Ralph Malbrough / Contributing Writer
Here is a question I haven't seen anybody ask regarding the 2012 Saints Bounty Scandal, "What exactly has the NFL accomplished?" besides completely destroying the product a fan base has been selling out the Mercedes Benz Superdome for seven straight years to watch.
It's serious question.
The NFL tough guy commissioner's burning of the 2012 Saints season to the ground hasn't made the ex-players’ lawsuits regarding concussions go away. Nope. They are still suing, and if Jonathan Vilma keeps plowing ahead with his defamation lawsuit, the NFL might be forced to turn over all kinds of evidence and Roger Goodell might even have to testify. I bet Vilma's attorney Peter Ginsburg might have some really great questions a lot of ex-players might love to have answered. Like when did NFL know repeated head trauma was a life altering side affect of football? Should be great fun and I for one am really looking forward to it.
Also, I think we as Saints fans should give a standing ovation to Jonathan Vilma and Scott Fujita. They never once wavered or backed down from the charges against them. Fujita even asked Goodell, "What the hell you doing?" Fujita got totally cleared of doing anything and proved apparently evidence wasn't as important as deciding which players to target as whether they had a C on their jersey.
Roger Goodell probably did severely limit his ability to discipline players now that they know if they are willing to go nuclear as Jonathan Vilma did then suspensions can get put off and maybe even thrown out if you can prove the NFL has done a horrible job of gathering credible evidence against you. Well-done Roger. You managed to gain almost unlimited power in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement and little more than a year later Jonathan Vilma showed said power is fairly limited after all. I'm sure limiting the commissioner’s power wasn't the intended purpose of the bounty investigation.
Tough break on law of unintended consequences Roger.
So it seems to me the NFL hasn't accomplished much of anything with the bounty investigation.
Ralph, the NFL has vanquished pay-for-performance schemes by teams from the earth. Indeed they did and old self-righteous columnists can pretend Roger Goodell saved football in the process.
Even if you think the previous paragraph is true, to accomplish it Goodell did the equivalent of dropping a nuclear bomb in a garden to kill a gopher. Saints fans deserved better. As a season ticket holder, I deserved better and don't care if Sean Payton lied to Goodell about the bounty program. Fining him $3 million and suspending him two weeks would've accomplished the exact same result. Just because Goodell got his feelings hurt because the Saints front office got scared and lied didn't give him reason to ruin the city of New Orleans’ football season.
The crime Goodell did to us was not that he ruined a football season but what football season he ruined. He didn't ruin some 8-8 Jim Haslett and Aaron Brooks season but instead he took a blowtorch to one of Drew Brees' prime years.
As Saints fans we might not get another quarterback like Brees and a coach like Payton. Here is the Saints history in one sentence; they were a laughing stock for 20 years, were mediocre for 20 more, and the last six they've been awesome. I don't know how much longer they'll be this much fun, but I know history tells me once it ends I probably will have to wait another 40 years for it to return.
Roger Goodell took some of that fun away and accomplished not a damn thing.
Sean Payton sabbatical spot of the week: Las Vegas Sean was in Vegas running a half marathon last Saturday. I was in Vegas last weekend too and I wonder if Sean destroyed his mini bar like I did in order to tolerate the roughly 9000 yards the Saints special teams allowed?
Nice to see Sean is now in peak physical condition so maybe in 2013 he can coach and play on the kickoff team. Lord knows the Saints need the help.
Last week: 4-1
Tampa Bay (+3) at New Orleans: The only thing worse than preseason football in August is preseason football in December but that’s where the 2012 Saints season is.
The final three games are meaningless so play all the rookies or guys who have questions. Let’s see Joseph Morgan play a lot more at receiver and see if he might become Devery 2.0. Can Isa Abdul-Quddus and Rafael Bush play safety well if given the chance? I have no idea, but I’m tired of watching Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper so why not!
Will the Saints even care? Beats me. I’ll be in attendance and I hope to see a competitive game but I also hope the Saints lose. Yeah, I said it.
The playoffs aren’t happening and quite frankly I’d much prefer a top 10 draft pick than an 8-8 finish. If the Saints can crash the bus known as the 2012 season 5-11 style they might pick as high as fifth by my calculations! Come on boys let’s do this!
Now don’t go give up 52 points like last week but a nice last minute close loss will do just fine.
Am I bad fan? Maybe but it will all be worth it when LSU’s Barkevious Mingo is killing quarterbacks in 2013. Think big picture people.
New York Giants (+1.5) at Atlanta: I know the Giants housed the Saints but they also gave up a ton of yards on the ground. The NFC is wide open and I’m trying to prepare myself for hearing, “Your 2012 NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons.”
I think I just blacked out.
Seattle (-5.5) at Buffalo: I’ve decided the playoff team I’m rooting for this year is the Seahawks. Russell Wilson is fun and if Seattle makes the playoffs because the replacement referees gifted them a win all the better to make the NFL look bad.
Detroit (-6) at Arizona: Can you believe the Cardinals beat New England? They might not score again in 2012
Carolina (+3) at San Diego: Cam Newton, you need to keep winning so the Saints can get that sweet sweet last place schedule for 2013. I believe in you.
Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, find him on facebook, follow him on twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/MilneMalbrough or download his podcast at Itunes