Rob Ryan, American icon, may be one of the more well-known and beloved assistant coaches in the NFL, but apparently not everyone treats him with the respect he deserves. According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Ryan is suing the developer, builder and engineers who constructed his family’s home when he was hired by the New Orleans Saints in 2013 on the grounds that it’s sinking, among other problems. From the Times-Picayune:
The ground, the lawsuit claims, is shifting badly beneath Ryan’s house, which wasn’t built on pilings or sufficiently spaced footings despite New Orleans’ notoriously soft soils, according to the document filed in Orleans Parish District Court. An engineer hired by the Ryans determined that key joists throughout the house also are overloaded.
When a public figure of Ryan’s stature publicly accuses you of something as believably crappy as half-assing a building job, the court of public opinion has already ruled against you. There are many ways to respond to this, but perhaps the worst is to attempt to fire back in the one arena in which you’re hopelessly outgunned — Saints fans.
Developer Jim MacPhaille, instead of waiting for his day in court, pointlessly directed everyone’s attention to Ryan’s attorney, Rusty Smith, and one of Smith’s other cases — the Benson family feud, in which Smith represents the jilted family of 88-year-old Saints owner Tom Benson. Benson is attempting to cut his descendants out of his will, instead turning over most of his assets (including the Saints and Pelicans) to his wife of 11 years. It’s a bitter struggle that is consistent news in New Orleans, but has nothing to do with a housing dispute. Still, MacPhaille’s strategy seems to be yelling at Saints fans, “Look, don’t you hate this lawyer guy? He’s trying to screw me, too!”
“It is unbelievable that Rob Ryan would choose to work with the same attorney that is attempting to discredit the owner of the Saints,” MacPhaille said in a written statement sent through his spokesman Stephen Schulkens.
MacPhaille went on to emphasize that the claims in this particular case were similarly unfounded (the Bensons’ case is still pending), but it’s not the best look for MacPhaille’s innocence when the first words out of his mouth in response are, “Yeah, but you’re the jerk who’s screwing with our beloved sports team’s [possibly actually mentally unfit] owner! WHO’S WITH ME?!”