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How to Solve Future Bounty-Gate Issues: A Fan’s Answer
The New Orleans Saints' Bounty-Gate Scandal has stirred up a lot of controversy over the last month. The NFL handed a severe penalty to Saints' head coach Sean Payton as he was suspended for the 2012 season. Commissioner Roger Goodell wants to prevent this kind of thing from happening again, but is he going about it the right way? The Saints have been scrutinized for their actions, but are other teams doing similar things? This type of behavior is completely unacceptable, but how can the league do a good job to discourage such antics? Here is my solution to this problem.
If you want to limit this kind of behavior, here is my answer - an eye for an eye. Now before you go ballistic, let me explain. I am not suggesting countering dirty play with more dirty play. I am simply suggesting that if you administer a hit that is not within the realm of the rules, and it results in an injury to where your opponent cannot play, then you shouldn't be allowed to play either.
What good is a 15 yard penalty when a team has just lost one of their star players for the year? What is the point of handing out suspensions for future games when the outcome of the present game is the game that has been affected? The referees need to be trained with the skills to review the incident and make a real-time decision. No player should be making a deliberate attempt to injury another player. A dirty play is dirty play. It shouldn't make a difference whether you had a secret organized conspiracy to injure someone or not. Taking out another player with a deliberate cheap shot should come with a severe consequence. Players would think twice about malicious attacks and start disciplining themselves to play correctly. Would the Pittsburgh Steelers' James Harrison continue to make vicious illegal hits if it meant he might get tossed from the game?
If the injured player is able to return to the game, then the penalized player could return as well. The goal is fairness. Players shouldn't be trying to hurt other players. Injuries are part of the game, but dirty play isn't. If a player gets hurt from a legal play, then that is an entirely different story. That is the normal risk factor that every team is faced with. But if it is illegal, then you are accountable.
This is a tough issue to manage effectively, but if the NFL could exercise a little judgment and institute the right consequence, they can remedy a lot of the unnecessary cheap shots that are happening and certainly eliminate people from thinking about making bounty deals. If the NFL wants to keep their players safe, then they need to have the proper rules in place. This is my answer. What's yours?
Author Dan Rogers has been a Dallas Cowboys' fan since he was a child. He became interested in the Cowboys because their quarterback, Roger Staubach, had a cool sounding name. He loved the color blue and thought stars were pretty. It was really inevitable. Follow him on Twitter @DannyPhantom24 or on Facebook.
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