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Saints’ willingness to play in Hall of Fame game now makes sense

Divisional Playoffs - New Orleans Saints v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

Last week, the NFL announced that the Saints will play in the Hall of Fame game, a decision that seems unusual given the negative attention the Saints’ involvement will now bring to the league’s first game of the 2012 season.

Last month, Alex Marvez of FOX reported that the Saints actually had volunteered for the duty.  It was odd at the time.  Even with a new CBA that reduces offseason workouts and training camp intensity, why would anyone want to play a fifth preseason game, or open camp two weeks early?

Now, it all makes sense.  With suspensions possible for players and coaches — including head coach Sean Payton — who violated the bounty rules, the Saints will need all the extra work they can get before the launch of the regular season.

But while the Saints will be participating in the first exhibition of the 2012 season, it’s probably safe to assume that the Saints won’t be playing at MetLife Stadium on the evening of Wednesday, September 5, when the regular season launches.

Then again, if the NFL truly wants to be the ultimate reality show, the bounty brouhaha should push the Saints to the top of the list of potential candidates to face the Giants in Week One.

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38 Responses to “Saints’ willingness to play in Hall of Fame game now makes sense”
  1. gcsuk says: Mar 4, 2012 6:10 PM

    Then again, if the NFL truly wants to be the ultimate reality show, the bounty brouhaha should push the Saints to the top of the list of potential candidates to face the Giants in Week One.
    ———————————————————-

    Sorry, but the Opening game should be an honor to the team that is hoisting the banner, in this case, the Giants. Why DELIBERATELY schedule a game that you know would take 100% of the focus off the team who is supposed to be celebrated? There is no way the NFL schedules the Saints in the opener.

  2. niquebchillin says: Mar 4, 2012 6:11 PM

    This story pushing it … Unless you think they would snitch on themselves ..

  3. kingbeason52 says: Mar 4, 2012 6:11 PM

    Sooooo..they knew they were about to get snitched on?

  4. snarkzilla says: Mar 4, 2012 6:12 PM

    How and why did the Saints accept bounty money from a known felon not connected with the Saints to try to knock opposing QBs out of games? Put the investigator/lawyer hat on, Mike. Think gambling might have been involved?

  5. mcjon22 says: Mar 4, 2012 6:12 PM

    So they knew this was coming, the NFL knew this was coming, yet they allowed this anyway? Can anyone say hypocrites?

  6. itsnotforme says: Mar 4, 2012 6:14 PM

    Cheaters sooner or later get caught.

  7. crabboil says: Mar 4, 2012 6:16 PM

    Stretch.

  8. dumbasdirt says: Mar 4, 2012 6:16 PM

    In addition to fines, suspensions, and loss of draft picks the Saints should also have to “volunteer” to play in the HOF game every year for the next 5 years, and “volunteer” to have to play 1 game in London every year for the next 5 years.
    I hope they will enjoy the 20 hour plane ride (10 hours each way) to and from London.

  9. jvaughan82 says: Mar 4, 2012 6:23 PM

    You can’t collect 18,000 documents spanning 55,000 pages and conduct interviews all over the place without the Saint’s figuring out the hammer is about to come down.

    Sorta shows how out of whack the Saints’ priorities are. They have coaches turning a blind eye to rules violations and the general manager disobeying a direct order from the owner to stop the bounty program. Yet the Saints aren’t cleaning house but rather just trying to figure out how they can best survive the punishment.

    As a Cowboys fan, I’ve liked Sean Payton for a while, but it’s sad to hear about how he handled this (or more accurately, didn’t handle anything). Until now, I thought he was a class act.

  10. LoCoSu@%s says: Mar 4, 2012 6:23 PM

    I understand this blog site dabbles in rumors, but this one is reeeeallllly stretching it.

  11. delmonte55 says: Mar 4, 2012 6:26 PM

    Why would the NFL honor their request, if they knew this was all coming down?

  12. saintswillwin says: Mar 4, 2012 6:29 PM

    Considering the Saints have OWNED the Giants since 2006, I doubt the league wants to give the Saints a national stage to start the season 1-0!!

    Geaux Saints!!

  13. pats1995 says: Mar 4, 2012 6:39 PM

    Not sure some of these guys realize the Saints were likely told beforehand. Teams get notice well before the public and as soon as they heard of the investigation reopening (which someone undouptebly told them if not the commessioner’s office itself) I’m sure they decided on joining the HOF Game

  14. dirtmcgirt24 says: Mar 4, 2012 6:41 PM

    ABC World News just led off with a highlight of Peyton Manning getting a high-low hit, with the high portion an absurd clothesline, while playing against the Redskins. Manning has had neck surgery and is questionable to return to the field, as you may recall. If they connect his shenanigans with a significant hit on the league’s poster boy… he’s got big problems.

  15. mhohmann says: Mar 4, 2012 6:50 PM

    Saints almost killed Hakeem Nicks with 2 dirty hits last time they played. No thanks to playing them.

  16. Lonely Libertarian says: Mar 4, 2012 6:52 PM

    Here is an idea – take away the Saints two preseason home games – and the HOF game…

    Force them to play two road pre season games and lose the revenues that come from the home and HOF games…

    Fans would get a discount on their season tickets – 8 games instead of 8+2…

    And since they have no number 1 pick this year what about cutting their salary cap by some arbitrary amount – say $10 Million..

  17. latopia says: Mar 4, 2012 6:56 PM

    Last month, Alex Marvez of FOX reported that the Saints actually had volunteered for the [game]. It was odd at the time. Now, it all makes sense. With suspensions possible for players and coaches — including head coach Sean Payton — the Saints will need all the extra work they can get before the launch of the regular season.

    Agreed. Goodell said the investigation — originally started in 2010 which subsequently fizzled when the original complainant retracted his claims — ” was re-opened during the latter part of the 2011 season.”

    So knowing what we know now based on Williams’ admission, the Saints were well aware sanctions would be forthcoming.

    As a result volunteering for the HOF game not only buys the franchise an early start but hopefully some ‘good will’ from Goodell when he surely lowers the boom.

    One problem: It’s called the Hall of Fame game, not the Hall of Infamy.

    Would anyone be surprised if Goodell spurns the “offer?”

  18. briang123 says: Mar 4, 2012 7:02 PM

    latopia says: Mar 4, 2012 6:56 PM

    One problem: It’s called the Hall of Fame game, not the Hall of Infamy.

    Would anyone be surprised if Goodell spurns the “offer?”
    ________________________________

    He’d have to cancel them because it has already been announced they will play the Cardinals. Now, NBC will treat us to endless replays of Kurt Warner’s last game and the hit he took.

  19. nflsonlyone says: Mar 4, 2012 7:16 PM

    like I said i’ll make more

  20. gcsuk says: Mar 4, 2012 7:19 PM

    saintswillwin says:
    Mar 4, 2012 6:29 PM
    Considering the Saints have OWNED the Giants since 2006, I doubt the league wants to give the Saints a national stage to start the season 1-0!!

    Geaux Saints!!

    ——————————————————-

    Oh sure, I guess the Giants and Saints haven’t played before 2006, right? How convenient of you to forget about the fact that the Giants are 14-10 against the Saints all-time. Whatever stats you have to throw out there to make yourself feel superior, go for it, dude! Have fun defending Williams, Payton, and Loomis for the rest of the off-season.

    “Geaux” away!

  21. scratchnpost1234 says: Mar 4, 2012 7:21 PM

    Maybe this is why Williams was let go right after the season. Not because his ole buddy Fisher wanted him so badly, but because the Saints were cutting ties with him knowing what was coming.

  22. nflsonlyone says: Mar 4, 2012 7:22 PM

    truth hurts don’t it

  23. nflsonlyone says: Mar 4, 2012 7:25 PM

    maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much if you actually knew the game

  24. nflsonlyone says: Mar 4, 2012 7:27 PM

    it’s in the blood

  25. nflsonlyone says: Mar 4, 2012 7:32 PM

    so your team cheated and can’t really do anything on their own

  26. nflsonlyone says: Mar 4, 2012 7:36 PM

    oh but I guess you think they didn’t blame each other cause the that’s what you were told huh? too sad

  27. buckeye1nation says: Mar 4, 2012 7:40 PM

    Here’s an idea for a punishment on top of the fines, suspensions and draft picks. For every person in the organization that participated or did nothing to stop it, the Saints lose one practice during training camp and or the season. No players at the facility what so ever.

  28. stairwayto7 says: Mar 4, 2012 7:50 PM

    Ban the Saints from all national tv games and all games blackout out Louisiana! No Hall fo Fame game either for 10 years!

  29. phillyphever says: Mar 4, 2012 8:43 PM

    Eagles-Giants September 5th. That should be the opener.

  30. rajbais says: Mar 4, 2012 8:44 PM

    If people want to settle their emotions with regard to bounties, just think of paper towels.

    I feel that because there’s a precedent set by the penalties of “Spygate” there should be a loss of at least a 1st and 2nd Round picks, a fine that ranges between $500,000 – $2,000,000, and a 1-year suspension for Gregg Williams.

    Don’t worry Rams fans, Jeff Fisher already has a former and “capable” defensive coordinator on staff in Chuck Cecil. They will just need a DB coach or have Cecil multitask.

    A one-year suspension is good for Gregg Williams because he would likely lose about $1 million in pay because that he likely his salary. Would anyone else want to lose $1 million????

    As far as Super Bowl legacy tainting, the Broncos had Bill Romanowski and were chop blocking and blatantly violating the salary cap during their Super Bowls, the Patriots had “Spygate” and an HGH using Rodney Harrison, the Steelers in the 1970’s had steroids users, the Raiders had their injury producing actions and Lester Hayes had polygrip or a type of sticky substance to intercept passes to put the opposing offense at a disadvantage, and there are plenty of other rule breaking or integrity violating teams.

    Unfortunately, integrity doesn’t always exist in Super Bowl victories!!!! There will be NO tarnished legacy of the Saints because they have a likable quarterback and NFL fans will always be reminded of Katrina and how the Saints rebounded from it!!!!

  31. musicman495 says: Mar 4, 2012 9:32 PM

    I know, how about death by lethal injection for all Saints players and management, and an award of a Super Bowl title each to the Vikings and Colts, even though the Saints only won one? Oh, and maybe no first round draft choices until 3012.

    On second thought, why doesn’t everyone just sit tight and find out what the people who actually know the facts and have the authority in this matter decide to do? Oh, and since Darren Sharper was a leader of the 2009 defensive team and said he knew nothing whatsoever about this, perhaps we should also wait until we find out some of what is in the 50,000 pages, too.

  32. rollore says: Mar 4, 2012 10:08 PM

    They need the death penalty ala SMU Football.

  33. ericn42000 says: Mar 4, 2012 11:06 PM

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Won a championship by cheating. Next years saints=this years colts!

  34. ricksaints says: Mar 5, 2012 12:14 AM

    I didn’t know that they were so many female football fans. There must be with all this whining that is going on. Wwwwaaaaa!!!!!!
    This is not the first time this has happened people. Saints are just guilty of being caught. And since the media blows everything up cough cough teabow, Lin. This is turning into a bigger story. for all these football “fans” that are so into gossip that they should change the Channel and watch TMZ.

  35. bodeee1975 says: Mar 5, 2012 1:20 AM

    I just cant understand how some of you folks just throw this cheating bull crap around….. There is no way possible that this guy…This arrogant turd Gregg williams is the only dude with bounties….Not possible….Just like SPYGATE…Folks all teams do some form of bending of the rules even as simple as injury news related and exagerating or not disclosing certain things…..I dont like Sean Payton, I have never liked Williams, and dont care one lick about Loomis but my goodness everybody is getting far to carried away with their silly ideas for punishment…Some of you folks who throw the strip the superbowl title from them…..well guys that is just silly…..The Saints didnt win a superbowl because of bounties, plain and simple….Alot of luck comes into play , I hate all that who dat crap but MY GOD the Saints did have a pretty impressive team that year and there is no chance they achieved all they did because of bounties..Im sure lots of folks will read my comment like I do other folks and laugh and say I sound like an idiot, maybe I do and maybe I dont but Im certainly open minded enough to wait and hear all the details about this turd Williams and what he has done with the saints and all other teams hes been involved with……It sucks when a person is almost obviously guilty cause we all want the person to fry but I guarantee there are more interesting details that have yet to come out yet..

  36. couldntthinkofaname says: Mar 5, 2012 5:05 AM

    ricksaints says:
    Mar 5, 2012 12:14 AM
    I didn’t know that they were so many female football fans. There must be with all this whining that is going on. Wwwwaaaaa!!!!!!
    This is not the first time this has happened people. Saints are just guilty of being caught. And since the media blows everything up cough cough teabow, Lin. This is turning into a bigger story. for all these football “fans” that are so into gossip that they should change the Channel and watch TMZ.

    _____________

    You Saints fans are the ones whining. Your team got caught, and now you’re crying and calling names and blaming the media.

    Suck it up, you crybabies.

  37. bangitfootball says: Mar 5, 2012 7:22 AM

    I have $500 for the first player to knock Drew Brees out for a few games. Unless hes my fantasy football QB of course.

  38. bigbluefan1 says: Mar 5, 2012 8:31 AM

    saintswillwin says:
    Mar 4, 2012 6:29 PM
    Considering the Saints have OWNED the Giants since 2006, I doubt the league wants to give the Saints a national stage to start the season 1-0!!

    Geaux Saints!!

    ___________________

    Yeah the Saints Philly all own the Giants yet the Giants Own 4 SB Trophies
    They also own the Manning that has won two of them.
    Everyone bad mouths NY yet I have never heard of Rape or Murder happening at any of our Sports Stadiums. Can’t say that about the super dump now can you?
    The Saints have one very tainted Super bowl win that will forever be covered in doubt.

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