Payton's philosophy similar to Jones'


POSTED: Monday, February 08, 2010

A pass-first offense featuring an undersized, but mobile, tough and accurate quarterback. Eight different players catching passes. Opportunistic defense predicated on game-changing turnovers. Risk-taking deemed crazy by others. Running game optional.

No wonder Sean Payton and June Jones are such good friends.

Paul Arnett and I rode in a bus each day the last week of 2007 from downtown New Orleans to the Saints practice facility about a half-hour away (if the driver took the correct route). And every day at practice, Jones, the University of Hawaii coach, huddled with Payton, the Saints' young head coach.

Whatever they talked about didn't help the Warriors in the Sugar Bowl, and I still question the wisdom of not practicing in the building in which you'll play.

But the Saints' style and Payton's moves in yesterday's Super Bowl give clear indication that he and Jones sing off the same sheet of music.

» Speaking of music: A lot of people ask, “;Why The Who?”;

I loved this band, and still do love its studio recordings and live albums—from when they were all alive.

Having The Who play the Super Bowl is like staging a slow-pitch softball game featuring Willie Mays and Carl Yastrzemski between sets of a Kanye West concert.

I can think of a couple of reasons why the Super Bowl keeps going to the equivalent of the Champions Tour for its halftime shows.

1. Old-time rockers are docile. I never thought The Who—with their rebellious nature and lyrics that reflected my restless and often misspent youth—would be the safe choice. But after the Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson “;malfunction,”; that is what Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey have become.

2. The old guard controls the NFL and the Super Bowl. And it knows it doesn't matter who does the halftime show; it could be William Hung and the same number of people are going to watch. So the suits can book whoever they want, and the suits making the choices are mostly over 40.

» Commercials. Glad they got better after two in the early going about guys in their underwear.

Emasculation seemed to be the prevailing theme in many of this year's spots. So, thank you Motorola for throwing us the crumb of Megan Fox in a bathtub.

My favorite was “;The Green Police.”; I just hope it doesn't give anyone the idea of booking Cheap Trick for next year's halftime act.

» Great moves are great moves because they work. Was Payton's onside kick to start the second half much different than Bill Belichick going for it on fourth and 2 against the Colts in the regular season?

Both moves were made out of fear of Peyton Manning's ability to drive an offense down the field, from wherever he starts. The percentages were similar.

The difference was timing and the element of surprise. Football 101: Onside kicks have the best chance of success when they're not the only option.

Reach Star-Bulletin sports columnist Dave Reardon at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), his “;Quick Reads”; blog at, and