Bounty Scandal Out of Control

Recently in NFL news, there has been much coverage of the Bounty Scandal case involving the New Orleans Saints.

This past week a few current Saints players and a few ex Saints players were able to appeal to the punishments administered to them by Roger Godell and the NFL for their roles in the Bounty Scandal. Saints players Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, and Scott Fujita all had very strong opinions to express to the media after they made their appeals to Roger Godell and the NFL.

New Orleans Saints – Coach By Committee

I love this expression as it applies to coaching the New Orleans Saints. What exactly does this mean? Drew Brees has been the team’s on field coach for the last few years anyway so doesn’t it makes sense to have him lead this committee. What a great opportunity for other players to step up to the plate and show their leadership skills in the locker room and on the field. Believe me there are plenty of them on this team.

Saints Upgraded Line-Backing Corp Revives ‘Dome Patrol’

New Orleans Saints' Fleur-de-lis logo Ineligib...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After two decades of mundane play and widespread disappointment, the New Orleans Saints front office took a proactive approach to solving the team’s biggest weakness.

After Jim Haslett’s first season with the Saints in 2000, only Jonathan Vilma has represented the team as a Pro Bowl linebacker. Now, with Vilma facing a suspension for the upcoming season, the seemed to be more questions then answers for the middle of the defense. Add this to the other BountyGate penalties and the lack of a long-term contract for Drew Brees and it seemed Saints fans would have little to cheer about this offseason.

No Winners Here

The Saints are appealing their ban/suspensions for the “bounty” scandal they got themselves into but despite the outcome there are no winners here.

For those who think that the bans are about player safety or some kind of outrage from fans or other players, you are wrong.  These bans/suspensions were put in place by the NFL because they had no other choice.  In the face of lawsuits filed by countless former players and player’s families, the NFL has no choice but to put these things in place.  If they did not, then these lawsuits could contend that the NFL condones such actions that deliberately hurt other players, even causing the very concussions these lawsuits are about.  The NFL has no choice and these appeals will not win.

Bounty Gate – Where Is The Punishment?

That’s it – one year suspensions and a couple of $500,000 fines? While it seemed harsh up front, when you consider the crime committed against an already violent sport, it is not nearly enough.

We constantly hear about retired players like Jerome Bettis, and how he can barely walk up the stairs. We hear about guys like Dave Duerson who suffered severely from post-concussion symptoms after his career ended. There are so many stories like this that they are too numerous count, but the fact is that these men sacrificed their bodies to play the violent sport that they love and are now suffering the effects of the natural toll that it has on their bodies.

Bounties? I Call It Motivation

Pirate Flag
Ashley Fox an NFL columnist wrote an interesting article on ESPN.com here:

Wow, what an article. First I have to ask if the gang over at ESPN do drug testing? Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis deserve to be fired?! I say no. Look, so many people our upset over the Bounties. This is football. It’s not freeze tag. Guys are paid to hit other guys and hit them hard.

Bounty Hunters

When the news came out this week that the Saints had employed a “bounty” program on their defense under Gregg Williams two things came to mind. One, I was not surprised in the least and two, the NFL was going to make this a scapegoat issue.

It’s The Time For Real Football Fans

As no surprise Phil Dawson has been resigned to the Browns. Really, it’s a great move, because you have got to have a kicker you can count on. How many big games have kickers been frozen up by other teams, loud stadiums, weather, and well … you know … their own head coach #Dallas. So it’s great to see we can keep a solid kicker. He’s going on 14 years and I can see Dawson having 3 perhaps even 4 more solid years. Really hope we get to see this guy retire as a Brown.

Who ‘Dat

The Saints got an up close and personal look at the San Francisco 49ers and thanks to the playoffs so did the rest of the football watching world.

I had not watched the 49ers play a game all year.  I had heard that they have a great defense and that their special teams was also very good.  I had heard that Alex Smith was coming along as a QB.  But honestly, I had dismissed them because of the caliber of teams and the division in which they play, which is one of the weakest in the NFL.  I thought that they would give the Saints a little trouble, but I thought in the end the Saints would prevail.

3

Three points.  This is what the Saints are favored by over the 49ers for the first game of the playoffs today.

There are those who would say that to favor the vaunted Saints by only 3 points over the upstart 49ers is crazy.  Perhaps not.  The 49ers may not have the prolific offense that Brees and the Saints have but they do have something else….a very, very good defense.  If defense actually does win championships, then the 49ers have as good a chance as any and this year a better chance than most.