Payton on broken fire alarm: 'Needed noise to stop'


NFL teams often take numerous steps to limit outside distractions before a game, preferring to focus on the task on hand.

The New Orleans Saints, however, had to deal with the unexpected ahead of Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

A fire alarm in the visitor's locker room at Paul Brown Stadium sounded and kept going for 10 minutes, prompting head coach Sean Payton to take immediate action.

"I will confirm that I destroyed a fire alarm before the game," Payton said Monday during a teleconference when asked about a report from the Times-Picayune. "'Destroy' would be a little bit sensationalist. But clearly we were having issues with the fire alarm at a time relative to 20 minutes, 30 minutes before we're supposed to be out. And it continued -- it had gone on for 10 minutes -- and I just needed the noise to stop."

A still photograph, which is credited to a Times-Picayune photographer, accompanying the original story showed the extent of the alleged damage to the fire alarm, with the red cover off and internal wires exposed.

Destruction of property is covered in Ohio's vandalism laws, and the Bengals notified authorities, according to the Times-Picayune.

The Bengals also released a statement to the newspaper, which read: "We are aware of this situation and have been in touch with the authorities, but have nothing more on it at this time."

The Saints declined to comment, according to the Times-Picayune.

Meanwhile, Payton said Monday that he "gladly will take care of the repair cost" and emphasized he had a lot of respect for the Bengals organization.

Fire alarm aside, the Saints didn't let a brief period of annoying noise stop them from destroying the Bengals on the field en route to a 51-14 win.