They definitely came off as a dirty team, but I had no idea it was this bad. Ironic considering their name and all. I hope the league comes down like a sledge on them. This is completely unacceptable and the fact that friends of Payton were contributing to the pool is sick. I guess his broken leg is just after all.
On second thought, the entire coaching staff and the players involved should be kicked out of the league and also get mega-buck fines. The team should also lose the Lombardi trophy and be banned from pst season for a number of years.
The league should make the players involved put up bounties on themselves, Million dollars a piece. The coaches involved should get life time bans.
The team should lose first round picks for atleast 3 years(same number of years they cheated). Also take away their franchise tags.
Honestly though it wouldn't surprise me a bit to find this happens else where too. Half the coaches in the league believe in winning at all costs. If you aint cheating you aint trying. Which is all the more reason for the league to come down hard.
Ideally the Saints should be forced to forfeit their Lombardi trophy the same way the Trojans had to give up their national championship because ONE player was deemed ineligible.
Gregg Williams should be suspended, for a minimum of a year, preferably indefinitely. Every player involved should get suspended for 2 games and a stiff fine. None of this 10K or 20K shit. If 100K of fines doesn't get James Harrison to change his ways, a small fine won't do a thing to change this. Make the fine proportional to their pay. If I go out and get charged an amount more than I make, that's tough shit for me. The same should apply to them.
Like Mr. A said, this isn't just about not following the spirit of the game, it's essentially organized crime. Coach paying players to put a hit out on certain players, paying under the table (large sums, which go tax-free of course) Not only is it immoral, it's illegal. If Joe Paterno was fired for allegedly knowing about their whole scandal, Payton at least needs to be suspended.
I can see a lot of different angles on this. No question, however, that the actions of the Saints players and coaches is reprehensible and should be punished in some fashion.
First there is the legal aspect. If, as presented, players were actually accepting money for the purposes of intentionally trying to injure others, that is breaking several laws. First degree assault and conspiracy at the very least. IMO reparations should be made, both to the players targeted, and to the league's funds for supporting retired injured players. Not to mention jail time for anyone convicted. These are serious offenses.
Then there is the league policy side of things. Obviously this sort of behavior cannot be tolerated and must be addressed. The question is, just how much can the league actually do, and what would be reasonable as a punishment? I'm not qualified to judge, but I would suggest that Mr. Goodell might want to have a long conversation with the NCAA management and find out what they think they would do in a similar situation in their domain. It should not be too hard to come up with an equivalent. Post-season bans? Revocation of the championship? Suspension or expulsion of coaches? Any of these are possible.
The problem comes in considering what the punishment, in whatever form, will do for the future, both in terms of the league's image, and in curtailing any future actions of the same sort.
Granted, image is already damaged by the news of this leaking out in the first place, but if the stance taken by Goodell and company is too weak, then that damage things even further. The worst thing that could happen is that the fan base (and even casual observers) will think that if the punishment is too light, then the league doesn't really care that much about ethics in the game of NFL football. They could potentially lose a lot of support if this is the case. Therefore, IMO, the league must come down hard and firm on both this incident and any potential future repetitions.
I think that not only should the penalties be harsh, for both team and individuals, but also there should be laid out an escalating penalty structure for any future incidents. Something like, "This is what we're doing to the Saints and their players, and what will happen to the next team who does it will be twice as much, and so on." The exact figures, of course, need to be set but I think you get my drift.
The one negative I can see in all of this is that I don't believe that headhunting makes you a significantly better team. The Saints would not have gotten to where they did if they weren't good enough to be there. The loss of players on the opposing teams is significant, but who is to say that any given player might not have been injured anyway? The vagaries of the game being what they are, you can't simply say that taking out a specific player would make all the difference.
That being said, it is still offensive to me that any team would seriously even consider such tactics, let alone implement them. These are grown men, not schoolyard bullies. What kind of example are they setting for our young men who look up to them? Whether you consider yourself one or not, you are a role model. Act like it.
The ball is in your court, Mr. Goodell. This call may be the most important of your career. Make sure it is a good one.
According to today's Pioneer Press the Washington Redskins had a similar program going.
Wow, talk about a black eye for the NFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I predict that teh NFL will do the following:
Fact is, the Saints have the trophey. Nothing matters after that. Every time we - as Viking fans - enter a debate with any fan of any Superbowl winning team, we're told that the Superbowl is all that matters. Every NFL fan believes this to be true.
A TRUE punishment would be for the Saints to vacate their Superbowl win, return the rings, bonuses, and tropheys, and to lose their entire draft.
But that won't happen.
Instead, it'll be a token fine and a slap on the wrist...and they'll still be Superbowl winners.
And we won't.
Well at least they weren't having sex on a boat. That is way more against NFL values than purposely injuring players. :stewiesexydancesmal
Yeah, I agree with Caine. The punishment will not come close to being commensurate with the crime. I still see that fat pig Hargrove whooping it up when Favre was knocked out. But the Aints still have their trophy and championship, and we don't. If the tables were turned, I would be embarrassed that the Vikings did such a thing...but we would have a championship. :p
Think all they will get is a fine which is chunk change. Like Belichick got for the Spygate thing. But no suspension possible. But if they do, it would only be for a couple of games.