The past 72 hours have been borderline ridiculous, with all the drama that flooded the news cycle for weeks with the Manning watch, so engulffed in this that everyone in sports media that cover the NFL had almost daily reports on rumors and other tidbits about what they heard. Even we here, Adam and myself had countless discussions about the situation, and even though none of them were made part of an episode we talked about it enough that we both wrote articles about it, ( see :Who Needs Payton Manning, and Payton Watch). We covered it not because we were trying to be like the rest of mainstream sports media, we try to do the opposite whenever possible mainly because we don’t consider ourselves as journalists, but because like anyone else that follows the sport we recognized that wherever he ended up he would make that team instantly better.
We were then immediately thrown into the guessing game of where Tim Tebow would end up. Then the Jets trade kinda sorta happened, then it didn’t happen then finally happened ( still with me? if not check out this NFL.com article), with this constant bombardment of news and events that seem to hit with the speed and fury of a tornado we decided that we couldn’t wait until our planned pre-draft episode to make record show which is why we made an out of season Episode 26, if you haven’t listened to it yet then please pause here and listen to it.
While all of this was happening and interesting story broke, that story was the NFL laying down the boom on the Saints over the ‘bounty’ program. I have been very vocal about my feelings in the past saying that the NFL and the commissioner need to be more assertive and make an example out of someone in order to make sure that the other teams think twice before pulling a stunt like that. Some have argued that the punishment was too severe and I have to admit it was more than I was expecting and far more than I could have hoped for( sorry Saints fans but you had it coming, I HATE cheaters). For those of you that live under a rock and didn’t hear the news here is the basic breakdown on the punishment(s), keep in mind that this doesn’t include player punishments because as of this writing the league hasn’t decided what if any punishment will be handed down to players, but needless to say there will be loads of fines suspensions and possible ending of careers.
- The New Orleans Saints are fined $500,000. In addition, because the violation involves a competitive rule, the Saints will forfeit their selections in the second round of the 2012 and 2013 NFL drafts.
- Saints Head Coach Sean Payton is suspended without pay for the 2012 NFL season, effective April 1.
- Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis is suspended without pay for the first eight regular-season games of the 2012 season.
- Former Saints (and current St. Louis Rams) defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is suspended indefinitely from the NFL, effective immediately. Commissioner Goodell will review Coach Williams’ status at the conclusion of the 2012 season and consider whether to reinstate him, and, if so, on what terms. Commissioner Goodell said he will give close attention to the extent to which Coach Williams cooperates with the NFL in any further proceedings.
- Saints assistant Head Coach Joe Vitt is suspended without pay for the first six regular-season games of the 2012 season
- The Saints and the individuals disciplined today are expected to participate in efforts led by the league office to develop programs that will instruct players and coaches at all levels of the game on the need for respect for the game and those who participate in it, on principles of fair play, safety and sportsmanship, and to ensure that bounties will not be part of football at any level.