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Fans protest 'bounty' penalties outside Saints' home

Who knew blind-side hits could engender such blind devotion?

Several dozen New Orleans Saints fans held a protest Sunday in front of the Superdome over the NFL's penalties against the franchise for its "bounty" program, WWLTV.com reported.

Protesters wore custom-designed T-shirts, hoisted signs and chanted "Free Sean Payton!" At least one fan carried a roll of Bounty paper towels with the word "No" scrawled above the product logo.

It was that kind of scene.

"It's just wrong what they doing to the coach," one protester said.

The NFL expects any appeals to punishments levied in the "bounty" case -- against the Saints, Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis and assistant coach Joe Vitt -- to be heard this week, league spokesman Greg Aiello said Sunday.

Let's be clear here: The frustrations of the Saints' fan base are totally understandable. The "bounty" scandal has tarnished the team's recent success while simultaneously turning the future upside-down.

That said, the Saints' reckless internal policies brought about the harsh sanctions. It's easy to blame the NFL for Who Dat's predicament, but you can't take the effect and make it the cause.

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