Bounty Hunters Cause Devastating Damage in New Orleans

Posted: March 24, 2012 by Kodi in NFL

Head Coach Sean Payton and former Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams were the Saints Bounty Hunters

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell showed the league one more reason why he’s not to be fucked with

but did this “scandal” really deserve such harsh punishment?

The month of March is normally filled with the NCAA basketball tournament and the beginning of the MLB’s Spring Training but this year it has been filled with huge NFL stories. Nobody was really expecting Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow to both be on new teams and no one was expecting Commissioner Roger Goodell to lay to the hammer on the New Orleans Saints after uncovering an extensive and dangerous “bounty” system. The NFL made its initial announcement about their findings at the beginning of March and just 3 weeks later Goodell imposed one of the heftiest disciplines in NFL history.

We all know that when it came to Gregg Williams defensive scheme but until a few weeks ago we didn’t know that their ferocity was inspired by a bounty system. Head Coach Sean Payton and others with the Saints organization denied their acknowledgement of particular events and that is key. Goodell and the NFL investigated the allegations that the Saints paid players for knock-out hits and injuries on certain players who had “bounties” on them. Commissioner Roger Goodell has been a stern leader of the NFL ruling with an iron fist but the punishment he laid out this week is mind-blowing.

The ring-leader former Saints Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams left NOLA to take the same position with the St. Louis Rams. It seems that the Rams better start looking for a new DC because Williams is suspended for at least this season but is officially listed as indefinitely suspended. Meaning Goodell will reevaluate the situation at the end of next season. It depends on if Williams is a good boy or not and how much he participates in the subsequent proceedings and investigations and although Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Williams was “shocked and remorseful” we don’t know how cooperative he’ll be. Williams was quick to apologize when these allegations arose a few weeks ago and on Wednesday he made another statement to the media. “I’d like to again apologize wholeheartedly to the NFL, Coach [Jeff] Fisher, the entire Rams organization and all football fans for my actions” but failed to show remorse for Sean Payton or other Saints personnel.

Williams was the ringleader of the bounty system and it was encouraged under his watch so an indefinite suspension for him isn’t all that surprising. The fact that Saints Head Coach Sean Payton was suspended for the entire season was about as unexpected as Hurricane Katrina. Once again the city of New Orleans has been devastated by a disaster but this time it was anything but natural. Payton’s suspension is without pay for the 2012 season but he wasn’t the only one facing Goodell’s repercussions.  Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis is also suspended without pay but he will only sit out for 8 games while Assistant Head Coach Joe Vitt will miss the first 6 games and paychecks.

“While all club personnel are expeted to play to win, they  must not let the quest for victory so cloud their judgment that they willingly and willfully target their opponents and engage in unsafe and prohibited conduct intended to injure players.” Roger Goodell said in his statement. “Let me be clear. There is no place in the NFL for deliberately seeking to injure another player, let alone offering a reward for doing so. Any form of a bounty is incompatible with our commitment to create a culture of sportsmanship, fairness and safety. Programs of this kind have no place in our game and we are determined that bounties will no longer be a part of the NFL.”

One would think that suspensions handed out to the Saints organization would be enough to please Goodell but he wasn’t done there. Goodell wanted to hit them where it hurts most, in the wallet and in April. The Saints organization was fined half a million dollars and had to forfeit their 2nd round draft selections for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Now the Saints need to find a new head coach for the season, one willing to take the position for just a single year, as well as find replacements for the other personnel during their suspensions. I’m sure if you asked Goodell he would spin the situation as positively claiming that he saved the Saints over $10 million over the next fiscal year (Wages, Signing Bonuses, Contracts). In the end Goodell concluded that “we are all accountable and responsible for player health and safety and the integrity of the game, we will not tolerate conduct or a culture that undermines those priorities. No one is above the game or the rules that govern it. Respect for the game and the people who participate in it will not be compromised.”

I’m glad that the NFL is finally “caring” for its players and the league after so many years of not worrying about injuries, concussions, pension and health care for retired veterans among other things. But now the NFL cares and it’s Commissioner Roger Goodell’s job to show you just how much. Former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski wasn’t pleased with the results of the investigation heading to Twitter to vent his displeasure “Maybe there should be a bounty program on members of the league who have buried data on brain injuries for years. #hypocrisy.”Minnesota Vikings Punter Chris Kluwe went to Twitter to approve of what Roger Goodell and set the rest of the public/media straight.

Commish sent the right message. It’s one thing to break the rules It’s a completely different one to consistently lie about it for 3 years.

(two minutes later) It’s rant time! Hold on tight boys and girls, it’s about to get dangerous in here.

(one minute later) To everyone who thinks the source was a “snitch” and a bad person – FUCK YOU. Fuck you and your glorification of criminality . . . (2nd Tweet) Fuck you and your degradation of morality. Fuck you and your short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrisy. Fuck you and your idiocy.

(two minutes later) Try to do the right thing for once and standing up for what’s important in life – the proper treatment of your fellow man. #fuckingassholes

Well tell us how you really feel Chris or should I say @ChrisWarcraft. I can imagine how angry Kluwe is as it was his QB who was targeted in the 2010 NFC Championship game and those bounties are the only reason the Saints defense played the way it did. He does however bring up some other valid points that need discussion and no it’s not the degradation of morality, if you’ve read this far into a Sportn-A-Mic article I know you have no morals. Rather I want to talk about the snitch and the fact that the Saints have been covering up this story for over three years.

We can thank the wonderful world of social networking once again, Twitter actually, for breaking the news that formers Saints TE is the alleged “snitch”.  NFL analyst and former DT Warren Sapp aka @QBKilla confirmed through Tweets that he heard Shockey was the snitch. He never actually tweeted that it was him but when someone asked if it was him @QBKilla replied “BINGO” making it clear as day. Shockey has gone to his Twitter account @JereymyShockey to deny the rumors but in my opinion where there’s smoke there’s fire.

It doesn’t matter who the snitch was and this stop snitchin’ bullshit that is in our culture is a little ridiculous. I agree that you shouldn’t fuck anyone over and the Golden Rule shall always prevail but this story wasn’t broken by any one person. The bounty system that was instituted by Williams is definitely not something created by the defensive coordinator. This type of system has been around football and whether some people want to believe that the sport isn’t viciously dangerous clearly isn’t watching nor been involved in the same game as me. Who fucking cares who broke the story? I will tell you that the Saints players probably know and they may get their redemption on the field as the alleged snitch does play in their same division.

Drew Brees chimed in (through Twitter) telling the world “I am speechless. Sean Payton is a great man, coach and mentor. The best there is. I need to hear an explanation for this.” Roger Goodell would probably tell Brees that Payton is a lying sack of shit who manipulated this entire situation to try and keep his pristine reputation but really he was in as deep as any other person involved. Goodell gave out such harsh punishment because there was so much “lying to investigators” and that “a combination of elements made this matter particularly unusual and egregious.” Payton received such a harsh punishment because as head coach he:

1. didn’t ensure the bounty system had stopped after being told to by Saints personnel in 2010

2. denied and lied about the programs existence in both 2010 and 2012

3. encouraged his assistants to “make sure our ducks are in a row;” meaning that the system was being covered up and finally

4. made absolutely no effort to remove the bounty system or reprimand players involved

“Clearly, we were lied to” Goodell proclaimed. “We investigated this back in 2010, we were told it was not happening, it continued for another two years until we got credible evidence late in the 2011 season and we were able to identify significant information that verified from multiple sources that this was going on for a three-year period.” The Saints pissed off the wrong guy and Goodell laid down the law just like his football hard and fast. “We have serious violations of an existing rule that threatens the health and welfare of our players . . . we were misled, and there were denials throughout that period. Meanwhile, there continued to be risk to our players and to the integrity of our game. So it calls for a very significant and clear message.”

Sean Payton tried to make it seem like this shouldn’t fall in his lap but that’s because he thought his ducks were in a row. It turns out they were astray and a shit-storm was brewing. Payton could no longer deny these allegations when the NFL investigators found e-mails from the head coach putting $10k of his own cash on a bounty for Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who Payton spelt Rogers. Brett Favre, Kurt Warner and Cam Newton were other players who had bounties placed upon them by the Saints.

I don’t believe that Payton should be suspended for the entire year, I don’t think that there should be any suspensions at all. The Spygate scandal cost the Patriots a quarter of a million more dollars and a first round pick instead of two 2nd’s for what I believe to be much more detrimental to the “dignity of the game” that Goodell thinks is being attacked by the bounty system. The players contracts are essentially bounty systems, despite the intent to injure, but I highly doubt that New Orleans is the only team in the world of football that has every instituted something like this. Yea fucking right! Really the Saints were stupid enough to get caught, whether that was because they relied on it too much or were ratted out by a snitch it doesn’t matter because now they are officially the sacrificial lamb of Roger Goodell.


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