New Orleans is the City of Bounties
“National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell slammed the New Orleans Saints with an unprecedented series of fines and penalties, including a one-year ban of its head coach, for offering team members cash bounties to injure opponents…Mr. Goodell also suspended Saints head coach Sean Payton for the entire 2012 season, effective April 1…Goodell also fined the franchise $500,000 and docked the team its second round picks in the draft this year and in 2013. “We are all accountable and responsible for player health and safety and the integrity of the game,” he said in a statement. “We will not tolerate conduct or a culture that undermines those priorities.”
What a week in the Big Easy.
To me, the pertinent issue isn’t whether or not I thought this existed. I’m pretty sure this is still going on in other NFL cities right now. The issue is that the Saints got caught, lied about it, and then were forced to face punishment. That’s the kicker that drove Goodell (and I guess myself) over the edge. Whereas the New England Patriots “Spygate” was more creepy, the New Orleans Saints “Bounty Gate” was in violation of NFL policy and obviously a smear of red paint on the game of football.
Sure, the NFL is a violent game, so Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre and others who were targeted by the Saints D expected the blitzes, but imagine 10 or 20 grand handed out to the first guy to intentionally take him out of the game? Takes things to an entirely new level. This is part of the bizarre, behind the scenes reality of the National Football League.
On the whole, I think the suspensions and fines doled out were up to par. I’m a bit surprised that a 50,000 page investigation into this wouldn’t render at least a couple of player suspensions, but the point was made clear that they’re not putting up with much B.S…
So then I flip on the New Orleans Hornets (of the NBA), mainly to see their opponent, the Lob City Clippers. To my surprise, it looks like the bounty system is all over NOLA right now! Hornets big man Jason Smith looked like Dog the Bounty Hunter on Blake Griffin the other night, and got promptly thrown out and suspended for 2 games. I wonder how much the Hornets organization paid him for the hit?