New Orleans’ former defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams has been suspended indefinitely, for running a program that paid New Orlean Saint football players bonuses for inflicting injuries on opposing players that forced them to leave games. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has disciplined the New Orleans Saints management and coaches  for violations of the NFL’s long-standing “bounty” rule, also suspended is Linebacker Scott Fujita for the three games. Defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove for first eight games. Defensive End Will Smith for four games and Linebacker Jonathan Vilma for the entire 2012 season, effective immediately.

The coaches, management and player have all been suspended, however, one has escaped punishment by the NFL… ESPN. Why wasn’t ESPN sanctioned? How does a defensive player in the NFL get a Sport Center highlight? By taking someone out, by hitting someone hard. Those highlights mean notoriety, which means more money. A defensive player in an offensive minded league is compelled by ESPN to take out a player, to be violent with not only the opponent, but themselves as well. This is the real bounty gate.

This is the real bounty-gate, they don’t want to talk about. It’s the hits that keeps the money rolling in, after all Sport Center and the NFL do not reward soft tackles. Aren’t we fans, commentators, commissioners being hypocritical here. Don’t we want the violence. Don’t we need the blood and guts. Don’t we want the highlights. Aren’t we as a society pushing more and more still developing 7 and 8 year old ‘s into full contact football. Is it wrong to target players, I was always told hit them fast and hit them hard. These “bounty” hits did not happened outside of football, which is why no excessive penalties were called by referees at the time, so apparently the hits were normal and legal football hits. Herman Edwards said “knocking players out is apart of football so long as you don’t receive money for it”, well don’t players get a contract or an extension based on their performance, which includes knocking opposing players out? So the NFL contract itself is a bounty.  The hits weren’t above the shoulders either, so what is really going on here.

Is offering your Defensive Back a high end meal for forcing fumbles a bounty. Is a Quarterback Back giving the Offensive Line Movado watches for crushing the opponent’s Defensive Line a bounty. Isn’t the NFL marketing highlight films by calling them “bone-crushing”, “hits” or “blows”.  Regardless of how Goodell tries to spin it “Bounties” are all too common in the NFL and have been. What makes 2012 so different? Probably the 1801 ex-NFL player lawsuits on untimely deaths, suicides, brain damage, concussions and touch football rules for player safety, that’s just a guess.When two men running at thirty miles an hour collide intentionally with one another there will be negative consequences, helmet and pads or not.  Americans love the NFL, we love our weekly violence, as evidenced by all the eight year-olds in full contact football game, and we have overlooked the social consequences of celebrating a violent sport, the NFL is #1 in American households by far.

Bounty-gate extend past the coaches, player and media, it extends to all of us.

On 9-7-2012 : An appeals panel Friday overturned the NFL’s suspensions of four players in the bounty case involving the New Orleans Saints.

On 12-11,2012: Paul Tagliabue lifts all player suspensions, but not the suspensions for coaches.

 

MG Hardie

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