First, it absolutely is true.
Second, the jab was good-natured.
The "Sean Payton/butcher" story that' Payton shared Monday night on his coach's show on WWL-870, and circulated nationally afterward, was confirmed Thursday morning by the New Orleans Saints coach. And his recall of the event was vividly thorough.
Payton opted for a two-point conversion attempt with 4:51 left in the first quarter of Sunday's 48-46 loss to San Francisco in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The attempt failed to give New Orleans a 15-7 lead, as did a fourth-quarter attempt that would have provided a 48-45 lead.
But the first-quarter attempt was the topic of conversation inside a grocery store.
"It was a little bit…it's Sunday after a game, I'm going to pick up some food for dinner, I really don't want to hear about a two-point play I called," Payton said. "It got under my skin. I circled my cart back around and kind of called him out.
"It happened, and I was actually shopping for my dinner ... and people are like, 'He actually shops for his dinner?' Yeah, I shop for my dinner and go down the aisle with an aisle cart, like everyone else."
Payton then went into the background of what led to the conversion attempt.
"Let's explain this: I never go for two early in games," he said. "But when you get a penalty, it's a personal foul, this year you can actually realize that penalty one yard closer on a two-point try or you can kick it from the 50.
"I didn't feel like kicking a touchback, thought about kicking an onside kick. And then, felt pretty good about – I really felt about a couple of these two-point plays that we had going into plan. So on the 1-yard line, I think we're going to get two points. And we get the defense misaligned, obviously it doesn't have any success and then the game ends, and, 'Why were you going for two?' Because I wanted to. We're on the 1-yard line."
Payton said the tenor of the conversation wasn't heated, and eventually, it led to his jab at the end.
"It wasn't really negative. I was kind of in that, sliding down the aisle, you got the produce right here to the left, you see the meats, I made a right, I'm heading for the coffee and I thought it was all kind of a jest thing. And I heard one of them say something about, 'Why'd you go for two?'
"And I kept walking toward the dairy, I'm like, 'Ah, I'm not letting this go, I'm turning around.' And went back, and he was fine. It wasn't negative. He was just wanting to know and I explained it to him. And I just said, I would never that early, but when we get a penalty and now we're on the 1-yard line, that's 50 percent closer than the 2.
"And he got it, and then I gave him a hard time. I said, 'Some of these cuts don't look really good to me.'
"That was happened. It was in jest. We were having a little humor."