...and Bountygate continues!
To be honest, I really wasn't thinking about writing about the whole New Orleans Saints-bounty paying controversy, but this one fell in my lap for a few reasons:
1) It's like the Black Sox, but with a different spin on it.
2) It reminded me of Mr. T.
3) How did something as awkward as this slip through the system?
We'll explore each one of those points--well, #2 not so much because well, you can't explain that--in relatively brief statements.
I'm hoping that most of you have heard about the Black Sox controversy at some point in your life. If not, Wikipedia can help you. At that point, sports were a pretty clean slate, and there wasn't anything involving betting on or fixing the game to change the outcome. This scandal really set the bar for betting in sports and showing how incredibly nasty betting could be when it isn't monitored. The result of the scandal eventually led to eight men (actually more men outside of the team were suspended because they had knowledge of this) being banned from baseball forever because of accepting these actions. After knowing what happened here, do you think that the upcoming suspensions of coaches, team owners, and players could lead to something more serious?
After much though, I think I might actually go into number 2. The whole 'pain' thing? That's sort of what this is all about. The players were actually paid to go out and seriously injure the other team. That's a huge no-no in my book and in many other people's books. I bet if they did stuff like that for young girls' sports teams, I wouldn't be alive right now. That's just inappropriate and unacceptable. The main reason why the NFL actually found out about this whole bounty thing is that Gregg Williams, the Saints' former defensive coordinator, was the man involved in an audio leak mentioning this whole debacle. Since the NFL voluntary workouts begin today, people are beginning to wonder whether players will begin suffering the penalties as well. Usually the release of the season schedule (which occurs around this time) will bring out the "new law," as it were, from Goodie himself.
Finally, how on earth did this go on unnoticed as long as it did? This actually doesn't beat the heck out of me. When you think about it, all defensive players go out on the field looking like they're ready to kill the quarterback. That's why the alleged "targeting" of Brett Favre looked normal in the NFC Championship game in 2010. That's why the other alleged targeting looked normal too. This case isn't a question of who was involved with the actual bounty or not, since this was going on with the uninvolved party having knowledge that this was going on behind the scenes. In fact, there have been allegations beginning in the 2009 season. Holy. Crap. Goodie was obviously not in a good mood after hearing about this and how long it's been going on, because he not only suspended Sean Payton for the 2012-2013 season, but he has suspended Williams (who has moved on from the Saints) indefinitely, and even suspended their interim coach (Joe Vitt) for several games next season....
The Saints had to surrender draft picks starting after the first round.
Yes. This could only get worse, my friends. And it could start this week. The fact that this stuff is worse that anything we have ever seen--most notably on the professional level--will mean that we are going to be seeing punishments and penalties never seen before. Is is safe to say I'm looking forward to it in the curious way? I'd hate to see some people get punished even though they weren't directly involved with it, but this is a case where you need to know the consequences for any kind of infraction.
Enjoy your week...for now.