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Payton urges New Orleans to show Roger Goodell hospitality


With the NFL preparing to descend on New Orleans, local residents are preparing to roll out the unwelcome mat for Commissioner Roger Goodell, given his handling of the bounty case.

Saints coach Sean Payton hopes that doesn’t happen.

“I think that would be a shame,” Payton said during Friday’s PFT Live. “Number one, he’s the Commissioner of our league but number two . . . there’s no better place in the world to host events like this, and I mean that. . . .

“I think that all eyes are on you and now the impression is very important,” Payton added. “I think we, as a city, embrace everyone and part of closure for us is moving past it. That’s the same way that the fans and everyone else has to approach it. I think they’ll be very gracious. . . . I think it’s important when all eyes are on you to put your best foot forward and I think we will.”

So far, there’s evidence that not everyone will. Kevin McGill of the Associated Press reviews some of the fairly innocent indignities and insults that the locals are directing to Goodell, but there’s a sense that folks have their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks.

Still, here’s hoping that the vast majority of folks in the Big Easy take Payton’s advice and go easy on the NFL’s Big Kahuna.