Saints Fans Need A Reality Check!
Listening to ESPN the Fan Radio and watching Sports Center avidly, I'm really burning on the Saints fans and players reactions to the suspensions and fines from the bounty program. Sean Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season for his lack of effort to stop the bounty program Gregg Williams was running on his watch. Payton also lied repeatedly to the league about the presence of the program. For some reason, New Orleans people are outraged by this decision and think the league is out to get them. Are you kidding me???
The worst part of this is they are comparing the situation to Hurricane Katrina. For people who lived through this tragedy a few years ago, how can you stand on camera and compare this bounty scandal to the biggest natural disaster in US history? People lost lives, their homes, family members, and their way of life. You're losing your football coach for a year...let's put this in perspective. I am simply devastated by these comparisons. Let's look at the facts. Sean Payton was asked in 2009 if there was anything going on in his locker room in regards to bounties or other illegal doings, and he said no. The league also sent out memos twice a season for teams to hang in the locker room stating that bounties will not be tolerated. Sean Payton chose to ignore these rules and let this happen on his team for years. They have written proof that players such as Cam Newton, Brett Favre, and Kurt Warner were targeted with bounties over the course of the last few years. For those of you who don't know what this means, the coaches offered defensive players money for knocking a player out of the game, and having them taken off the field on a stretcher, that earned extra incentives.
And before I hear the comments that "this is football, it's a contact sport and they should let them get away with this", understand this; this is PROFESSIONAL football. These players are supposed to be professionals and set examples for our youth players. Football is a contact sport and players get hurt, that's just part of the game. Putting money up for grabs to end someone's season or career is not acceptable and should never be part of the game. The NFL is also facing numerous lawsuits from ex players on concussions and congress is preparing a congressional hearing to get involved and bring legal actions on such incidents. So I ask you what choice did the commissioner have? We're talking about players lives, careers, and their families. If Williams and Payton want to coach like this, maybe they should go to the MMA and coach a fighter that gets paid to hurt other people. Football is a physical sport, but it's not meant to have players hurting each other for money. And how dare the city of New Orleans compare this situation to the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. Your coaches had complete control over their actions and what they did. The people devastated by the hurricane didn't have a choice. They barely had a warning. I had already lost respect for those coaches and the team, and now I've lost respect for these people of New Orleans. To not grasp the reality of what the victims of hurricane Katrina went through means that you have no grasp on what is important in life. If you think Sean Payton was innocent in all of this and the Saints shouldn't have been punished, then the city of New Orleans problems go well beyond rebuilding from a devastating natural disaster.