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NFL Conspiracy Theory on Saints Bounty Scandal: Fan’s Opinion
It was exactly 4:10 pm and I was just about to get onto the Earhart Expressway. I was listening to FM radio in my car when the DJ broke in and mentioned something about one of the darkest days in New Orleans Saints history. He suggested tuning into WWL 870 AM for more information, which I hurriedly did.
My first thought was that the Saints had broken off negotiations with Drew Brees and were allowing their franchise QB to sign elsewhere. When I realized the breaking news was actually the New Orleans bounty scandal, I began to get feeling back in my body. However, as more details emerged, I knew this would be one of those days where I remembered the exact moment I heard the news.
New Orleans Saints bounty scandal
I managed to write an article on the Saints bounty scandal Friday night. However, now that I've had a chance to sleep on this, I'm starting to see things in a different light. When you put all the pieces of the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal together, it's actually the NFL who comes away looking dirty.
Consider this. Allegedly, the NFL uncovered evidence of Gregg Williams' stupid bounty system in New Orleans after the 2009 season. Did the NFL put a stop to it? Did the NFL penalize the Saints? No. Supposedly, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell asked New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson to put a stop to the bounties.
Really? If bounties are so terrible in the NFL, why did Goodell, the supposed champion of NFL safety, let the New Orleans Saints off with a warning? I'll tell you why. The New Orleans Saints were good for business. The NFL's best offense brought in big ratings and huge merchandise sales.
Meanwhile, eight Saints defenders were failing to tackle Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch in the playoffs. And the New Orleans defense was making Alex Smith look like Joe Montana. Once the 2011 season officially ended, Saints fans started looking forward to Super Bowl 47 in New Orleans.
Super Bowl 47 in New Orleans
And I am convinced, therein lies the problem. As long as the New Orleans Saints were bringing money into the NFL, the bounties were not that big of a deal. But now that the NFL was facing the most likely chance ever of a team playing at home in the Super Bowl, it had to deal with the bounties.
It has been reported that the NFL has over 50,000 pages of evidence of the New Orleans Saints bounty system. It has also been reported that the NFL reopened its bounty investigation after "new evidence" came to light near the end of the 2011 season. It is inconceivable that the NFL amassed that much evidence in a couple of months.
I am glad to see so many "recently retired" NFL players coming forward saying that bounties go on everywhere in the NFL. Most of the breaking news on Saturday concerns allegations of bounties under Gregg Williams with the Washington Redskins. If the New Orleans Saints are the only NFL team punished by Goodell for bounties, it will confirm my belief that the NFL doesn't want the Saints playing in Super Bowl 47.
The timing of the bounty revelations couldn't be worse for New Orleans. The Saints are trying to sign Drew Brees and New Orleans is preparing to enter the free agency period. Also, the 2012 NFL Draft is right around the corner.
I'm not excusing the New Orleans Saints for running a bounty system. In fact, I'd like to see Gregg Williams banned from the NFL. But if bounties are so egregious, then why weren't the New Orleans Saints punished after the 2009 season? And why aren't other NFL teams coming under fire?
Patrick Michael lives in New Orleans and has always been a big fan of the New Orleans Saints. Patrick's favorite Saints season was 2009 when New Orleans won Super Bowl 44.
Barry Wilner, "NFL: Saints violated 'Bounty Rule'," yahoo.com
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