If you're a Saints fan, today has not been fun. Within minutes of each other, we found out that the Jets had traded for Tim Tebow, a deal that is now on hold, and we learned that Roger Goodell had suspended Saints head coach Sean Payton for the entire 2012 season. Gregg Williams, the Saints former defensive coordinator, was suspended indefinitely for his role in "bountygate."
The message here is simple. The NFL will not tolerate rewarding players for injuring other players. Frankly, I'm still shocked that a team would be so open about attempting to put players on the bench by doing bodily harm to them. The idea is despicable, and no one in their right mind can defend it. Period.
The fact of the matter is that football, and especially the National Football League, is a dangerous sport. The past few years have been characterized by an ever increasing conscientiousness of the long-term effects that head injuries have on former players quality of living. In such an age, there's no way a team can get away with sending 250 pound men at full speed at another player in an effort to injure him. It simply can't fly, and Goodell has made it clear that it won't.
The other problem I have with the whole situation is that there are rumors flying around about who may have been the "snitch." Stop. For all that is good, stop.
The term "snitch" is terrible. It brings with it a wildly negative connotation, and frankly, I'm glad the "snitch" came forward. The idea of throwing a guy under a bus for doing the right thing is asinine. Whoever the player is that came forward, that man deserves a pat on the back and a thank you from everyone that loves the NFL, especially its players.
It's unclear if there's an appeal looming for Sean Payton. I'm not even sure if Payton can appeal his suspension, but that's all irrelevant. Roger Goodell sent a message today. Teams will not be rewarding players for injuring key players on the opposing team. Period. While I remain firmly against the idea of fining players for illegal hits that happen by chance in a fraction of a second, heading this problem off should be considered one of Goodell's biggest accomplishments to date. I've disagreed with much of Goodell's policies since he became the commissioner of the NFL, but this is one that I can get on-board with.
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