The New Orleans Saints, still struggling to adapt to the harsh suspensions handed down from the NFL after the Bountygate scandal,Tuesday named the relatively unknown Shawnski Paytonovitch as their interim head coach.
“Paytonovitch is the right man to steer our franchise through this difficult time,” said Saints owner Tom Benson. “Though we had previously announced Joe Vitt as our interim coach, once we realized Paytonovitch was available, we knew he was clearly our best choice.”
While NFL records show no history of Paytonovitch coaching at any level, Benson assured fans that the new coach had been properly vetted. “Trust me, we did our homework. Coach Paytonovitch comes with (suspended head coach) Sean Payton’s highest recommendation. In fact, Sean told me, ‘Tom, you may not know him well, but I promise you that this man knows your team inside and out.’”
“After hearing Coach Payton rave about him the way he did, I’m convinced there isn’t a man alive who knows our team as well as Shawnski Paytonovitch.”
Asked if he’d ever seen Paytonovitch and Payton in the same room, Benson replied, “Well no, now that you mention it. But Sean did stop by our table at Mr. B’s Bistro during our meet-and-greet lunch to say hi. This was when Shawnski had just stepped out to the bathroom, oddly enough. Anyway, Coach Payton told me then what a fine, upstanding person Coach Paytonovitch was. Then Sean had to rush off, right before Shawnski returned. They just missed each other. What a shame.”
“So no, I never actually saw them together,” Benson concluded. “Why do you ask?”
For his part, Coach Paytonovitch seemed eager to start his new job. “Aye laddies, thees-ah new season, it’s-ah going to be just-ah swell. Growing up inna Russia, or Greece, or wherever it is I’m-ah from, I used to dream of an opportunity like-ah theese. And once-ah that evil Roger Goodell a-handed down that unfair suspension onna such a fine, decent, ah-handsome man like-ah Sean Payton, I knew it was my chance-ah.”
Paytonovitch concluded the press conference by nervously pressing the center of his mustache for some reason, then telling reporters that he was looking forward to working with newly signed defenders Vonathon Jilma and Willard Smithowitz.