English: The mutineers turning Lt Bligh and pa...

Mutiny on the Bounty

I really am surprised with all of the uproar that is being given to the current situation involving current St Louis Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and the alleged setting of “bounties” on opposing players.

In case you have not been hearing this in the news, essentially a bounty is considered a situation where a pool of money is set aside for players and then if they perform certain tasks in the game, they get a stipulated amount from this pool of money. For example: If you knock the opposing team’s quarterback out of the game, we will give you $2500.

According to the Associated Press, Williams has been under investigation for his time as the defensive coordinator with the New Orleans Saints, primarily from 2009-2011. The NFL has implied that as many as 28 different players were involved in this “bounty” program with the Saints that rewarded defensive players for knocking opponents out of games and also rewarded so-called “big hits”

Two familiar names that were considered bounty targets include Kurt Warner and Brett Favre during the Super Bowl Championship year of 2010.

The airwaves on television and radio have been filled with all of these former players turned analysts/broadcasters shedding light and their opinion on the matter. The overwhelming side of the story from these “experts” is that it is a different culture in the National Football League and the average fan just does not understand or have any concept of this culture that exists within the locker room and between the lines.

Others argue that this gets to the issue of integrity within sports and is sending the wrong message. If setting bounties at the NFL is ok to do, and players are rewarded for hurting other players and even potentially jeopardizing their careers, won’t this attitude permeate downward into the ranks of college football, and even high school football and possibly lower?

I am certain that commissioner Roger Goodell will drop some significant penalties when the “official” word is released by the NFL. Goodell has shown time and time again that he is trying to run a tight ship. He wants a league that is successful and entertaining, but does not jeopardize integrity and most importantly safety of the players.

The NFL under his watch has cracked down on defenseless hits, concussions, and has been much more strict in handing out fines and suspensions in the attempt to curb any unsatisfactory behavior. The examples are all well documented. Everything from the Suh stomping incident to New England taping other teams sidelines in the effort to steal play calls and gain an advantage.

My gut feeling is that the penalties, fines, and suspensions associated with all of the “bounty” talk will be very large and send a firm and definitive message.

Here is hoping my instincts on this one are right, and that the former players turned analysts quit put the shovel away and quit digging themselves a deeper hole trying to explain why bounties on players are being misunderstood by the fans around the country.

Until next time, stay classy – Oil City, Pennsylvania

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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