2013 NFL Schedule: The Primetime Games: Broncos, Falcons, 49ers, Giants, Patriots, Redskins Have Five Games Each







Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins will play five games in primetime this season, starting with the 2013 opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on September 9 on ESPN.

Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins will play five games in primetime this season, starting with the 2013 opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on September 9 on ESPN.

Here is the list of all the primetime games scheduled for the 2013 NFL season.

Commentary to follow… Actually, I’ll get the back-patting out of the way early: I called the Ravens/Broncos opener on September 5, and I called the Washington Redskins getting five primetime games this season, up from just one last year.

And here are the games:

Thursday, September 5 – Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Sunday, September 8 – New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, September 9 – Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins – 7:10 PM ET – ESPN

Monday, September 9 –  Houston Texans @ San Diego Chargers – 10:20 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, September 12 – New York Jets @ New England Patriots – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, September 15 – San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, September 16 – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, September 19 – Kansas City Chiefs @ Philadelphia Eagles – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, September 22 – Chicago Bears @ Pittsburgh Steelers – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, September 23 – Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, September 26 – San Francisco 49ers @ St. Louis Rams – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, September 29 – New England Patriots @ Atlanta Falcoms – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, September 30 – Miami Dolphins @ New Orleans Saints – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 3 – Buffalo Bills @ Cleveland Browns – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, October 6 – Houston Texans @ San Francisco 49ers – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, October 7 – New York Jets @ Atlanta Falcons – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 10 – New York Giants @ Chicago Bears – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, October 13 – Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, October 14 – Indianapolis Colts @ San Diego Chargers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 17 – Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, October 20 – Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, October 21 – Minnesota Vikings @ New York Giants – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 24 – Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, October 27 – Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, October 28 – Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 31 – Cincinnati Bengals @ Miami Dolphins – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, November 3 – Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, November 4 – Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, November 7 – Washington Redskins @ Minnesota Vikings – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, November 10 – Dallas Cowboys @ New Orleans Saints – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, November 11 – Miami Dolphins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, November 14 –Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, November 17 – Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, November 18 – New England Patriots @ Carolina Panthers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, November 21 – New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, November 24 – Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, November 25 – San Francisco 49ers @ Washington Redskins – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, November 28 (Thanksgiving) – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens – 8:20 PM ET – NBC

Sunday, December 1 – New York Giants @ Washington Redskins – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, December 2 – New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, December 5 – Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, December 8 – Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, December 9 – Dallas Cowboys @ Chicago Bears – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, December 12 – San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, December 15 – Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, December 16 – Baltimore Ravens @ Detroit Lions – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Sunday, December 22 – New England Patriots @ Baltimore Ravens – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, December 23 – Atlanta Falcons @ San Francisco 49ers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Sunday, December 29 – [Teams to be determined following Week 16] – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

TEAMS WITH FIVE PRIMETIME GAMES: Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins.

TEAMS WITH FOUR PRIMETIME GAMES: Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks.

TEAMS WITH THREE PRIMETIME GAMES: Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers.

TEAMS WITH TWO PRIMETIME GAMES: Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

TEAMS WITH ONE PRIMETIME GAME: Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans.


OBSERVATIONS: So, let me get this straight: The Baltimore Ravens win the Super Bowl, yet the runner-up gets one more primetime game in the ensuing season than the World Champions? Explain that to me.

Also, explain to me how the NFL didn’t greenlight the Denver Broncos going to Dallas on Thanksgiving Day. This was a given when the AFC opponents for the Cowboys were released at the top of the year. Or so I thought. Now, it’s going to be a chance to pass out with tryptophan in between another Packers/Lions matinee and the Ravens hosting another Thanksgiving night game, this time against the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

I wonder if Peyton Manning not getting a Thanksgiving date with Tony Romo was a byproduct of the Broncos actually hosting the NFL kickoff game.

Predictably, the Eagles/Chiefs game with Andy Reid bringing a new squad into Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia is an NFL Network Thursday night affair.

Predictably, that’s the Chiefs’ lone primetime game. The Jaguars’ sole primetime tilt in 2013 is also on NFLN, as was the case last year. Ditto for the Browns and the Bills, who actually play each other on an NFLN game; the Bills and the Dolphins killed two birds with one Thursday night primetime stone last season.

Thr Dolphins improve from one primetime game last year to three this year. Same with the Vikings. The Colts go from one primetime game last season to four this season. And I’ve already told you about the Redskins’ maxing out at five games, up from one last year.

Further proof NBC loves the NFC East: The Cowboys and Giants open the “Sunday Night Football” 2013 campaign. The Cowboys will appear on “SNF” three times this year, as will the Giants. Two of the Redskins’ five night contests are on NBC; two of them will air on ESPN. Eagles? Nowhere to be found on NBC’s initial schedule. Of course, the latter half of the season allows flex scheduling, so if the Eagles are actually a good team, they’ll likely see more than just the two games (down from five last year() they’ve been scheduled this year. In other words: the Cowboys/Eagles game that was not flexed out late last season might be the last time in awhile you’ll hear Al Michaels working an Eagles game.

And for the first time in recent memory, there are no Saturday games scheduled. The Bay City Rollers will now have to find alternate ways to be preoccupied this year.

Spygate Vs. Bountygate On NFL Network Peyton Manning Bit







NFL Network analyst Darren Sharper was called out for "cheating" after he helped Broncos linebacker Von Miller win a pretend game show about Peyton Manning. Sharper had played safety for the Saints for two seasons during the "Bountygate" era.

NFL Network analyst Darren Sharper was called out for “cheating” after he helped Broncos linebacker Von Miller win a pretend game show about Peyton Manning. Sharper had played safety for the Saints for two seasons during the “Bountygate” era.

What do Pierre Garcon and Von Miller have in common? Both of them have been a teammate of Peyton Manning.

Also, both were in-studio guests on Thursday’s edition of “NFL Total Access” on NFL Network.

So, naturally, the program trotted out the players on the Z-block of the show, for a fake game show: the “Peyton Manning Pop Quiz.”

And for this game, linebacker Miller, about to embark on his third season with the Denver Broncos (second with Manning under center), and Washington Redskins wideout Garcon, who was Manning’s teammate on the Indianapolis Colts for three seasons, had designated “lifelines” in the form of NFLN analysts Darren Sharper and Willie McGinest.

And what do Sharper and McGinest have in common? Both have played for teams that have had their own public scandals of late: the New Orleans Saints’ “Bountygate” and the New England Patriots’ “Spygate.”

True, McGinest was already playing with the Cleveland Browns by the time the “Spygate” scandal broke in 2007 for the Patriots, for whom McGinest had played linebacker for the bulk of his career, earning two Super Bowl rings in the process.

But Sharper had played the final two years of his career as a safety with the Saints, at around the same time the “Bountygate” timeline had allegedly unfolded. So Sharper, who won a Super Bowl with the Saints and appeared in another with the Green Bay Packers, is directly linked to “Bountygate.”

All that being said, when Miller, aided by a whispering Sharper, wins the “Peyton Manning Pop Quiz,” of course, McGinest calls Sharper out for “cheating.”

Watch the video here.

Audio: Cowboys Radio Announcer Calls Saints Player "Ka-Douche"

Dallas Cowboys radio announcer Brad Sham mispronounced New Orleans Saints safety Isa Abdul-Quddus’ last name, so it sounded like the word “douche.”

One of the rules in Sports Announcing 101 is to be certain of the pronunciations of the names of the players involved in the game that will be called. Because if you err on just one letter, it could make a big difference.

Brad Sham, who’s been working Dallas Cowboys radio broadcasts for close to three decades, should know better.

During Sunday’s radio broadcast of the Cowboys’ overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints, at one point, a rushing attempt by running back DeMarco Murray was stopped by two Saints defensive players, including safety Isa Abdul-Quddus – pronounced “ka-DEUCE.”

Except when Sham pronounces the player’s name, he adds an extra letter at the end of it – which makes the second syllable of his name sound like the word “douche.”

After the mispronunciation, Sham admitted, “I just like to say” his name.

Added color analyst Babe Laufenberg: “I love it”.

While the player was undrafted and is only in his second year in the league, it’s not like Isa Abdul-Quddus isn’t necessarily a household name. When he laid out a Giants player on “Monday Night Football” in his rookie season last year, Mike Tirico had no problem pronouncing his name.

And just over a week ago, Abdul-Quddus appeared on the “Nick And Artie” radio show. Even if Artie Lange was in a drunken stupor, he would probably do a better job pronouncing Abdul-Quddus’ name than Brad Sham did on Sunday.

The irony is that Isa Abdul-Quddus attended Fordham University, a college responsible for the education of many renowned sports broadcasters like Vin Scully, Mike Breen, Bob Papa and Michael Kay.

Safe to say if Brad Sham went to Fordham, he’d get a failing grade.

The Sharper Image: Darren Predicted Saints 0-4 Start On NFL Network

As Sean Payton and others serve suspensions related to Bountygate, interim head coach Aaron Kromer and the New Orleans Saints have started the 2012 season with an 0-3 record – which is not too far off from an 0-4 prediction by NFL Network analyst – and former Saints safety – Darren Sharper.

Are you surprised that the New Orleans Saints lost a game that they led by as much as 18 points to the Kansas City Chiefs?

Are you surprised that they are now 0-3, on the precipice of starting the season 0-4?

Former Saints safety Darren Sharper likely isn’t surprised.

In fact, he said as much on NFL Network not too long ago.

On a 2012 NFL season preview special which aired on September 4, Sharper predicted that his former team would start 0-4. I could not find a video of this segment via NFL.com’s library of NFL Network videos – but there’s confirmation here – as well as Sharper’s own Twitter account. “Relax,” he wrote to his Saints followers hours after his prognostication, “IT’S JUST TV, MAN! You know the Saints [are] not going 0-4!”

Judging on how the season has started for the team under interim head coach Aaron Kromer, maybe he’d like to have that one back.

After the Saints lost their first game of the season, a home loss to the Washington Redskins under rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, Sharper argued that the team would be the “2011 playoff team most likely to start 0-2.” He added that the game against the Panthers would be “close”. The Panthers beat the Saints by eight points.

Then on last Monday’s edition of “NFL Total Access,” Sharper was among a four-man panel batting around a few topics, including: “Will the Saints rebound from an 0-2 start?”

“That next game against the Kansas City Chiefs: don’t look at it as an easy game,” Sharper warned Brian Billick. “We’ve seen this Chiefs team knock off the Green Bay Packers last [year, handing them their first loss after a 14-0 start]. So they can step to that level and play up.”

“You think [the Saints will] be 0-3, don’t you?,” Andrew Siciliano asked Sharper.

After letting out a deep sigh, Sharper clarified: “I don’t want to say it, but I think it could be leading that way, because you talk about the percentages, giving you that percent of just having a chance. They lose this game and go 0-3, that 11% chance of makign the playoffs at 0-2 goes to 3%. Now if you want to walk around with 3% chance in your pocket, I’ll let you have that. I want the other percent.”

Sharper also doubled down on his prediction that the Chiefs would upset the Saints on this past Wednesday’s “Total Access” (no video of that exists on NFL.com, either).

The result: in Week 3 at the Superdome, the Saints, who at one point led the Chiefs 24-6, let Matt Cassel and his crew score 21 unanswered points (including a safety for sacking Drew Brees in his own end zone), capped off by a game-winning field goal in overtime. The aforementioned Brees was ineffective down the stretch, with his final six passes of the game thrown for incompletions.

Sharper, who appeared on “NFL GameDay Highlights” this afternoon, made no mention of his prediction of a winless September for the Saints. Instead, Waddle and Paul Burmeister forced Sharper’s hand – specifically, Sharper shakily raising his hand when Burmeister asked, “Did anybody here predict the Chiefs to win?”

“I’m not proud to predict this against a community and a city that I love,” Sharper admitted. He explained that the team is suffering from “hangover” after the Bountygate business in the offseason. Furthermore, he considered himself “confused” watching a Saints defense that has already allowed 100 points in its first three games of the season. “I don’t see the same type of passion in the defensive effort that I’ve seen in the past on the same team.” (No bounties?)

Watch the video below:

Sharper also took the opportunity to take his former team to task for languishing in the absence of head coach Sean Payton, currently serving a one-year suspension for his role in Bountygate.

“It’s not New Orleans Saints football,” said Sharper, parroting a point from fellow analyst Tom Waddle. “It’s allowing teams to finish you off. This team in the past, Coach Peyton – I know he’s not there now,  but since he started coaching there – always finished teams when they had a lead on them. And that lets you know that this team, it seems like they got that, that ‘woe is me’ attitude, where they’re starting to feel bad for themselves. And that’s coming out of playing tough, hard-nosed football.”

There was also no immediate reaction from Sharper of his 0-4 prediction on Twitter after the game, but there were plenty of Saints fans who remembered his prediction – which has a chance to come to complete fruition next week when the Saints travel to Green Bay, where the Packers own a 9-2 all-time record against New Orleans at Lambeau Field.

At that point, NFLN might just need to make room for Darren Sharper on the weekly “Bold Predictions” segment on “GameDay Morning.”

Listen Up: No Evidence Of Saints Eavesdropping Found

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis has reason to smile after Louisiana State Police have determined "no evidence of fact" to allegations originally reported by ESPN that he eavesdropped on opposing coaches' conversations during games. A federal investigation is still ongoing.

Remember that ESPN report earlier this year that alleged the New Orleans Saints, on top of Bountygate, would be dealing with their own Spygate scandal?

Well, there’s a major update on this – and if ESPN were to give it a headline, it would probably be that their own allegations didn’t hold water.

“There is no corroborating evidence of fact,” announced Louisiana State Police Colonel Mike Edmonson after the conclusion of an investigation that lasted about four months, or about as long as an NFL regular season (or, if you prefer, a Sean Payton suspension).

“This has been an intensive investigation,” Edmondon continued, “and after numerous interviews, we have determined that there is no evidence that state laws have been violated.”

Note that these findings only apply to an investigation by the State Police, and not that of the FBI, whose own investigation of allegations that Saints general manager Mickey Loomis had eavesdropped on opposing coaches’ sideline conversations via an earpiece attached to a reformatted phone system – allegations that ESPN attributes to anonymous sources – is still pending.

“I would caution that we are not in a position to affirm or comment on the status or existence of any federal investigation,” Edmonson warned. “Today’s release pertains only to the State Police inquiry.”

Days after ESPN released these allegations, Loomis – still due to serve an eight-game suspension as a result of Bountygate – appeared on ProFootballTalk’s Internet radio show to argue that not only was ESPN’s report “ludicrous,” but that he had used the aforementioned earpiece located in his suite at the Superdome to listen to the radio broadcast of the Saints game that would be played on game day. “Even then, I rarely [did],” Loomis recalled. He also contended that the earpiece was previously hooked up to Saints coaches’ headsets, but “I couldn’t understand what was being said particularly because of the static.” The earpiece reconfiguration to a feed of Saints flagship station WWL had taken place in the middle of the 2002 season, according to Loomis. (Back in 2002, WWL was not simulcasting on FM as they are today, which meant anyone listening on the AM band would have dealt with static, anyway.)

The Saints compiled a .500 record during the 2002-04 seasons when the alleged eavesdropping system had been in place; it was destroyed in 2005 due to Hurricane Katrina.

This is a story with an ironic twist to it on a sports media and journalism standpoint: Back when this report broke (mostly on ESPN, naturally) I observed that NFL Network did not address the issue in their edition of “Total Access” on the day the news unfolded, taking an entire day to report it on their own broadcast.

I kid you not: I first learned of this latest development in this ordeal just after 7 PM ET, via the bottom-of-the-screen ticker on, you guessed it, NFL Network’s “Total Access.” The news broke roughly four hours before airtime.

Now that’s progress.

NFL Network Drops Ball On Mickey Loomis Eavesdropping Report

Why did NFL Network mysteriously neglect to acknowledge a report that Saints GM Mickey Loomis eavesdropped on opposing teams' coaches from 2002 through 2004? Instead, NFLN's "Total Access" spent more time speculating on this year's NFL Draft.

On a day in which the allegation of Bountygate-riddled Saints general manager Mickey Loomis using a reprogrammed electronic device to listen in on coaches of opposing teams for three years rocked the NFL, you’d have to wonder how the league-run network would cover the report on their nightly “Total Access” program.

Unfortunately, an hour later, you’re left wondering.

You would think that this story, even if based on unnamed sources’ accounts, would warrant A-block time on NFL Network’s version of “SportsCenter.” Instead, the show was devoted mostly to the upcoming NFL Draft on Thursday night, and featured panel segments with analysts from Brian Billick to Willie McGinest. The top story was on the Dolphins’ interest in drafting Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill with the number 8 overall pick. The next item wasn’t even a news story – it was speculation on what the Vikings will do with the number 3 draft pick, which consisted of a field report from Minnesota, and a tet-a-tet between McGinest and Daryl “Moose” Johnston. This would be followed by a similar package involving the Browns, who will be on the clock with the number 4 pick after the Vikings make their selection. Other segments on the program included a discussion on whether Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III would be entering a better situation upon their being drafted to their respective teams, and a piece on number 1 overall draft picks, “The Ones.”

In fact, it seems that the top non-draft-related item on Monday night’s “Total Access” was the news of Eagles and Broncos safety Brian Dawkins retiring.

Incidentally, on this night, NFL Network debuted a new chyron scheme. In conjunction with this was a giant bar above the scrolling ticker, which fed nonstop data related to this year’s NFL Draft, including a draft order legend, and mock drafts from NFLN analysts like Mike Mayock and Charley Casserly. For high-definition viewers. this bar lopped off the “rundown” bar on the left side of the screen. So you couldn’t even check in and look for a tab teasing the Saints story.

I’m curious as to why NFL Network would choose to avoid acknowledging the report of Loomis’ eavesdropping. Think about it: they were all over the Saints’ Bountygate scandal. Hell, one of their own personalities even fingered who he deemed “the snitch” in the whole thing (and as a result, is no longer with the network). Could it be that since it’s currently at a stage where it’s simply allegations, they’re choosing not to report on it? Or is it because ESPN broke the story with open arms? I would hate to think it would be the latter.

Then again, if you look on NFL.com while “Total Access” was on the air Monday night, you’ll find “headlines” such as the offseason roster expanding by ten players, and the Titans’ quarterback situation. You’ll also find articles pondering how the NFL would be affected if Andrew Luck were drafted in 2011, or wondering if Tony Romo is “Done in Dallas?” Nada on Spygate South.

In fact, as of post time, the most recent news item on NFL.com regarding the Saints is a frenzy of a different nature – team owner Tom Benson placing his granddaughter, believed to be the successor of the team should Tom pass on, on unpaid administrative leave as a result of “a pattern of behavior” exhibited by the 35-year-old woman. The item reads on NFL.com that Benson “is using the leave to send a wake-up call.”

Incidentally, now would be a good time to give the National Football League a wake-up call: Why keep NFL Network viewers and NFL.com readers in the dark on a report that, while cited by anonymous sources, could mushroom into an even bigger headache for the Saints in the long run? I mean, how hard is it to put Lindsay Rhodes in front of a Teleprompter and inform viewers of this report, and that the Saints are denying said report? Are you afraid it might be a missed opportunity to promote “The Top 100 NFL Players Of 2012”?

Certainly, the NFL understands that there are dozens of other popular sports news sources that are making a mention of the alleged Loomis eavesdropping. As of 8 PM ET on Monday night, it’s the top headline item on Yahoo! Sports’ NFL page. Ditto for CBS Sports’ NFL page. The top trending story on The Sporting News’ NFL page: “Loomis Accused.” Loomis accounted for the top headline item on FoxSports.com’s main page, as well as that of Pro Football Weekly.

Even the popular political news aggregator The Drudge Report has an item on it that reads, “Report: NFL team bugged opposing coaches box for 3 years…”

It’s one thing if ESPN is breaking a football story before NFL Network.

But if even The Drudge Report beats you to a significant football-related news item, that is not good.

It’s as if Roger Goodell is covering his eyes, hoping the report dies down quickly. I wouldn’t be surprised if he issued a gag order on all NFLN personnel to even mention the Saints on Monday’s broadcast.

I don’t want to take anything away from NFL Network. Everyone involved does a superb job putting together content for “Total Access” that viewers – football fans – would be interested in.

I would think they’d be interested in hearing about a report that the general manager of a team that won the Super Bowl a few years ago was listening in on the other teams’ coaches for a few years, wouldn’t you?

Especially if it’s the same team that’s got Bountygate casting a bayou-like shadow on them.

But, no, that can wait. Let’s break down Ryan Tannehill’s draft stock while we still can!

I thought devoting a segment to sandwiches modeled after Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez was the worst day of journalism on NFL Network.

I was wrong.

UPDATE: Well, it was a day and a few minutes overdue, but three minutes into Tuesday night’s “Total Access” broadcast, Andrew Siciliano finally reported on the Eavesdropgate allegations – and yes, he credited ESPN with first reporting the story on Monday. They also had Steve Wyche, currently stationed in Virginia for Redskins draft duties, file a report on the matter. And yes, at around 7:39 PM ET, the top headline on NFL.com reads: “Authorities investigating alleged wiretapping by Saints GM.” I knew the league wouldn’t have their head in the sand on this issue, but this still begs the question: what took so long?

Saints Seek Suit Against ESPN For Report Of Superdome Spygate Sequel

ESPN reported Monday via sources that Saints GM Mickey Loomis was able to listen to opposing coaches' conversations during games at the Superdome for three years. The Saints are now "seeking legal recourse" against ESPN - but this Spygate sequel is clearly a bigger issue that should be played out first.

I know we’re seven years removed from the devastation that was Hurricane Katrina, but for the New Orleans Saints, when it rains, it monsoons.

Following the Bountygate scandal – for which team personnel including head coach Sean Payton were suspended, and player suspensions are still due to be handed down, perhaps this week – comes word of a possible Spygate sequel, with allegations that general manager Mickey Loomis had arranged for an electronic device, installed by previous GM Randy Mueller, for the purpose of listening in on other Saints coaching staff members, to be rigged so that Loomis could be able to eavesdrop on opposing coaches during games played at the Superdome.

This was first reported Monday afternoon by ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” unit. Naturally, not only are the Saints denying these allegations, of which ESPN cites “sources familiar with Saints game-day operations”, the team is planning to sue the network.

According to New Orleans television station WWL – not to be confused with WWL, as in the Worldwide Leader, ESPN – Saints vice president of communications Greg Bensel deems the story “1000 percent false” and “completely inaccurate.” Bensel claims ESPN “refused… to provide us evidence to support their allegations.” With that, the Saints are now considering “all legal recourse regarding these false allegations.”

Louisiana attorney Jim Letten was quoted in the ESPN report as being informed of the allegations on Friday and is “not at liberty to comment” on this situation.

Sources claim that while Loomis watched Saints games at a suite in the Superdome, he used an earpiece to listen to communications from opposing coaches during games, manipulating a switch to toggle between offensive coaches for whomever the Saints’ opponent was that day, or their defensive coaches. This allegedly went on for just three seasons, between 2002 and 2004, during which, as ESPN points out, the Saints had a .500 record at the Superdome, as well a similar overall record (25-23) for those three seasons. The technology was rendered inoperable as a result of Hurricane Katrina, and in the ensuing season, in which the Saints would not be able to play a game at the Superdome for the entire season, the Saints went 3-13.

While Loomis may evade possible criminal prosecution since the statute of limitations following the most recent alleged offense falls outside the maximum five year window, it’s certain that the NFL could issue a stern punishment on top of the eight-game suspension he’s scheduled to serve for his role in Bountygate.

Spygate, you may recall, was the name given to the New England Patriots’ signal-videotaping scandal back in 2007; it cost them $750,000 in fines and a first-round draft pick.

If what I am dubbing “Spygate South” is proven, on top of Bountygate… maybe they should be forced to forfeit their Super Bowl championship.

But back to the lede in this particular post: Go ahead and sue ESPN, Saints. And while you’re at it, ask them about that “Deep Waters” headline they churned out when the first rumblings of Bountygate emerged.

Let’s take it one step at a time: let’s prove these allegations against Mickey Loomis first. If he’s found not guilty, then feel free to throw all the slander lawsuits you want at the Worldwide Leader – it certainly wouldn’t be the first time.

As much as I personally prefer NFL Network when it comes to football news, I have to say, for breaking a story of this magnitude, with ramifications that could possibly set a franchise back for years, it feels good to be ESPN.

Not so much if you’re a Saints fan.

Or if you’re Mickey Loomis.

Grab your umbrella.

Be sure to read SportsRantz’ Anthony DiMoro’s take on the Mickey Loomis eavesdropping allegations.