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SBD/April 25, 2012/Franchises
La. State Police, FBI Now Investigating Saints' Alleged Superdome Phonetapping
Published April 25, 2012
NOT A GOOD LOOK: ESPN’s Michael Smith said the eavesdropping allegations “paint the Saints as this rogue organization.” When combined with the bounty scandal, this is “just not good for their image or the image of the NFL” ("Numbers Never Lie," ESPN2, 4/24). ESPN's Dan Le Batard said, “The problem with the denials, strong though they are coming from the Saints, is they’re coming from people who are banned from the league for lying” (“Dan Le Batard Is Highly Questionable,” ESPN2, 4/24). ESPN’s Michelle Beadle said for the “next couple of generations of football fans that are playing ... this is going to be the punchline for quite some time.” ESPN's Colin Cowherd said, “In my heart, I like the Saints, but now all this stuff -- there’s a kind of a skeevy feel to it.” However, Cowherd said the Saints brand is not “permanently tarnished” and in the “world of social media and blogs and ESPN and all the media and sports radio, there’s another controversy virtually every day” ("SportsNation," ESPN2, 4/24). ESPN’s Marcellus Wiley said “it’s perfect timing to go out there and stop the bleeding” and sign QB Drew Brees to a contract extension (“NFL Live,” ESPN, 4/24).
BURDEN OF PROOF: PRO FOOTBALL TALK’s Mike Florio noted the ESPN report against Loomis “comes several months after the media giant clumsily compensated for its failure to contribute anything meaningful to the Penn State scandal by stirring up a mess at Syracuse that, to date, has failed to stick.” ESPN and “its army of reporters also whiffed on the Saints’ bounty scandal.” Florio wrote ESPN has “an obligation to do more than drop on the audience the notion that Loomis had the ability to monitor conversations among opposing coaches.” The network “needs to explain how that information turned into a tangible strategic edge for the Saints.” Still, that is “not to say the league should ignore the situation,” as the “NFL, or someone, needs to investigate” (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 4/24).