Saints Head Coach Given Harsh Sentence for Bounty Scandal
Many observers, including those from San Diego, believe that the punishment for the bounty scandal by the New Orleans Saints was radically harsh. With the emerging news, New Orleans head coach Sean Payton was seen to be suspended for around four to eight games, but apparently, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had another look on the case.
Surprisingly to many, Goodell leveled Payton with a one-year suspension without pay, suspended the team's GM Mickey Loomis for eight games with a $500,000 fine, and fined the team another $500,000. The Saints also lost two picks in the second round of upcoming draft. All this comes from an alleged offer of bounty for the Saints players to deliberately injure their opponents from Minnesota, San Diego, Green Bay and other teams.
Some say that this smacks of the return of the “No Fun League” moniker and reflects a perceived power hunger by Goodell, as this is the first time in the history of the NFL that a coach is being suspended for a whole season. The gravity of the punishment reflects a serious and dangerous violation typical of the gambling practices of Paul Horning or Alex Karras, circa 1960. According to this opinion, this move by Goodell seems to run counter to the big hits being witnessed by the viewing public which has made football very much entertaining all through the years. Many current players have grown watching these momentous big hits from players like San Diego Chargers legends Earl Faison and Ernie Ladd that might appear to have become extinct because of the declarations of Goodell.
Indeed, there is no question as to the violation committed, and a punishment is in order, but a punishment of a year’s ban for the coach is almost tantamount to a punishment for a crime similar to Spygate, which occurred in 2007. That time, the New England Patriots received a fine of $500,000 to Bill Belichick, loss of a first-round pick, and a fine of $250,000 to the Patriots' team, for apparently recording the coaches’ signals from the New York Jets. Yet, this appears to be nothing compared to the Saints’ punishment.
However, there is also an opinion that offering pocket change for an NFL player hitting or knocking another player out of the game is as unacceptable as gambling and spying on your opponents. Despite what some people in New Orleans, San Diego and Wisconsin say, paying money for injuring players cannot be viable. After all, football is much more exciting when all the best players are able to participate, without having to miss a game due to an injury.
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