NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Louisiana was told Friday that New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis had an electronic device in his Superdome suite that had been secretly re-wired to enable him to eavesdrop on visiting coaching staffs for nearly three NFL seasons, “Outside the Lines” has learned. Sources familiar with Saints game-day operations told “Outside the Lines” that Loomis, who faces an eight-game suspension from the NFL for his role in the recent bounty scandal, had the ability to secretly listen for most of the 2002 season, his first as general manager of the Saints, and all of the 2003 and 2004 seasons… Jim Letten, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, acknowledged being told of the allegations Friday. Sources said he has briefed the FBI in New Orleans about Loomis’ alleged activity. If proven, the allegations could be both a violation of NFL rules and potentially a federal crime… the listening device was first installed in the general manager’s suite in 2000, when Loomis’ predecessor, Randy Mueller, served as Saints GM. At that time, according to sources, Mueller only had the ability to use the device to monitor the game-day communications of the Saints coaching staff, not the opposing coaches… After the transition from Mueller to Loomis, the electronic device was re-wired to listen only to opposing coaches and could no longer be used to listen to any game-day communications between members of the Saints coaching staff, one source said. “There was a switch, and the switch accessed offense and defense,” said the source. “When Randy was there, it was the Saints offense or defense, and when Mickey was there it changed over so it was the visiting offense or defense,” the source said.
Up until this point… when all we had on the Saints was their Cash For Concussions program… I would’ve been satisfied with just slapping an asterisk on their Super Bowl. Seriously, I would’ve ridiculed the hell out of them, called them the Taints and everything- just for the sport of it- but I would’ve walked away satisfied. But this? Listening in on opposing coaches in the locker room? I mean, the whole country west of the Hudson River went into convulsions and started swallowing their tongues because a low level Patriots staffer once pointed a camera in the general direction of the Jets sidelines during a game. A sidelines any TV camera or any one of 80,000 bozos with cell phones could tape to their hearts’ content. And for that the entire Patriots dynasty was slandered, libeled, called words you never heard in the bible. Well that was a parking ticket compared to bugging the coaches room. After this, nothing short of an NCAA-style vacating the championship will do, right? I mean, how much more of a cheating cheater could any cheater be? And don’t for one second buy this horseshit about it only happening before 2004. Like we’re supposed to believe Loomis had some sort of Come to Jesus moment and decided he needed to pull the microphones out because listening in on other coaches would be wrong. Fat fricking chance of that happening, especially when he was condoning injuring other players. It’s pretty clear now there is no length the Taints would not go to to win. So their championship is irreparably tainted, no mere suspension or fine or loss of draft picks will suffice. Roger Goodell has no choice but to wipe the Taints Super Bowl out of the record books. And maybe giving the Patriots their first rounder and $750,000 back just to say “I’m sorry.”
PS. How hard was breaking this story for ESPN, where they’ve basically been the Everything Saints is Perfect Network ever since they won? That whole feel-good storyline about the team rescuing the city from its post-Katrina depression, the colorful/eccentric owner with his jazz bands and parasol, media-darling Sean Payton with his Frankie Muniz-looks… it’s all gone now. Wiped out in a storm of scandals way worse than any Category 5 storm. The good news for the Worldwide Leader is maybe the Ginger Hammer can award the Taints’ Super Bowl to Peyton Manning or Brett Favre. @JerryThornton1