Fans: Sean Payton and Saints got what they deserved

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VilmaWilliams Fans: Sean Payton and Saints got what they deserved

It seems like the current situation revolving around the New Orleans Saints and some former coaches fits the term ‘karma’ quite perfectly.

After news came out that the Saints were running a bounty-like program under head coach Sean Payton, General Manager Loomis and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, it was apparent that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would strike with great ferocity as other players’ careers were seriously put at risk.

But nobody expected this kind of punishment.

Payton has been suspended for one year for his involvement in the program, and more so along the lines of knowing about the situation but keeping quiet and approving of it. Loomis has been suspended half a season (eight games) and Williams has been suspended indefinitely. The Saints as an organization was also heavily reprimanded, being fined $500,000 and losing two second-round draft picks: one in 2012, one in 2013.

The punishment is among the heftiest ever seen in the NFL, and a lot of it has to do with the current time we live in and how athletes are being treated with more physical care. If this sort of situation occurred back when Dick Butkus was playing (and maybe it did for all we know), it probably wouldn’t have made nearly as many headlines because media attention wasn’t as plentiful and the NFL was glorified for being a very violent sport. The scientific knowledge of concussions and general damage to the body was not identified, either.

There is a difference between injuring a player and the intent to hurt another player, and that is exactly where the Saints crossed the line. Giving defensive players bonuses for bigger hits and trying to decapitate the opposing team’s players is what the league has been trying to get away from in lieu of the concussion issues becoming front and center for current and former players.

The NFL is already a league made of superior athletes, many who could literally kill others on a football field because of their size and strength. For a coach, for someone who is a grown man to tell his players to try to end someone’s career for an extra check after the game … it really makes sports seem like the end-all, be-all in our current culture.

I am all for athletes in all sports to play hard and aggressive, cheering big hits just as much as the next fan. Big hits are part of the game and these players surely understand what they sign up for, especially considering the amount of money they receive for making a big catch or laying out an unsuspecting receiver.

There is a line between volatile and barbaric, and the Saints jumped over that line with sheer enthusiasm and plain arrogance.

Sources: ESPN, Yahoo.Sports, The Washington Post, and the NFL.com.

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Posted by on March 21, 2012. Filed under Commentary,NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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6 Responses to Fans: Sean Payton and Saints got what they deserved

  1. Junction City Reply

    March 21, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Everybody’s doing this man, they just haven’t been caught. It’ll calm for a while now though.

  2. Erin Nanasi Reply

    March 22, 2012 at 8:00 am

    I remember watching the Oakland Raiders play as a child, and wincing when they would pile drive some poor receiver into the turf. You’re right; there is a difference between “rough” play and actually paying players to severely injure the other team.

  3. Bill Formby Reply

    March 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I played football for a lot of years and have been around it a lot since those days especially when I taught at the University of Alabama. I have counted among my friends folks like Derrick Thomas, Jon Hand, Curt Jarvis all of whom played at the pro level. In every instance when you hit someone you want him to remember it the next time he is carrying the ball, catching a pass, etc. That is nature of the sport. But there is never a place where you deliberately try to injure someone. That is a coward’s move.

  4. Peter M. Arel Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    What Commissioner Goodell did shows that he is committed to player safety and if this turns into “FLAG FOOTBALL,”I’ll take that over being in traction in a hospital ANY DAY!
    Football IS a violent sport,BUT IT NEEDS TO GO THE OTHER WAY, NOT BECOME EVEN MORE VIOLENT! The people who paid players to maliciously injure opposing players got what they deserved!THERE SHOULD BE NO APPEALS!Commissioner Goodell should stick to his guns!

  5. Peter M. Arel Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    The New Orleans Saints’ punishment should be to be forced to play in a Super Bowl WHERE THE OTHER TEAM HAS “HOME CROWD ADVANTAGE( assuming they even make it that far)” and suffer a MAJOR DEFEAT! I’m talking 27-0! That BOUNTYGATE SCANDAL HAD to be dealt with the way Commissioner Goodell
    dealt with it! That was a real gutsy move on the part of
    Commissioner Goodell. It sahows he REALLY IS serious about player safety.The people who were supposed to be putting a stop to that practice looked the other way and then lied to the commissioner about it.They deserve whatever the Commish dishes out to them!

  6. Peter M. Arel Reply

    April 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Pro Football needs A LOT MORE MEN LIKE COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL.AND SO WHAT IF HE TURNS THE NFL INTO “FLAG FOOTBALL”? THAT IS WHAT HE SHOULD HAVE THE POWER TO DO-COME DOWN HARD ON THOSE WHO WOULD MAKE PRO FOOTBALL A BLOODBATH IN ORDER TO PANDER TO THE FANS WHO WATCH PRO FOOTBALL TO SEE SUCH SPECTACLES!

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