METAIRIE, LA—It hit Saints fans like a bomb Monday afternoon, making some feel a complete sense of frustration. And that's saying a lot because Black and Gold fans have been hit with a lot of bombs lately.
ESPN's program "Outside the Lines" is reporting that Saints GM Mickey Loomis had a device in his Superdome suite that allowed him to listen to the headset conversations of opposing teams' coaches. According to ESPN, Loomis used the device from 2002 to 2004 and didn't stop until Hurricane Katrina.
"We're always treated like a stepchild, no matter what," said one fan who was exercising in the park by the Saints' Metairie headquarters.
"Very unfair to the Saints," said another. "The big guy, what's his name? Godella."
While the Saints are enjoying a fan base like never before, many people may not recall -- or may not wish to -- the days when the team rarely filled the Superdome. In fact, before the team won its first-ever playoff game on December 30, 2000, a voodoo priestess performed a ceremony to rid the field of evil spirits.
Monday afternoon, the Saints released a statement saying, "This report is 1000% false -- completely inaccurate. We asked ESPN to provide us evidence to support their allegations and they refused." The statement from team VP of Communications Greg Bensel continues, "The team and Mickey are seeking all legal recourse regarding these false allegations. The NFL has a frequency coordinator in every stadium at every game, and every line and frequency is monitored, and who and where it goes. This is a virtual impossibility."
WGNO contacted U.S. Attorney Jim Letten to see if the allegation, if true, violates any laws and if there are any statute of limitations issues, given the time frame listed in the ESPN report. Letten would only say his office was made aware of the allegation last Friday and did not comment further.
WGNO also asked Superdome workers if the communications system in the building could be monitored by an unauthorized person. A spokesman told us any comment would have to come from the Saints.