Over the last 3 months, we as NFL fans have been embroiled in somewhat of a difficult time with dealing with this new revelation of bounties in the NFL and professional sports…..uhh, sorry I just had to pause to clean out all the hypocrisy out of my mouth just now! I am probably the lone fan to come out with some "reality checks" for anyone who feels that this is all of a sudden big news. It’s not big news!
I have sat back and watched a ton of media personalities and various entities come out and state that they are horrified that Gregg Williams had a bounty system in his coaching stints. Know what? I’m not. Why? Cause professional sports has been around a long time and worse things have happened inside of closed locker rooms and closed office doors people. If anyone out there thinks that every coach is or has to be a saint to be a good one is kidding themselves! There are no saints. In coaching there is motivation to initiate and complete the plan for game day. Period! So why does it seem like so many people are shocked that this bounty system even existed?
Last night I read the statements from Mr. Fran Tarkenton speaking out about this self-inflicted black eye that has come out about bounties, specifically in regards to Gregg Williams. He stated that not only should he be banned from the league but also "imprisoned". Really? Then if that’s the case start digging up player’s graves and start ripping busts out of the Hall of Fame because those men are men and not one of them have been "saints".
I am sure that if we go back in time and be flies on the front office walls of some football organizations, we would find some owner setting money on the table too! It is naïve to think that this is brand new. This coach did not do anything that was not allowed in the beginning. He should not be, in my opinion, taking all of this blame as if he is the only coach that has ever sat cash on the table to win.
Is it right? Is it good for the long term value of the league? Is it a good image for such an amazing sport? That’s an entire other side that I can address later. Truth is, the news of these actions being made public is never good for the public relations of any corporation and therefore it is best to handle it in house before it ever becomes Attorney General "material". I also imagine that this had to happen before some irresponsible media outlet made this an even more damaging issue.
So someone has to fall and during Roger Goodell’s time, they will fall hard. I have watched him closely and no matter what you may or may not think of him he IS a business man with a vision for the league. Not just the sport you watch, but the clothes you wear, the material you view and the reach to the international stage. Ah yes, international. Big money! Not just billions but tens of billions. I mean imagine; a World League?!! If you have ever been to a Super Bowl (which I have not), but imagine one of the "Olympic" type grandeur. It would be the event of the year, AROUND THE WORLD.
Hell why not a female league? My daughter’s got a helluva arm!
So again, is it right? These men get paid to play one of the greatest sports on the planet. They receive large sums to do this. In order to best perform at their jobs, they watch film of their upcoming opponents. They also have people inside of their organization that make it a point to make injuries of players known to them the week upcoming to the game. In any professional league, competition justifies a player to find another team or player’s weakness and use it to his or her advantage in order to win the game. They work out, they go over plays and they hone their skills in order to be the best that they can. At least most of them do. So is it right for a coaching staff to cast lot on another man’s livelihood? Is it right for a man to pay another man to inflict potential life threatening damage on another? Of course not!
But is it ok when they do it for free?
I love Hockey! Those players will fight with reckless abandon, tearing off gloves to do even more damage to each other.
I love Rugby! I have seen a guy play with a half torn off ear before! Glorious!
They will bring pain just because, so does that make it ok? My horse doesn’t sit high enough for me to judge, but I don’t think that is why Gregg Williams should be suspended indefinitely. He was told before to stop the program and he chose not to. Moreover, there were lies told to the league of the program being dismantled when it hadn’t. You can’t have that as a Commissioner and you can’t have that in a "World League". The inability for the coaching staff to shut it down is incomprehensible to me and makes me think they knew also, but damage control is key at this juncture. The Saints brand has taken a major hit.
Is it a good image for such an amazing sport? No. I remember that when I played high school ball, my mom was terrified. I had to sneak and go to practice. I wanted to play so bad. I never thought about getting hurt. My mom did though because the general thought is that football is a violent sport. How can you get every single person in the household around the TV on Sunday to watch something that has such a difficult stigma attached to it? You lessen the stigma and boost the campaign with safety. So skeletons like this "bountygate" are never good for the long term plan. So portray a reckoning to all who view so that all others who may still be doing it(aka the bounty program), stop immediately; Especially if you have been warned by the league already. So anyone else out there with bones that are loose or just plain hanging out, get ‘em together.
In closing, I feel that all of the things that are being brought to light in the league in regards to bounties, concussions and personal behavior are really more for the long term viability of the players that play and the kids that watch. It is good for everyone to keep it clean and honorable. I still wish dancing in the end zone was permitted. Thanks for reading and please let me know your view.