Saints coach Sean Payton takes a ribbing in grocery store after losing to 49ers

Sean Payton was grilled in Whole Foods after the Saints' 48-46 loss to San Francisco

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton was born in San Mateo and became a 49ers fan before moving at age 7. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
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Not only did the 49ers claim the best record in the NFC with their scintillating victory over the Saints last Sunday, not only did they mount one of the great comebacks in team history, not only did they stifle some (but not all) bitter beer-faced naysayers, they apparently caused a rift between New Orleans head coach Sean Payton and his butcher.

This, from ESPN’s Mike Triplett, who listened in on Payton’s weekly radio gig: As Payton shopped at a grocery store after the game, he said a butcher wondered why he went for a two-point conversion early in the game against the 49ers.

“I got the guy at frickin’ Whole Foods asking me about the two-point play,” Payton told radio station WWL. “I looked at him, the guy in the meat section, and I said, ‘Worry about your frickin’ meat.’”

You can understand both sides here. The butcher is likely a Saints red-hot. He probably wasn’t trying to be a hot dog. On the other hand, Sam the Butcher wouldn’t have done it.

And Payton was likely smarting after getting skewered in the final seconds of the game. Who wants to get roasted by the guy at Whole Foods?

“You know, on Sunday after a game, I’m going to pick up some food for dinner, I really don’t want to hear about a two-point playcall,” Payton said. “Anyway, it just got under my skin. I circled my cart back around and kind of called him out. “I was kind of sliding down the aisle, got the produce right here to the left, you see the meats, I made a right and I’m heading for the coffee. I thought they were all kind of in jest, and I heard one of them say something about, ‘Why’d you go for two?’ I kept walking toward the dairy and I’m like, ‘Ah, I’m not letting this go, I’m turning around.’”

Security! Beef on aisle 7!

“I went back and he was fine,” Payton said. “It wasn’t negative, he just wanted to know. And I explained it to him. I would never [usually go for two] that early. But when we get a penalty, now we’re on the 1-yard line and we’re 50% closer. He got it. Then I gave him a hard time and said, ‘Some of these cuts don’t look good to me.’ That was what happened. It was in jest. We were having a little fun.”

Here’s the real question. Payton is the fourth year of a five-year, $45 million contract. What’s he doing shopping for his own groceries?

“People are like, ‘Oh, he actually shops for his dinner?’” Payton said. “Yeah, I shop for my dinner. And I go down the aisle with a cart like everyone else.”

Just for the halibut.


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