bill-swift - April 3, 2012
I love this game; I really do. However, the more I hear about the New Orleans Saints, Bounty-Gate, and the way the league is handling I almost want to become a fan of Arena football (wait—those idiots are on strike).
How exactly the Saints got busted now we don't know, but apparently Roger Goodell thought he heard enough to warrant laying down some pretty harsh suspensions on the coaching staff and general manager. As the saga continues it looks like it is going to get pretty messy.
At first it seemed that everyone was going to take their lumps and we were going to move on, but that is not the case anymore. Everyone but Williams is appealing the league decision. That could prove to be pretty pointless since the appeal is heard by the same guy that announced the suspension. In case you missed the announcement, Goodell was pretty mad.
Therein lays the problem for the league. Goodell made it pretty clear how angry he was and that he did take it personal when it came to light that so many people blatantly lied to him. His venom was clear as day.
He shouldn't have done that. So these guys were dishonest—did he really expect them to tell the truth? They were doing something wrong and didn't want to get caught! If people actually confessed to wrongdoing whenever they were accused lawyers everywhere would be out of work!
The business world is the same. Some people will do whatever it takes to get ahead regardless if what they have to do is underhanded or not. When they get caught confessing is typically the last thing they want to do too.
When Goodell got mad at being lied to, he compromised the integrity of his position. He is supposed to use his office as an impartial professional looking after the good of the whole. When he indulges in personal vendettas he is no longer acting as a professional.
How come the league has been reluctant to hand over everything they have to the NFLPA? Just like when they refused to open the books during the lockout, only sending some and not all of what they have makes them look suspicious.
Why is the NFL looking to the NFLPA for guidance in punishing players? The NFL is supposed to take care of discipline, not the NFLPA. The obvious answer is for validation, but how can the NFLPA do that when they don't know everything the league does?
How is the league going to figure out what players need punishment? Unless players admit to being involved it's impossible to tell from just watching game film if something was not done in the context of the game. Could they be looking to the NFLPA for some scapegoats?
It seems fishy that the NFL has not been more forthcoming with the information that they have, at least to the NFLPA if not the media. It sure would suck to think that the league would effectively take a team out of contention next year without having something solid—but what is it?!?!?
The more secretive the league is, the more guilty they look of wrong doing, not the Saints. This could have been a tremendous opportunity for solidarity with the players, but instead it is starting to look like the league is up to something.
(In the meantime, Sean Payton is just going to play the bongos with Jimmy Buffett.)
Article by Travis Pulver
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