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Does The Reggie White Change the Saints Bounty Situation?

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by El Guapo, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

    Dec 7, 2011
    First things first, I've been a big believer that the NFL's punishments related to the Saints bounty program were justified. I'm not sure that they'd ever find a smoking gun, such as a ledger, but believe that the sworn statement of the defensive coordinator was sufficient evidence.

    However, my opinion is swaying after reading the following article:

    I guess that I never heard of Reggie White's "Smash For Cash" program during the 1996 Super Bowl run. Specifically, I'm struck by the NFL's ruling that pay-for-performance programs were fine “as long as players use their own money, amounts are not exorbitant and payments aren’t for illegal hits.”

    White gave teammates money for big hits, which sounds very close to what Jonathon Vilma is accused of doing. The Saints might have called it cart-offs and what-not, but those are just the results of plays. They didn't pay money for clips, crack-backs, hits to the helmet, or any illegal plays.

    I'm tempted to agree with the NFLPA that there is a very thin line between paying for "big hits" and paying for "cart-offs." Both have the intent to injure. Why else would you want a big hit? It's to make the other players timid and/or knock them out of games.

    My opinion is swaying because there doesn't seem to be much difference between what they allowed previously and have now penalized the Saints for doing. What is the tangible difference?
  2. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

    Jul 28, 2012
    Goodell is skating on thin ice and splitting hairs, among other metaphors. The fact he contended as a secondary argument that such "bonuses" are violations of the salary cap indicates how skimpy the case happens to be.

    I agree with you that the difference between "big hits" and "cart offs" is a distinction without a difference. If your object is to drill a guy, even legally, wouldn't you think his being carted off might be a possible outcome? And what if no money changed hands? How a about a symbolic "game hammer" for the biggest hit? Would that be OK?

    I happen to believe side bonuses for big hits are bad for the game; I also believe Goodell goofed in not getting rules laid out in the last CBA negotiation if he thought such activities were bad for the game.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

    Feb 13, 2010
    This might surprise some people but things change.

    The saints were doing it, were warned not to do it, continued doing it, then lied about it when interviewed. It would be different if the league dropped the hammer on them when they first got wind of it.

    I feel like I will be telling my kids about the days of celebrated big hits delivered by NFL player. "Jacked up" comments on espn, to video games called blitz where you crush people, to NFL promoted DVDs on big hits.
  4. Oshkoshpackfan

    Oshkoshpackfan YUT !!!

    Aug 14, 2012
    Times change, the game has changed. Players are considered huge investments and help to draw in the crowd. Nobody wants to see their star player(s) carted off and the upper management see that as a money loss. I doubt that the care goes to the player as much as it goes to a bank account when an injury happens from a huge hit.
    I like to see big hits just like the next fan, as long as they are clean in form. If the guy who got hit happens to get hurt or limp off, so be it, but atleast it wasnt a dirty play. The texans game pissed me off a little bit because of all the low leg tackles they were doing on us and the key players were dropping like flies. I think what reggie white was doing was more of a motivational thing rather then the dirtyness of the saints D or that of the steelers dirty players.
  5. TJV

    TJV Lifelong Packers Fanatic

    Feb 22, 2011

    IMO here is the smoking gun of the scandal. Although Williams doesn't say players will be paid additional amounts (over their regular compensation), listen to what he says about injuring specific players in specific ways. That to me is a difference with a distinction.That is anathema to sportsmanship; in the game of tackle football repeatedly hitting opponents incredibly hard, as long as the hits are legal, is not. Unless evidence is presented that White (and/or others) were engaging in that specific behavior – encouraging teammates to go after the specific injuries of specific players and offering them bonuses to do so – IMO the behavior of the Saints organization raises above generic bonuses for big hits.

    Beyond that, let’s not pretend that players are not “legitimately” compensated for consistently applying big hits on opponents.
  6. slaughter25

    slaughter25 Cheesehead

    Jan 27, 2011
    While there is no denying the fact that a possible outcome of a big hit is being carted off the field. But there is also no denying the fact that being crated off the field is nearly the worse case outcome of a big hit. Awarding players for shooting for the worst case scenario is despicable. Rewarding players for 'big hits" is as old as the game and I can remember from an early age talking to friends about winning the 'big stick' when we got to high school. The big stick was literally a branch cut off a tree right outside of our field. Each Friday after the game it was handed out like a game ball for that person to sign and hold on to for that week. This award (much like Reggie White's) was made for the intention of awarding pure good solid hits. Not shooting to send someone out of the game and possibly end their career on a stretcher.

    So to me there is no razor thin line. It is black and white. and it all boils down to the intent. One "bounty" program aimed to reward fundamentals and good tackling, the other intended to award people for injuring colleagues.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. Forget Favre

    Forget Favre Cheesehead

    Dec 27, 2009
    Knowing about the bounty program now, I feel like the Packers and especially Aaron dodged a bullet in their opening game at Lambeau last year.
    Thank goodness he didn't get Favred by the Taints.
  8. Alex

    Alex Cheesehead

    Jan 24, 2012
    I agree with you. My lacrosse team had a hard hat passed around for the biggest hit in the game..never tried to injure someone though. Big difference!
  9. jaybadger82

    jaybadger82 Cheesehead

    Jan 17, 2012
    The statement from Gregg Williams is suspect because his reinstatement was/is dependent on his confirming the league's version of events.

    There is none, except for the context. As a society, we're now trying to find ways to continue enjoying a sport that very seriously and very permanently damages people. It's a little f*cked up:

    The NFL backed off this argument some time ago because salary cap violations are resolved by independent arbitrators under the CBA, which is exactly what the NFLPA was after.

    Looks like the appeals are now going to be heard by Tagliabue.

    Yep. Nice to see this litigated for months where a rather modest concession (just announced today) would have gotten this resolved and out of the headlines so much sooner. Well handled, Roger.
  10. weeds

    weeds Cheesehead

    Dec 9, 2004
    I wonder if Reggie's version paid more if someone was "carted off the field"?

    Look, there's a different sheriff in town now ... the game has been pussified ... the game has changed.

    Do I like the fact that White paid out for 'big' hits? I don't know. I personally think that comparing the two scenarios is like comparing apples to pick up trucks.

    I had heard some rumbling about the Packers' 'bounty' thing a few years back ... they were told to stop and did. The Saints were told to stop and didn't ... and lied about it. I'm thinking that if they had stopped when told to stop, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.
  11. Shawnsta3

    Shawnsta3 Cheesehead

    Aug 19, 2011
    The program was done by then.
  12. LZ13

    LZ13 Cheesehead

    Oct 13, 2012
    Cash For KLUNKers program, even back then. If it was legal, and not cheap shots, then I guess it was OK back then. Not a good thing to allow, however, as it can quickly degenerate into a cheap shot bounty system. And it is not the same for coaches doing this - that is clearly not allowed. They sure made a mess of Favre. Seemed almost like the refs were in on it too, with all the late hits. And I was very much an Anti-Favre guy at the time and wanted MN to lose in the worst way and I say this.

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