There was plenty of information about the Saints bounty program bouncing around over the weekend and one of the biggest was that Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma reportedly offered $10,000 to any defender who could knock Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC Championship Game.
The Saints gave it their best shot by hitting Favre on what seemed like every play, but they never got him out of the game. Some of the hits were flagged and plenty of them were right on the borderline, something that plenty of people were thinking about in light of the allegations about Vilma’s offer. Peter King of SI.com spent part of his Monday Morning Quarterback column on an interview with Favre about his thoughts on what we learned over the weekend.
“I’m not pissed,” Favre said. “It’s football. I don’t think anything less of those guys. I would have loved to play with Vilma. Hell of a player. I’ve got a lot of respect for Gregg Williams. He’s a great coach. I’m not going to make a big deal about it. In all honesty, there’s a bounty of some kind on you on every play.”
Favre’s respect for Vilma and Williams doesn’t mean that he thought everything was on the straight and narrow, however.
“Now, in that game there were some plays that, I don’t want to say were odd, but I’d throw the ball and whack, on every play. Hand it off, whack. Over and over. Some were so blatant. I hand the ball to Percy Harvin early and got drilled right in the chin. They flagged that one at least. I’ve always been friends with Darren Sharper, and he came in a couple times and popped me hard. I remember saying, ‘What THE hell you doing, Sharp?’ I felt there should have been more calls against the Saints. I thought some of their guys should have been fined more.”
In the end, Favre said that he’s happy to see the story come to light although it won’t be his biggest takeaway from that Sunday.
“Now the truth comes out. That’s good. But that’s football. The only thing that really pisses me off about the whole thing is we lost the game. That’s the thing about that day that still bothers me. And that’s the way it goes. If they wanted me to testify in court about this, they’d be calling the wrong guy.”