May 02, 2012

NFL Suspends Four for Un-Saintly Behavior: Jonathan Vilma is suspended for the season. Two of the suspended players no longer play for New Orleans.

posted by yerfatma to football at 12:25 PM - 14 comments

The hammer strikes. Again. Again. And another time.

I wasn't surprised to see Jonathan Vilma get the brunt of the suspension. But two things did surprise me: Vilma getting the entire season (I thought 8 games at most), and that Roger only hit four players.

Aside from Vilma, the Saints actually got off light here.

On edit: Hargrove and Fujita are on other teams. Still, I was expecting more heads to roll.

posted by NerfballPro at 12:34 PM on May 02

They followed their bosses orders. Coaches caoch, Players listen.

"You want me on that wall!! You need me on that wall!!!!

posted by Debo270 at 01:28 PM on May 02

These four weren't following orders or just listening. Three of them kicked in their own money to fund it, and one of them admitted to obstructing the initial investigation.

posted by Etrigan at 01:46 PM on May 02

The "vee vas just following orders" didn't work well after WWII either.

posted by Atheist at 02:43 PM on May 02

Goodell also said that these four were the ones he could, to a reasonable level of certainty, say were involved in funding and directing the bounties. But I was expecting a few more to get hit.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:45 PM on May 02

Again, one story throwing around the idea of injuries possibly leading to Junior Seau's death, and this one about players putting in thousands to hurt other players.

It's to the ridiculous point with this game. Tough for me to shed tears for all these issues regarding the toll of violent play when it's the players bringing the problem on themselves such as in this instance.

There seems to be more and more evidence of the role football plays in the health issues and emotional problems these men deal with in later life, but any real change is slow in coming. I'm totaly behind Goodell hammering these teams/coaches/players for these actions.

posted by dyams at 03:58 PM on May 02

when it's the players bringing the problem on themselves such as in this instance

That really does not make any sense to me unless you're saying they had bounties with the explicit intent of permanently damaging other players' brains. I know what you're getting at, but this laying it at the players' feet stuff is crap. We fund the league, we pay them to do it and we want them to smash into each other really hard. They get rewarded for doing that. How is a bounty system making it appreciably worse?

posted by yerfatma at 06:44 PM on May 02

Did you even listen to Greg Williams' tapes? All he talks about is "Kill the head". He says "Kill the head and the body will die". He tells the players to do damage to the opposing players' heads at the end of each play before getting off them.

That's the fault of the fans? You don't think coaches explicitly saying to do damage to their opponent's heads might possibly impact potential brain injuries?

posted by dyams at 07:15 PM on May 02

Ultimately, we the consumers bare some amount of responsibility here, yes. The culture of pro football doesn't exist in a vacuum.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:07 PM on May 02

If I'm responsible for a douche like Gregg Williams, Goodell should ban me for life.

posted by dyams at 10:11 PM on May 02

My love for the sport of football vs. My disgust at the consequences playing it has on the athletes

The conflict within me grows....

posted by DudeDykstra at 10:53 PM on May 02

Thinking about it, though, I can't totally agree with the idea that the culture of pro football, at least with regards to the impact the consumer has, support the attitude that injuries (although they are obviously going to happen) are accepted. I don't know anyone who enjoys or supports the idea of players being badly injured or having to be carted off the field. If anything those injuries make me lose interest in watching games. There's nothing worse, from my (a fans) perspective than having a game I'm looking forward to watching not having teams with their best players on the field. When Favre, for example, was playing, how many fans would really be as interested in watching a big game with his team competing if he wasn't playing due to injury? Same with Brady. And watching the Arizona Cardinals ever since Warner (a reported bounty target) retired attempt to find a QB capable of getting the ball to the amazing Larry Fitzgerald, makes me disinterested in even seeing a Cardinal game.

My point is, if the consumers desire to see a good, clean, hard-hitting pro football game directly supports players (or coaches) looking for chances to seriously cripple other players, rewarding them for getting helped off the field, then it's possible the game should be banned.

posted by dyams at 05:28 AM on May 03

I'm taking no responsibility for this as a fan. Nothing is worse in football than injuries, not even losing. These coaches and players wanted to win, and they felt this is where they needed to go to win. The fact that the quest to win was such a powerful motivation for them that they would try to maim others is all on them.

posted by bperk at 07:42 AM on May 03

There was probably a time when I enjoyed big hits in the NFL without thinking much about the consequences, but that passed a long time ago. Even as a kid I had Darryl Stingley to remind me of what can happen when a player's lying motionless on the turf. I hated Jack Tatum after that.

The Saints fully deserve the punishment they're getting. Not only did they explicitly seek to injure opponents, they lied and covered up their actions after the league investigated. I don't think we'll ever have another bounty scandal in the NFL.

posted by rcade at 08:28 AM on May 03

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