Federal and state officials are now taking a look at the New Orleans Saints, and not on a big screen TV or from club level seats.
They’re looking into whether laws were broken after an ESPN report alleging the team secretly recorded or listened to conversations of their opponents at the Superdome between 2002 and 2004.
Wiretapping allegations, pending suspensions of players, current suspensions are all part of a seemingly unending avalanche of bad publicity for the 2010 Super Bowl Champions.
The FBI and Louisiana State Police acknowledged Tuesday they are working to find out if Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis electronically eavesdropped on opponents in the Superdome.
A Saints official didn’t answer an email Tuesday when asked whether the team had been contacted by law enforcement.
A spokesman for SMG, the company that runs the Superdome, said they had not been contacted and had no further comment.
Loomis and the Saints have denied all of the allegations in ESPN’s Outside the Lines report.
Moving forward from an image standpoint these days can’t be terribly easy for the Black and Gold.
Public Relations man Todd Ragusa of Ragusa Consulting has worked with the New Orleans mayor’s office and others over the years.
Ragusa says the Saints represent a resilient city and will get through their current public problems with their own resilience.
During a news conference at the team’s Metairie facility Tuesday, Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt sounded like a P.R. pro.
“We owe it to our fans. Our fans have always been there for us. We want the people of New Orleans, Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region to be proud of us. We’re going to give them our best”, Vitt said.
If their “best” means a winning season, then that could be just the image medicine they need.