First off, don’t get the information wrong, because apparently a lot of readers who watch ESPN, or their favorite news outlets, tend to listen to their opinions and insight and not research what is fact and what is not.
Furthermore just because you’re a Minnesota Viking fan does not mean that you should bash the New Orleans Saints based on any type of findings in the report because the fact of the matter is, the game has been complete, the result has already been determined.
You lost the game.
The referees may have missed some calls, but that’s how the game of football is. If you don’t like how a game is officiated, go apply for an officials position, and do the job yourself.
Under Gregg Williams the “Bounty Gate” issue was used as an incentive system to reward players for things they did on the field.
Former and current players confirm they were rewarded for things such as interceptions, forced fumbles, sacks, tackles inside the 20 yard line, safeties, and big hits.
The NFL says their investigation also determined that they were paid $1,500 for a “knock out” hit and $1,000 for a “cart-off” hit.
How did the NFL find out about this bounty situation?
A memo sent by the NFL to all 32 teams detailing the investigation was obtained by CBS Sports, which reported that Michael Ornstein, a former marketing agent with close ties to Payton and former Saint Reggie Bush, contributed to the bounty fund.
Ornstein, who served time in prison for fraud, pledged $10,000 to the quarterback bounty in 2009, and contributed money at least twice in 2011 according to the report.
According to CBS Sports, the memo also details an email sent from Ornstein to Payton, which outlined the bounty system.
There was no telling what provoked him to come forward.
Ornstein was also the same guy that made former New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush ineligible at USC by providing him with improper benefits.
However, lets break down these findings and find out exactly what they mean.
There was no actual investigation taking place during the 2009 NFL Playoffs or regular season.
The investigation began in the beginning of the 2010 season and closed shortly after. It re-opened near the end of the 2011 season.
That means all the Minnesota Vikings fans that are crying foul there is no evidence that the Saints should be stripped of their NFL Super Bowl title because of “bounties”, because there was no investigation taking place at all during that time-frame.
The investigation didn’t actually begin until the beginning of the 2010 regular season after allegations were made that that the New Orleans Saints intentionally tried to injure Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre.
During the NFL Divisional Championship game in the Louisiana Superdome, with approximately 6:00 left in the 2nd Quarter, Kurt Warner threw a pass that was intercepted by Will Smith
Warner became a “defensive player” as he attempted to make the tackle on Smith. He was blindsided by Saints defensive end Bobby McCray who was acting as a blocker — a perfectly legal play seen in near every game during the regular season.
During the game and after the game, league officials viewed the hit as “legal” due to Kurt Warner being a defender, and that McCray became a legal blocker.
The game following that, the NFC Conference Championship against the Minnesota Vikings, quarterback Brett Favre was hit on numerous occasions throughout the game.
It was no secret that the New Orleans Saints wanted to get hits on Brett Favre.
I remember accurately that it was said that Williams told players to hit Brett Favre every chance they had and if it resulted in a 15 yard penalty, they’d accept it as long as Favre was hit.
In no way did he say there was intent to injure him, just that they wanted to land as many hits as possible on Brett Favre to rattle him.
Nothing out of the ordinary here, every team does that, once again a common occurrence in every game during the regular season.