Violence is a part of NFL fabric
I can't keep myself from laughing over the latest "scandal" to hit the National Football League, the phony horror over bounty-gate.
The story is, by now, familiar.
Greg Williams, who was then defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints, led a defense where cash bounties were paid for extreme hits by his defensive players.
Williams may never coach again.
The league also suspended head coach Sean Payton and the general manager, Mickey Loomis, because of their complicity in this offensive behavior.
And I think this whole thing just smacks of hypocrisy.
The NFL is, by far, the most popular sport in the United States. Attendance records are set each year. Television money is off the charts. The value of an NFL franchise is at an all-time high.
People love the NFL for a lot of reasons. There are only 16 regular season games, and that helps, of course. It's a rare occurrence and we savor each one. It is the ultimate team sport, with designated behaviors and the team that best satisfies those designations is likely to win the game.
But one big reason people love the NFL is because of the violence of the game.
Make no mistake about it, football is a violent game where violence is preached and violence is rewarded. It's true about football at all levels. I remember a coach of mine in high school screaming at us to "rip them apart."
Think of the number of times you have seen instant replays of violent hits on a wide receiver or a running back. Think of the highlight films of great hits. Think of the mystery of seeing a player get knocked out and lying on a field. You want him to walk again, but...
I vividly remember being on the field and seeing a Packers offensive tackle, Greg Koch, absolutely crush Jim Osborne, a defensive end for the Chicago Bears with unbridled violence and then stand over him, breathing hard and looking for someone else to hit. And Koch was, and is, one of the most intelligent men I've ever known and someone who would never embrace random violence.
But this is football.
On the NFL level it's a game for grown men who have skills beyond belief. It's a game where, at its essence, pits force against force. There are formations and diagrams and plans and schemes. But at the bottom of all that is force and will.
That's why I wonder about Roger Goodell and all the columnists and TV people who are going "tsk, tsk" over the fact that their game is a violent one.
What the hell do they expect?
While they publicly cry about the violence, on the inside they don't really give much of a hoot. If it wasn't for the potential, and actuality, of lawsuits, I'd bet the NFL would say "so what?"
Sure, the league ought to protect against concussions and against leading with your head. I guess.
But I don't know how you draw a line as to what's too violent, when violence is such a bedrock principle of the game.
It's kind of like what Twain or Shakespeare or Einstein said.
"One man's violence is another man's great hit, and never the twain shall meet."
So, let me get this straight... putting a bounty on man which could cause them permanent, life-long injury or a debilitated mental state is OK. But if someone breaks into your home in the middle of the night, you're suppose to put out cupcakes for them and hide under your bed? Interesting.
Dave actually doesn't believe 1/2 of what he writes. He only writes it to evoke reactions from readers. The more comments/page views, the more valuable he becomes to OMC. Since Dave seems to like violence, I'll use a reference he's comfortable with: he likes to run into a crowded room of nuns and toss a grenade on the floor and run out while locking the door behind him.
Dave, You are so off-base with this commentary and it's base argument, I'm not sure where to start. The NFL nor the general public are crying out about the violence of football in general, they are upset about a coach instructing his defense to go after players with concussions, previous injuries (leg, knee, back, etc.) and take them out of the game. Basically target and injure purposefully. It's one thing to have an individual player lay a hit on someone and stand over them as you stated with Koch, but it is a bigger and much more egregious act to have a coach tell players to take out the opposition and then PAY them to do so. You could learn a thing or two from reading other player's comments about this. There is a big difference from giving a big clean hit in a game and having a coach tell his players "We've got to do everything in the world to make sure we kill Frank Gore's head." (Gore had a history of concussions). The Saints would review injury reports and instruct players to go after an opposing team member's ACL? And you defend this action and call it a hypocrisy? Do you see Dom Capers telling the Packers defense to do something like this? I for one am not oblivious to the violence in football, it is a contact sport. But what the Saints have done is something completely beyond on field hits, what they did is criminal.
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