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Velvet Llama 03-23-2012 03:32 PM

An Outsider's Perspective.
I came here to see how fans were reacting to the penalties and I didn't intend to register an account or interject my thoughts, but it seems to me that many here are missing something important and have misplaced their anger. I'm a Steelers fan who moved to Seattle recently, so I have no feelings towards the Saints one way or the other. So I think that qualifies me as a neutral observer. I'm not trying to start trouble but I do think this needs to be said.

Rodger Goodell is not the man at whom you should be angry. There are several villains here, but he is not one. First and foremost you should be angry with Williams for introducing a system that ended up going far beyond similar systems in other locker rooms. Obviously it would be naive to assume that this is the only time something like this has happened, but if you look at recent player reactions now that more information has come to light, it's pretty clear that what was going on in the Saints locker room went well beyond the formal rules and the unwritten rules of the game.

Beyond Williams, you should be mad at Sean Payton. He is the reason for his harsh year long suspension. What many here seem to be overlooking is that his suspension was not just handed down for the bounty system. If he knew about it and did nothing to stop it then he should have been given a fine or a game suspension at most. But, according to the evidence the NFL collected (and by Payton's own admission) he did more than allow the program to continue. He lied to NFL investigators both times they looked into allegations of a bounty scandal and, worse, told other coaches and team officials to lie to investigators as well. He lied to the team owner when he said he would put a stop to the program and allowed it to continue. Again, Payton admitted to all of this and it is supported by documents obtained by the NFL in their investigation.

This also isn't the first time that Payton has been in trouble. There was the Vicodin scandal that went away quietly. And of course the league warned the Saints about the bounty investigation several years ago. But if you look at how Payton has dealt with all of this, he has shown staggering arrogance. It is no secret that the league has been unhappy with his behavior and for his apparent attitude that the Saints are special and don't have to follow the rules like everyone else. From small things like showing up to media day late all the way up to blatantly lying to Goodell about the bounties, it appears that he thinks he's above the rules. Obviously I don't know the man so I can't say if that's how he really feels, but his behavior would seem to indicate that this is the case.

And this is one of the biggest reasons the Saints have been slammed so hard- the arrogance and the coverup. Some here have noted that the Packers were investigated for a pay for performance system and received essentially no penalties. Aside from the fact that the league didn't find evidence of money being offered for injuries in the Packers system, the team admitted to it and promptly put a stop to it. Remember that the league approached the Saints in a similar manner several years ago. If the Saints had put a stop to it like they said they were going to, we may have never even learned that an investigation ever took place. Instead, team officials like Payton and Loomis simply lied to the NFL and continued on with the program.

As for Goodell, I know the punishments are severe, but what is he supposed to do? I saw my fellow Steelers fans lashing out at him when he suspended Roethlisberger or Harrison, the same way I see fans here lashing out. In both cases though, it's misplaced anger. Like I said, what is he supposed to do? His job is to enforce the rules, and he receives intricately documented evidence that the Saints have been systematically violating the rules for several years even after being warned about the behavior before. The same franchise whose head coach was involved in a prescription drug abuse lawsuit. The same franchise that had received multiple complaints from other coaches and players about dirty play. It was clear that the Saints had no intent of putting a stop to this and had essentially given the middle finger to the league. With bounties being placed to injure players, including star quarterbacks, and with mounting lawsuits involving physical injuries, what else could Goodell do?

I've seen some here suggest that Goodell and the league are out to get the Saints because they don't like the organization for some reason- because it's not profitable enough or because they want Brees on a big market team, or because they beat the Colts (an even smaller market team than the Saints by the way). But if you look at how the league has treated the Saints recently, that's just absurd. The league played a huge role in helping the team after Katrina and in working through the team to help the city of New Orleans. And they loved selling your franchise as a feel good story, especially during the Super Bowl run. Since then the Saints have had more nationally televised games than most other teams, they've been highlighted and featured in countless NFL advertising campaigns, and the national sports media has covered them relentlessly. The league was clearly happy to have the Saints doing well because it was a feel good story they could market. The rest of the country was sick of hearing about you guys to be honest. So the idea that the league is trying to sabotage your franchise just doesn't make sense.

Anyways, if you took the time to read all of that mess, thank you. :) Like I said, I'm not trying to troll or anything, but I think many people here, in their anger, are kind of missing who the real villains here. And more than anything you should be angry with Payton and the other coaches for being arrogant enough to think they could simply lie to the NFL and try to cover up what was going on. Their willful disregard for the rules and for the integrity of the game left Goodell with no other choice.

I'm not saying the coaches are horrible people. And I'm not saying that the fans shouldn't enthusiastically welcome Payton and Loomis back once they've served their suspensions. But what they did was clearly wrong and they are the ones who have put the Saints in this position, not Goodell or the league. Anyways, good luck and I hope your team is able to pull together and come out on the other side stronger and better because of it.

saintfan 03-23-2012 05:15 PM

Nobody here is giving Williams a pass, or Payton, or Loomis.

As for Goodell, the crime doesn't fit the punishment. Period. There are players regularly fined (you should know) for violating this rule Goodell professes to hold so near and dear to his heart. Have any repeat offenders been banned? Bull chit. Player's safety my ass.

Roger Goodell stood firmly behind the Doctor who stood up and said NFL players have no greater risk for concussions than you or I. Any idiot knows that isn't true, and essentially the entire medical community was staggered by that assessment.

The NFL was called to Washington, and, at the behest of politicians Goodell began to implement all these 'safety measures', but not until. Look it up.

Flash forward to now. For the last 3+ years, ex-players are gathering in increasing numbers - now approaching 700 - and will be taking the league to court claiming it KNEW about the dangers to their health and did nothing. Moreover, the league purposefully exposed them to risk by injecting them with drugs and suggesting they get back on the field or risk losing their job.

Were Goodell's hands tied? Not even close. The punishment is unrivaled in sports. This is NOT because the Saints did some horrible thing never before seen by the NFL. This is NOT because the Saints tried to cover it up. It's not like the Patriots said, "Oh yeah, we filmed other teams. Here's the Camera we did it with." But hell no.

What this is about is the league making a very public stand and an example out of the Saints so they can say they did so in court. That is it. That is all.

|Mitch| 03-23-2012 05:29 PM

saintfan covered it! nothing more needs to be said

AlaskaSaints 03-23-2012 05:32 PM

Yup, we're guilty of playing the game of tackle football TOO HARD, and still NO ONE got hurt as a result.

What I'm dreading now is fighting my way out of every bar I watch a Saints game in this upcoming season, because there will be many loudmouth objective fans telling me how Payton deserved it...

And then they will feel something cold on their shoulders...

And it will be the FLOOR.


Euphoria 03-23-2012 05:37 PM


I don't blame Payton as much as everyone is making it out to be. Look, he didn't kill anyone. People make it sound like if Goodell had Payton executed by electric Chair, Oh well that is what he gets... F that.

Look he lied, held back some info. WELCOME TO THE CORPORATE WORLD it happens in business every day. That is what he is guilty of really. He didn't kill a dog, nor a human. Or even gave alcohol to a minor, held them against their will and raped them. Yeah your QB is still in the NFL. Payton's penalty is WAY to harsh. Williams yes he should get what he got.

jlouhill 03-23-2012 07:14 PM

Velvet, our anger is not misdirected, your perception of it is. The vast majority of us are in agreement that stiff penalties needed to be handed down. Though we don't condone what was going on we stand by our Head Coach and team through this. We are not angered at Goodell for hammering us here. We are mad at him about the one year Payton got. That was totally over the top and uncalled for. It is a blatant abuse of power and as others have already said it's just the NFL's way of CYA at our expense. No, our anger isn't misdirected. The NFL hasn't seen angry yet. Our season may be a wash this year, I hope not, I hope we kick a$$ all year and don't miss a beat, but come next year when we get everyone back and all this is behind us I hope Sean, Brees and company hits the field with a take no prisoners attitude and kicks the ever loving crap out of everone, legally. I hope we strive to hang 50+ on everyone and don't stop scoring until the final whistle sounds. Yea, we're angry, but just wait and see. The NFL will see in due time just how angry we are, and trust me, it won't be misdirected.

CharityMike 03-23-2012 07:35 PM

Well said guy's. My anger is not misdirected, it directed straight at that moron who is most probably the BIGGEST Hypocrite on this planet. By your post, you are saying that a 8 million dollar fine is ok. So basically it is a fine for lieing and cover up. Nevermind the NFL has players who actually kill people and break the real world laws and only get a minimal fine.'s justified..whatever

burningmetal 03-23-2012 07:54 PM

This Steelers fans' comments are exactly what I am sick of. We ALL understand that the Saints screwed themselves. But they aren't the only one's doing this. And YES, we know they lied to investigators. Here's the problem these judgemental outsiders keep missing: no other team is being investigated! So how do we know they wouldn't lie?

We haven't missed anything. Roger clearly has.

AlaskaSaints 03-23-2012 08:22 PM

Good point. Who has EVER been fined $8,000,000 for ANYTHING?!

There are rapists and murderers in the NFL and we were playing football TOO HARD!!


|Mitch| 03-23-2012 08:40 PM

Who is the "rapist" you speak of? :mrgreen:

oh that's right...

Ben Roethlisberger :doh:

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