There has been an outcry in New Orleans the last 24 hours with the news that Saints coach Sean Payton's family is going to move back to the Dallas area while he stays in New Orleans with his job.
Payton has had to explain it -- he says he's not having marital problems, nor does he want to coach anywhere but New Orleans, nor will he be commuting in from Dallas. The Saints have had to present a united front, saying it's OK with them (although originally they made Payton's family move to New Orleans when he took the job).
Many Saints fans, however, have felt betrayed. There's a unique bond between the city and the team, particularly after Hurricane Katrina. What, is New Orleans not good enough for your family anymore? That's what many are asking. Or they're wondering if Payton is positioning himself to one day be the coach of the Cowboys, which he swears he's not.
So does all this matter? Would it matter if, say, Ron Rivera decided to leave his family in San Diego and move to Charlotte alone to coach the Panthers? (Not that he plans to do that; this is a hypothetical).
Perception-wise, sure it would matter. It doesn't feel quite like you are "all in" for a job if your family is somewhere else. But the reality? I don't think it matters one bit on the field.
It's even happened before in Charlotte. At least twice. Few folks probably remember that Sam Vincent didn't buy a house here, instead leaving his family in Dallas while he completed a short, unsuccessful one-year stay as head coach of the Bobcats. And Larry Brown did it, too, leaving his wife and two young children in Philadelphia while coaching here.
Was there a public outcry? No.
Did it change the Bobcats' win-loss record? No.
Of course, the Bobcats aren't the Saints, who are interwoven in the fabric of New Orleans. The Bobcats are more like a throw rug in one corner of Charlotte.
Tony Dungy has done this, too (leaving his family in Florida during the later part of his tenure in Indianapolis). Tony LaRussa. Avery Johnson -- the list goes on. The bottom line is that these guys are such workaholics that many times they barely see their family, anyway. That's sad, but it's true.
So this is a tempest in a teapot in New Orleans. Saints fans need to get over it.