Skip to content

“Bountygate” possibly taints Saints’ Super Bowl win

95653900MH104_NFC_Champions Getty Images

The NFL’s investigation regarding the use by the Saints of a bounty program began after a Super Bowl run that featured big hits on Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and Vikings quarterback Brett Favre.

“Our investigation began in early 2010 when allegations were first made that Saints players had targeted opposing players, including Kurt Warner of the Cardinals and Brett Favre of the Vikings,” Commissioner Goodell said in the league’s release announcing the determination that the “bounty” rules had been violated.  “Our security department interviewed numerous players and other individuals.  At the time, those interviewed denied that any such program existed and the player that made the allegation retracted his earlier assertions.  As a result, the allegations could not be proven.  We recently received significant and credible new information and the investigation was re-opened during the latter part of the 2011 season.”

That “significant and credible new information” possibly came from a former Saints player or coach with direct knowledge of the bounty program.

In the 2009 division-round playoff, Warner took a wicked (but clean) post-interception hit from Bobby McCray.  The following weekend, the Saints repeatedly battered Favre in the NFC title game.

The fact that former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams administered the program didn’t prompt him to be discreet.  Before Super Bowl XLIV against the Colts, Williams said of Peyton Manning, “We’re going to have to do a good job of finding ways to get to him and when we do get to him we’re going to have to make sure he gets a couple ‘remember me’ shots when we get there.”

As the 2010 regular-season opener against Minnesota approached, Williams generally said, “We have to send messages to every offense about how physical it’s going to be when they play us.  Those messages are out there, starting with No. 4.”

The league’s announcement that the Saints violated the “bounty” rules sends a clear message to the Saints and every other team regarding the fact that such activities won’t be accepted.  But what message does this entire situation end regarding the Super Bowl victory the Saints earned at the end of a playoff run fueled by extra payments for injuring opposing players?

Feel free to make your opinion known below.

Permalink 122 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Arizona Cardinals, Features, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
122 Responses to ““Bountygate” possibly taints Saints’ Super Bowl win”
  1. cakemixa says: Mar 2, 2012 4:11 PM

    No, they never made any illegal hits. They just had extra financial incentive to hit harder.

  2. thesarcasm says: Mar 2, 2012 4:12 PM

    Follow this back to the hit that caused Manning’s neck issues when Greg Williams was the DC in Washington and before.

    He’s dirty. Doesn’t deserve to coach the game of football at any level, if you can’t teach it/coach it the right way.

  3. upyoursnfu says: Mar 2, 2012 4:13 PM

    It doesn’t taint the Saints superbowl as much as Spygate does the Patriots superbowls

  4. prettytonyt says: Mar 2, 2012 4:13 PM

    Que every Patriots fan voting YES, because of SPYGATE

    hehe, just kidding, folks.

  5. jmsincla says: Mar 2, 2012 4:13 PM

    Overreact much? I get it, players got payed extra for certain ‘bounties’ and the payment for injuries is wrong. But the payments for Fumbles and INTs is no worse than an incentive laden contract.

    If anything this taints Gregg Williams reputation. Good thing it was already tarnished for his idiocy against San Fran.

  6. boopipes says: Mar 2, 2012 4:13 PM

    Never realized it but Raper Ben looks a lot like Parrish Cox….Weird.

  7. thejuddstir says: Mar 2, 2012 4:14 PM

    It doesn’t require a college degree to figure out the degree these illegal bounties had on two stud QB’s like Warner and Favre. What’s laughable is that it took the NFL 3 years to figure out what the fans of the other 31 teams realized during 2009, that the Saints were a dirty team. I wonder if it will take R. Goodell 3 years longer than the fans to determine that D. Suh is a dirty player??

  8. webehighrollin says: Mar 2, 2012 4:14 PM

    Brees won’t like this. Brees to the Niners!! Book it!!!

  9. fijabbersman345 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:14 PM

    I don’t know that it taints the win, but it certainly taints their “magical” season. Yikes.

  10. kepickle says: Mar 2, 2012 4:14 PM

    they should Lose ALL there Draft Picks for the next 2 yrs & be Fined so much it hurts there Cap & there HC should be suspended for at least 2 yr without pay Greg Williams should be Banned for Life from the NFL & all players who got money for the Hits should be suspended for the yr as well

  11. rarelyclever says: Mar 2, 2012 4:15 PM

    “But what message does this entire situation send regarding the Super Bowl victory the Saints earned at the end of a playoff run fueled by extra payments for injuring opposing players?”

    That, unfortunately, it seems to be quite an effective motivator.

  12. IrsaysTwitterThumb says: Mar 2, 2012 4:15 PM

    I am a Colts fan. Putting a bounty on a player did not affect the Saints Super Bowl win. Teams don’t need a bounty to “get up” for the Super Bowl.

    The Saints won because of the Onside Kick. And it really does come down to that one play.

  13. tialen says: Mar 2, 2012 4:15 PM

    Look, it’s a sick thing for them to be out there trying to hurt players, however it doesn’t taint the win.
    The REFs should be making the calls and hurting a team that is breaking the rules on the field.

  14. zaggs says: Mar 2, 2012 4:17 PM

    If as a team the Saints violated the rules, then they should be stripped of their Super Bowl win. its one thing if its just the coaches stealing plays, or the just the players roiding it. But when both work together to repeatedly break the rules? They should be disqualified.

  15. dcviking says: Mar 2, 2012 4:17 PM

    Possibly?

    Are you serious?

    Absolutely it does — but they still won, it’s too late to do anything about it now.

  16. realitypolice says: Mar 2, 2012 4:18 PM

    Why?

    Are you honestly saying that millionaire athletes were more inclined to make late hits, would could have resulted in 15, 25, or 50 thousand dollar fines, in order to win $1,500 bounties?

    Please think before you speak.

  17. zinn22 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:18 PM

    While the Saints were fun to root for in 2009, their playoff voctory over the Viking was one of the dirtiest games I have ever seen. I have never seen a teram take more cheap shots at the opposing QB then the Saints did. They sad thing si they got away with most of those hits.

    While it was nice to root for the city of NO the Saints and for Brees,they were a very dirty team in 2009 and did not deserve their playoff win over the Vikings.

  18. chaunceyb says: Mar 2, 2012 4:19 PM

    It was obvious they were trying to take out the starting qb throughout the playoffs. It’s just disheartening as aVikings fan that they didn’t retaliate. What ever happened to self policing?

  19. captainobvious1 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:19 PM

    so let me get this straight – the saints actively ($$$) encouraged their defensive players to knock opposing quarterbacks out of the game. Holy cow! No way! What a scandal! if you seriously think that other teams don’t do this, i’ve got a bridge i’d like to sell you.

  20. trbowman says: Mar 2, 2012 4:19 PM

    I don’t see how it does. So they put hard hits on Warner and Favre, what defense wouldn’t try to put hard hits on those guys? Exactly, nobody.

    Obviously it’s different to actually try to injure someone intentially and get paid to do that but, that doesn’t somehow take away the fact that they won those games.

    They beat those teams and won the Super Bowl fair and square.

  21. stonedolphin89 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:19 PM

    NON-story. Building a reputation for being physical is part of being a sports franchise as well. Giving out incentives to promote that reputation is what all good companies do. Men are injuried in this particular scenario, but this is a physical game. If you didn’t want to get hurt, you should have become a secretary.

  22. luckysunday20 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:20 PM

    I was a crappy way to go about it but if you need financial incentives to get motivated when your the number 1 seed in the playoffs then the NFL is not for you…

  23. kal5279 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:20 PM

    Fine them for violating bounty rules, sure I have no problem with that if they were actually paying “bonuses” for big plays or hits. I am sure that violates plenty of CBA and salary cap rules. But realistically do you think that pasting the opposing team’s QB every chance you get is uncommon or not preached by every good team, it is just the foundation of playing good football. You don’t have to place a bounty on Peyton Manning to make guys want to hit him or target him, if they aren’t then they or their coach need to be fired.

  24. IainRWB says: Mar 2, 2012 4:21 PM

    All 27 players, Williams, Payton and Loomis should be suspended for a year.

  25. contra74 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:21 PM

    How will it taint the win? You mean they were told to go out and actually play the game of football the way it was meant to be played?

    Nice try at stirring the pot. My post might not even be allowed by you guys.

  26. cusoman says: Mar 2, 2012 4:21 PM

    “Possibly”? It most absolutely does. Time to start putting asterisks in front of the records of their win.

  27. cowboysfan18 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:21 PM

    I don’t believe in the bounty, if there was one. However, isn’t that the formula for success on DEF? Get to the QB and beat the hell out of him. You should do it legally but the legal way in this era is get written permission from the QB to be able to negotiate his surrender into gently lying on the ground behind the line of scrimmage. Otherwise it’s roughing the passer.

  28. jtchernak says: Mar 2, 2012 4:22 PM

    I remember thinking that they were doing some dirty hits but nothing like this

  29. ko5k says: Mar 2, 2012 4:22 PM

    Am I the only one who doesn’t understand how this taints their superbowl win?

    They didn’t gain a competitive advantage in any way.

    Sure it’s ‘dirty’ but even the article admits that the hits were legal. Players will always be hitting opponents as hard as they can, just because Saints players were getting paid do this doesn’t mean they were hitting players any harder.

    At the end of the day, did this help them beat the Colts?

    No, it didn’t.

  30. skinsrock says: Mar 2, 2012 4:22 PM

    It’s different than spygate… They didn’t cheat… It doesn’t taint anything… People are just too sensitive. When I played pee wee football, it was your job to knock the QB out of the game. Man, I wish they paid me for it.

  31. infectorman says: Mar 2, 2012 4:22 PM

    these payments equate to salary cap violations…at a minimum.
    But just like Spygate, I’m sure many if not every other team was doing it.
    Doesn’t’ make it right but it also probably didn’t amount to much of an advantage with the exception of knocking key players out of, or at least considerably “off of” their game.
    Spygate never accomplished anything like that…
    bring it!

  32. fuaholes says: Mar 2, 2012 4:23 PM

    Ummmmm, this is football right? I thought hitting the QB was part of the sport, especially “clean” hits to the QB. I thought every team tries to hit the QB hard and play physical. Am I missing something here? This taints NOTHING about the Saints SB win. Puhleasssse!

  33. eaglebobby says: Mar 2, 2012 4:23 PM

    They’re the 3rd team that has cheated their way to a SB title–

    1. The Denver Broncos made illegal payments (deferred cash) to John Elway, Brent Jones, and numerous key individuals during their two SB titles that circumvented the salary cap.

    2. Of course, the Pats and their Spygate led them to 1 and possibly to all of their SB titles.

    3. Now we have the Saints.

    I think Goodell should send the strongest possible message and suspend all three key figures–and really Payton and Loomis should be suspended for a full year. Payton is the head man, and he should have known better.

  34. seanx40 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:23 PM

    Not being a legal expert, but doesn’t this open up the Saints to huge civil cases? Seems like every player injured while playing against the Saints during this time period has a good case.

  35. LoCoSu@%s says: Mar 2, 2012 4:24 PM

    While the Saints can be accused of dirty play, I seriously doubt this helped them win the championship.

  36. gator2006 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:24 PM

    Stop calling everything -gate

  37. 4t9er says: Mar 2, 2012 4:24 PM

    Whoever is voting “No” is delusional. Saints fans you guys are great (except for the who dat thing), but your super bowl victory felt good because of the horror Katrina and this will remove any goodwill towards the Saints.

  38. trbowman says: Mar 2, 2012 4:24 PM

    Of course Jon Vilma was one of the primary offenders in Bountygate. Another great product from the U!

    I’m sure he had plenty of experience doing that for Shapiro

  39. xxwhodatxx says: Mar 2, 2012 4:24 PM

    Maybe for outsiders but for hometowners nothing could taint that SB win.

  40. kal5279 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:26 PM

    As a fan of a team that has had both an injured QB and a defense that roughs QBs up I have no problem with it. When Stafford came back last season the Redskins targeted his shoulder from the jump and reaggravated it almost immediately, the Jets did the same next week. It sucks but that is football, teams targeted the shoulder all this year and will next season too until he has proven beyond a doubt the injuries were a fluke and in the past.

    It sucks when you lose your QB (Peppers then the Jets killed our whole season the year before) but I don’t complain when my team does the same thing, it would be hypocritical to want my team’s QB treated with kid gloves. If teams stopped targeting him I would be more worried, it shows a lack of respect and that they don’t want to see the backup lol. Other than the money aspect this story sounds way overblown.

  41. neko02011980 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:26 PM

    they should vacate this win, and declare team cheaters just like the patriots. the penalty should be $1mill and a 1st round draft pick.

  42. macbull says: Mar 2, 2012 4:26 PM

    I’m not surprised to hear of a coach or players “talk” of bounties…I’m surprised to hear that players and/or coaches may have actually paid rewards.

    I’m going to reserve judgement until I see some evidence, knowing that sometimes, the truth does not match up with the first media reports.

  43. fwippel says: Mar 2, 2012 4:26 PM

    Well, it’s not like the NFL nailed the Steelers of the 1970s for their steroid use, so what are they going to do here? Their not taking away the Saints Super Bowl Championship.

    That said, the next time the Saints play the Vikings or the Cardinals, Drew Brees might want spend the day handing the ball off.

  44. skinheadsam says: Mar 2, 2012 4:26 PM

    I’m all for clean hits on opposing players, but you can’t call it a “clean” hit when it violates any of the rules of the game. Whether or not the hit itself drew a flag or a fine, putting a bounty on any player is against the rules and everyone knows it. That makes it dirty and it definitely taints the Super Bowl win. Plus, if you have to pay your players extra to get them motivated to hit hard, you’ve got a problem.

  45. marvsleezy says: Mar 2, 2012 4:27 PM

    I think the league will come down hard here, $10,000 fine to the Saints organization ;)

  46. raven410 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:27 PM

    That Warner hit was violent!

  47. ronaldmexico says: Mar 2, 2012 4:28 PM

    Will be interesting to see what sort of punishment is imposed on the team, players and/or coaches. One can only imagine the outrage which would have ensued if a team like the Raiders had been accused of this scheme.

    Paying each other for knocking out opponents is also not a good signal by the players, who, after retirement, often complain that the league didn’t do enough to protect them.

  48. theandy59 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:28 PM

    I’m shocked! Shocked I tell you that NFL teams routinely employ illegal tactics on and off the field to gain a competitive edge! Aren’t all teams and their coaches and executives made up of choir boys who follow every rule to the letter? The truth is, you can find dirt on every single team in the NFL – from bounties, to tampering, cheating the salary cap, stealing play-books, infiltrating practices, manipulating field and stadium conditions, and yes, video taping coaches signals. You holier-than-thou morons that think that you’re team is as pure as the driven snow should get a clue – this is where the big boys play, they play to win, and they play for keeps.

  49. worldatlarge1 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:29 PM

    I don’t know how this would taint their win. Other teams definitely encourage their players to inflict some pain. The Saints aren’t guilty of encouraging injuries, they’re guilty of being ridiculously obvious about it with their players.

  50. thesarcasm says: Mar 2, 2012 4:29 PM

    It helped them beat the Cards & Vikings, which is sorta the point…

    Gregg Williams should be banned.

  51. babyhorsemorgan says: Mar 2, 2012 4:29 PM

    It was as obvious as the giant mole covering Drew Brees’ face. NFL called off the refs so all of that Natural Disaster Debris could float on top of the world for a bit.

  52. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins says: Mar 2, 2012 4:30 PM

    I don’t think it taints the win at all because I don’t think it gave them a competitive advantage in any way, but it certainly taints the image of Gregg Williams as well as quite a few players on the Saints defense.

    On the other hand, this is coming from Roger Goodell. Regardless of our biases for or against the Saints, I think most of us agree that the NFL has taken the late hit/unnecessary roughness thing way too far as of late. So I think I’d have to look into this a little bit more and see some tape from that game before condemning anyone.

  53. kal5279 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:30 PM

    Btw nice to see so many people with common sense posting, refreshing to see people with brains.

  54. jimillinois says: Mar 2, 2012 4:30 PM

    Investigate the refs in the 2009 championship they are rewarded the bounty$

  55. trbowman says: Mar 2, 2012 4:31 PM

    “so let me get this straight – the saints actively ($$$) encouraged their defensive players to knock opposing quarterbacks out of the game. Holy cow! No way! What a scandal! if you seriously think that other teams don’t do this, i’ve got a bridge i’d like to sell you.”

    Every defense would try to knock those guys out of games, the difference is that they were getting paid extra money to do it. That’s not something other teams do, at least not all of them.

  56. bearsstillsuck says: Mar 2, 2012 4:33 PM

    I really didn’t like it when the saints padded their stats last year, and now I just out right hate them. They’re down there with the steelers and cowboys now.

  57. zinn22 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:35 PM

    ko5k says: Mar 2, 2012 4:22 PM

    Am I the only one who doesn’t understand how this taints their superbowl win?

    They didn’t gain a competitive advantage in any way.

    —————————————————————-

    They targeted the opposing QB taking cheap shots at him after the play was over. Repeatedly. Its one thing taking legal shots at a player while the play was ongoing but the Viking games was plain dirty. They took shot after after Shot at Favre long after the play was over.

    By the end of the game he was showing signs of the illegal hits. Viking players and much of the media complained about the Saints dirty tactics after the game.

    Now we can speculate these late hits were possibly motivated by the bounties. The Vikings game was not only the dirty game the Saints played that year but it was the most obvious. They were a very dirty team.

    All that being said I agree you cannot take away their SB win but without the dirty play against the Vikings they likely lose that game by quite a bit.

    But unlike Spygate this violation actually had a competitive advantage and was a threat to player safety. IMO they should fine them 1st round draft picks for the next ten years along with the rest of this years draft.

  58. purpleblood12 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:35 PM

    Well the refs let them get away with all game long in the 2009 NFC championship game. So what does that say about the league?
    Now the league is pretending they knew nothing till now. Such hypocrites they wanted the Saints to win it all that year.

  59. Stiller43 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:37 PM

    Bountygate could taint their superbowl?!

    Lol you trying to create friction for page views and comments is hilarious.

  60. eyeh8goodell says: Mar 2, 2012 4:39 PM

    Utterly ridiculous Only in today’s PC-infested society and NFL would this be considered a bad thing. Only today’s pussified society would knocking the crap out of the Qb be considered a bad thing. What a sad statement on not only our pathetically weak society but also on how lame this league has gotten. This is what happens when you let pencil neck twerps have a pedestal to speak from on things that are beyond them. Every single one of you that are somehow “outraged” by this……go stand in front of the mirror and have a look. The guy or gal staring back at you is exactly what’s wrong with our society. Pansies.

  61. guinsrule says: Mar 2, 2012 4:39 PM

    Brett Favre should file a civil case against the Saints.

  62. bowltr says: Mar 2, 2012 4:40 PM

    Why is it when information comes out years later about teams it “TAINTS” their championship?

    The Saints won, that can’t be changed. They won on the field, that can’t be changed. Who cares if they took a cheap-shot or not. They won. Stop trying to “TAINT” their victory.

    I’m not a Saints fan either. It just seems other teams fans always have to find an excuse for why their team lost.

  63. shukey11 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:42 PM

    Ya cuz those bounties really changed the way the offense played. And don’t give me any “if”s. This sort of thing happens in football and hockey ( only 2 sports that have actual contact) all the time.

  64. blackfoot11 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:42 PM

    How embarrassing for a fan base and a city. No doubt a phsyical and collision sport, but paying cash bonuses for intentionally hurting players is egregious. The Saints will take a hard one to the chin for this. Ole Rog’ will make sure of that.

  65. rushmatic says: Mar 2, 2012 4:44 PM

    Now Saints fans will know what it feels like to be a Pats fan. What a crock. This stuff happens in the big boy game.

  66. weepingjebus says: Mar 2, 2012 4:46 PM

    Patriots film from a different location than is permissible, in a manner commonly done as attested to by numerous other coaches = cheating.

    Saints institute a formal program to injure other players for money in order to win games = “just football.”

    Makes sense.

  67. kidpresentable says: Mar 2, 2012 4:46 PM

    Certainly the hit on Warner was dirty and the Favre ones appeared to be questionable, and in retrospect dirty, but it doesn’t taint anything. They were a far better team than the Cardinals and the Vikings 5 turnovers were what propelled the Saints to the SB.

  68. fringetastic says: Mar 2, 2012 4:48 PM

    Ahhhh, “bountygate”.

    It has been FORTY years since Watergate — which incidentally enough was _not_ a scandal about water — and yet the press continues to uncreatively name every scandal since as something-gate.

    Kudos to the American press.

  69. delmonte55 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:50 PM

    So if there were no bounty, the Saints wouldn’t be hitting hard, or going after the Quarterback? I don’t buy the issue here.

  70. matthewcarlson1 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:50 PM

    Yeah it definately does taint the Saints stolen superbowl.. It was the Vikings year and they were the better team.. They lost because of many fumbles AND the refs just let the Saints maul Brett Favre on every play. Seriously go back and count how many late hits he took and try to tell me that wasn’t dirty.. I think the NFL wants certain teams to win (Katrina bull$h1t) so they look away whenever it benefits the team with the “better story”

  71. harrisryan says: Mar 2, 2012 4:50 PM

    Wow, this may be the last time I ever read comments on PFT.

    Could this guy be more foolish?

    “they should Lose ALL there Draft Picks for the next 2 yrs & be Fined so much it hurts there Cap & there HC should be suspended for at least 2 yr without pay Greg Williams should be Banned for Life from the NFL & all players who got money for the Hits should be suspended for the yr as well”

    First of all you silly goose its “their” not “there”.

    Whatever. Its a collision sport people, the players get hit a lot. I know the league is going to make a big deal out of this because of the PC – BS world that we live in, but I dont care.

    Its not like Vilma snuck up on Favre in the laundry room and shanked him, hes allowed to hit him, in fact its his job.

  72. tweeter75 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:51 PM

    I’m a Vikings fan, and don’t necessarily think “bounty gate” tainted their Super Bowl run. The Vikings gave the NFC championship game away. However, there were a lot of hits against Favre that weren’t called, some were blatantly trying to hurt him. I found myself screaming at the television as Favre was picked up off his feet and driven into the turf and no flags were thrown. I thought thought maybe the officials were swept up in Saints mania also.

  73. kungfuyou33 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:51 PM

    Wait are we talking about Pittsburgh??I thought goodell only targeted Pittsburgh and Harrison

  74. mike83ri says: Mar 2, 2012 4:52 PM

    1. Incentive to injure players in a league who has been obsessed with player safety.
    2. Regardless of how you feel, there is a specific rule against this and they knowingly broke the rules.
    3. Salary cap and CBA violations occurred.
    4. Potential unclaimed income/tax violation implications. The US Govt should audit these guys.

  75. wlubake says: Mar 2, 2012 4:53 PM

    This does nothing to the competitive balance of the games, so no, it does not taint the Superbowl win.

    However, the Saints were everyone’s darlings during that run. A country rallied behind the team because of the beating the city took in Katrina and they were a great, somewhat underdog, story. This news tarnishes the perception of that team. They are no longer the good guys everyone wants to see win.

  76. jg725 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:57 PM

    greg williams is such a dope – how impressive and intimidating was his defense this year – bounties or not???
    Why this clown is made out to be a defensive genious every time the saints play a primetime game is beyond me – i really don’t get it

  77. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Mar 2, 2012 4:58 PM

    I’m glad Donte Whitner gave the Aint’s a little of their own medicine at Candlestick in the divisional game. Williams is a punk. As is Payton.

    The truth always comes to light

  78. dmobin says: Mar 2, 2012 4:59 PM

    Completely agree with theandy59’s comment. NFL teams will do anything to get an edge, if your coach/team isn’t smart enough to figure out how to push the envelope when it comes to the rules then I’d be arguing you need better coaching or front office people.

    It’s freaking entertainment, not life or death. I think it is funny that anytime there is a hint of “cheating” people get all worked up. Politicians are running this country into the ground, but some people care more about a team filming games in the wrong place or giving bonuses to players for big clean hits.

  79. xxwhodatxx says: Mar 2, 2012 5:00 PM

    I doubt the defense played harder because of that. They make mills what’s an extra $1500 it’s a motivational tool,so what

  80. dmobin says: Mar 2, 2012 5:03 PM

    I’d be curious if this would be illegal of the players got together and said everybody on the 52 man roster has to put up $5000 each season that gets put into an account. Then after each game the team captains decide on players bonuses based on performance, to include big, legal, clean hits.

    This would be the players doing this, separate from the team. It would be similar to a QB buying watches or taking the entire O-Line out for dinner, wouldn’t it?

  81. kghannigan says: Mar 2, 2012 5:03 PM

    Someone brought up the Refs, and that’s a good point. Where are the Refs? In too many instances these days the Refs not calling something or calling something that isn’t there makes or breaks games.

    Throw out the dirty bribe-taking guy (whose name eludes me at the moment), make Refs full-time, make all of them attend the same trainings so that there is some consistency in what constitutes a foul, and maybe they start seeing things like this happen and can move in to protect the players. (Wishful thinking, I know)

  82. coolzog says: Mar 2, 2012 5:08 PM

    I don’t think a bounty system with the Saints taint’s their Superbowl win.

    I think the fact that the refs got them there does.

    Then again, maybe that’s what it takes. Just ask the Steelers.

  83. ajschn06 says: Mar 2, 2012 5:08 PM

    The only thing tainting the Saints Super Bowl win was the bogus high-low no call on the Favre hit/interception that sent the NFC Championship game to overtime.

  84. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Mar 2, 2012 5:11 PM

    The problem with the hits on Favre wasn’t that a bounty was placed on him but that the illegal hits weren’t flagged by the refs. Yes, the Saints’ Super Bowl championship is tainted because they’re cheaters and the refs handed them that NFC championship game.

  85. vikefan says: Mar 2, 2012 5:11 PM

    not only should they lose their super bowl title, they should also lose a first round draft pick & franchise tag for each year found guilty….all this as a starting point for punishment…..and force them to move to LA.

  86. dobberdubinsky says: Mar 2, 2012 5:38 PM

    From the Aints to the Taints….the league ought to take away all their draft picks for the next 3 years and then the fans will be back where they are best remembered, with paper bags over their heads.

  87. wvucolumbus says: Mar 2, 2012 5:50 PM

    Spygate was so earth-shattering that it makes Bountygate look like nothing.

    It was an absolute disgrace to NFL fans the way that the commish pushed Spygate down the ladder. I understand his rationale though as it would’ve been the biggest sports story “outside the lines” in the history of modern sports.

    Only those in the path (teams and players of Eagles, Steelers, Panthers, Rams, etc.) of this calculated fraud by the best QB in the history of the NFL (despite Spygate), marginal head coach (terrific d-coordinator) and the Krafts are left shaking their collective heads.

  88. realitypolice says: Mar 2, 2012 5:51 PM

    zinn22 says:

    They targeted the opposing QB taking cheap shots at him after the play was over. Repeatedly. Its one thing taking legal shots at a player while the play was ongoing but the Viking games was plain dirty. They took shot after after Shot at Favre long after the play was over.

    Now we can speculate these late hits were possibly motivated by the bounties. The Vikings game was not only the dirty game the Saints played that year but it was the most obvious. They were a very dirty team.

    ===================

    First of all, if what you are saying is true, the blame falls squarely on the referees for not controlling the game.

    Secondly, I have to say this again- Are you telling me that in the face of $15,000, $20,000 or $25,000 fines, these players made late hits they would not have made otherwise to collect a bounty of FIFTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS?

    How can you possibly believe this? It simply doesn’t pass the common sense test on any level.

  89. ilovefoolsball says: Mar 2, 2012 5:53 PM

    This is a ridiculous poll. Did you do one of these for the Patriot’s spygate?..which by the way they won 3 Superbowls to the Saints 1.

    If you think that all it takes to get to the Superbowl is holding out a $1500 bonus to millionaires then you’re just delusional.

    If you really believe that the Saints are the first and sole ball club in the history of the NFL to do this then you’re in denial.

  90. axespray says: Mar 2, 2012 6:43 PM

    Weren’t they still doing the whole “Bounty” thing for the past two years as well?
    If they put a bounty on Favre/Warner, wouldn’t they have done the same to Rodgers in the opener earlier this year, and if so, how’d that work out?
    If Hasselback & Alex Smith can slice up that “Out to injure” Defense and beat ‘em, how does that give the saints an unfair advantage?
    It doesn’t discredit what they did in 2009, The Vikings & Cardinals just need to get better pass blocking Olinemen and get rid of the ball quicker so they don’t get cheapshot or put themselves in posistion to get blasted “legally”.

  91. nflfan555 says: Mar 2, 2012 6:43 PM

    Spygate was a joke – intentionally trying to injure someone is serious. Take multiple picks and 4gm suspension for every player involved. Go J-E-T-S

  92. cags777 says: Mar 2, 2012 6:43 PM

    As a Vikings fan, I say wholeheartedly this DOES taint the Saints season. They played cheap and dirty, and frankly, that’s pretty much cheating. I really hope the NFL goes medieval on the Saints organization, the players, and especially Gregg Williams.

  93. nonstory says: Mar 2, 2012 6:48 PM

    No it doesn’t. Not in any way. WHAAAAA the Saints are mean WHAAAAA

  94. patriotsssss says: Mar 2, 2012 6:51 PM

    You guys are a joke. Spygate was BS. Patriots still won 18 games after that. Such losers you guys are. And the Saints are still fine in my book. You can never take away the Saints SB. And you can’t even touch Patriots 3 SBs. Nothing you can do about it.

  95. tatum064 says: Mar 2, 2012 6:53 PM

    upyoursnfu says:
    Mar 2, 2012 4:13 PM
    It doesn’t taint the Saints superbowl as much as Spygate does the Patriots superbowls
    ===============================
    Correct.

    And wouldnt there have been several “bounties” on Tom Brady?

    Distraction, and idiocy deflecting from the Saints being unable to sign Brees…and a slow news cycle. two other variations of this story soon followed.

  96. dbreinki says: Mar 2, 2012 7:36 PM

    Its obvious that you people voting NO are delusional – at best. Just because other teams Might be doing the same thing doesn’t make it OK. Nor does the fact that the Refs didn’t call the plays have any basis in this argument. The Poll asked if BountyGate taints the SB Title. The poll isn’t about the Refs. If it was we would all have voted with you, but it’s not.

    Saints fans need to eat some Crow. Their Team cheated in ’09 and now that you’ve been busted, it’s time you take your punishment – like a man instead of a bunch of rationalizing whiners who still think that William’s and Payton’s sh** don’t stink.

  97. truthserum4u says: Mar 2, 2012 7:51 PM

    cakemixa says:Mar 2, 2012 4:11 PM

    No, they never made any illegal hits.

    ==================

    You must not have watched the Saints – Vikings game and the mutitude of cheap shots.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    realitypolice says:Mar 2, 2012 4:18 PM

    Why?

    Are you honestly saying that millionaire athletes were more inclined to make late hits, would could have resulted in 15, 25, or 50 thousand dollar fines, in order to win $1,500 bounties?

    Please think before you speak.

    ———————————-

    If you watched that NFC Championship game clearly they were. No one claims football players are the sharpest tacks in the box. Wouldn’t be the first and won’t be the last time you see them do something unexplicable, especially in the frenzy state they play high profile games.

  98. fenny88 says: Mar 2, 2012 7:53 PM

    its not like anybody seems to care that the pats taped other teams at least the saints played some real football

  99. truthserum4u says: Mar 2, 2012 7:59 PM

    People on here clearly don’t understand the context of the word “bounty” in this situation.

    Try reading between the lines; look for the subtext. We’re not talking hard hits, laying the wood, destroying the ball carrier or even laying a guy out. Within the boundaries of the game’s rules, most, if not all of us love these hard hits.

    However, we’re talking about an incentive to hurt someone which leads to, and actually incourages, cheap shots with the intent to injur.

    The difference is enormous!

  100. truthserum4u says: Mar 2, 2012 8:00 PM

    @ realitypolice

    Please explain then why they were running such a system for such a long time if they weren’t getting takers and it wasn’t effective?

  101. realitypolice says: Mar 2, 2012 10:37 PM

    truthserum4u says:
    Mar 2, 2012 8:00 PM
    @ realitypolice

    Please explain then why they were running such a system for such a long time if they weren’t getting takers and it wasn’t effective?
    ========================

    All I am saying is that the players may have taken the bounties as a nice little bonus that they got paid when the made a great play that they would have made anyway, and the coaches saw it as a way to keep the players happy.

    I simply refuse to believe that they purposely made illegal and dirty late hits that they would not have made otherwise SIMPLY because the would collect a bounty.

    Thus, while I think it is completely wrong and they should be punished, the only thing I am disagreeing with is the premise of this article that these bounties are the reason they won the Super Bowl.

  102. rollore says: Mar 2, 2012 10:54 PM

    It would be great to see the league strip them of their Super Bowl trophy.

    This way, it will send a message to the rest of the league, for this is a form of gambling and it should not be tolerated.

    The NFL world’s watching this. Most notably, James Harrison, who gets fined just sneezing on a QB.

    And if Goodell does things to the coaches comparable to the players, then watch the players start lashing out – and watch the headhunters come back in full force.

  103. besdayz says: Mar 2, 2012 11:11 PM

    If Goodell investigates the entire league then I’m for it but to throw the book at the Saints for something that’s not really cheating at all is ridiculous. Taping someone before a game is cheating. And then destroying that evidence so that they couldn’t investigate the previous Superbowls (Rams 2001) is dubious. This bounty stuff is league wide since the beginning of time.
    And you have to ask, how does this small amounts of cash to millionaires give them more incentive beside bragging rights?

    The real questions are who snitched, and isn’t it interesting this comes out on the eve of the Brees contract debacle?

  104. monkeesfan says: Mar 2, 2012 11:47 PM

    The message this sends is that Roger Goodell is even more ignorant of football than he showed in Spygate. He didn’t understand his own league bylaws and rulebook and became moralistically vengeful about that – that’s why he hit Belichick the way he did; Belichick committed the crime of knowing league bylaws and rules better than the Commissioner – and now he’s shocked that teams pay players extra for knocking opposing players out of the game?

    Goodell smeared the Patriots as cheaters when in fact there was no cheating; now he’s going to smear the Saints as dirty when in fact they hit well within what’s acceptable in football. The Saints played fair & square and they won the Superbowl fair & square. The dirty pool came not from the Saints but from those who see physical football as dirty football (cue Bill Polian because the Titans and Panthers could take hits from the Patriots but his Colts squads couldn’t).

  105. bittersportspills says: Mar 3, 2012 12:37 AM

    How can the league go after the Saints for this? If they were illegal hits, the players should have been flagged and/or fined at the time.

    What do you do in response to a perfectly legal big time hit where a player receives a bounty? That would (steam) me off even more if a player on my favorite team actually let up when he had a chance to give an opponent a “remember me” hit. It’s part of the game.

    Has the league totally gone flaccid? Um, since I can remember, hitting…big time hitting has been part of the NFL. A bounty shouldn’t make a guy hit any harder; it should convince them to take advantage of the chances they have to level someone.

    As the player said in an NFL Films video, “see the snot bubbles coming out of the quarterback’s nose”.
    Today’s NFL wants to turn the league into Madden on Xbox 360

  106. jhtobias says: Mar 3, 2012 1:28 AM

    Playing in the indoor football league should eliminate them from any superbowl

  107. knightowlbeatz says: Mar 3, 2012 3:14 AM

    Those bounties definitely helped them win the 09 Championship. All you gotta do is look at the pictures of Favres foot after the game. It looked like a f*cking golf club… How the f*ck you expect him to play on a foot like that? thats why he threw that dam interception at the end (THAT WAS A HUGE GAME CHANGER) is because he could move at all. Not to mention that Kurt Warner hit was absolutely unnecessary to the fullest & down right wrong!

  108. tatum064 says: Mar 3, 2012 6:52 AM

    rollore says:
    Mar 2, 2012 10:54 PM
    It would be great to see the league strip them of their Super Bowl trophy.

    ======================

    It has never happened in NFL history, and god willing , it never will.

    It always comes down to one team stopping another team – everything else is PC garbage. The object is to stop the other team from scoring, and in today’s win-at-all-costs society, America wouldnt have it any other way, PERIOD.

    It was a great story, and it will continue to be a great story, no matter what garbage is printed, by scrub underlings that leaked the story.

    Again, this coming out during the Brees contract stinks of distraction, period. …. PATHETIC.

  109. bowltr says: Mar 3, 2012 7:05 AM

    Taping someone before a game is cheating. And then destroying that evidence so that they couldn’t investigate the previous Superbowls (Rams 2001) is dubious.
    …………………………………………………………………………………..
    Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good post here besdayz. The FACT is the Pats did not tape anything before the Superbowl. It was testified to by witnesses and the NFL even said so. Also the Boston Herald printed a retraction stating they did not have corroborating evidence this ACTUALLY happened.
    But of curse I’m sure the facts won’t matter to you, you’ll just try to justify your contempt for the Pats success over the last decade.

  110. cmack15 says: Mar 3, 2012 12:37 PM

    QUOTEBOOK
    “Every now and then I’d get a sheet, one hour before the game, with a list of audibles for our opponent. I don’t know how, but they just showed up.”

    — Former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson to USA TODAY in November 2005
    patriotsssss says: Mar 2, 2012 6:51 PM

    I am sure that this quote had nothing to do with the Pasties success over the last decade right?

  111. hitwithafade says: Mar 3, 2012 8:17 PM

    amazing how Patriot fans can’t live and yearn for somebody to share their pain

  112. hitwithafade says: Mar 3, 2012 8:39 PM

    amazing how Patriot fans can’t live with their shame … and yearn for somebody to share their pain

  113. n001363 says: Mar 3, 2012 11:59 PM

    I watched the 2009 Championship game thinking is this game Fixed? Are these officials really gonna let the Saints defenders get a shot on Favre when the ball was out of his hands three full steps prior to the hit. Wasn’t it obvious they were trying to injure him. The NFL owes it to every fan to remove every coach and defensive player from the saints 2009 team from the league for good. Clean house. If they don’t, then the league is corrupt. The proof will lie with the commissioner. This isn’t just a scandal. The punishment will restore integrity, or erase it!

  114. fsf7 says: Mar 4, 2012 2:50 AM

    fwippel says: Mar 2, 2012 4:26 PM

    Well, it’s not like the NFL nailed the Steelers of the 1970s for their steroid use, so what are they going to do here? Their not taking away the Saints Super Bowl Championship.

    ——

    Typical ignorance.

    #1 – Steroids were first introduced into pro football in 1963, where the chargers went from a 3 win team to an 11 win team and won the AFL Championship 51-10. Alvin Roy was the strength coach that introduced D-Bol.

    He then went to Kansas City, soon after they won a Super Bowl.

    Than Dallas, they won a Super Bowl.

    Then Oakland, they won a Super Bowl….seeing a pattern here?

    Fact is, they were legal substances, no different than using special cleats. But the sheer stupidity of people who thing the Steelers were the only team utilizing a legal substance to increase strength just illustrates the level of how easy it is to get people to believe a story. Taking the time to actually READ and EDUCATE yourself on facts is too hard of work, its easier to rationalize success you couldn’t attain by discrediting someone else.

  115. fsf7 says: Mar 4, 2012 3:05 AM

    patriotsssss says: Mar 2, 2012 6:51 PM

    You guys are a joke. Spygate was BS. Patriots still won 18 games after that. Such losers you guys are. And the Saints are still fine in my book. You can never take away the Saints SB. And you can’t even touch Patriots 3 SBs. Nothing you can do about it.

    ———

    When the Giants figured out the Patriots offensive line calls, it made a huge difference in Super Bowl XLII.

    The Steelers won 16 games in 2004, after playing a Patriots team they beat handily.

    —-

    cmack15 says: Mar 3, 2012 12:37 PM

    QUOTEBOOK
    “Every now and then I’d get a sheet, one hour before the game, with a list of audibles for our opponent. I don’t know how, but they just showed up.”

    – Former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson to USA TODAY in November 2005
    patriotsssss says: Mar 2, 2012 6:51 PM

    I am sure that this quote had nothing to do with the Pasties success over the last decade right?

    Perhaps there was a reason the Patriots eeked out Super Bowl wins prior to and failed post. The team of the decade wouldn’t have been without the edge that Eric Mangini let the world know about after Belichick illustrated the same professionalism to him that he showed the Jets by resigning with a note on a napkin.

    The truth is the truth, whether you like it or not.

  116. theandy59 says: Mar 4, 2012 11:02 PM

    Not sure what the point is in bringing up the Steelers – Pats game in 2004. The Patriots had won like 22 games in a row, then lost Ty Law in the first quarter to an injury…they didn’t play well that day and lost to a good team on the road. Then they went back there and beat the dog out of the Steelers in the playoffs. If you think the Spygate issue was such a huge competitive advantage, how did the Patriots ever lose a game? And why is their record in the regular season better after Spygate than before, even accounting for losing Brady for an entire season? Why hasn’t any ex-players come out and talked about how the information was used? (Your quoting of Ted Johnson is idiotic; every team in the league has that type of information – have you ever heard of scouting?) The Patriots Super Bowl wins were all closely contested games, they played just a little better and they won. The two they’ve lost since Spygate were also closely contested games that they lost. The only explanation for the people clinging to the myth of Spygate as some key to the Patriots dynasty is either jealousy, or ignorance of how the game is played.

  117. crazycanuck19 says: Mar 5, 2012 7:16 AM

    Bounty or not… if you don’t want me to hurt your quarterback… block me.

    Period.

  118. musicman495 says: Mar 5, 2012 11:04 AM

    How can this “taint” the Super Bowl title, except for the partisans from places like Minnesota who have been whining about the officiating and everything about that game since it happened (never mind Adrian Peterson’s 39 fumbles, and Favre’s interception at the end of regulation – which if they did not occur, would have resulted in a Vikings win despite the “biased officials” and “cheaters from New Orleans”).

    I still say, where are the Saints illegal hits? Were they flagged or fined more than other teams. They were probably not flagged or fined as often as James Harrison all by himself.

    The hit on Warner after the interception in 2009 was hard and totally legal, and every defensive player I have ever heard speak about their careers have said that on an interception return, defenders get a free hit on the QB. That hit was shoulder to shoulder, not helmet to helmet or on his legs or from the back. I give you that some of the hits on Favre in the NFC Championship games were close calls (hence some were penalized and some were not), but as a Redskins fan, I have never seen the Saints ever do anything like what Phillip Daniels and Andre Carter did to Peyton Manning when Williams coached there, or like what Suh did to Andy Dalton last season – close to tearing their heads off.

    It is fine to discipline these coaches and GM’s if there were rules against these bounties, or if these individuals lied to NFL investigators. But get off it with whining about the Saints 2009 title, or with the genius who proposed removing the Super Bowl from New Orleans next February. Give me a break.

  119. patsfiend says: Mar 5, 2012 3:12 PM

    monkeesfan says:
    Mar 2, 2012 11:47 PM
    The message this sends is that Roger Goodell is even more ignorant of football than he showed in Spygate. He didn’t understand his own league bylaws and rulebook and became moralistically vengeful about that – that’s why he hit Belichick the way he did; Belichick committed the crime of knowing league bylaws and rules better than the Commissioner – and now he’s shocked that teams pay players extra for knocking opposing players out of the game?

    Goodell smeared the Patriots as cheaters when in fact there was no cheating; now he’s going to smear the Saints as dirty when in fact they hit well within what’s acceptable in football. The Saints played fair & square and they won the Superbowl fair & square. The dirty pool came not from the Saints but from those who see physical football as dirty football (cue Bill Polian because the Titans and Panthers could take hits from the Patriots but his Colts squads couldn’t).

    =============
    Truth. Nicely done. I’m sorry for the Saints fans that will have to field BS comments about this, now. That was a great run / win by the Saints, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  120. mooreman338 says: Mar 5, 2012 5:11 PM

    I don’t think it taints their season. I’m a Vikings fan and it was obvious to me they were trying to hurt Favre, so I am not surprised by any of this. What frustrasted me was some of those hits weren’t legal and should have been flagged but they weren’t.(Definately more than one) INTENTIONALLY trying to hurt someone is bad sportsmanship no matter how you look at it but if it is within the rules then you can’t complain.

  121. tluke25 says: Mar 7, 2012 12:57 PM

    This absolutely taints their Super Bowl win. Anyone who says it doesn’t is being either a homer or an idiot. The Saints barely squeezed by a bruised and battered Brett Favre. Had they not taken the shots they took on Favre, he would not have been hobbling in the 2nd half, and he might not have thrown that wounded duck interception at the end of the game. This ABSOLUTELY taints their Super Bowl win. Cheating is cheating and what’s worse is cheating to cause physical damage on another player in order to win. I wonder how Greg Williams and the Saints are gonna feel about themselves when 20 years from now when they read about how a player they went up against has a debilitating brain disease. I guess they can just smile and show people their Super Bowl ring and talk about how they beat Favre in the big overtime game and how they later “showed guts” when they went for that onside kick against the Colts. The New Orleans coaching staff are a “gutsy” bunch. Let’s give them all an applause, shall we?

    P.S. I remember that NFC championship game vividly and the funny thing is I even remember the announcers questioning if if the Saints were deliberately trying to injure Favre. … Well, they did and they succeeded.

  122. triviaman says: Mar 8, 2012 10:34 AM

    The fact is that the Saints were not trying to give Farve “hard hits” or “playing physical.” They were playing to INJURE another player.
    If you go out there with the intent to injure, and you do, you have broken the rules and will get punished. If you lie about it you will get punished. If you recieve extra money, other than contract money, you have broken rules and will be punished.
    The players know that a hard hit (legal or not) may result in a penalty or a fine. But does knowing that that hit may, in part, lead to a Super Bowl make a player more willing to take that chance, to take that extra step to the QB? When the reward is greater is the temptation greater to push the boundries of the rules?
    And if you know that there will be a little something extra in an envelope that will offset fines from the league office, will a player be even more willing to take that extra hit?
    If you watch the beginning of the NFC championship on one play you will see Favre hit high and low. If you watch slowly you will notice that the Saint (I believe it was Ayodele) running towards Favre. He was on his feet and AIMED for Favre’s legs. He could have hit him in the head (illeagal) or in the back (legal). But he went for his lower legs (illegal). Anyone want to guess whether a bad leg or ankle (even though he could continue to play) would affect his play?
    A lot of people believe that this stuff happens all the time. If that’s the case the end result is the same. You break the rules, you pay the price. And you pay so heavy a price the rest of the league takes notice. The Saints (if justice is done) will take the blow so that the whole league learns a lesson. It sucks to be the team caught, but they shouldn’t have broken the rules. They did-game over.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!