The Saints had a great season on the field, although it ended in spectacularly painful fashion against the Vikings on Sunday night, but it has not been a good year for Sean Payton in terms of "not getting caught on camera mocking other teams and fanbases." Payton's been going full scorched earth down the stretch for New Orleans and was caught mocking Vikings fans with a Skol clap after the Saints took the lead with 25 seconds left on a Wil Lutz field goal.
Spoiler alert: that lead wouldn't hold up very long.
Lutz banged home a field goal that looked like it would win the game for the Saints and Payton, according to various accounts, decided to bust out a Skol hand clap.
KFAN sideline reporter and former Vikings linebacker Ben Leber claimed he saw Payton do it and some photos emerged on the Internet appearing to show Payton raising his hands in a mocking Skol fashion.
There's a GIF of it too, because there's always a GIF.
Watching the broadcast version of the game, Fox never captures Payton mocking the Vikings fans. But you can definitely see something in his eyes after the field goal goes through. He yells "Boom!" a bunch and then turns toward the stands.
And then he appears to be raising both of his arms right as the broadcast cuts away to Drew Brees on the sideline.
Asked about the situation by reporters, Payton admitted that, yes, he DID do the gesture and that it was "good playoff fun."
Sean Payton on pictures showing him doing the "Skol" chant: "Just a group of fans ... it was good playoff fun."— Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) January 16, 2018
This is all exacerbated by the fact that Payton is known to be an aggressive coach and isn't afraid to dive into the deep end when it comes to stoking the flames of an NFL-related rivalry. The Saints and Vikings played in 2009 and the Saints beat them then ... maybe Payton just hates the Skol chant?
After the Saints beat the Panthers for the third time this season in the wild-card round, Payton appeared in the locker room, dancing around with a broom (because of the sweep). Panthers and Falcons fans don't really like the Saints and .
And a few minutes after that, Payton's players were back on the field,while the Saints watched helplessly.
Case Keenum had the whole state of Minnesota in the palm of his hands. Chills pic.twitter.com/mAh2WY0nz0— Barstool Sports (@barstooltweetss) January 15, 2018
I hope Payton never changes. Rivalries are fun and if you don't want to get mocked don't lose. Sportsmanship is important, but this is entertainment. Having said all that, maybe just wait until the clock hits zeroes before you start mocking an entire fanbase in their home stadium.