It was such a good story I couldn't help but pull for them. The Saints revitalized a region, helped a city rise up, and gave hope to it's community. The people of New Orleans deserved to have a SuperBowl winning team after what the city endured.
Now with the news of the bounties,I can't help but wonder about a couple things-
I know it may not be popular, but I don't really think the bounties are that big of a deal. I think to gain a competitive advantage it doesn't surprise me opposing players, and coaches attempt to knock out key players during a game. .. maybe not to maim, or really injure, but if that what happens during a play or big hit... well that's what happens.
more after the jump-- if you're up for my ramblings
Everyone, announcers and fans wondered about the beating Favre took in the title game- and the NFL announced the fines from the game following the game just as it does with many other games each week. I'm not sure if it is coaches flagging questionable plays or some league official at each game who follows these things but it sure seems like it took a long time for them to find out what was going on...or does it mean that to the "trained eye" (league/ ref officials)the Saints as compared to a team that's not running a bounty program, really don't have any more questionable or dirty hits that stand out as playing the game with a different intent? Their penalty stats don't seem to stand out marking them as dirty.
Could it have been they really didn't want to upset the Cinderella story that NO had become? - a city reborn, a spirit rekindled with charismatic players at the forefront?
My point or question on this is - I watch a lot of games, and during many games I see questionable late hits, borderline calls, etc... we know as Lions fans we've seen our fair share, and watched as our team got called dirty during the first NO games while playing against a team that has since proven to be..you know.. dirty. If watching these games, it took the NFL 3 years or more to realize there was a bounty program in effect in NO, how much did that really change their style of play versus any other organization's style of play? For years this program existed, yet the Saints haven't been the leaders in penalties- I don't even know if they've had a higher injury rate in their games versus other teams' games- and it took the NFL so long to figure out something was amiss?
Isn't this an area that we'd expect the refs to be able to manage? Aren't they the keepers of the game on the field, to make sure players play within the rules? If all these questionable hits were happening during Saints games, why are there only two or three examples where plays are being cited? How did the NFL in reviewing refs jobs not find some pattern showing the Saints played differently or cause more carnage during their games?
Now on to W Sapp - I can't help but wonder how much the bounty was for the Clifton hit, or maybe it was just knocking out a starting lineman? which would cause problems for an offense. I can't believe he is keeping his job when he obviously has so much more to tell about what is really happening in locker rooms and on the field.. or at least was happening in his days. His calling Shockey a "SNITCH" regardless of if Shockey was or not... shows Sapp's mindset. What is a snitch? The connotation is not of a person standing up against injustice , to right a wrong, to provide helpful information to "authorities" who are trying to solve a problem- so I know Sapp has been part of a bounty program during his playing days... I just know it.
To sum these ramblings up... I am a little sad for my NFL. PFT and others treat it like the View and talk so much gossip. Build up players to tear them down.. build up teams to tear them down. Stayed on the Saints wagon never to question or take their own point of view even as G Williams basically said the plan was to hurt the QB.
The talking heads move forward the league's talking points like a political campaign or FOX news. The League seems to act unevenly in response to the violence and safety of the game. They've changed and added so many rules I'm confused - and thus question the intent of the League and refs- because calls seem to dictate the action and flow and lack clear explanations/reasoning. It's frustrating. I think the Saints passed about 120 times in two playoff games and didn't get called for one holding penalty (against good dlines, Lions & 49ers). On a penalty some say could be called on any play, that seems amazing to me.
As it relates to the bounty program, I wonder about the stellar grades the officiating crews got during these past years. I wonder why everyone is talking about Warren getting reprimanded for trying to be a reporter and outing a source, and barely mentioning how his choice of words is an indication that the problem is more widespread? I mean a snitch... really?
from the urban dictionary's first listing:
Someone who gives up incriminating evidence to people they have no business talking to in the first place. Some
snitch because they need attention others snitch because they are scared.
Feel free to share your thoughts about this.. none of my in person friends care enough to converse about it.