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Saints audio engineer disputes eavesdropping claim

Mickey Loomis Getty Images

The report that Saints G.M. Mickey Loomis had the ability to listen to conversations involving coaches from other teams has few voices.  The response from the Saints has many.

The latest Saints official to go on the record is Robert Carroll, audio engineer for the Saints’ radio broadcasts.  Carroll told WWL that, if anything like that was going on, he would have known about it.

“Absolutely, without question,” Carroll said. “I’ve spent too many hours in that Superdome not to think I would have seen something.”

Carroll’s immediate reaction to the report was skepticism.  “My opinion, when I heard the story, I said, ‘This is crazy. This is ridiculous,’” Carroll said.

It meshes with the information from a growing list of current and former Saints employees, most if not all of whom have an incentive to support the team.  But the allegation apparently is coming from someone with an incentive to hurt the team, given that only someone who worked (or still works) for the team would have access to information regarding the eavesdropping system.

And that’s all the more reason for a detailed investigation to be conducted, by the authorities and by the NFL.  Though the league claims it won’t take action until the investigation being conducted by a joint state/federal task force has concluded, the NFL has in the past conducted its own investigations before any official proceedings have concluded.  Five years ago, for example, the NFL actively was investigating the Mike Vick situation; indeed, it’s believed that the NFL urged the feds to get involved when it appeared that local authorities in Virginia were poised, intentionally or otherwise, to bungle the investigation.

It could be that the NFL recognizes the potential gravity of the allegations, and that by forcing people like Loomis to talk before the official investigation ends could result in the NFL getting subpoenaed to provide any information that Loomis or others who may refuse to talk to the authorities gives to the league.

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55 Responses to “Saints audio engineer disputes eavesdropping claim”
  1. polishkingski says: Apr 24, 2012 9:27 PM

    SO WHAT IS IT MIKEY? is this a big deal in your humble opinion?

  2. saintsfan1111 says: Apr 24, 2012 9:28 PM

    What a load of BS.

  3. randomguy9999 says: Apr 24, 2012 9:29 PM

    funny…. ego complex makes him think that he would be bound to see that a tap was on some obscure length of cable somewhere… or that the perps would have made sure to tell him… or that he would have picked it up on his cheating radar…

    sound suspiciously like all the other excuses / denials and claims that there couldn’t possibly be an advantage gained….

    it also sounds suspiciously like the denials of the bounty stuff….

    gain an advantage with a tap? absolutely you can… start listening to every play call… write it down.. after the play is over… write down the play…. by play 10 you are having repeats for sure… by 4th quarter there will be overlap where you are seeing 60% plus of the plays repeated probably more…. everytime you hear a call.. say it to the DC… who radios the counter play in to the D…. that takes about 7-8 seconds…. and only two people need to know….

    there are legs to this story….

  4. blacknole08 says: Apr 24, 2012 9:31 PM

    Aaron Brooks wants an explanation

  5. Mr. Wright 212 says: Apr 24, 2012 9:31 PM

    DENY, DENY, DENY.

  6. jackers252 says: Apr 24, 2012 9:34 PM

    Or maybe they are just saving money because they know it’s unfounded. If anything, they need to be investigating who fabricated this story.

  7. push4souls says: Apr 24, 2012 9:34 PM

    This is stupid and all of you media are buying into it.

    Of course this never happened. This is strictly positive PR for the Saints.

    The only way for the NFL to start to gather public sympathy for the Saints is to have the Saints proven innocent on a case of this nature…

    The tarnish has been applied so heavily to the Saints by Bounty-gate situation that the NFL needs to deflect perception in some way. This is the perfect way. The faster the public can forgive the Saints the better for the NFL.

    Getting caught doing horrible things like cheating, is only over shadowed by being falsely accused of horrible things or cheating…

    Its politics people.

  8. vikingsnorth says: Apr 24, 2012 9:35 PM

    Whether he did, or he didn’t know anything. Or even if it’s true, of course the guy is going to say that.

  9. theytukrjobs says: Apr 24, 2012 9:35 PM

    It doesn’t matter what this guy says. Even if he knew about it, he’d still either lie or keep quiet.

  10. ilovefoolsball says: Apr 24, 2012 9:36 PM

    Let the investigation commence.
    It’s the only way to find out the truth and either punish the guilty or shut up the haters.

  11. babyhorsemorgan says: Apr 24, 2012 9:39 PM

    Carroll took over from the previous audio engineer who unfortunately was seriously injured in a fall. When he lost his grip while hanging from the eaves.

  12. downdabayou says: Apr 24, 2012 9:42 PM

    This year the Saints, next year, your team. GEAUX NFL, ruin the game before Goodell gets exposed and fired.

  13. moagecu says: Apr 24, 2012 9:45 PM

    “here you go Robert, here is $5000 tell them we didn’t do it”

  14. cali49er707 says: Apr 24, 2012 9:50 PM

    WHY CANT I FLUSH THIS TURD??????

  15. longdrivesaint says: Apr 24, 2012 9:51 PM

    Mickey and the Saints org. should sue the disgruntled accuser, ESPN, and anybody else involved in this slandering act after this is proven to be false. This is a disgrace. Are u people that miserable everyday of your short lives that u have to stoop this low. Get a life which includes common sense or crawl back under your rock. U people spew your ignorance on here everyday and just confirm it by some of the posts attached to this story.

  16. gpclaw says: Apr 24, 2012 9:55 PM

    A Saints employee denies any knowledge of wrong doing. Shocking.

  17. northshorejag says: Apr 24, 2012 9:59 PM

    Trust me getting the around the radio broadcast engineer would be about as easy shooting fish in a tin can with TNT. Furthermore the coaches uses a line that wouldn’t go in the same time zone as the broadcast booth.

    If the opposing team is using a wireless transmitter/receiver between the field and the booth. ANYONE can independently listen in. It’s a simple as knowing the frequency

    Anyone even close to professional audio broadcasting would know that, especially this guy.

    Frankly, I’m a little surprised this has never come up before

  18. gpclaw says: Apr 24, 2012 10:01 PM

    Yes, this whole thing has been made up, to create sympathy for the Saints. Roger Goodell, and the other 31 franchise owners, who employ Goodell, are so concerned with how the public portrays the Saints, that they are willing to expose them selves the the mountains of litigation, and increased congressional scrutiny, just to make that happen. Restoring the reputation of the Saints is so important, that the DOJ, and FBI, are more than willing to lend a helping hand, by spending time and money, to further the cause.

  19. letmesetyoustraight says: Apr 24, 2012 10:03 PM

    Mike Florio says, “most if not all of whom have an incentive to support the team..”

    Both Jim Haslett and Rick Mueller were fired by Mickey Loomis. They have no incentive to support the team, but they say it never happened. Lead the pack, Mike. Quit being a lemming.

  20. marcinhouston says: Apr 24, 2012 10:03 PM

    If the allegations are proven to be baseless, will the NFL suspend all ESPN employees from attending NFL games for 1 year?

  21. christhefish says: Apr 24, 2012 10:04 PM

    This just in; the Saints cheerleaders video-taped the visiting teams cheerleaders practice sessions!

  22. ahmiller21 says: Apr 24, 2012 10:13 PM

    Couldn’t have said it any better push4souls. That’s exactly what this is!!

  23. csmit44 says: Apr 24, 2012 10:13 PM

    “there are legs to this story….”

    Ok, I’ll bite. Mickey Loomis had a spying wire. He was relaying signals. At that time the Jim Haslet (current Redskins DC) and Mike McCarthy(current Packers HC) called the defensive and offensive plays for the Saints. Loomis should and probably would get a lifetime ban from the NFL. What happens to McCarthy and Haslett? Or was Loomis just relaying messages to himself…or better yet Sean Payton in Dallas?

  24. drglory says: Apr 24, 2012 10:16 PM

    The ship is sinking, and they’re grasping at straws, for now. The real issue, however, is Drew Brees and the Saints unwillingness to give him the offer he deserves. Once he’s back, and the Saints win the division, none of this will matter to anyone anymore. These guys could be very dangerous this year.

  25. sfsaintsfan says: Apr 24, 2012 10:18 PM

    So far, everyone who has gone on the record has said this “story” is false and has no basis in fact. You would expect the next person who would go on the record would be the Saints Offensive Coordinator during the time period in question. The Head Coach, various assistants, Superdome officials and audio engineers have all said that this “story” is bogus. The Saints Offensive Coordinator from 1999-2004, someone who would have direct knowledge of this if it has any basis in fact whatsoever is a person by the name of Mike McCarthy. I believe he lives in Wisconsin. Maybe somebody should call him…..

  26. crabboil says: Apr 24, 2012 10:23 PM

    Abandon all hope all ye who enter the Terror Dome. You think visiting teams got blown out last year? You think it was loud last year? Come on down to New Orleans. We’ll party.

  27. j0esixpack says: Apr 24, 2012 10:30 PM

    Breaking news on ESPN as we speak:

    “Saints Admit Employing Audio Engineer”

  28. kathyisintheroom says: Apr 24, 2012 10:34 PM

    Hopefully Loomis sues Parr and takes everything he owns, then sues ESPN and ends up with a hefty “apology”

  29. khuxford says: Apr 24, 2012 10:37 PM

    Seriously? You think the audio engineer for the radio broadcast would be privy to the way the Saints allegedly eavesdropped? Wasn’t this back when people thought the Saints might leave New Orleans any day?

  30. alltee says: Apr 24, 2012 10:39 PM

    there is no way they spied, because only the patriots spy on other teams, no other teams do it despite coaches like jimmy jhonson saying he did it.

    i mean cmon people if the saints spied nfl fans wouldnt have a reason to hate the patriots.

    and furthermore stealing signals is allowed just not by videotape, and every team changes signals to prevent this from having any effect. recording coaches is truly cheating despite what the pats haters will tell you

  31. jody9235 says: Apr 24, 2012 10:53 PM

    Boy so many folks believe the saints are a bunch of liars, but search the internet and read an interview of steve smith, you know our arch rival from the panthers and see if the players were lying that they were pretty much in fear of rhere jobs because of GW. No rhetoric driven bloggers it still wasn’t right what ALLEGEDLY went on for 3 years but when a rival who really does not care for us speeks out on what he knows, and if anyone discounts the report from the sports media then they themselves are proving they only want to hear hatred toward one teams players and not look at the whole story, and in a sense saying you can’t belive everything you read.

  32. raiderinva says: Apr 24, 2012 11:04 PM

    northshorejag says: Apr 24, 2012 9:59 PM

    Trust me getting the around the radio broadcast engineer would be about as easy shooting fish in a tin can with TNT. Furthermore the coaches uses a line that wouldn’t go in the same time zone as the broadcast booth.

    If the opposing team is using a wireless transmitter/receiver between the field and the booth. ANYONE can independently listen in. It’s a simple as knowing the frequency

    Anyone even close to professional audio broadcasting would know that, especially this guy.

    Frankly, I’m a little surprised this has never come up before

    northshorejag:
    Thank you for posting this. You basically took my thoughts and and put them in a form that will not be deleted by the moderator because of an errant comment about Robert Carroll’s testicular cancer being cured by the wavelengths being transmitted or received from Mickey’s box.

  33. saintswillwin says: Apr 24, 2012 11:07 PM

    randomguy9999 says:
    Apr 24, 2012 9:29 PM
    funny…. ego complex makes him think that he would be bound to see that a tap was on some obscure length of cable somewhere… or that the perps would have made sure to tell him… or that he would have picked it up on his cheating radar…

    sound suspiciously like all the other excuses / denials and claims that there couldn’t possibly be an advantage gained….

    it also sounds suspiciously like the denials of the bounty stuff….

    gain an advantage with a tap? absolutely you can… start listening to every play call… write it down.. after the play is over… write down the play…. by play 10 you are having repeats for sure… by 4th quarter there will be overlap where you are seeing 60% plus of the plays repeated probably more…. everytime you hear a call.. say it to the DC… who radios the counter play in to the D…. that takes about 7-8 seconds…. and only two people need to know….

    there are legs to this story….

    The only legs on this story are the ones that are attached to the feet that should be kicking your stupid a$$!!

    How in the hell is Loomis, (who wouldn’t know what the Saints were calling, let alone another team), supposed to listen to the other team’s call, figure out what that play is, get it down to the Saints coaches, who would then have to tell the defensive captain, who would then have to tell the other 10 players, ALL WITHIN 40 SECONDS?!?!

    Plus it is noisy as hell in an NFL stadium, so I can’t wait to read how you explain that one!

  34. 805_9er says: Apr 24, 2012 11:13 PM

    All we need now is Payton crashing his motorcycle with an active cheerleader on the back!

  35. silentcount says: Apr 24, 2012 11:25 PM

    So many fans of other teams want this to be true, which is kind of sad. Goodell has already done enough to distract attention towards a fabricated villain as his defense against the concussion lawsuits. Others don’t need to pile on and manipulate public opinion, too.

  36. beeronthefridge says: Apr 24, 2012 11:27 PM

    Liar, liar, pants on fire!

  37. bdoubleoey says: Apr 24, 2012 11:29 PM

    Sooo, a Aints employee is denying that they did something wrong. NNNNOOOOOOO really? With that I would assume he knows everything about it.

    I think some people dont realize that Police and the FBI are the investigators here, not the NFL. And not ESPN, they just picked up on the story.

  38. flannlv says: Apr 24, 2012 11:32 PM

    HEy Florio, why don’t you ask Mike McCarthy, HC of GB if this was going on? You already have the HC, DC, GM, audio engineer (at the time of the allegations) deny the report. Oh, I guess that would put an end to this nonsense.

  39. nineroutsider says: Apr 24, 2012 11:34 PM

    @crabboil says:Apr 24, 2012 10:23 PM

    Abandon all hope all ye who enter the Terror Dome. You think visiting teams got blown out last year? You think it was loud last year? Come on down to New Orleans. We’ll party.
    —————————————————-
    I was going to make my first away game Green Bay, but maybe a little cajun style crab is in order! You gonna party down with a 9er fan bro? The 9ers will be the one visiting team that doesn’t get blown out I can promise you that. I’ll reimburse you for the crabs if it happens.

    You all know the 9ers aren’t going to let that crap slide right? They couldn’t even forget about a preseason game…

    (Damn, a little early for this, but what the hell better than bounty or spy talk!)

  40. Manbearpig says: Apr 24, 2012 11:42 PM

    Hahaha Hahaha.2009 super bowl champions – new Orleans saints*

  41. eleventyeight says: Apr 25, 2012 12:09 AM

    First two quotes from my Airborne Ranger days:

    1. All’s fair in love and war

    2. If ya ain’t cheatin’, ya ain’t trying. If ya get caught- you’re not trying hard enough.

    Even back when Spygate came out I wasn’t surprised by it; competitors will do ANYTHING they can to get an advantage. Add money to the mix and there becomes enormously larger incentives to find ways to gain any competitive advantage.

    Some are legal, some are in the grey area between right and wrong, and some are just plain wrong.

    On the one hand we see the brilliance of Bill Belichek in questioning via a challenge when a QB trying to throw a pass actually fumbles and when is it just a batted-down pass. That challenge, and the ingenius concept behind it, became(for better or worse) the infamous “Tuck Rule”.

    When Spygate was revealed opinions ran the spectrum from acceptable to downright devilish. The one thing no one ever asked about any of it was “why would anyone cheat?”. The answer is obvious: in order to win.

    I have wondered since the league started allowing helmet radios how long it would be before someone got caught tuning into the opponents transmissions. No big trisk; any radio broadcast can be intercepted. And I’m sure there are lots of teams who do it.

    It is all, ultimately, part of the competitive nature of gamesmanship, just like coach talking down potential draft picks to throw rivals off the trail and agents boasting about his clients; natural athleticism.

    Personally, I’m surprised that this is the first time we’ve heard anything more than rumors about teams hacking opponents broadcasts.

    It’s all part of what has become the year-round soap opera that is the N.F.L.

  42. billylrsn says: Apr 25, 2012 12:10 AM

    Taints!

  43. eleventyeight says: Apr 25, 2012 12:15 AM

    PS- Besides eavesdropping on opponents, teams are also very much able to jam the transmission of an opponent and cause confusion between plays.

    Most of us have seen games when the announcers casually mentioned that one teams radios weren’t working, and naturally it was most often the visitors.

    The NFL is becoming such a high-profile, high-stakes game the literally anything can happen to give one team or another an upper hand.

    The trick is to not let those tricks beat you.

  44. hay1111 says: Apr 25, 2012 12:19 AM

    BREAKING NEWS FROM ESPN…..

    According to unnamed sources, the Saints killed JFK AND caused 9/11

    Really ESPN? ?? They’re more akin to TMZ than ‘news’. I gave up on them long ago so should anyone else that still watches that garbage

  45. djstat says: Apr 25, 2012 12:32 AM

    I am not a saints fan: all you experts tell me what this play means: you have less ten :40 seconds to decipher it, tell it to a coach and then defend it right: Split right over 2663 C

  46. bittersportspills says: Apr 25, 2012 1:00 AM

    Ridiculous. Someone within the organization with an axe to grind.

    Next, Loomis stars in the sequel to “Enemy of the State.” Loomis has satellites zooming in on the other team’s sidelines. In the Superdome.

  47. norseyapper says: Apr 25, 2012 1:15 AM

    Fortunately this latest Saints problem is not being left to Goodell to sort out and/or screw up. This time it is being investigated by the FBI and other criminal investigators. If they look under the rocks and don’t see anything worth a criminal complaint then the NFL had best drop it like a hot rock.
    If on the other hand charges are filed, Loomis and crew had best start looking for new careers.

  48. nathanbetz91 says: Apr 25, 2012 3:05 AM

    The NFL is stupid with penaltys. Ok let’s demonize mike Vick and turn him into the most hated player in the NFL before his trial. Yet when Ben roethlisberger is accused of rape, clearly a more serious offense, let’s not talk about it for months, and certainly don’t ask the FBI to get involved. And then when he’s proven not guilty, which I highly doubt, he’s still suspended after he apparently didn’t do anything

  49. dc4546 says: Apr 25, 2012 4:06 AM

    Small market team with success that has somewhat of a following. Perfect chance for the league to “show discipline.” Jacksonville or Buffalo would have also been the whipping boy had they had some modicum of success in the past few years…I am still a die hard fan of the NFL but I have honestly become less interested due to the hypocrisy.

  50. patpatriotagain says: Apr 25, 2012 4:14 AM

    the question is – when they lose draft picks, will the explanation be good enough for drew brees?

  51. skolvikesskol says: Apr 25, 2012 4:38 AM

    Well thanks for clearing that up Bob. Now tell us what u think of bounties…

  52. exboomer says: Apr 25, 2012 8:31 AM

    If this is true (and I have my doubts it is), this would be as bad or maybe even worse than the Patriots Spygate. I have a feeling this is actually more of a “piling on” situation with people kicking the Saints when they are down.

  53. crabboil says: Apr 25, 2012 9:13 AM

    nineroutsider-

    We talk smack, we watch our team win, then we feed you and get you drunk. Real football. Real fans.

  54. meanmark says: Apr 25, 2012 5:00 PM

    I don’t think this guy works for the Saints. He’s a broadcast audio engineer who worked for the radio station that broadcasts the games. As such, it’s not correct to refer to him as a “Saints official”. Unlike some of the posters on here I don’t have an intimate working knowledge of what it would take to wiretap the opposing team’s conversations or how obvious such a thing would be to an audio engineer [sarcasm intended], but if the guy, who obviously does have such a working knowledge of situation, says he would have seen it I’m inclined to believe him absent proof to the contrary.

  55. northshorejag says: Apr 25, 2012 6:32 PM

    meanmark says:
    I don’t think this guy works for the Saints. He’s a broadcast audio engineer who worked for the radio station that broadcasts the games. As such, it’s not correct to refer to him as a “Saints official”. Unlike some of the posters on here I don’t have an intimate working knowledge of what it would take to wiretap the opposing team’s conversations or how obvious such a thing would be to an audio engineer [sarcasm intended]…

    Actually the radio broadcast is NFL owned and the on air talent is employed by the franchise. It’s their of alway having game audio avail totally rites free and on demand. (notice it the next time you’re watching a top 10 countdown). I would bet that extends to the engineers and production staff.

    Secondly, almost all non military or encrypted broadcasts are tranmittd on public VHF and UHF frequencies. The FCC primarily regulates wattage. The headphones they use are somewhere between 50 and 250 mili-watts (or less than a quarter watt). Might be more, but I doubt it.

    Third, What the hell else is an employee who has a freakin great job going to say.

    I could go on…

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