Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bountygate: Not all that offended

Yummy!  Favre's ankle post NFC title game.
So the Saints, as well as other teams Gregg Williams coached prior (Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills), had bounties placed on opposing players.  What's worse?  They used it against our hometown Vikings in the 2009 NFC Championship game, in which the Saints pummeled Favre and ended up winning the game, then going on to win the Super Bowl over Peyton Manning and the Colts.  To be honest, I am not all that offended.  Sure, the idea of getting money for hurting opposing players isn't a great thing, but I guess I am not sure it is quite the big deal it is being made out to be.  It was not only known that the Saints had the goal of beating the crap out of Favre in the NFC Championship game, but it was written about how that plan was then going to also be executed in the Super Bowl, prior to the Super Bowl, with Gregg Williams openly talking about it!

Quotes of Gregg Williams prior to the Super Bowl speaking with 104.5 The Zone in Nashville:

"This guy's (Peyton Manning) got a great clock in his head.  The big thing is that he throws the ball so early that we're going to have to do a good job of finding ways to get to him and when we do get to him we're going to have to make sure he gets a couple 'remember me' shots when we get there..."

Then asked about potential penalties as a result of his so called "remember me" shots:

"Here's the deal.  When you put too much of that type of worry on a warrior's mind, he doesn't play all out.  If it happens, it happens.  And the only thing you'd like for me to say is that if it happens you hope he doesn't get back up and play again."

Could his intentions have been any more clear?  Some reacted negatively to this tactic at the time without knowledge of the bounty money, but most said that it was just part of the game.  I agree it is.  Stop the false outrage of being offended now by a tactic used all the time in all sports just because they also paid some guys a few thousand if they completed their coaches expressed goal.

In reality even without the "bounty" system, Gregg Williams was coaching the players to hit the QB as much as possible, with the end goal being to get them out of the game physically or mentally.  So then without the "bounty" they are still being paid to hurt opposing players by fulfilling their contract from the Saints.  So they were being paid for it with their contract, the only part we didn't know is they were also getting side action as well.  Is the shock about the money?  Or the act?  If it's the act, we already knew and this happens all the time.

The more I think about it, the less offended I am.  I mean, isn't that the point of the game in the first place?  Aren't you supposed to hit the other guy as hard, albeit clean, as possible every chance you get?  I get it that maybe the main goal isn't to hurt the guy, but every time you hit another person in football there is a good possibility that the person in some way will be injured.  Take the money out of it and this type of thing happens in every sport, every game and is usually initiated by the coach and if not by the coach, the players take it upon themselves if they have the knowledge of a weakness.

In hockey, why do you think teams are reluctant to give more than a hemisphere for where a player is injured.  "Yeah Rick there, he got himself a lower body injury."  Thanks for clearing that up coach.  Why isn't he being very forthcoming?  Because the opposing team can then attack his injury, either by taking advantage of it's limitation or smacking it with their stick or checking him more often.  In basketball if you hear that an opposing player has a bad finger or bad hand, you may foul him a bit harder or not be shy to slap at the ball and make him think twice about handling it too often.

I hear you, this is talk about existing injuries, but there isn't much of a difference is there?  Either way the idea of one team is to hurt or hurt more the opposing team to make them weaker and as a result give that team a better chance of winning.  Which is all the Saint were trying to do.  They weren't out there wanting to hurt everyone on opposing teams just to hurt them, they were out to weaken the opposing team to give them a better chance of winning.  

I don't know, maybe I am missing something here.  Understandably this is a bit more egregious than my examples but the idea behind each is the same and I am sure this past Pee Wee football season quite a few players were rewarded with Dairy Queen after a big hit that could have or did hurt an opposing player.  And guess what?  It will happen again, so lose the outrage and welcome to reality.


  1. I love the homers who say the Vikings would have won this game had the bounty system not been in place or whatever. That's right though, it had nothing to do with the five Minnesota turnovers....and the Vikes still put up 500 yards of offense that game lol...

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