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Friday, May 6, 2016

Abuse of power

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Roger Goodell has gone mad with power. He will stop at nothing to prove to the public he's dedicated to player safety in the NFL. Whether player or coach, no one is safe from Sheriff Goodell, who's running roughshod over the league with his own version of justice with impunity.

That's what happens when you're given too much power in the NFL. Coaches are suspended, salaries are cut, and games are being played on Wednesday. Can Goodell even do that? The NFL's most powerful man can do whatever he wants...

The case involving "bounties" in New Orleans took a very unpleasant turn this week when Goodell unprecedentedly suspended Saints head coach Sean Payton for the 2012 season without pay, which is roughly $6 million. Goodell claimed the league's investigators were "clearly lied to" by Payton and his staff about knowledge of a bounty program being ran by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, in which knocking a player out of the game would pay $1,500 and forcing a player to leave on a cart was worth $1,000.

Williams is suspended indefinitely from the Rams, where he signed this offseason to be Jeff Fisher's new defensive coordinator. Now the Rams and Saints are each out a top coach, and both lost their yearly salary. All so Goodell can uphold the appearance of doing "everything he can" for "safety" in the NFL.

Unfortunately, Goodell talks out of both sides of his mouth when it comes to safety for the players. Suspending Payton wasn't about making the game safer. Goodell had to make an example of someone again, to harden his stance on player safety being a priority.

Goodell is going to extremes (like ripping $6 mill from Payton and essentially kicking him out for a year) in order to cover his back on the health risks each and every player faces.

With all the new studies of concussions and debilitating health for former NFL players, it's only a matter of time before there's hard facts that show just how detrimental years in the NFL can be to a player in their life after football.

Goodell can say the league did everything they could to prevent concussions and protect the players but this is the same guy who wants to add another two games to the regular season.

The league may fine players, even dish out one game suspensions, for hits deemed "unsafe" but it's the same league that has used in-game violence as a marketing ploy for decades.

Punishment was deserved for the Saints, who's biggest mistake turned out to be admitting (and apologizing for) the bounty program. Half the season would have been plenty for Payton. But Goodell feels played and foolish because Payton lied about knowledge of the bounties.

The Saints executives and coaches tried to own it but that's what buried them, and ultimately proved to be the evidence the league needed to levy such harsh punishment, which also included suspending GM Mickey Loomis (eight games), an assistant head coach Joe Vitt (six games), and taking away two second-round draft picks. Goodell went overboard with this punishment.

I realize the league had warned Williams before about participating in such pay-for-hits schemes in Washington and Buffalo, but could it be the fact the Saints "bounty" program resulted in such success (Super Bowl win) that the league had to come down even harder?

I don't condone intentionally trying to injure a player. However, professional football is about winning games, and every player out there knows the risks of playing football at that level. Being knocked out of the game is a chance taken every snap.

If teams are going to reward players for hits that take out an opponent, the lesson is to keep it hushed better than the Saints did. To think the Saints were the only ones doing such a thing, or that it will be ridden from the game, is naive. Sometimes a "bounty" mentality is what it takes. It got the Saints a Super Bowl. But now, courtesy of Goodell and his feeling of absolute power, it also cost Sean Payton the season and six million bucks.

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You are so messed up about this issue. Peyton, his players and coaches got off easy. Last time I looked it was a crime to hire someone to hurt,injure or kill anyone. Why not in the NFL? I'd say they are held to a lower standard than the rest of our society in general. Convicted felons are allowed to play in the NFL! How messed up is that? Goodell is growing a pair and you say he went overboard? Everyone that was/is involved should be banned for life as well as be put in jail. Ordinary people would be. You need to experience life a lot more. In your last paragraph you seem to condone the "bounty system". All they have to do is keep it "hushed up" better. I would expect more from someone who has played an organized sport. Football is a damn game, that's all it is. It's not like going to war and getting shot at.

-- Posted by SSGM270 on Sun, Mar 25, 2012, at 1:36 PM

I'm going to have to agree with SSGM on this one. "All they have to do is keep it hushed better". The point is that they were told to stop and they didn't. If i was at work and was told to stop doing something and continued to do so, I would probably be fired. Believe it or not, I think everyone got off pretty easy.

"I don't condone intentionally trying to injure a player. However, professional football is about winning games, and every player out there knows the risks of playing football at that level. Being knocked out of the game is a chance taken every snap."

You're right, football is about winning games. In order to win, you need to win within the scope of the rules. What you're essentially saying that in the spirit of winning, it's ok to try to intentionally injure a player on the opposing team....but you don't condone intentional injury...except when it means winning....right? So which one is it? Being injured IS a risk of the game, being intentionally injured is not. You possibly attribute the bounty program to their Super Bowl win....all that does is present the idea that they couldn't have won unless they basically cheated. I'm still trying to see where the punishment went overboard. Every single one of the people punished could have stopped this system....but yet none of them did. They put player's careers at a heightened potential risk for the sake of winning. So let me get this straight.....it's ok to end a guy's career as long as it produces a W? It's ok to go above and beyond the scope of the rules as long as it produces a victory? You can engage in this program as long as you keep it quiet better? If it was ok to do, then why should they "keep it hushed better"? It was because of the potential danger this system puts opposing players in, that the penalties are what they are. A "bounty" menatlity is never acceptable. If that's what it takes for them to be motivated, then they have no business playing. If it takes that mentality to coach, then they aren't a very good coach. You're using violence and economic factors as motivators. That to me is pretty crappy coaching. In my opinion, the punishments were about spot on. They risked the players' saftey to an unacceptable level. Goodell wasn't bent on absolute power. There was no abuse. As far as Payton losing six million dollars, maybe he'll just have to live on the six million he made last year or the amount he made prior.

-- Posted by lastsonofoa on Sun, Mar 25, 2012, at 3:44 PM

It's good you give your opinion on this issue, w3hen you grow up, write a new column..

-- Posted by Cookster on Mon, Mar 26, 2012, at 10:13 PM

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Zach Jevne
Real Sports Talk
Zach joined the Daily Reporter staff as sports editor in March 2011. He is originally from Decorah, Iowa. He played baseball at University of Northern Iowa and studied multimedia journalism at Simpson College.