’m going to have to wait to see them on the field before I crown them as the team to beat.) but I am a Saints fan and an NFC guy. Besides, 3 straight Superbowls have been won by the NFC team and until that changes, the NFC is obviously where it’s at.

MEDIA CIRCUS

Honestly, the reason I even started writing this blog was because of the complete and utter douche baggery of the “writers” and “journalists” out there giving each other e-high-fives on twitter and facebook for the “articles” they have written where they parrot each others’ nonsensical bullshit and tow the company line of the NFL; feigning outrage about something like a pay for performance program existing in the NFL and acting like football isn’t a game that always has been a bunch of jacked up motherfuckers on the field trying to hit each other as hard as possible with the intention of instilling the fear of God into their opponents as a means of ultimately achieving their goal. That being said, it will probably get worse before it gets better. Once the player suspensions are handed down, there will be a whole new round of Jeff Duncan requesting a reach around from Peter King. My only hope is that once Training Camp starts this will become nothing but a background story to the actual happenings of football.


WE DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS

Especially this year. I hope Drew Brees breaks his own passing yards record in Atlanta in a blowout game that ends with a sack fumble where Big Sed rips Matt Ryan’s head off and shits down his neck. I hope Roman Harper mauls Steve Smith on the first play from scrimmage and relentlessly keeps it up for the entire game. Josh Freeman’s trash talking ass better keep his head on a swivel because Malcolm Jenkins is looking for him.

Remember this from Zach Strief?

“This season is going to take on an us-versus-the-world mentality. The perception at this point is not very positive with us. We’ve worked very hard, I know as players, to gain respect, not only as a good team but as a good group of guys. that perception will go completely out the window now, and I think that’ll kind of be a rallying cry for us. It will give us a chance to come closer together than we’ve ever been and say, ‘Look, nobody even wants us to win anymore, and we’re going to win for each other, for coach Payton and Mickey and the guys that essentially took this fall.'”

Look out. As if this team wasn’t scary enough before they had extra motivation.


OFFENSE

There will be no drop off. This is Drew’s baby. His show. Every single player on this offense under Drew has done his job at a consistently at a high level for years. This isn’t me acting like a little boy scared of the dark whistling to keep up my flagging spirits. This is the truth. This is fact. Anyone who watched just the playoff loss last year saw an offense that overcame tremendous adversity (some self inflicted); an offense that had punched their ticket to the NFC Championship game only to have their dreams dismantled by the sheer stupidity and arrogance of Gregg Williams and his idiotic blitz and man coverage schemes.

DREW BREES CONTRACT

Will get done. Does anyone actually believe that Brees will end up sitting out the year or that Loomis is too stupid to get the deal done? With any and everything that may be questionable for the coming season, this is the one thing I am not worried about. Read Drew’s book if you haven’t, and if you have, read it again. One thing he was adamant about was not letting your competition see the field. No matter how any of us feel about Chase Daniel’s ability to win games or even make completions matters little. Drew knows that he loses ground in his bargaining position if Daniel takes wins just a few games. The deal will get done. Period.

DEFENSE

Excitement. That’s what I feel when I contemplate the new look of the defense. I was tired of seeing blitzes that never got home, Malcolm Jenkins left covering the whole field, the Shanle always being “around” the play, Roman Harper at the line of scrimmage, and so on  and so forth. Not a Sunday went by where I didn’t say to myself, “Oh, look! Our corners are playing twelve yards off! Woo-hoo! Another blitz coming!”

The hype of Steve Spagnuolo coming in to take the reins of this defense may have been overshadowed immensely by the wake of Gregg Williams’ shenanigans but that doesn’t mean that he will be any less pivotal to the success of the Saints moving forward into the upcoming season. Looking at his resume’ from the last time he was a defensive coordinator, there is no denying that this guy lights a fire under his players and gets them to play as one cohesive unit. With the linebacking additions to this Saints team, there is no longer such a glaring deficiency. The word coming from Spags’ former players is that they love playing for the guy. No reason to think it would be any different at this juncture.

All defensive players are programmed from the time they pick up the game to kill. To hit their opponents harder and harder with each shot. There has never been anything wrong with laying someone out with a legal “kill shot” until this whole mess started. If players weren’t happy about the picture being painted of our defensive mindset, would we have signed 4 big free agents on that side of the ball? Didn’t think so.

3 new linebackers (finally.) Bunkley and his glorious neck. Martez Wilson in his second year. Romeus actually seeing some action. This will be the year that we find out whether it’s been talent or scheme that has been the problem with the D.

JOE VITT

The general consensus seems to be that he is a moron, can’t coach and that it’s a huge mistake to hand the team over to him considering his upcoming suspension. We’ve all heard numerous rumors about the plan for the interim interim head coach who will take his place during the suspension. As of yesterday, the latest rumor is that Aaron Kromer, offensive line coach and running game coordinator, will be sliding into the role of head coach during Vitt’s 6 week hiatus. Sounds good to me. There’s a lot of discussion about things like continuity and leadership and player respect going on around the topic of switching coaches. Well, when the story originally broke about Bill Parcells’ interest in coaching the team in Payton’s absence, it was reported that there was a meeting of coaches and nobody wanted to volunteer for the job. Carmichael said he wanted to focus solely on the offensive game plan. Spagnuolo said he hadn’t even installed his defense and wasn’t up to it. Kromer said that he wouldn’t lobby for the job. So, with Parcells wanting to keep his free time focused on bleaching his hair something had to be done.

Vitt will maintain order up until the regular season starts and then pass the torch to Kromer. No biggee. I don’t think there’s much that Kromer won’t be willing to do. He told Olin Kreutz to pack his bags last year and demoted Carl Nicks to second team for not playing all out in practice during training camp. Anyone think this guy doesn’t have what it takes to keep the ship from sinking for 6 weeks? After that, he gives it back to Vitt who apparently knows where all the bodies are buried in this organization having been the assistant head coach throughout his tenure here. Apparently he is well respected and often, in his role as assistant head coach, has made a habit of giving Saturday night speeches to the whole team. And, you know what? Fuck it. He’s Payton’s guy and if Payton thinks he’s the guy to be runnin’ thangs, so be it.


WE GOT THIS


Seriously.

Offseason Blues

Well, there’s no denying that the Saints have made this an off season to remember. Drew Brees’ contract – or lack thereof. The NFL “releasing” the information about the bounty scandal right at the start of Free Agency. The suspensions of Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis and Joe Vitt. Signing Marques Colston to a bargain contract. Carl Nicks? Who’s that? Hello, Ben Grubbs. Broderick Bunkley’s neck is here to give Roman Harper’s a run for its money. Lofton, Hawthorne, Chamberlain…we got this. Then the Bill Parcells drama. Big Tuna in the Big Easy!!! Squeeeeee!!!!! The appeals and the suspensions being upheld. “We didn’t need the distraction of Parcells anyway.” And so it continues…

And here we are, a couple weeks out from the draft and I couldn’t be more ambivalent about the upcoming season. Half of me buys into the “it’s us against the world” mentality that led the Patriots to their undefeated, yet ultimately disappointing, season that followed the Spygate fiasco. The other half of me wants to go outside, look up, and make sure the sky is still there. So that’s how I feel and I’m certain it’s not just me. In the face of all the destruction facing this franchise throughout this off season, moves have been made that have been the  fantasies of many a Saints fan’s wet dreams since the Dome Patrol Era. What we need now is a sense of normalcy.

Drew Brees. This guy has been priority #1 since the loss to the 49ers but still remains unsigned. I have faith that this deal will get done before the situation reaches a critical mass. There is no reason to believe that Loomis, a man who has stated that he will be out of a job if he fails to sign Brees, cannot make this happen. Look at his record. Loomis hasn’t let a single player get away that we wanted to keep, much less someone of Drew Brees’ caliber. That’s good enough for me. If that’s not good enough for you, cool. Keep on keeping on with the “Drew Brees is greedy and needs to shut up and eat a Jimmy John’s!” and “Loomis is a moron. He should pay Brees whatever he wants!” nonsense if it makes you sleep better at night.

Head coach. I don’t care. I really don’t. Sure, it would have been nice to have Bill Parcells come in here for a year to win a Superbowl with his padawan’s team, but such is life. Not happening. We’ll be fine. Take a look at what we’ve got. Carmichael and Spagnuolo will do their job. Our team was showing up to organized workouts during the lockout last year. So let Joe Vitt be an extension of Payton through the preseason followed by 6 weeks on the beach before he takes the reins back from whoever handles press conferences and throws red flags in his absence.

Get those two things settled and we can tell ESPN to shove that SAINTS banner on their ticker where it belongs. Jeff Duncan will be out of garbage to spew and won’t be able to retweet Peter King or Mike Florio tweeting a link to some drivel he wrote bashing the Saints because he will return to his usual state of mediocrity and irrelevance.