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NFL Network explains decision to yank Vikings-Saints game

NFC+Championship+Minnesota+Vikings+v+New+Orleans+cmW7LzU5X-3l Getty Images

Before Friday, NFL Network planned to televise the 2009 NFC title game between the Vikings and Saints at 3:00 p.m. ET on Monday.  At some point after the NFL announced on Friday that the Saints had maintained in 2009, 2010, and 2011 a system of bounties that paid defensive players for injuring opponents, NFL Network replaced Vikings-Saints with the 1992 NFC title game between the Cowboys and 49ers.

The decision seemed to create the impression that the NFL has good reason to be concerned about televising the full game, given that the Saints battered Vikings quarterback Brett Favre until his legs matched the color of his helmet.

So we asked NFLN for an explanation.

“Since last Friday, NFL Network has extensively aired video clips of plays related to the Saints bounty investigation on NFL Total Access and during other news reports that are available on NFL.com,” a NFL Network spokesperson said in a statement released to PFT.  “At this time, we decided not to air the complete three-hour game and will reschedule the program for a future date.”

I don’t see the connection.  NFLN extensively aired video clips of Super Bowl XLVI, but that didn’t stop it from televising the full game within a week after it was played.

The better explanation would have been that the league chose not to create the impression that NFLN was exploiting the bounty investigation by televising the most obvious example of the Saints’ misconduct, even though the schedule was set before Friday, March 2.

But that’s not the explanation that was provided.  And the explanation that was provided isn’t very persuasive.

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44 Responses to “NFL Network explains decision to yank Vikings-Saints game”
  1. sdisme says: Mar 5, 2012 10:00 PM

    So what the hell did I DVR?

  2. piazzajordan2 says: Mar 5, 2012 10:01 PM

    Very classy move by NFLN. I was planning on watching this game after I got home today. Thank God I have NFL Rewind or I would actually be upset about this.

  3. gb4mn0 says: Mar 5, 2012 10:06 PM

    Personally I wish they would have televised it. The thought of all the vikequeef toads suffering through it again just gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

  4. farvite says: Mar 5, 2012 10:06 PM

    Play it!

    Despite their best efforts to take a guy out, they couldn’t do it!

  5. cags777 says: Mar 5, 2012 10:08 PM

    NFL’s translation: “We don’t want to ruin the league’s integrity by showing missed calls against the Saints and bad calls against the Vikings.”

  6. conormacleod says: Mar 5, 2012 10:08 PM

    It’s simple. That game film is exhibit 1 in an investigation. That discovery will be given to the defense at the appropriate time. Until then, it is evidence.

  7. katrinasafterbirth says: Mar 5, 2012 10:09 PM

    They had it planned, they should have kept it…but that might make the “media darlings”, the Saints, look even worse than they actually are.

  8. captatl says: Mar 5, 2012 10:11 PM

    Poor PR by the NFL. That game would have been a ratings bonanza. Isnt that what the NFL Network is looking for? Viewers? Come ON MAN!!

  9. WestCoastVet says: Mar 5, 2012 10:13 PM

    More like, “This situation has kicked the hornet’s nest enough already and we don’t want current/former Saints’ players getting death threats.”

  10. legeisyaj says: Mar 5, 2012 10:13 PM

    Come on. You know the reason. Why ask? Typical unnecessary pressing media query.

  11. themonster49 says: Mar 5, 2012 10:14 PM

    “The better explanation would have been that the league chose not to create the impression that NFLN was exploiting the bounty investigation by televising the most obvious example of the Saints’ misconduct”

    Guy, come on. You have been saying all along they can’t say that. We all know they can’t say that, they know they can’t say that. Even after the investigation is released I dont think they will act or talk like that.

  12. dequan81 says: Mar 5, 2012 10:14 PM

    Go to bed, Mike. It’s been a long day and your grasping for a deeper story. let it go, enjoy your night.

  13. bangithard says: Mar 5, 2012 10:16 PM

    The NFL network also replayed ALL championship seasons called AMERICA’S GAME; starting with 2010 Green Bay Packers, then skipped to the 2008 STEELERS and so on.. CLEARLY OMITTED was the 2009 SAINTS.. even though commercials said it was NEXT!!

    Conspiracy!

  14. fumblenuts says: Mar 5, 2012 10:27 PM

    Is this a younger Gregg Williams?

  15. kobra71 says: Mar 5, 2012 10:32 PM

    I wish the NFLN would re-air 1981 playoff game between the Dolphins & Chargers. They show it in a 60 minute highlight show but never the full game brodcast!

  16. ndnut says: Mar 5, 2012 10:43 PM

    @gb4mn0

    I thought that our rivalry was one of respect. I know that there are bozos on both sides that could be called extremist, but overall we respect each other. Please no more whining or LA posts. All they do are make your fan base look like drunken backwoods fools who have Internet access.

  17. sasattack says: Mar 5, 2012 10:51 PM

    I’m 42. I’m from Jet/Giant territory(aka cesspool) but have been Steeler’s fan since 1975. Slowly but surely I’m losing interest in NFL cause it’s becoming nothing more than another reality show, and tabloid sports media only makes it worse. It’s becoming overexposed. Mark my words; domestically, the ratings will begin to decline soon.

  18. wangoshiancoe says: Mar 5, 2012 10:51 PM

    Ah good, it’s the full version of the game – i have it taped and right after the 1st personal foul – the one where Favre gets hit about 3 seconds after handing off – the player goes to the sidelines and just before the commercial break you can clearly read Sean Payton’s lips saying “do it again” – i wonder if this is what they are trying to cull out of the mix?

  19. discosucs2005 says: Mar 5, 2012 11:54 PM

    I think as punishment they should instead play this years playoff match up between the Saints and the 49ers. Maybe Williams should have put a bounty out on Vernon Davis.

  20. nosaintsfan79 says: Mar 6, 2012 12:03 AM

    PAY DREW BREES!!!!!!!!!

  21. orcheon says: Mar 6, 2012 12:49 AM

    Man, watch that game again. Keep in mind that Brett was what, 39? 40?

    Great memories.

  22. bsizemore68 says: Mar 6, 2012 1:16 AM

    Sasattack has it right, it seems like a 3 ring circus out there, no respect for the fans at the game or on the tube, the overexposure with a large lack of talent is slowly hurting the game, the pro bowl is a joke, to many teams only mean money for the owners, and a bunch of weak teams. Bill

  23. gdeli says: Mar 6, 2012 1:17 AM

    it’s sad and the damage has already been done. where is the justice? punish them AFTER they have a dang ring? it just isn’t right.

  24. vikesfansteve says: Mar 6, 2012 1:23 AM

    The Saints continued hitting late & holding because the refs let them get away with it. The NFL network is covering up something much bigger than the Saints having a bounty, it’s that the refs were in on the fix like the NBA refs against the Sacramento Kings. The refs in the Steelers vs Seahawks SB also need to be investigated. That’s the real story.

  25. axespray says: Mar 6, 2012 2:14 AM

    NFL Classic Games Marathon > Total Access Marathons…. seriously NFLN, keep up the Classics thing…
    That Elway/Montana game was good, along with those other ones, felt good to watch some good football.
    By the way, how’d the saint’s “Bounty” thing affect the game? The Vikings HBs learn to protect the ball, Brad doesn’t leave 12 guys in the huddle, vikings beat the saints easily, even with Favre bruised up (he kind of has that 20 year career of getting beat up by defensive players)

  26. MossMoon2Packers says: Mar 6, 2012 5:23 AM

    The NFL does not want to re-play the 2009 NFC
    CG because it is embarrassed by the officials’ overt bias or incompetence in that game. Despite all the turnovers, the Vikings dominated the Saints and would have won had the officials been only semi-fair and semi-competent. The officials’ bias or incompetence was best exemplified by their failure to penalize the Saints when they made several flagrant attempts to injure Favre and other Vikings.

  27. zn0rseman says: Mar 6, 2012 6:45 AM

    You wait, when/if this game is repaired again it will be heavily edited with about half of the Viking offensive possessions edited out or camera angles cut to where you can’t see the flagrant illegal hits happening right in front of the officials. The NFL is t hiding this game because of some legal reason, they are hiding it because the bounty scandal has highlighted the fact that Favre (and other Viking players) were being cheap shotted for 60 minutes and the refs did nothing other than…

    1: Allow the cheap shots to get out of hand by not calling any of them.
    2: Calling mystery penalties against the Vikings when the Saints drives stalled.
    3: Allowing Viking receivers to be held and interfered with deep downfield, never called.
    4: Gave multiple favorable spots to the Saints, giving them first downs when they were clearly short.

    Now that this game is being re-aired, with all of the attention this has brought to the officiating, the NFL’s integrity is at risk.

  28. zn0rseman says: Mar 6, 2012 6:55 AM

    Let me quote the post game show…

    Deonne Sanders: “Did the best team go to the Super Bowl?”

    Tom Jackson: (Unsure what to say) “Well…”

    Deonne Sanders: (Angry) “Did the BEST team go to the Super Bowl?!?”

    Tom Jackson: (Unconvincingly) “I guess that you could say that the best team today did.”

    Deonne Sanders: (Disgusted) “Please.”

  29. gb4mn0 says: Mar 6, 2012 7:46 AM

    ndnut says:
    Mar 5, 2012 10:43 PM
    @gb4mn0

    I thought that our rivalry was one of respect. I know that there are bozos on both sides that could be called extremist, but overall we respect each other. Please no more whining or LA posts. All they do are make your fan base look like drunken backwoods fools who have Internet access.

    —————————————–

    And you believe that a vikequeef extremists comes across as a sublime, articulate erudite? LMAO

    Frankly, any impartial fan would simply need to attend a GB-MN game at both Lambeau & the Metrodump to realize it’s the vike fans that come across as “drunken backwoods fools.”

    Read the post on this thread left by znorseman, your fellow lavender twit and tell me his conspiracy laden accusation doesn’t come across as nothing more than a jealous, dopey rant. He and others of his pitiful purple ilk make this so much fun.

  30. wewantmoretebowandfavrearticles says: Mar 6, 2012 8:00 AM

    Smart move by the NFL. Now when they finally do show it, I’m more inclined to watch because I read that the first time got cancelled.

  31. truvikingfan says: Mar 6, 2012 8:08 AM

    As my handle states, I am rabid Vikings fan, have been for years, but let’s state the obvious……The Saints did not win that game, the Vikings lost it.

    Yes, there were bad/no calls made, but if you look in the history of the NFL, almost EVERY game has bad/no calls. (Maybe some weren’t as blatant). Suffice to say, we (as Vikes fans), cannot use the bad/no calls theory as a way out of why we lost.

    Now, as far as Bountygate……..I am sure in the history of the NFL, Gregg Williams (saints team) is not the only coach to have ever used this tactic, he’s just the only one that got caught. I do not endorse this tactic, as to purposely eliminate someone from the game by way of purposely injuring someone is just wrong, not to mention that the players have sued the NFL multiple times for neglegance in protecting players.

    I guess my point is that it is time for us Vikes fans to move on, and accept that we lost the game.

  32. ernie ernie says: Mar 6, 2012 8:38 AM

    I dvr’d it hoping the Vikings would win this time. LOL

  33. dcviking says: Mar 6, 2012 8:53 AM

    gb4mn0 says: Mar 6, 2012 7:46 AM

    Frankly, any impartial fan would simply need to attend a GB-MN game at both Lambeau & the Metrodump to realize it’s the vike fans that come across as “drunken backwoods fools.”

    ————————————————-

    Right and where do people proudly drop their pants and moon the opposing team bus again…

    Then again, maybe the smells help the Sconnies find their relatives…I dunno

  34. melikefootball says: Mar 6, 2012 9:02 AM

    The NFL office is so whishy washy. They know the game would be picked apart and they would have mustard on their face if they don’t make this a big punisment.

  35. tqaztec says: Mar 6, 2012 9:27 AM

    As a Vikings fan, I’m not really interested to watch the team fumble the game away again.

  36. knew8411 says: Mar 6, 2012 9:29 AM

    @gb4mno

    Personally I wish they would have televised it. The thought of all the vikequeef toads suffering through it again just gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

    Kinda like watching the Giants beating the High and Mighty Packers in the NFC playoffs does for me

  37. thetooloftools says: Mar 6, 2012 9:37 AM

    “nothing to see here… keep moving” as the house continues to burn.

  38. knew8411 says: Mar 6, 2012 9:39 AM

    Darren Sharper asked recently, how the NFL could habe 18,000 pages of information related to the Saints bounty scandle.

    According to the article on Sports Collectors Daily.com it goes beyond the NFL and into those who have been convicted of peddling fake game used memoribelia.

    SportsCollectorsDaily.com has an interesting article on the Saints Bounty Program.

  39. ruvelligwebuike says: Mar 6, 2012 9:46 AM

    How many unflagged illegal hits were there on Favre that game? The high-low is all I can remember. The hit on the end around to Harvin was flagged, and I don’t see why. Hit the quarterback in the act of handing it off and it’s a flag?

    Face it, this stuff happens in sport. The Saints and Gregg Williams are just the idiots who got caught. No place for it in football, but it’s there.

    Seriously, Viking fans have already filled 10,000 lakes worth of tears. Quite giving them another reason to sob all over again. They need their strength to try to get a stadium, which hopefully they can sell out without Clear Channel and the rest of their corporate sponsors buying up all of the tickets at the blackout deadline.

  40. dcviking says: Mar 6, 2012 11:07 AM

    knew8411 says: Mar 6, 2012 9:39 AM

    Darren Sharper asked recently, how the NFL could habe 18,000 pages of information related to the Saints bounty scandle.

    According to the article on Sports Collectors Daily.com it goes beyond the NFL and into those who have been convicted of peddling fake game used memoribelia.

    SportsCollectorsDaily.com has an interesting article on the Saints Bounty Program.

    ————————————————-

    Did the Packers try and sell it as “stock” as well…

  41. brobokil says: Mar 6, 2012 11:57 AM

    Every last person in Minnesota knew within weeks of that game that the Saints were purposely trying to take brett out of the game. We all knew they were dirty but that’s not why the title should be stripped.

    It should be stripped because of the blatant and admitted incorrect calls by the refs.

    Watch that game again. The Saints were handed a game they did not earn, nor did they win, not even with the terrible turnovers.

    Then let’s look at the following year with the Packers winning the Superbowl.

    In 2010 the Packers went to the playoffs in the 6th seed at 10-6, over the equally 10-6 Bucs and 10-6 Giants. Problem is, the NFL admitted that year that one of the two games the Packers played against the Vikings, they incorrectly gave the Packers a touchdown and incorrectly took away a touchdown from the Vikings. That was in week 7 of the 2010 season. The result of the game – Min 24, Packers, 28. Now, take away those ADMITTED-BY-THE-NFL-TO-BE-WRONG-SCORES, and you have Minnesota 31, Packers 21. The Packers did rightly beat the Vikings in the next game, but what matters is that actually put the Packers at 9-7 in 2010, BEHIND THE BUCS AND GIANTS!

    THE PACKERS NEVER MADE IT TO THE 2010 PLAYOFFS!!!

    The point? The 2010 and 2011 Superbowls NEVER HAPPENED.

    If the league is going to rightly admit their mistakes, they should act on and CORRECT those mistakes!

    Of course this comes from a Vikings point of view. I’m a Vikings fan. Do I think the Vikings should get the Superbowl? No thats rediculous. I DO think that these superbowls should be replayed with the correct teams. Of course that’s not possible. So what SHOULD happen in the NFL, is when the NFL KNOWS they gave the win to the wrong team, they should immediately take it away!

    Though, it’s not as though the Vikings are the only team to suffer this kind of terrible, unjustified treatmet.

    Like or hate this message, I’m still absolutely correct.

  42. ruvelligwebuike says: Mar 6, 2012 1:17 PM

    brobokil says
    “Every last person in Minnesota knew within weeks of that game that the Saints were purposely trying to take brett out of the game. We all knew they were dirty but that’s not why the title should be stripped.

    It should be stripped because of the blatant and admitted incorrect calls by the refs.

    Watch that game again. The Saints were handed a game they did not earn, nor did they win, not even with the terrible turnovers.

    Then let’s look at the following year with the Packers winning the Superbowl.

    In 2010 the Packers went to the playoffs in the 6th seed at 10-6, over the equally 10-6 Bucs and 10-6 Giants. Problem is, the NFL admitted that year that one of the two games the Packers played against the Vikings, they incorrectly gave the Packers a touchdown and incorrectly took away a touchdown from the Vikings. That was in week 7 of the 2010 season. The result of the game – Min 24, Packers, 28. Now, take away those ADMITTED-BY-THE-NFL-TO-BE-WRONG-SCORES, and you have Minnesota 31, Packers 21. The Packers did rightly beat the Vikings in the next game, but what matters is that actually put the Packers at 9-7 in 2010, BEHIND THE BUCS AND GIANTS!

    THE PACKERS NEVER MADE IT TO THE 2010 PLAYOFFS!!!

    The point? The 2010 and 2011 Superbowls NEVER HAPPENED.

    If the league is going to rightly admit their mistakes, they should act on and CORRECT those mistakes!

    Of course this comes from a Vikings point of view. I’m a Vikings fan. Do I think the Vikings should get the Superbowl? No thats rediculous. I DO think that these superbowls should be replayed with the correct teams. Of course that’s not possible. So what SHOULD happen in the NFL, is when the NFL KNOWS they gave the win to the wrong team, they should immediately take it away!

    Though, it’s not as though the Vikings are the only team to suffer this kind of terrible, unjustified treatmet.

    Like or hate this message, I’m still absolutely correct.”
    ——————————-

    Maybe they should just re-write the whole history of the United States to elimate all failure. An easy start would be to disallow Minnesota from statehood.

    Of course, then there wouldn’t be the contributions to society that Minnesota has made. The Roller Blade, Spam…Mall of America…I’m sure there’s more if you really look hard.

  43. contra74 says: Mar 6, 2012 2:00 PM

    gb4mn0 says:
    Mar 6, 2012 7:46 AM
    And you believe that a vikequeef extremists comes across as a sublime, articulate erudite? LMAO

    Frankly, any impartial fan would simply need to attend a GB-MN game at both Lambeau & the Metrodump to realize it’s the vike fans that come across as “drunken backwoods fools.”

    Read the post on this thread left by znorseman, your fellow lavender twit and tell me his conspiracy laden accusation doesn’t come across as nothing more than a jealous, dopey rant. He and others of his pitiful purple ilk make this so much fun.
    ———–
    Wow, someone clearly found a thesaurus!

    As for the “Drunken backwoods fools”, it may be that neither fanbase is truly like that but it is you who is providing that perception for the packer fanbase. So, yes, keep on ranting as I am sure the true Packer fans on here are proud you are speaking for them.

  44. bullydog28 says: Mar 7, 2012 6:35 PM

    The game was badly officiated. then add the bounty gate. I think New Orleans should be disqualified and NOBODY gets the Super Bowl for that year. Plus take away 3 first round picks as well. Got to make a powerful statement against this conduct right away. I understand the Katrina incident was horrible but this is a separate event.

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