I have kept quiet about the recent NFL controversy regarding trying to injure players. I was sick of gossip detracting from actually competition and I wasn’t sure if there was any legitimacy to the accusations. Those questions have been answered and the disgusting nature of how the story is being reported shows a level of incompetence that is dangerous for any type of journalism.
Mike Golic of ESPN has made comments that are more disgusting than the racial slur against Jeremy Lin or the recent suspension of a local sportscaster about Danica Patrick. To defend anything about this story is offensive, it is just absurd. This isn’t Spygate and it isn’t steroids. This should be like no other controversy in the history of professional sports.
The discussion that I have seen on ESPN is absurd. The fact that analysts are trying to defend certain hits as clean is offensive. It doesn’t matter if they are clean — and the perception of a former defensive player turned analyst on what is a clean hit is laughable — it is about the intent, the integrity, and the art of competition.
In the words of Steve Young, “this is not a blood sport.” It is competition and you should conduct yourself appropriately. These clean hits now look different now that the intent is different. This should not be questioned. However, there are people asking “Why?” or asking what has really changed. To defend this story by saying that players are always trying to take out players shows a complete lack of understanding of what makes a real athlete. To think that some of these people playing professionally and now analyze the sport is saddening.
You would have to be a savage to think anything different. And I have never played the game professionally. I would expect more respect for the game from people who put their lives in danger to play a game.
I’ve watched this game for three decades. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen a guy laying on the ground with his life seemingly on the line. In recent years, this has gotten worse. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that someone would die on an NFL field with a national audience watching.
This is why the NFL continues to make rule changes while brutal savages whine about sissy quarterbacks, too much protection, and not enough “just let the boys play”. Meanwhile, you have teams in the league promoting injuring players, possibly ending a career, or financially incentivizing homicide.
Golic keeps whining about how players can get hurt on any play on a clean hit. This is kind of the point. It is a brutal sport when played by gentlemen. When you play it with a savage mentality, what do you expect to have happen? Someone will end up dead. ESPN has an analyst promoting this activity.
A hit may look clean and it may look like the hit was appropriate based on the position of the players. However, when the intent of the player is changed there is no way to prove that purpose. The player is no longer canvassing the field looking to run the play as designed, they are looking for their $10,000 bounty.
Even if the hit is clean, this makes the NFL a modern-day Gladiator sport.
Specifically, in the Saints-Vikings NFC championship game, there was much discussion and controversy over how the Saints played. I remember discussing that the Saints seemed out to injure players first and hope that winning the game happens secondarily. Now, we know this to be the case. It is absolutely sick.
The discussion now is focused around how will the team be punished. It is likely that he NFL will hand down one of the harshest punishments in league history. If the rumors are true this will lead to a huge suspension from Gregg Williams (the Saints defensive coordinators and founder of the bounty program at many different teams) a monetary hit, loss of multiple draft picks, and further repercussions.
Let’s get real, NFL. Here is a list of punishments. This is not a buffet, this is the list. You talk about protecting the shield. You fine for tweets. You fine for unauthorized shoes. This s themost important decision you will ever make as Commissioner, Roger.
1. Gregg Williams is banned for life from coaching. Ever.
2. Sean Payton is banned for life from coaching. Ever.
3. The New Orleans Saints forfeit their 1/32 share of revenue to youth education on proper sportsmanship.
4. Every player that received a bounty is banned from the NFL for life.
5. The New Orleans Saints forfeit their 1st round draft pick in 2012 to the Indianapolis Colts.
6. The New Orleans Saints forfeit their 1st round draft pick in 2013 to the Minnesota Vikings.
7. The New Orleans Saints forfeit their 1st round draft pick in 2014 to the Arizona Cardinals.
8a. Super Bowl XLIV is hereby vacated.
8b. Super Bowl XLIV is hereby awarded to the Indianapolis Colts.
9. The New Orleans Saints seasons in 2009, 2010, and 2011 are hereby recorded as 0-16.
10. Mike Golic is fired from ESPN and hereby banned from any NFL event.
This is the most disgusting story in the history of sports. It makes me yearn for the steroids debate again. This is serious business and the discussion as it stands in the media misses the mark on such an epic level that it ought to mark the death of the NFL.
Any punishment short of ensuring that the Saints fail to operate as a professional team shows that the shield of the NFL is nothing more than “$”.