Sean Payton may no longer be the coach of the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League. That doesn't mean he doesn't still carry some very strong feelings for the Black and Gold and the legions of fans that follow the team.

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton
Brian Blanco, Getty Images

Any real Saints fan can tell you, part of the joy of cheering for New Orleans is throwing shade in the general direction of the Atlanta Falcons. No, it's not really the general direction, usually Saints fans are very direct when casting aspersions against the team known as The Dirty Birds.

While the Saints and Falcons are division foes in the NFL's South Division they are also competing off the field for talented players. One of the players that both teams are looking very closely at is Houston Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson. The Falcons need help for Matt Ryan and the Saints still don't know what they'll have at quarterback following Jameis Winston's return from injury.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints
Sean Gardner

So when word got out that both the Saints and the Falcons were in discussions for the services of Watson some NFL pundits found the scenario to be "fuel for the fire" that are the feelings between the two NFL franchises.

Jeff Duncan a newspaper columnist from New Orleans tweeted about the possibility.

However, it was Sean Payton's reply below Duncan's tweet that caught the attention of the NFL faithful. Especially Saints fans who knew exactly what Payton was talking about.

And BOOM goes the Dirty Birds with just one word. Of course, Sean has had a lot of success against the Falcons. In his time with New Orleans Payton and the Saints have won 21 games versus just nine losses. Payton and the Black and Gold won three of four from Atlanta during his final two seasons in New Orleans.

So, I get it. A rivalry implies that the other team wins every once in a while. What we have between Atlanta and New Orleans is more like the relationship the nail has with the hammer. Sure, they're both in the same game but only one is really doing all the pounding.

Of course, the Saints now find themselves without Sean Payton and without Drew Brees and their star running back Alvin Kamara has some legal issues and then there is the issue of what kind of shape Jameis Winston will be in once he returns from rehabbing his injury. According to reports, he is ahead of schedule which is good news.

Meanwhile, the Falcons have stuff going for them. There is a great place in Atlanta to get a hot dog called The Varsity. The Falcons have a nice new stadium. And, the Braves keep trading away star players so fans don't have to pay attention to how bad the Falcons really are.

And if you think Sean Payton's tweet made the Falcons feel a bit awkward, just try doing these things and you can feel just like them.

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