The Saints were certainly a likable bunch before the news broke last weekend that coaches and players were involved in a “bounty system,” which reportedly rewarded players with thousands in cash in exchange for inflicting injuries on the players of the opposing team.
New Orleans is currently being hammered in the press and around the NFL for implementing this system that “everybody else does.”
If that phrase sounds familiar, it should.
“Everybody else” was using cameras to videotape opposing teams’ hand signals prior to 2007, Patriots fans alleged.
The difference here is that prior to September 2007, the Pats weren’t really a likable bunch across the country. Bill Belichick was far from media-friendly. The team often won in a style that defied traditional NFL logic. And there were enough incidents over the years, notably the on-field postgame celebration following the 2006 divisional round game in San Diego, that drove opposing fan bases and self-righteous media members up the wall.
The news of the Patriots indiscretion also broke in Week 1 of the NFL season. The Saints issues popped up in early March, one of the most dormant periods on the NFL calendar.
Obviously, the Saints problems will still be brought to light throughout the summer. Absent will be the endless fervor we saw from fans week in and week out in 2007.
That is the biggest difference between the two stories.
As for which indiscretion was worse?
Commissioner Goodell is about to let us know.
Ain’t no Saints
The NFL is expected to come down hard on Saints staff from 2009-11:
Greg Williams Now the Rams’ defensive coordinator, Williams ran the bounty
system and could see a year suspension.
Sean Payton The Saints head coach took “full responsibility” for the bounty program.
Mickey Loomis The GM said the violation happened “under our watch.”