Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bounty Programs Are Here To Stay

Given the severity of the punishments levied in the bounty scandal the New Orleans Saints are considered a rogue organization by the NFL.  The league set out to make an example of the Saints by fining them millions of dollars, taking away draft picks, and suspending coaches, players, and general managers.  The commissioner is sending a clear message to the rest of the teams that bounty programs will not be tolerated.  Will his actions change the culture of the NFL?

Absolutely not.  Has anyone noticed we haven't seen a single player speak out against the Saints?  Jeremy Shockey even offered to take a lie detector test when he was accused of being the snitch that started the investigation.  There are former players who coach right now that participated in a bounty program.  Kurt Warner and Bret Favre said they harbor no ill will against the the Saints.  The football fraternity understands that this is part of the game and bounty programs will continue in secrecy.

Football people will tell the media what they want to hear, but behind closed doors everyone knows the Saints will not be the last organization to carry out a bounty program.  The program is not intended to entice players to break legs or ruin some one's career.  It is intended to motivate players to make big plays.  That will always be something players, coaches, and organizations want to see.  You don't give players enough credit if you think they would intentionally jeopardize a lucrative and rewarding job for some locker room chump change.  The bounty money wouldn't even cover the fine for an illegal hit.
The bounty isn't for breaking the rules.

The New Orleans Saints were punished for their arrogance and the public's perception.  The Saints had been warned several times and Roger Goodell doesn't like it when his omnipotent power and ultimate authority are questioned.  In addition, the NFL wants to show the fans it is taking steps to make the game safer so that the idea of an 18 game season is more realistic.  We'll never see another bounty scandal, but that doesn't mean bounties have gone away.

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