MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) I grew up near New Orleans and I have been a Saints fan since birth. I lived through the Archie Manning era, the years of the Aints when fans wore bags over their heads and you couldn't give away tickets. You can imagine my excitement when the Saints won their first Super Bowl in 2009.
You can also imagine my disappointment with the news this week. The NFL has come down hard on the Saints for a bounty system that gave bonuses to Saints players for injuring other players.
Consider This: What the team did was wrong, no question about it. But, I believe the punishment was too severe, particularly for head coach Sean Payton.
It was all about PR. The NFL got some bad press and they wanted to make an example out of the Saints. I think the real rub is that league officials warned the team, but the practice continued. The NFL sent a message that any bounty system must stop, but that message could have been accomplished with less severe penalties.
If you play in the NFL your job is to hit people… and hit them hard. This isn't the National Chess League. And there are officials on the field to make sure players who make an illegal hit get penalized.