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March 24, 2010

Caymus caper

Sean Payton has paid his former boss, Jerry Jones, back with a magnum of Caymus Special Selection cabernet sauvignon. While in Indianapolis for the combine last month, Payton had taken the last bottle of the wine at St. Elmo Steakhouse the night before the Cowboys' dinner at the restaurant. Payton left the empty bottle in the middle of the table with a signed note.

By chance, Payton and Jones, who are good friends from Payton's time as an assistant in Dallas under Bill Parcells, ended up at the same restaurant Monday night. The owner of the restaurant is a die-hard Saints fan from Plaquemines Parish, La.

"Jerry knew right what I was thinking, so I quickly brought the owner of the restaurant over and I said, 'I just want you all to know, the owner here is from Plaquemines Parish, La., and he's assured me if there's any Caymus in this building, we're going to have first cracks at it, and then, if we're not interested in drinking it all, we'll send it your way,'" Payton said. "I had warned the waitress, 'Now, this guy [Jones] is hard to say no to.' Truth be told, there was no Caymus in the building, and this guy had sent out and located two magnums at different locations."

Payton presented a magnum to Jones, who had a good laugh.

"I think he had to search all over town," Jones said. "He brought back a bottle with the 'Who Dat?' all over it and that kind of thing. It's an ongoing saga."

Payton said since the story broke in Indianapolis about his Caymus caper, he has received several bottles of the pricey magnums.

"I have one superstition on game day, and it's juicy fruit gum," Payton said. "No big deal. Once that gets out, there isn't a week that goes by that I don't get a pack of juicy fruit sent in the mail or a box of juicy fruit. ...After the Indianapolis Caymus Heist, if you will, the makers of Caymus sent a bottle over, and then someone locally from a supplier sent a case over. I remember thinking, 'Boy, I wish I had done the Caymus earlier, because I sure like getting Caymus over juicy fruit."

The Saints travel to Arlington to play the Cowboys this season.

-- Charean Williams




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