March 2, 2012

"N.F.L. Says Saints Had Bounty Program to Injure Opponents."

"The bounty was financed by as many as 27 players and administered by the former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams..."
The investigation began in 2010 when an unnamed player accused the Saints of targeting opponents, including Brett Favre and Kurt Warner, who were both injured against New Orleans during its Super Bowl run.
ADDED: Gordon Smith, using the term "criminal conspiracy," asks:
Instead of talking about "putting this behind us and winning more championships in the future for our fans," shouldn't Saints owner Tom Benson be talking about getting criminal defense lawyers for his players and coaches?


I ♥ Willard said...

I watched the games; I'm not surprised to learn the Saints had a bounty program.

This is much more serious than Spygate. I hope the punishment is severe.

Toad Trend said...

And in every office in America, there are (supposedly illegal) Super Bowl pools every year.

How is there documented evidence?

The players that engage in this likely do it verbally and leave few traces. Unless were talking texts or emails.

I don't support deliberate injuries but this seems silly in such a violent sport.

I Heart Willard, you are a buffoon.

Jason said...

This goes on in more locker rooms than just the Saints.

I ♥ Willard said...

I Heart Willard, you are a buffoon.

Thank you for a sample of your social graces. Have a super day!

How is there documented evidence?

o_O It never hurts to read.

traditionalguy said...

This is a law blog.

The teams that get their star QBs targeted for intentional injury by another team need to sue the bastards on the other team and get them under oath on penalty of perjury.

Then levy the Judgement on the Franchise, sell the team at sheriff's auction to pay the punitive damages, and send the perjurers to jail.

Petunia said...

The Saints should fire Sean Payton. The Rams should fire Gregg Williams. They and the players involved should be fined ridiculous amounts of money and the players should be suspended for eight games next season.

edutcher said...

Shades of the Flavian Amphitheater.

Skyler said...

A program out of New Orleans acting like a bunch of violent thugs? Who'd have imagined such a thing?

Tom Spaulding said...

I once saw Sean Payton stare at the Super Dome through an airplane window.


Joe Schmoe said...

This happens in a lot of sports.

But it's not right. Don't Tread, I don't agree that it's trivial. It's more serious. It's one thing to apply a clean hit trying to defend against the other team; it's something else entirely to deliberately hurt someone. And extra money for 'cart-offs'? That's some serious shit: possibly season- or career-ending injury, paralysis or even death.

I think some $500K or $1M fines will get the players' attention.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Good, clean hits are an exciting part of the game. Hits meant to injure are just maddening. I look forward to there being severe punishment.

Carol_Herman said...

The NFL is doing the investigating.

The injured players are famous. They'll get lawyered up.

And, who knows? The Saints may be forced to give up their 2009 trophy?

Methadras said...

This is news?

somefeller said...

Well, if there's one thing I've learned from the conservative commentariat, Saul Alinsky must have had something to do with this.

DaveW said...

The story with the Texans this year was that if there was a play on the ball tat could have been made, a fumble recovery, an interception, the player that didn't make the play payed a fine which was sued for either a charity or a dinner for the guys, I was never clear which.

Deliberately injuring a player on an opposing team is absolutely unacceptable. And if this turns out to be true then, in my opinion, the Saints should be stripped of their title and any coach, staff or player involved or that even knew about it but did not report it should be banned for life from the NFL and forfeit their pension and any other benefits accrued.

Deliberately maiming someone so they can't make a living is no less violent than smashing a pianist's hands with a hammer.

Football is a violent game but you can win it fairly without deliberately maiming your opponent.

Time for the NFL to drawer the line.

raf said...

Legalize holding. Quarterback hits will become rare.

SteveR said...

Clearly wrong and obviously it went beyond what some are characterizing as normal or expected.

The NFL has to deal with this harshly, I'm sure there are lots of action from that year being reviewed.

Bartender Cabbie said...

Just getting us ready for Rollerball. For real.

bagoh20 said...

Wait a minute. We are talking about professional football, right? Isn't everyone on defense paid to hurt their opponents? Are they paid to be careful when executing a hit, block or tackle?

Imagine trying to explain that you are supposed to hit hard so that he is unable to do what he is very motivated to accomplish at that moment, but don't hurt him.

Oh, by the way, being effective at stopping him is worth millions of dollars and incredible fame and admiration for you, but please be careful about hurting that guy, please. Oh yea, and that guy wants to knock you out for the same reason, but again, don't hurt him.

DaveW said...

Come on Bagoh.

I love football as much as any red blooded American. But there's a big difference between hitting someone as hard as you can within the rules and having an organization *paying bounties* for deliberately injuring players.

You know, JJ Watt might have gotten at least honorable mention for DROY or the pro-bowl were it not for a few really marginal calls on him - one of which was a safety on Roethlisberger. If other teams start this stuff - or continue it and are not stopped - people will get maimed for life.

I love my football Sundays but not at the expense of guys being cripples for the rest of their lives, not any more so than they are anyway.

Unknown said...

Well, if there's one thing I've learned from the conservative commentariat, Saul Alinsky must have had something to do with this.


I think you mean that the Koch brothers must have funded it.

sakredkow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Schmoe said...

Isn't everyone on defense paid to hurt their opponents?

Nope. They are paid to keep the offense from scoring. Big difference.

Joe Schmoe said...

Well, if there's one thing I've learned from the conservative commentariat, Saul Alinsky must have had something to do with this.

If I've learned anything from lefty prog posters, there's definitely some racist, homophobic, or resentment over income inequality driving the bounty program. And if the Koch Brothers didn't come up with it, Dick Cheney did.

Tank said...

Sounds like a conspiracy to inflict serious bodily injury on certain people, which resulted in inflicting serious bodily injury on those people.

I love a good clean hit as much as the next guy, and inflicted a few myself many years ago. Planning to injure opponents and paying people to do so were never part of the "game."

Mark O said...

Football, as we know it, is dying. The concussion problem, from the NFL to Pee Wee Football will end it in a series of lawsuits.

Even now, the trending thought is that tort law will have to be changed to save the game.

This didn't help.

chuckR said...

How is this different than the 1970's Oakland Raiders?
I do agree that the NFL needs to do something about it, but there will be a lot of judgement calls - somebody stumbles and blows out an opponent's knee - was it intentional or not?

Well, if there's one thing I've learned from the conservative commentariat, Saul Alinsky must have had something to do with this.

It is just an extension of his methods. I'll bet the little pussy couldn't take the hit in return, though.

Joe Schmoe said...

How is this different than the 1970's Oakland Raiders?

I don't think the league had explicit rules against it, so those guys didn't have to hide it. It was part of their game. But when guys like Jack Tatum were paralyzing receivers like Daryl Stingley, then the league had to do something about it. It's why hits to the head and face are illegal now. As is chop-blocking, clotheslining and horse-collar tackling. And why you can't launch yourself leading with your helmet (which protects the tackler as much as the tacklee; leading with your head is a good way to get yourself paralyzed).

Fen said...

"So we waited in the 1/2 ton truck along Favre's jogging route...and then WHAM! we crash into him..."

How would that be any different? Ban the players then RICO them.

Joe Schmoe said...

The hitting has ramped up over the decades due to a couple of things: better equipment and more weight training. When guys had leather helmets, they didn't launch themselves so much as wrap someone up. As helmets and pads improved, then guys became missiles. Same with hockey. Lots more high-sticking and hard checking going on now because guys think their helmets and pads will protect them.

gadfly said...

The careers of Kurt Warner and Brett Farve ended with those games against the Not-Saints. Yeah both QB's were old men playing a young man's game, but Nawlins should now meet them in a courtroom to have some good old fashioned American justice meted out.

Those of us rooting against N. O., who watched the games, knew full well what was going on but the dishonest game announcers (don't remember who) were congratulating the referees for ignoring the fouls and "letting them play."

This thing falls into the conspiracy category simply because the entire Saints team and its coaches knew exactly what was going on. After paying through their teeth to compensate opposing players injured during the season, the football franchise should be disbanded. Seven figure fines are insufficient penalties.

Keystone said...

The referees were enablers in that they did not eject players intentionally fouling the QB's. The soccer concept of persistent infringement should be brought to American football. It seems that a 15 yard penalty is worth it if you can take out an opponent.

Roux said...

OMG - I just can't believe this.... In the history of the NFL I can't believe this has happened.