January 22, 2013
Roger Goodell lifts Sean Payton's Bountygate suspension, but will Saints fans forgive NFL commissioner?
By BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. (REUTERS)

Maybe Roger Goodell won’t have to wear a hardhat after all when he steps off the plane in New Orleans for the Super Bowl.

The NFL commissioner Tuesday lifted the year-long suspension he levied on Saints head coach Sean Payton in the Bountygate Scandal.

The question is, can this city forgive, if not forget?

Goodell has gone from saviour to villain in this disparate city of high spirits and bon vivant; a city with neighbourhoods still lying wasted from Hurricane Katrina; a city with a giant chip on its shoulder.

Not so long ago, Goodell prevented New Orleans from losing the Super Bowl due to Katrina. It was Goodell who fended off San Antonio carpetbaggers who made covetous advances on the Saints franchise.

But, in the aftermath of Bountygate all that goodwill vanished like levees to the wind. Hometown fans were livid when Goodell levied the suspension on Payton, as well as sanctions against two coaches, general manager Mickey Loomis and four players.


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