A closer look at the cheap shots in the NFC championship game

Sports Illustrated today published a little more about the New Orleans Saints “bounty” program that paid defensive players money for injuring the opposition.

Minnesota Vikings fans, who watched cheap shot after cheap shot in the NFC Championship game in 2010 might want to look away:

Over four quarters that Sunday at the Superdome, Favre was hit repeatedly and hard. The league later fined Saints defensive linemen Bobby McCray and Anthony Hargrove a total of $25,000 for three separate improper hits, and NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira said the Saints should have been flagged for a brutal high-low mashing by McCray and defensive lineman Remi Ayodele in the third quarter. Favre suffered a badly sprained left ankle on that play and had to be helped off the field. On the New Orleans sideline, Hargrove excitedly slapped hands with teammates, saying, “Favre is out of the game! Favre is done! Favre is done!”

An on-field microphone directed toward the sideline caught an unidentified defender saying, “Pay me my money!”

The Saints, of course, won 31-28 in overtime, giving Vikings fans more impetus for their self-flagellation ritual.

As a commenter on this morning’s 5×8 pointed out, the bounty program doesn’t explain why the refs were so bad that day.

Find the article here.

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  • BenCh

    I will never understand why it feels like the refs hate the Vikings and love the Packers. I remember last year the Packers had never had a defensive pass interference called on them against an NFC north team (even during the Vikings game announcers mentioned one should have been called). It is one thing to just be bad at reffing, but when Shiancoe can catch a ball with his wrists and the refs rule it a non-touchdown? I don’t get it. Especially after so many games they say they are sorry it was called wrong. I just don’t ever see responsibility for refs. Where are the fines for blown calls?

    Perhaps the worst I have seen is in college WCHA hockey, where two of the refs have THEIR DAD as the head of officials. It feels like they call the game in favor of the team not winning.

    Sorry to rant, but being a Vikings fan it feels like at least SOME of the bad luck comes from the officiating, and I am glad that people have picked up on it.