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New Orleans paper confirms Sean Payton, Joe Vitt as unnamed employees in Santini suit

We reported shortly after noon Saturday that coach Sean Payton and assistant head coach/linebackers coach Joe Vitt are the unnamed Saints employees to whom former director of security Geoffrey Santini’s lawsuit refers in connection with the alleged abuse and/or theft of Vicodin from the team drug locker.

Several hours later, after Payton issued a statement denying any abuse or theft of Vicodin, Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times Picayune reported the same thing — without, of course, crediting us. 

Ordinarily, we’d have no problem with writers or (more often) editors pretending not to notice something we have reported.  (After eight-plus years, we’ve sort of gotten numb to it.)  In this case, however, we suspect that the Times-Picayune knew damn well that Payton and Vitt were “Senior Staff Member A” and “Senior Staff Member B,” respectively, but didn’t have the guts to go with it until after Payton issued a denial.  (We’ll admit that we’re speculating on this specific point; if anyone from the Times-Pic wants to provide us with an official explanation regarding the reason for their decision not to credit us despite the fact that their report came four hours after ours, we’re all ears.)

Meanwhile, we’ve got to give credit where credit is due for, um, giving credit.  ESPN.com has expressly acknowledged that Payton’s statement came in response to our report, an admirable gesture given that we’ve taken a few shots at the four-letter network lately.

Finally, to all of you who believed/hoped/prayed that we’d finally put ourselves in line for the kind of lawsuit that would shut us down permanently, do you really think we’re that stupid?

I mean, we’re stupid.  But we’re not that stupid.

UPDATE:  Well, getting credit from ESPN was fun while it lasted.  The article has since been changed to credit the Associated Press for reporting that Payton is one of the unnamed Saints employees to whom Santini’s suit refers.  And the Associated Press has never — and likely will never — acknowledge us, even though the Associated Press has always — and likely will always, use our rumors and/or reports as the starting point for its own reporting.  Maybe it will change when someone who “gets it” and/or who “has a conscience” is calling the shots in that regard.

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51 Responses to “New Orleans paper confirms Sean Payton, Joe Vitt as unnamed employees in Santini suit”
  1. Brewster says: May 1, 2010 7:06 PM

    The NBC legal department wouldn’t let you (put yourself in line for a lawsuit) anyway.
    A little testy about not getting proper credit, aren’t we?

  2. Jeff says: May 1, 2010 7:08 PM

    Oh great.
    Fan of Football will now have to stop maturbating on the Internet to give the same cheap shot against New Orleans that he did in the other 7 posts.

  3. Dolphinatic says: May 1, 2010 7:11 PM

    Brutal..keep em comin Flo..

  4. sweetleb says: May 1, 2010 7:11 PM

    ” I pick a bad week to give up hillbilly heroin ” Sean Payton
    man Parcells protégées are having a bad week.

  5. markwhct says: May 1, 2010 7:13 PM

    The accuser, Santini had a 31 year FBI career. Do you think he’d lie about something this stupid? I see a Saints pay-off to him or a HUGE DEA investigation. Payton and Saints just stepped in some big pile of shit here.

  6. subadai says: May 1, 2010 7:14 PM

    Fair winds, Florio.
    Stupid or no, you’ll probably get sued. You’ll win though.
    Get ‘em.

  7. Mr. Big says: May 1, 2010 7:15 PM

    Does wolfing down Vicodin constitute a violation of the tampering policy? There must be a violation in there somewhere and I’m certain you guys will find it…….

  8. Fan of Football says: May 1, 2010 7:20 PM

    OUCH!!! It just gets worse and worse for the Aint’s and their self-sympathetic fans.

  9. nfcbeast says: May 1, 2010 7:23 PM

    blah blah blah….anything relating to actual football?…like the players and mini camps????
    HERES A HUUUGE HINT-St Pierre Paul was soaked in sweat and looked totally out of shape at the Giants mini camp…..
    he blamed his back for not being able to keep up………..MAKE THAT A STORY!!
    Your late once again on interesting stuff,,,,,quit following one or two dead horses

  10. AdamEagle5 says: May 1, 2010 7:27 PM

    Hey Florio, how about this. Stop “reporting” bullshit and other real news sources will treat you like one. As long as you “report” rumors, you dont deserve to get credited like a real news outlet.

  11. RobertM320 says: May 1, 2010 7:41 PM

    I hope Santini contacted WitSec and lined up some witness protection before he went public. If this somehow brings down Payton and Loomis and the team they have built, you can bet there will be some disgruntled fans looking for their pound of flesh from Santini’s hide.

  12. Nuckinfutz says: May 1, 2010 7:43 PM

    Nobody outside the media cares who had the story five minutes before everyone else.
    It usually means that the first person with the story was more concerned with being first, than with verifying the facts, and getting the story right. This leads to many erroneous stories. Sometimes you get lucky and get it straight, but more often than not it leads to shoddy reporting.
    The media has gone to hell.

  13. Youngone says: May 1, 2010 7:47 PM

    Mike Florio is the Rodney Dangerfield of sports reporting

  14. darrius_heyward-bey-butterfingers says: May 1, 2010 7:49 PM

    “AdamEagle5″ forgot to read the part where ESPN credited pft for the “report” which was initially a “rumor,” but it turns out there was no “bullshit” involved. And what’s the 5 for on the end? Who is that, mike kafka?

  15. stkurt says: May 1, 2010 7:58 PM

    What do you want credit for?? Starting a rumor? Hell anyone can start a rumor. I’ll start one now. Florio is a piece of sh*t reporter who makes up stuff so everyone thinks he is in the know…..Oh wait that’s a fact not a rumor.

  16. stkurt says: May 1, 2010 8:06 PM

    Couldn’t agree more AdamEagle. Anyone could start rumors.

  17. Carlos22 says: May 1, 2010 8:09 PM

    Cry more, Florio. Jesus.

  18. AutumnWind999 says: May 1, 2010 8:09 PM

    Is it just me or is the vibe coming from New Orleans one of ‘we won our Super Bowl and we don’t give a sh-t about the 2010 season.’ Guess we’ll see, but I just have this feeling they’re destined for 8-8 or worse.

  19. Treezs says: May 1, 2010 8:18 PM

    The key word is “abuse” here.. junkies have and form different opinions of what abuse is as time goes on.

  20. Jeff says: May 1, 2010 8:38 PM

    …and there we have it. Thank you, Fan of Football.

  21. PRLA says: May 1, 2010 8:43 PM

    All you want is credit for reporting crap and giving idiots a chance to bash New Orleans with with all their genius talk about Katrina and the city built below sea level. The confirmed death toll (total of direct and indirect deaths) is 1,836, mainly from Louisiana (1,577) and Mississippi (238). As a result of the rainfall and storm surge the level of Lake Pontchartrain rose and caused significant flooding along its northeastern shore, affecting communities from Slidell to Mandeville. Several bridges were destroyed, including the I-10 Twin Span Bridge connecting Slidell to New Orleans. Almost 900,000 people in Louisiana lost power as a result of Hurricane Katrina, several areas 4 to 6 weeks.
    Katrina’s storm surge inundated all parishes surrounding Lake Pontchartrain, including St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, St. John the Baptist and St. Charles Parishes. St. Tammany Parish received a two-part storm surge: First, as Lake Pontchartrain rose and the storm blew water from the Gulf of Mexico into the lake. Second, as the eye of Katrina passed, westerly winds pushed water into a bottleneck at the Rigolets Pass, forcing it farther inland. The range of surge levels in eastern St. Tammany Parish is estimated at 13 to 16 feet, not including wave action.
    St. Bernard Parish, 81% (20,229) of the housing units were damaged. In St. Tammany Parish, 70% (48,792) were damaged and in Placquemines Parish 80% (7,212) were damaged. These areas are not New Orleans.
    So for all you mental giants out there, it’s one thing to criticize the team, but to talk about the Katrina and the people she affected, go screw yourselves with a broken coke bottle.

  22. mfinsrule says: May 1, 2010 8:57 PM

    hallelujah!!! Now we can all obsess for 3 days over this like the Jeff Ireland – Dez Bryant crap. My life is complete.

  23. philwauke says: May 1, 2010 8:57 PM

    Well if you suspect they already knew then why the hell would they give you credit for it then? You want credit for the oil spill story too?

  24. Ska4Life says: May 1, 2010 8:58 PM

    Half the commenters here need to pack up and find another outlet for their built up anger and hate – this is a big story, and I’m not sure how anyone can say otherwise. You’d be saying the opposite if they didn’t write about it.
    Keep the news coming, guys.

  25. RobertM320 says: May 1, 2010 9:04 PM

    So the feds flood New Orleans with faulty levees, destroy the Louisiana seafood, hunting and fishing industries with poor response to a major oil spill, and now they want to tear down the football team as well? When is enough, enough? Hope everyone is still happy when its $65 for a shrimp cocktail, $75 for a dozen raw oysters and you can’t go hunting because all the birds died while nesting in the Louisiana marsh.

  26. RobertM320 says: May 1, 2010 9:07 PM

    The accuser, Santini had a 31 year FBI career. Do you think he’d lie about something this stupid?
    —————–
    Hello? He worked for the federal government for 31 years. Have you looked at the news lately? Do you really think you can believe ANYTHING someone whose in the federal bureaucracy that long says?

  27. davidc45629 says: May 1, 2010 9:16 PM

    I’m sure this security video tape got erased long ago just like the bar video in the Rothy investigation.

  28. Football Expert says: May 1, 2010 9:25 PM

    Sean wanted to get the drugs for his boy Brett Favre who needed them for his ankle.

  29. funi says: May 1, 2010 9:30 PM

    Sean Peyton=jail time
    Saints- 4-12 season!

  30. Joe C says: May 1, 2010 9:38 PM

    Hmm…looks like the AP didn’t give you credit either:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5153943
    Journalism at its finest!

  31. SonOfNOLA says: May 1, 2010 9:41 PM

    @Fan of Football
    It’s only getting worse for you because you’re the only one who seems to be so concerned about the Saints and the city of New Orleans more than the people that actually lives here.
    The more you’re eager to see someone fail, the more you’ll see failure brought on to yourself.

  32. Big BrEasy says: May 1, 2010 9:49 PM

    Fan of Football says:
    May 1, 2010 7:20 PM
    OUCH!!! It just gets worse and worse for the Aint’s and their self-sympathetic fans.
    ===================================
    Your right, 13-3 and Super Bowl Champions is pretty bad….And how come you are on every post I read in the last 15 minutes??? You are really living large on a saturday night bro!

  33. The Devil says: May 1, 2010 9:52 PM

    this is good stuff
    FLORIO – YOU’RE LIVING THE DREAM!!

  34. 305phinphan says: May 1, 2010 10:13 PM

    Great now that the Ireland/Bryant fiasco is over with (hopefully) now PFT moves on to the next story the talk about 10x a day. Who cares, it’s freaking vicodin not crack! He probably takes it because all of the screaming he does on the field. Not a big deal at all yet this story shows up multiple times a day. Rookie Mini Camp just started, can we get back to football talk or is PFT turning into the TMZ of football?

  35. scra22 says: May 1, 2010 10:17 PM

    “We’ll admit that we’re speculating on this specific point; if anyone from the Times-Pic wants to provide us with an official explanation regarding the reason for their decision not to credit us despite the fact that their report came four hours after ours, we’re all ears.)”
    Well, if your speculations are off I’m sure you’ll conveniently forget you made them as usual. And I doubt the Times-Pic really cares to explain anything to you.

  36. Hugh says: May 1, 2010 10:20 PM

    Stay classy, New Orleans.

  37. bill s says: May 1, 2010 10:20 PM

    You call this NEWS? What about the Dolphins lasted crap with Jeff and the ” he hurt my feelings player that Miami didn’t want “So now it’s NO turn to run a story in the ground. Bill

  38. bob_loblaw says: May 1, 2010 10:28 PM

    how great would it be if payton stole the vicodin just to sell them to vitt because he knew he was addicted to pain pills?
    then loomis found out and wanted half the proceeds until the security guy found out and wanted a cut or hush money.

  39. Hugh says: May 1, 2010 11:24 PM

    Falcon fans on Mike “Mad Dog” Vick: “It’s just dogs! It not like her raped a woman!”
    Steeler fans on Ben Raperburger: “The girl was a slut and wanted to get raped! It’s not like he was selling illegal drugs!”
    Saints fans on Sean “Pills” Payton: “He had constant migraine headaches! It’s not like he electrocuted dogs!”
    *and full circle*
    Sad fans make excuses for low lifes like these.

  40. Occam says: May 2, 2010 12:03 AM

    So the 12,315th rumor Florio posts turns out to be true, and he’s pissed that he’s not getting credit? Sort of like the ‘boy who cried wolf,’ getting screwed out of credit for the coming of the wolf after a few years of screaming about it.

  41. c.carterhof says: May 2, 2010 12:14 AM

    PRLA-
    Good points, congrats on the Championship Saints. Anyone (Vikes fans included) who talks sh!t about how Katrina ruined peoples lives needs to shut up and think.
    That being said, come sept.9, f@ck the Saints and all those parishes. Along with Katrina as well. And f@ck you too PRLA, you and the Aints are goin down!
    OK, I take back the Parishes.

  42. 30PTBUCK says: May 2, 2010 12:54 AM

    The main Question Is this why Brentteney waited 4 months to get surgery? Did his supply train run dry and now the pain interrupts his mowing schedule?It was down right mean of Sean to slip some into Bretteny’s gatorade in the 4th Quarter of the NFC Championship game!!!!!
    Another MVP season for Brent coming up? You know More Vicodin Please

  43. Buck Stallion says: May 2, 2010 1:16 AM

    Ummm, how can you know the names of the employees if they are “unnamed”?

  44. southernboi727 says: May 2, 2010 1:52 AM

    Nobody cares, hater.

  45. realheavyd says: May 2, 2010 9:01 AM

    RE: Fan of Football
    Mike Florio? That’s really you, isn’t it?
    I knew it!

  46. joetoronto says: May 2, 2010 9:45 AM

    Time to wake up, it’s only a matter of time before a hurricane comes in and moves the oil up the east coast.
    Nobody is talking about this, not yet anyway.
    This is a major catastrophe, and nothing to laugh about.

  47. dragonrider2300 says: May 2, 2010 9:52 AM

    It is a DEA requirement, for any entity that distributes narcotics, to keep records of all transactions and to promptly report any thefts to the DEA. The DEA levied fines and suspensions against a drug store chain (Rite Aid) recently for not reporting thefts of narcotics, not reporting suspicious prescriptions, and not keeping good records. Don’t mess with the DEA.
    Regardless of a lawsuit, I would bet that the DEA will be paying a visit to the Saints real soon. And it won’t be to kiss the Super Bowl trophy.

  48. Chiefs2010 says: May 2, 2010 10:37 AM

    This is a juvenile act, but I’m sure prescription drug abuse goes on in all locker rooms, and sometimes theft of a product is necessary?
    I know it’s illegal but I have no problem with it. A play in football is like a car wreck–every play– they need something to dull the pain.

  49. Pervy Harvin says: May 2, 2010 11:55 AM

    What do expect from a team from New Orleans? Drugs and alcohol and eating possum are what they do down there. Stay classy Aints!!!
    Big BrEasy- Told you that Saints were tainted hahaha Just like you!

  50. stadanko says: May 2, 2010 1:43 PM

    I love how smearing someones name without any legal proof or facts is your definition of guts. Only a lawyer.

  51. Kay Bee says: May 2, 2010 5:17 PM

    Pervy Harvin says:
    May 2, 2010 11:55 AM
    What do expect from a team from New Orleans?
    —————————————————
    I expect them to be Super Bowl champs…which they are.

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