Norman Mailer once said that facts are nothing without their nuance, and that must certainly apply to former NFL defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. The man who currently stands as the most reviled figure in the league because of his role as the pointman in the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal found an interesting -- and, it must be said, charitable -- way to spend some of the free time brought about by his indefinite suspension.
According to TV station KSN in Wichita, Kan., a man named Scott Lyon was clearing up the debris around his home that was left by a tornado that hit the area last Saturday. Lyon mentioned to his girlfriend how nice it would be if someone would come along to help clear the trees and other debris. Five minutes later, a Good Samaritan did indeed show up -- it was Williams, who was helping a friend build a cabin nearby.
"He's a really nice guy," Lyon said of Williams. "He went out and helped in a community he doesn't live in. He just wanted to help us."
Williams and his friend chipped in, and Lyon said he had no idea the man who was using a chainsaw to deal with branches and such was, in fact, football's most aggressive defensive coordinator.
"He was chainsawing, cutting branches," Lyon remembers. "He was getting his hands pretty dirty."
Williams gave a brief hint to his reputation when he told Lyon, "Now don't be saying anything about my bounty head program and me having to leave."
"I think he was trying to hint to me and I really didn't catch on. He said it with a playful tone," Lyon said.
St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, who hired Williams only to lose him to a suspension that had been coming for years, recently said that he believed Williams could still do good things in the NFL and elsewhere. For all the talk and all the legitimate disgust about Williams' pregame speeches, "Kill the Head" manifestos, and coaching that led directly to player injuries at a higher rate than the norm ... well, it's a tough sell, but the guy's still a human bring. I suppose that's one thing you can say about him.
One suspects that not only would Bobby Petrino pass right by the man who needed help with his house, Petrino would probably endeavor to tie his wife to the railroad tracks, Snidely Whiplash-style, in the process. There are bad people, and there are baaaaaad people.
I'm still on board with the notion that Williams should never be given the opportunity to coach in the NFL again, but I have to give him a few points for helping someone in need.