New Orleans Saints: Payton’s 7 Year Itch
By Dean Mullen
Most people know what the saying “The Seven Year Itch” means literally. Accordingly, there was even a movie made about how a person is tempted to go elsewhere in a relationship after seven years of marriage. While the Saints and Payton may not be officially married, there are some similarities.
For this article, the seven year itch refers to the gap since the victory of the last Super Bowl for the New Orleans Saints. The itch can be seen as a reference to being drawn to something new and different. Presumably, things were seemingly perfect in that 2009 season that led to a Super Bowl win. The whole year was a magical run that may be never repeated.
The gap of time for coaches is certainly an enigma. In other words, it’s something that has NEVER been done before exactly like this absence. First and foremost, Payton has been with the Saints for over 10 years. That comes with plenty of success. Eventually, the culmination of winning the big one.
Now think of some other coaches that has done a similar achievement but not the same thing. Bill Belichick has done it. However, he’s went to a ton of Super Bowls in between. Joe Gibbs was hired back to the Washington Redskins to try and relive the magic in D.C. He was not as fortunate. Ditka even attempted to make a comeback with the New Orleans Saints and failed miserably.
Perhaps the closest coach to do it was Tom Coughlin with the New York Giants. He stayed with the same team and did go through a lot of ups and downs in that gap. Coughlin ended up winning a second Super Bowl after a four year absence. Dick Vermeil also took a unique route. In 1981, he took the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl and lost. Nearly 20 years later with the Rams, Vermeil won the Lombardi Trophy. The win though was with another team.
Sean Payton has surely gotten the itch to at least look at the open options out there. No one knows for sure what will happen over the next few years. If Payton can do it, he would the first to overcome a ton of adversity with one team and come back to win a second Super Bowl after a seven year gap. Payton deserves credit for sticking in there. The itch has to be an annoyance and tempting. So far, he has been true to his word.
Payton has remained loyal to the New Orleans Saints. He has overcome the temptation to scratch that itch, that has no doubt been a temptation.