NEW ORLEANS - Camelot is broken, falling apart and disintegrating in ways that are both shocking and, upon looking back, expected.
Play a game with your own rules, ones that fly in face of actual, real rules, and eventually the stabilizing foundation begins to crumble.
Yes, the armor has been pierced on Airline Drive and I suspect you’re just seeing the beginning.
Bounty Fest 2K9-11 is just the latest revelation of a franchise gone rogue.
There was Vicodin Gate, a drug scandal that reportedly involved coaches and trainers, that was quietly swept away.
There was the disregard for the league’s media functions during Super Bowl week that made Goodell and associates none-too-pleased.
And there was the flaunting of common sense in keeping sketchy marketer Mike Ornstein around despite his felonious past, which angered the leaders in the NFL’s New York offices.
But this is the one where they ultimately went too far.
Commissioner Roger Goodell has made player safety his issue.
He’s unrelenting in his fines for players on what he deems as dangerous, injury-producing hits.
The evidence was damning – 50,000 pages worth was built against the Saints, detailing amounts per action, who paid (former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams put money in the kitty) and who ignored it.
It’s the last part that will end up being the biggest part of this “scandal.”
Goodell doesn’t like to be lied to (not that anybody does) and, according to the report, Saints general manager Mickey Loomis did just that.
When confronted and told by team owner Tom Benson to end the practice, Loomis said he would take care of it. And then he didn’t.
Suddenly, his problems with getting superstar quarterback Drew Brees under contract don’t seem so big.
If Loomis doesn’t pay for the latest shenanigans with his job – which I don’t expect – his pocketbook and ability to operate in a full capacity most certainly will.
And then there’s the question about coach Sean Payton, who the report says was aware of the allegations and didn’t do anything to stop it. How much will he be fined and what will his ultimate payment be?
Make no mistake about it – the NFL and Goodell will gladly make an example of the Saints for this one, an example far bigger than the one they made of New England for Spygate.
Fines will be huge. Suspensions could be looming. And draft picks will be forfeited.
The future doesn’t seem so bright now.
Was it worth it?