Sean Payton Looks Unrecognizable in Photo of Him Playing Football in England

By David Hayes
Sean Payton has been the head coach of the New Orleans Saints since 2006.
Sean Payton has been the head coach of the New Orleans Saints since 2006. / Grant Halverson/Getty Images
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Despite what had to be a rough past two weeks for Sean Payton and his family after learning he had tested positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Payton was officially cleared of his former diagnosis earlier this week.

And what better way to celebrate the recent good news than diving through some old photos for a good chuckle, just as as so many have been doing at home lately?

While most football fans are widely familiar with New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton for his decorated résumé on the coaching side of football, he also built a reputation as an American football player in England in the late 1980s.

That's right, that's actually a 24-to-25-year-old Payton in 1988, back when he was the starting quarterback of the Leicester Panthers British American football team.

After playing out his college career as a QB for the Eastern Illinois Panthers and going undrafted in 1987, Payton bounced around an Arena Football League team, Canadian Football League team and even the Chicago Bears in 1987 before landing with Leicester.

And for those that may may think the Eastern Illinois Panthers sound familiar, this is, in fact, the same football program that produced both former Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo and current San Francisco 49ers signal-caller Jimmy Garoppolo.

While neither of those two talents ever played a snap of British American football, we should all be thankful that Payton did just for the purpose of this awesome, old-school photo's existence.


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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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