Sometimes the best jobs are the ones that you don’t get. Just ask Saints coach Sean Payton.
Payton grew up in the Midwest following the Packers and believed he would be the coach in Green Bay after some terrific interviews with the team in 2006. That obviously wasn’t the case. The Packers went with Mike McCarthy, which devastated Payton, who revealed in his new book, “Home Team: Coaching the Saints and New Orleans Back to Life,” that he took the news really hard (via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).
“I wanted to cry,” Payton wrote. “I appreciated the heads-up. But damn!”
But the old saying goes, when life closes a door, a window is open. Payton was actually in New Orleans, interviewing for the Saints job, when he received the news from Packers general manager Ted Thompson. And you know how the rest of the story goes: Drew Brees, onsides kick, Lombardi Trophy and world’s biggest Mardi Gras party.
This story should be an inspiration. Coaches often talk about landing their “dream job” in the NFL, sometimes to disastrous results. Jimmy Johnson in Miami. Mike Nolan in San Francisco. Anyone coaching Buffalo.
But the key is to take advantage of the opportunities that come. Payton missed out on the Green Bay job, but he did bag the Lombardi Trophy.