Monday, March 5, 2012

Gregg The Bounty Hunter: Who Gives A Shit?

By now, every NFL fan and anyone who follows NFL fans on social media has at least a working knowledge of the Saints' bounty scheme, where defensive players were paid extra to injure opposition offensive stars. I can't and won't bother re-hashing the details, but needless to say that then-Saints DC Gregg Williams (who's now accused of running a similar scheme in his stints in Buffalo and Washington) and some of the players involved are in hot water. Williams may be facing a ban from NFL coaching and will certainly be suspended/fined, and the Saints will probably lose some draft picks.

Now here's the question I have to ask. Who gives a shit?

If you didn't believe that this sort of thing is common in football at any level, forget about the NFL, then I want to visit your world of happiness and pixie dust. The Saints aren't wrong cause they did it - they're wrong cause they were caught. I'm a die-hard Raiders fan and there is no way in hell you can convince me that Al Davis wasn't doing the same thing with our defensive guys in the 70s, even though you'll never hear them admit it and rightly so. To this day, I can guarantee you that most (if not all) teams do something similar. Maybe not quite to the extent of the Williams bounty scheme but you will have coaches or star players buying dinner, fronting some cash or similar for the dudes who knock out QBs or RBs with good hits.

As with many things relating to football (and other American sports) I'm not sure if my confusion relates to some sense of American outrage that I don't possess. Shit, I remember my old under 11s footy coach telling us at halftime that whoever put in the hardest hit on the opposition's best runner and scared him the most would get double at Maccas after the game. Hardest legal hit, mind. If I have a problem with the Saints' scheme, it's that it would appear that it encouraged a level of illegality in hits - but even Kurt Warner admitted the hit that ended his career was legal. So I don't think even that's a big deal.

Whatever the reason, I can tell you for sure that I'm just waiting for this non-story to get out of the way so we can start focusing on the real stories in football. Like ManningWatch. Right now I'm prepared for a week of wall-to-wall coverage on every meal Peyton eats, every book he reads to his kids and every poop he takes while Jimmy Irsay tweets his genitals and no one cares until the announcement is made.

Peace out sluts.

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