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Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
Email: bhandwerger@wwltv.com | Twitter: @wwltvsports

OPIONION/ANALYSIS

Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis aren't concerned with public perception when it comes to making in-house decisions.

And they shouldn't be.

Hugh Weber and Jac Sperling aren't negotiating the sale of the Hornets with their fan's interest involved.

Nor should they be.

But now more than ever, the city of New Orleans could use some positive news when it comes to athletics.

The gut punch fans of the Saints and Hornets have taken in the past week alone would be enough to send anybody down ducking for cover, hiding in their basements from the cold nature of reality nowadays.

The Hornets have been on sale for more than 14 months with little indication that something is actually happening sooner rather than later.

The Saints couldn't sign quarterback Drew Brees to a long-term contract and in franchise tagging him, likely put a dent in a relationship that at one time was as strong as any in the league.

And then there's the situation with the bounty investigation, putting Saints fans in the tough spot of defending their heroes while at the same time being embarrassed over the deeds.

That this comes now, especially for the Saints, is a PR nightmare.

In nearly a week, the first payment for season tickets is due.

I doubt most fans will drop their tickets because of this fiasco. But some will hesitate. They want good news and they want to be associated with something positive, something that gives them optimism heading into the 2012 season.

But we've heard nothing but silence from the Saints. Mickey Loomis, the seemingly embattled general manager, and coach Sean Payton haven't spoken since news of the pay for performance program broke.

Repeated requests for comment have gone unreturned.

They've bunkered down at a time when they can least afford to do that.

It's a different situation with the Hornets. There have been news leaks on who is involved in a potential sale and commissioner David Stern has said it will happen soon.

Until that happens, though, I know many folks who refuse to care about the team. They're sick of being dragged around the block emotionally, unwilling to commit another second of time or dollar of their portfolio to the team until there's positive news out of Hornets camp.

So, no, it's not the job of Loomis or Payton or Weber or Sperling to win the public relations battle.

But it sure would help their respective fan bases begin to reconcile with their beloved franchises.

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