What the hell is happening to my NFL? Did everyone catch the news about Super Champion New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Peyton being suspended for a year by the NFL for putting bounties out on opposing teams’ players? This is a shocking and extremely strict punishment simply for rewarding players for doing what they are recruited, trained and ultimately paid to do, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodall has swung his gavel and with that swing goes any hope for Saints fans in 2012 and for NFL fans that are attracted by the full contact part of the game.
Think about this. Part of being a great coach is being able to get the most out of people. Payton never advocated for any of his players to break any rules. There are of course some rules. You naturally can’t hit a guy from behind, grab the other players’ facemask or close line someone. But the way I learned and the way the game in my mind is supposed to be played, everything else before the whistle goes. Not only does it go, but if you played hard and hustled you could take angles on hapless slackers and DE cleat their asses before they knew what them. I played for four years so trust me when I say that hitting someone when they least expect it is the best way to get them on their ass. I think Payton’s commitment to getting the most of his players by financially incentivizing them to keep their heads on a swivel and smash someone’s mouth for the entire play is good policy. That’s how I’d want my team to play.
Oct. 19, 2010, changed the NFL. This is the day that three NFL defensive players were nailed by the league with huge fines for tackling guys a bit too aggressively. One play was when James Harrison, defensive end for the Steelers, gave a Cleveland Browns receiver a concussion with a helmet to helmet bone crushing shot to the head that reminded me of Will Smith’s character stopping the freight train in the movie “Hancock.” Harrison is a little over six feet tall and weighs about 245 pounds. The man looks like a walking muscle, akin to something in a National Geographic scene filmed in the Congo. He takes on seven foot tall 350 pound lineman for a living. The man deadlifts 500 pounds for reps, sleeps in a hyperbaric chamber and for all I know sprinkles Deca Durabolin (Steroids) on his fuckin Wheaties.
Who gives a shit? Not me. I want to see freaks like Harrison smash the crap out of suck running bitches like Tom Brady and Chad Ochocinco.
Let me remind you folks, this isn’t baseball. We don’t need a congressional hearing to make sure these guys aren’t doing performance enhancing drugs. I mean most of these guys are overt about their use and why wouldn’t they be? Shawn Merriman was an outside linebacker for the San Diego Chargers in 2006 when he was suspended four games for violating the league’s steroid policy, but still finished third in voting for the Defensive Player of Year Award. The sportscasters are collectively advocating for the use of illegal substances by rewarding the users performance with votes for awards like that.
The truth is that football fans do not care. I do not care about the guy who got laid out or concussed. I want to see the smash. I don’t care about Shawn Merriman’s life being shortened because he abused steroids in exchange for fame and fortune. Football is America’s Gladiator Games and as a fan, the only thing I want is for the players to be bigger, stronger, faster and more aggressive than the year before. I tip my hat to Coach Payton and hope no one starts talking of putting an asterisk next to his name if his return proves to be as successful as his career has been so far.