Posts Tagged ‘Roger Goodell’

After a very Happy Birthday for me, once again I am back at it bringing you the latest in Southern Sports.

Today the NFL Commissioner handed down suspensions to 4 players directly involved in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal.  Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Scott Fujita were all targeted for their roles in the bounties.

Jonathan Vilma was given the most severe punishment, he has been banned for the entire 2012 season all the way through the Superbowl.  He openly offered $10,000 dollars of his own money for anyone who could knock Bret Favre out of the 2010 NFC Championship Game.  Also it is believed by the league that he willingly impeded the investigation into the bounty program in 2010.

Anthony Hargrove received an 8 game suspension for the targeting of Fave in the Championship Game as well as withholding information during the leagues initial investigation.  The Commissioner released a full statement regarding the punishments:

“It is the obligation of everyone, including the players on the field, to ensure that rules designed to promote player safety, fair play, and the integrity of the game are adhered to and effectively and consistently enforced,” Goodell said in the league’s statement. “Respect for the men that play the game starts with the way players conduct themselves with each other on the field.” (

Will Smith and Scott Fujita were also given suspensions for their roles.  Below is a clip of a blatant cheap shot delivered by Fujita on Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers.

These punishments are truly the first of their kind.  Vilma being suspended for the year has set an entirely new precedent for league action against players.  Personally, these suspensions are dead on.  Why should players get rewarded for injuring their own?  Aren’t they supposed to be united, as in a union?  Didn’t they ban together to fight the league just a year ago?  Are we supposed to feel sorry for them when they are trying to injure each other?

With those questions aside I must point out the difference between hurting the man in front of you and injuring him.  The two are as different as night and day.  All the way through the pee wees, pop warner, middle school, high school and college your job as a football player is to “hurt” the other team.  The point is to inflict pain without leaving them immobile.  You never want the other team to think they can hurt you so you just have to hurt them first.  You’ve heard all the cliché’s before, “Punch them in the mouth”, “Bloody their noses” , “Give them body blows”.  These are all just mid sets of the athlete to prepare them for the physical battle ahead.  Nowhere is there a directive to take out a guy’s knee, or this guy has a concussion, hit him in the head.  That’s injuring.

I have no problem with good form tackles, hard hits, or big plays, just keep it clean.  I pull for certain players and nothing would turn me off faster than knowing my favorite player lost his ability to play because a guy was looking for an extra 500 bucks.

Kudos to the league for stepping up and putting a stop to this embarrassment.

The day is now upon us.  Gathered like children round the Christmas tree with butterflies and knots in our stomachs, anxiously awaiting the arrival of that final piece or maybe the cornerstone to a bright new future.

Football fans everywhere are checking Twitter feeds and Facebook posts hungrily devouring every draftniks newest trade scenario and mock draft.  Each one providing their own insight to what is, without a doubt, the most unpredictable spectacle in all of sports.

Now that we are entering the 11th hour, every GM, coach and owner is up to speed on the players they want in the draft and even a few that they think could be there with their pick.  The stage has been set, and the most prolific collegiate football players in the nation will gather with friends, families and former coaches and wait to hear the commissioner  announce their name and placement in America’s favorite sport.

The suspense is palpable and every nerve in the body is rapid-firing signals back to the brain faster than they can be decoded.  A hush comes over the capacity crowd in the Radio City Music Hall as NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, makes his long walk to center stage, note card in hand.  Lightly he adjusts the level of the microphone before making his opening remarks.  The buzz begins to build in anticipation of the draft’s most famous words before they are uttered for the first time in 365 days.  Teeth clinch, heart rates jump, sweat beads on the brow of fans all over the world as Goodell announces, “And with the first pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select…”

As fans we all have our preferences and predictions, both positive and negative, as to what direction our favorite teams will go.  Lost in all the hustle and bustle of this modern “holiday” is the birth of hope.  With each pick and trade that comes off the board hope replaces the anguish and frustration that all but one team felt as the final seconds ticked off of the clock signifying the end of the season.

With that new-found hope message boards, forums, team websites, fan pages and, yes, blogs much like this one, will collectively rejoice the coming of a new season.  And whether you take the time to think about it or not, you are filled with great expectations as whatever team you pull for is right back in the hunt for that ever so elusive Lombardi Trophy.

Every Team is back at 0-0 and with that beautiful statistic in place the mind can drift, wonder, and maybe even dare to dream that at the end of it all your team will be the one left standing in a perpetual blizzard of confetti as the star player looks into the camera in front of millions of fans to proclaim, “I’m going to Disney World!”

As I leave you with the taste of victory lingering on your mental pallets, just take a moment and remember the feeling that hope provides.  That warm fullness that wells up inside to the point of bursting.  Savor that moment, let it sink in and enjoy these few brief hours out of the long day, week, or month that has been eating at you.  Take this time to push back all the nonsense of your normal day-to-day and just relish this time out, breathe deep the minutes you have to sit back and embrace something so trivial yet so very, very important to, yes, the cultural fiber of our great nation.  Celebrate no matter what happens and let the games begin!


Sean Payton

As of today the league has announced that the suspensions of Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis, and Joe Vitt have been upheld.  Per the announcement the league said Commissioner Goodell gave “careful consideration” to the punishments handed out earlier this month.

Sean Payton has been banned from the Saints facility starting April, 16 and will not end until the 2012 season is over.  Mickey Loomis, GM of the Saints, will begin his 8 game suspension after the preseason as will Joe Vitt’s 6 game suspension.

At the conclusion of each suspension Roger Goodell will review each one’s reinstatement individually.

What does all of this mean to the Saints?

First of all they are at a serious coaching disadvantage and must immediately start vetting replacements for their staff.  Granted with an offense as gifted and deadly as the Saints it should not be that hard to find someone to hold the clipboard and let Brees and company do what they do.  However, Drew Brees contract situation is still well up in the air.  Brees ultimately refuses to sign the franchise tender and with the lack of coaching and front office personnel Brees may choose to just sit out this year and completely derail the Saints organization.

This situation could very quickly go from very bad to even worse and if I were a stock market kind of guy I would make a power play to corner the paper bag market in the French Quarter.  The Aint’s could make a less than triumphant return to the Big Easy.