What’s your reaction to the scandal involving bounties and the New Orleans Saints?

Lawsuits and other sanctions may follow an NFL investigation that found the New Orleans Saints paid its players to injure members of opposing teams. In particular, the Saints allegedly targeted Brett Favre during the game that ended the Vikings’ drive toward the Super Bowl in 2010. Today’s Question: What’s your reaction to the scandal involving bounties and the New Orleans Saints?

  • Kurt

    That was the most frustrating game to watch. It was clear to anyone watching the game that the Saints were trying to injure Farve and that the referees chose to ignore it. The Vikings should have responded in kind at which point the refs would have stopped the game and explained that the next such action would result in expulsion. That didn’t happen so the Saints were given carte blanche to do whatever they pleased. I think in a game as inherently dangerous as football, that is criminal to intentionally try to injure another player and also to turn a blind eye to it-as the officials did. The Saints should be punished severely. Part of that should involve vacating their Super Bowl victory. College teams are stripped of victories for far less egregius transgressions.

  • Larry Sanderson

    Shocked! I was just shocked! OK, who blabbed?

  • Hiram

    You have to ask, do we want to be partnership with these people? Is this scandal going to be limited to a couple of teams or is it going to involve the NFL as a whole?

  • Steve the Cynic

    I’m just relishing the irony that it was the “Saints” that were doing this.

  • Barb

    It’s a gladiator sport. What else would one expect? Having said that, the Viking lost because they are the Vikings. They can’t close the deal.

  • Dexter Pehle

    We keep sliding down this slippery slope of violence, bullying and bad behavior by “rewarding” the culprits. Fines and suspensions are not going to have much affect. Perhaps actually stripping New Orleans of their Super Bowl Championship would send a clear cut message that their actions and those of others who participate in purposeful injury play, will never be tolerated again and will have serious consequences if they do. What they did was criminal assault and should be punished accordingly. It would send a very clear message to all those who bully, not just the athletes.

  • Lou

    Quite frankly, what surprises me the most is that only the New Orleans Saints have been identified as bounty hunters. Usually what is successful for one team is very quickly picked up by other teams and since there is so much player movement within the league, I would have to believe that the bounty system was instigated by other teams.

  • reggie

    In all sports, there are moments of instant decision at which one can make the play physically but fairly under the rules, or make the play by taking a cheap shot. With all of the cameras recording every possible angle of every play, it’s pretty easy to spot the difference.

    The cheap shots are certainly more dangerous in full contact sports, therefore players who make that split second decision and attempt to injure should be expelled from the game. Repeat offenders should be sidelined for as long as the player they injure. This wouldn’t affect the majority of players or the excitement of play. In fact, it might make a slow game like football more exciting to watch.

  • Elijah the Tishbite

    This just proves the true character of Footbaal. Don’t believe the lying prophets of Footbaal! No more temples to Footbaal! Quit sacrificing our young men on the altar of Footbaal!

  • Sherry

    Why isn’t this considered assult – shouldn’t someone be charged? I haven’ heard anyone address this issue.

  • David Thomas

    I view this these activities as on-field assault. As such, the person encouraging/paying players for these assaults should be charged with “assault for hire” as any other criminal would be. Put him in jail and stop this insanity.

  • James

    Kurt’s post got it right. Either they take the Super Bowl away from New Orleans and ban their former defensive coordinator for life or this is much ado about nothing.

  • Jim G

    The NFL is a corporation, and big American corporations are by definition interested in only one thing, profits. Corporations, billionaires and millionaires… they don’t have to play fair. They make their own rules.

  • Pat

    Super Tuesday and you are asking an inane question about professional football violence?

    What am I missing?

    Why would anyone not figure out that football players hurt each other?

  • Larry M.

    Since the Vikings lost a lot of cash by not being able to go to the Super Bowl, shouldn’t any fines collected by the NFL go to building a new Viking’s stadium? And considered “pain and suffering” payment to the people of Minnesota?

  • kim

    Everybody involved should be banned from the sport for life. The people who came up with the idea, the players who participated in the practice, people who knew but didn’t stop it, EVERYBODY, up to and including the owners, if that was the case. An investigation might not really uncover everybody involved, but, if the proof is there, “banned for life”. By “banned”, I mean completely. No jobs as color commentators, not even a job bringing towels to the locker room.

  • Mark in Freeborn

    The only thing that surprises me is that it comes as a surprise at all. Let’s be real: professional football is a business, the players are paid to do a job, and if their supervisor, or his/her supervisors, direct the employees under their supervision to do a specific task (never mind the fact that they are paid extra to DO the task,) then the employees have little choice but to comply. Therefore, all this blabber about charging the players or their “coaches” with crimes for doing what they are told, or paid, to do is a bit ridiculous. It’s just the American free market system doing what it does naturally. I doubt the Saints are the only team that’s doing the same thing, in some form or other.

  • Lawrence

    Curiously, intentionally injuring other athletes randomly happens in most professional sports for undisclosed reasons. The “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons’ Championship Teams won two titles by intentionally roughing up other playoff teams, including the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the upstart Chicago Bulls. Major League Baseball pitchers have intentionally thrown balls at batters’ heads, and the NHL has had its bad boys on the ice too. College sports, unlike the pros, seems to really advocate good sportsmanship, and they frequently have the power to implement sanctions to discourage poor sportsmanship. A pay-for-pain scenario in college football, for example, would generally be resolved with forfeiture of any Championships won AND the removal of a significant number of scholarships. The loss of TV revenue also is a big stick that can hurt NCAA football programs. Pro-football, on the other hand, generally has money guaranteed to its teams and players, so imposing sanctions becomes very difficult.

  • Philip

    No surprise. 1 Timothy 6:10 tells us that money is the root of all kinds of evil.

  • bob

    We’re a “bread and circuses” culture whose major entertainments — football, hockey, boxing, extreme cage matches, NASCAR, Monster Trucks, hunting, etc. — center on legalized violence (or the promise of same) in one form or another. If you took away the slashing and hacking aspects, these sports would lose most of their fans. So there’s nothing shocking about the New Orleans Saints deal.

  • Karen S. Lee

    More evidence that football is a stupid game based on brute force strength rather than skill. We don’t throw the Christians to the lions anymore — we have football.

  • Danno

    I have an opposing view to Kathy’s statement about consensus regarding a 55 degree March 6th: Global Warming.

    I’m sick and tired of On-Air personalities constantly displaying a bias against normal winter weather.

  • Kathy

    If you’re paid to injure someone you’re a thug, whether you work in the mob or the NFL. These are crimes.

  • John P II

    Don’t most large corporations “pay for performance?” This is just the logical progression of that mindset in the business of football, and the strategy is efficient, yields results, makes good economic sense, etc. I can’t believe football fans would be surprised by this, or object to it.

    The insanity is that our elected leaders spend our money to subsidize arenas for these immensely profitable businesses that contribute nothing to society beyond exploiting our primitive tribal instincts to compete.

  • Mary

    With the NFL’s efforts to reduce brain injuries it shows the NFL is at least trying to address that issue. Antics like this shows a lack of understanding of the issue and an immaturity on the part of the coach that was behind this antic and the players who went along with him. I think the NFL should show how committed they are to reducing brain injuries by banning the coach that was behind this. (It would also go a long way to helping the NFL defend their law suits.)

  • Diane Pearson

    As a minimum they should take their Super Bowl rings away. Money penalties mean little to these people.

  • anna123

    I find it somewhat strange that even though that players have contracts that pay them millions, they’re still motivated by comparatively tiny amounts? Sounds like a case of accepting carte blanche. I would be interested to hear about stories of players who resisted doing this.

  • kennedy

    …meh…

  • Brenda

    I’m happy that things like this are coming to light. Having been injured by another “professional” using excessive force I have a suspicion that as long as Cannabis is prohibited by the 1%, we’ll have a shroud of ignorance that connects money with violence.

  • John Hakes

    After the Jan. 2010 NFC Championship b/t the Vikes & Saints, I recall thinking the Saints sure played as though QB Favre was a ‘marked man’– which I attributed to pre-game chalk talk resulting from Favre’s amusing “Pants on the Ground” rendition earlier that week. Apparently– we now learn– the hammering No. 4 took that day was the product of much more than that.

  • Sue de Nim

    Check your reference, Philip. It’s not money, but the love of money that’s the root of all kinds of evil.

  • David Poretti

    If I pay my $ to watch a game, do I want to watch one team’s 3rd string QB play against the other’s? If professional sports doesn’t fine and evict anyone (executives, coaches and players) who participate in this, they are essentially endorsing “hit squads”, which will provide the fans with more violence and lower skilled players. The AG should look into criminal charges (ala Henry Boucha and Dave Forbes). Those that were injured by this policy should get a lawyer and file suit. This extraordinary violence, beyond the scope of the game, is a primary reason marquee players such as Ken Anderson, Greg Cook, Bo Jackson and Bert Jones were injured or retired early from the NFL and Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy and Guy LaFleur retired early from the NHL.

  • Larry

    Suppose employees of a mid-sized business were paid a bounty to attack and maim employees of a competitor. When caught, they would rightly be hauled up for assault and punished under the law and hopefully spent significant time in jail. Those paying the bounty would likely be charged under racketeering laws and would also end up in jail.

    Pro sport is a business. Why should they be treated any differently than other employees of a business.

  • Doug

    I’ve got it: make the Saints hire Randy Moss!

  • CarlS

    At least it’s a potential rational reason for why the Vikings might have lost that NFC championship game. This, as opposed to something metaphysical or the wrath of a vengeful god to explain all of their other ‘big game’ loses.

  • Vicki

    I’m writing this as a response to Sherry’s comment – last night, one of the hosts of “As It Happens” interviewed a sports lawyer associated with a Florida University, and posed the question about criminal charges. The lawyer said that it would be a “low bar” to establish cause for assault and battery, but that there was only a remote chance that that would happen.

    He also mentioned that fans tried to sue the New Englans Patriots back during “Spygate”. The fans didn’t win, but if any lawyer who is also a Vikings fan would like to start a class action suit against the Saints for inflicting gross emotional pain on Minnesota football fans, just show me where to sign

  • Saints Fan

    All you whining viking fans should be happy about the outcome. If you won this game and lost the super bowl, that would be 0-5 which would clearly define Minnesota Vikings as all time losers in the big game.

  • glenn

    I’ve played and coached….took an active roal in “getting that guy.”

    How are ya gonna’ stop it?!

    Glenn

  • Linda

    What we have here is another example of money making grown men forget themselves and what they’re supposed to stand for. Think about it – then men are role models for our young men looking to play the game of football or any other sport out there. We as a society must come to a decision about demanding what we know to be right. The win from that game should be taken away – therefore no Super Bowl win either for the Saints. The coach, the defensive coach and the player should be dismissed from the team immediately, never coming the the doors again. And there should be a public apology for the behavior. AND if the officials suspected that this was going on, then they should be dismissed as well. We need to expect a harsher punishment for the wrongs that are done. The young need to know that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated on any level. We ridicule Tebow for kneeling and thanking God for the talent he has been given and yet we poo-poo the behavior of this type. We are quick to say, “it wasn’t really meant that way” or “it’s boys being boys” or “it’s not going to happen again.” Are you kidding me? It does happen again and again . . . what we saw on that NFL football field was bullying at its best and what’s worse it was done by adults, grown men who did it for nothing less than money. If Drew Brees was the true Christian I believe he is, he would personally ask to be traded from the Saints because he no longer wished to be a part of that type of activity. Trust me, he would find another job. But when it’s push come to shove, does money also outshine our Christian principals? I daresay it does even when Scripture tells us “we can’t serve two Gods.” And that’s in any religion!