Thursday, May 10, 2012
On The Defense
I am an adamant supporter of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's decision to punish Sean Payton, Greg Williams, and all those involved in the Saints' Bounty scandal. The day the story broke- the minute it came out Sean Payton was aware of the pay-for-injury program- I believed the respected coach must sit out of the game for an entire year. Then, I applauded Goodell for making the tough decision, because it was the right decision. I am confident that this was the only way the league would become what it wants to be: focused on players' safety.
This is all the more reason I am surprised that I get what Chris Carter was bringing to the table when he revealed his own "bounty" history. And I am even more surprised that I am not morally opposed to the description he relayed on ESPNRadio of calling attention to specific players on opposing teams.
To me, it seems Carter described an insurance plan in the form of rewarding for protection. The label 'bounty' is so assuming now, that it is not fair to say a steak dinner for an extra tackle is a bounty. In a day where we know players aimed to tear ACLs and torture the concussed, we can not use the term bounty lightly. The type of insurance Carter describes could exist in 'old school' football the way it no longer can. It could be the culture in a league of football where players weren't constantly warned about bounties by a man named Goodell.
It is a good thing players such a Carter and Romanowski don't play the game anymore. Because the truth of the matter is... the game, and perception of the game, has changed.