It takes a lot to be the most unbelievable story of a day that sees 1,250 people with valid tickets were barred from their seats at JerryWorld and Christina Aguilera unable to remember all of the words to a very short, very well-known song that she knew she'd be singing for quite some time.
Give some credit, then, to whoever was the brains behind the story that had Sean Payton quitting as Saints head coach to become general manager of the Cowboys in the days following Super Bowl XLV. Put those three tales up against each other and it is impossible to imagine that there's a soul alive that would guess wrong when asked which one couldn't possibly be true.
Seriously, who are the people who believed this nonsense? It was all over Twitter in the hours before the game up to the point that the Saints and Payton felt it necessary to actually step in and explain to the easily misled that the report was as factual as the one that told Dallas officials that spreading sand on ice and snow is an effective way of solving problems.
Let's just run down all the ways that this was ridiculous, shall we? Supposedly Payton was going to Dallas to become general manager and not head coach of the Cowboys. This is a 47-year-old man a year removed from winning a Super Bowl who has no administrative experience and hasn't been a hands-on personnel guy since joining the Saints. If the report said he'd be head coach, then you might be excused for falling for it, but this is on the level of hearing that Barack Obama was resigning as president to become the manager of a Gap in Chicago.
Payton has a contract with the Saints, something that tends to stand in the way of allowing you to take a job with a direct competitor. He's also become an icon in New Orleans for leading the team to a Super Bowl and has talked long and often about enjoying his role as helping the team and city make its way back after Katrina. He could be full of hot air, but since he isn't a college football coach you should probably give him the benefit of the doubt on that front.
All of that is enough to stop the rumor from passing the smell test, and we haven't even gotten to the real stumbling block yet. These are the Dallas Cowboys of Jerry Jones that we're talking about here. Their feeling about general managers is exactly the same as Hosni Mubarek's feeling about actual democracy: It's not for them.
There will be a day when the Cowboys have a general manager other than Jerry Jones. It will be a day when we refer to Double J in the past tense, however. As long as he's breathing, there won't be anyone else calling the shots in the Dallas front office.
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