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NFL fine triggered charitable idea for New Orleans Saints Coach Dennis Allen and wife, Alisson

'There's nothing that makes you feel better about yourself than trying to do something to help out your community'


Dennis Allen and his wife, Alisson, took the NFL's lemons and created an ocean of lemonade.

The league fined the New Orleans Saints' coach $100,000, defensive end Cameron Jordan $50,000, then-defensive line coach/co-defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen $50,000, and the Saints organization $350,000 when it deemed that Jordan faked a foot injury during New Orleans' game against Tampa Bay on Dec. 5.

All parties appealed (and won), and the fines were rescinded. But Dennis and Alisson Allen went a step further, and Second Harvest Food Bank benefited.

"It all started when we got the fine letters from the league," Allen said. "We said, 'We shouldn't be fined for this, we didn't do anything wrong.' And then, it got Alisson and I to thinking, 'Well, we win this appeal, let's take that money that we would have given the league and let's do something good with that money.'

"And so, Second Harvest Food Bank is an organization that Alisson has taken an interest in. I think there's like one in five households in Louisiana that deal with lack of funds for foods and vital things in terms of living. And so, we wanted to do something to help out in the community and felt like that was a good place to start."

Allen said the feeling associated with providing assistance was well worth the appeal.

"We're blessed to be able to have a certain level of lifestyle and a certain level of comfort being employed in the NFL," he said. "And there's nothing that makes you feel better about yourself than trying to do something to help out your community.

"We have such a tight-knit group between our team and this city, and any time you feel like you can help out those in need in your community, you want to be able to do that."

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