The Long Road Of Sean Payton

If you missed it, the New Orleans Saints hired Cowboys assistant head coach Sean Payton to be its new head coach. We feel somewhat uniquely qualified to discuss this hire, because, by pure happenstance, we've been following Payton's football career since we were about 10 years old.

Back then, he was the All-American quarterback for Eastern Illinois University — the school right next to our hometown; he's actually now the third EIU grad to be an NFL head coach, and Jets offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger is a Panther too — and, just after that, he was the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears ... as a replacement player during the strike. (Yep: Payton was Keanu Reeves in The Replacements.) By the time we made it to college at the University of Illinois, Payton was there too, as quarterbacks coach; since quarterback was the only position we lazy college sports reporters understood, we talked to him a lot, even about how we remembered watching him as a kid. He said at the time that made him feel old; seeing him hired as a head coach of an NFL team does the same today.

But you want old? Try coaching the Saints. Payton's gonna feel real old, real fast.

It's Payton! [Black And Gold Patrol]
EIU In The Pros [Old Main Vein]