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NFL Network pulls plug on Vikings-Saints replay

saints-vikings Getty Images

The NFL currently is tiptoeing through a minefield of hazards that could have a variety of potential consequences ranging from the shattering of public confidence in the integrity of the game to a series of perp walks.  And while the NFL must ensure that the response to the three-year Bayou bounty program is swift and decisive and sufficiently strong to ensure that, moving forward, players won’t get as much as a candy bar for making a form tackle, the NFL can’t afford to give credence to the notion that this is somehow a bigger deal than it is.

As to the latter point, the NFL has committed a major blunder.

A replay of the 2009 Vikings-Saints NFC title game had been set for Monday at 3:00 p.m. ET on NFL Network.  And NFL Network yanked it.

Let’s repeat that.  NFLN yanked the game.

Correct or not, it creates the impression that the league has some concern about showing the game again.  Which creates the impression that the league should be concerned.

And that creates the impression that the league fears the outcome of Super Bowl XLIV has been tainted, because it creates the impression that the league perhaps thinks that the Saints won a berth in the game via improper methods.

It was a horrible decision to drop the game, in our view.  Though the news of the Saints’ bounty program remains a big deal, the league’s refusal to follow through with a pre-existing plan to re-air the game makes it an even bigger deal — arguably a bigger deal than it should be.

And so now I’m going to try to find a tape of the game so I can see if there’s something specific the league is trying to hide by not allowing the game to be re-aired.  Even if there isn’t, the change in programming creates the impression that there is.

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89 Responses to “NFL Network pulls plug on Vikings-Saints replay”
  1. donterrelli says: Mar 5, 2012 3:50 PM

    I hope you have consent of the NFL for having a copy of that game :) .

  2. benacci says: Mar 5, 2012 3:53 PM

    Yes let’s fuel the fire for conspiracy and cast doubts on the Super Bowl…Sarcasm.

    Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, as a Colt’s fan I would not want to see the Saints win tainted by this. The Colts played and planned bad enough without the help of a bounty….

  3. mrizzo44 says: Mar 5, 2012 3:55 PM

    They yanked the game, so that means that the NFL believes that Superbowl XLVI has been tainted? That’s a stretch.

    Could it be that they yanked the game, because they want people to forget about this scandal asap?

  4. johnnyb216 says: Mar 5, 2012 3:56 PM

    Non-story here.

  5. jimillinois says: Mar 5, 2012 3:56 PM

    That’s because the refs were paid!!!!!!’

  6. trueski21 says: Mar 5, 2012 3:56 PM

    sounds very 1984ish

  7. hooterdawg says: Mar 5, 2012 3:57 PM

    Any interview with Brett Farve in the hours or days after the game showed his badly bruised forehead and face that were covered in red and purple blotches. The NFL may not want to bring attention to many of the violent hits on Farve that were not flagged. It may send the public and media to the internet questioning who those officials were that swallowed their whistle. Those officials may get cornered on just why they were allowing that carnage to continue for so long without ‘controlling’ it.

  8. redbullenergydrink says: Mar 5, 2012 3:57 PM

    As a Vikings fan, I didn’t want to see it anyways.

  9. thekiy says: Mar 5, 2012 3:58 PM

    Well I think we all know that taking out both of Favre’s legs late, below the knees and from behind was a cheapshot. Is the replay really going to surprise anyone?

  10. cardmagnet says: Mar 5, 2012 3:59 PM

    If the Saints players weren’t tossing around a few thousand for big hits, do you really think they wouldn’t have been a Super Bowl team? Bounties are a bonus, not a true motivation. The guys in the NFL give their all to get to the Super Bowl and win, not to get a few grand on the side when they’re banking five figures or more a game.

  11. dae42 says: Mar 5, 2012 3:59 PM

    Well, that’s one way to draw more highly critical attention to the controversy. Nixon would be proud.

  12. bigred12 says: Mar 5, 2012 3:59 PM

    being a vikings fan, it would be hard to see the game again but would also be interesting. at the time it seemed like a lot of the hits on favre were over the top, but that could have just been because I’m a vikings fan. knowing what we know now it would be interesting to see.

  13. freedomispopular says: Mar 5, 2012 4:00 PM

    Making something out to be a bigger deal than it should be? Sounds like they took a page out of PFT’s playbook.

  14. mvp43 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:00 PM

    The Saints were one team that I always felt good good about liking……………….no longer!

  15. wetpaperbag3 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:00 PM

    At least I can still watch that 2009 NFC Championship game on NFL Game Rewind.

  16. larrybrown43 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:00 PM

    Mike,

    What league should be concerned about is the public perception of how inadequate the refs were in calling more of the blatant hits on the Vikes. The refs could’ve curbed all this with a few early flags.

    As, you have a great job and do a great job as I always mention. Your 7 days a week 15 hour days are appreciated!!!!

  17. mattyk72 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:01 PM

    And if they had shown it I’m sure they would have been accused of trying to cash in on the publicity. It’s a no-win.

  18. andrewsherylandharry says: Mar 5, 2012 4:03 PM

    I wonder if that nefarious friend of Payton’s shows up on the sidelines?

  19. dsimp724 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:04 PM

    I heard james harrison had a bounty on roger goddell

  20. mrpaulzeen says: Mar 5, 2012 4:05 PM

    Wow, the media really loves to make something out of nothing. NFL probably yanked the show because they didn’t want people to think they were cashing in (ratings wise) on the whole bounty scandal. It’s not like you won’t be able to find the game tape. Hell, the biggest hits can all be found on youtube. Now if the NFL starts pulliong those videos down, then we can start to wonder.

  21. nflfollower says: Mar 5, 2012 4:05 PM

    They were unbelievably dirty against favre and got away with it repeatedly. I don’t need a replay to tell me that, I watched the game. And I can’t stand brett favre, and I am not a Viking or packers fan. I was a neutral 3rd party watching that game.

  22. erictheclown says: Mar 5, 2012 4:05 PM

    just go look at the comments on this BLOG the day after that game.

    anyone that is not a Saints fan or likes the Saints because “the city deserves them to win” knew that game was dirty.

  23. boothlustig says: Mar 5, 2012 4:07 PM

    The Saints won the game in large part because they beat up Favre. Hard/solid hits are one thing but watching the game, I can recall the extra twisting, the lower hits. At 39, Favre was still able to come back from the hits but his mobility was impacted. Congrats to the Saints, it helped you get to the SB. However, the full price for this win has yet to be paid.

  24. southflsteel says: Mar 5, 2012 4:08 PM

    I do not see any way at ALL that Goodell or anyone at NFLHQ could think that this tainted the Super Bowl given the fact that they dismissed the proven fact that one team actually video taped their opposition’s walk-thrus and practices multiple times throughout the playoffs and in the weeks leading up to championship games and Super Bowls with a mere slap on the wrist and then destroying all evidence! If those aren’t tainted wins, then nothing every will be!!!

  25. tinkerthinker26 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:10 PM

    Dear Commisioner, You have opened a Big Can Of Worms.

  26. jigga757 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:12 PM

    this saints bounty mess is a bunch of BS!!! if they had a bounty program i couldnt see it the way matt hasslebeck tourched them and why didnt they have one on calvin johnson who caught 210 yards and 12 catches or on vernon davis who ran only 2 routes to get 180 yards or eli manning who threw over 400 yards on them like matthew stafford did…SMH WOW

  27. purplefaithful says: Mar 5, 2012 4:12 PM

    Well, if they show that game again, we could count all of the terrible calls the refs made & didn’t make to make sure the Saints won the game. It’s the worst officiated game I’ve ever seen with all of the no-calls on roughing & phantom pass interference calls (Leber) while allowing the mugging of Viking receivers.

    NFL or the refs wanted the Saints in the super bowl because New Orleans had been hit so hard by Katrina & it made a great story.

  28. madpunter88 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:13 PM

    Not to mention the fact that the Saints play in the very next actual NFL game. Won’t it be awkward for the Saints to represent the NFL in the Hall of Fame Game during the festive HOF weekend with half their coaching staff suspended? It would be nice if they could go back a week in time and take the Saints out of the slot for the HOF game to avoid that unnecessary spotlight.

  29. halbert53 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:13 PM

    Having grown up in south Mississippi, I have been both a Favre and Saints fan. I had (like many did) mixed feelings about who I wanted to win. Part of me wanted the Saints to win because the franchise had never gone to SB; part wanted Favre to get back to SB one last time. Everybody always blames Favre for costly interceptions that cost his teams trips to SB (which is valid to a point) but everyone seems to forget the Packer defense giving up a 3rd & 20+ in the waning minutes against Philadelphia that would have sealed a Packer win. I was outraged with the Viking-Saints game, not just because they were trying to deliberately hurt Favre, but even more because the officials looked the other way. If I were the NFL commissioner, I wouldn’t want the game rebroadcast either because it was some of the most blatant bias in NFL history.

  30. joesuhunka says: Mar 5, 2012 4:14 PM

    “if there’s something specific the league is trying to hide”

    Yes, the fact that the team that deserved to win was defeated in part by mercenaries supported by questionable officiating.

  31. mnvikes7897 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:15 PM

    Freakn right. They CHEATED. PERIOD. Greg the no-class scum bag Williams would prob be seen handing out Benji’s on the sideline. Tainted! Period! Replay or not.

  32. noquickreactionshere says: Mar 5, 2012 4:16 PM

    Rob Lowe just tweeted that he had a bounty on David Spade during the filming of Tommy Boy.

  33. purplehayseuss says: Mar 5, 2012 4:17 PM

    The biggest point, I think, is that the NFL fears the horrendous quality of the officiating in that game. Along with their fear of proof that the Saints were attempting to injure Favre, they don’t want anyone to see the Keystone Kops refs. There should have been $150,000 in fines for that game.

    By not letting the cat out of the bag, they made certain that each and every one of us wants to open the bag. I agree, Mike, NFL just made a dumb choice.

  34. realitypolice says: Mar 5, 2012 4:17 PM

    There is one very specific play that is the reason the NFLN yanked the replay.

    It is the one hit that you can argue fairly definitively would NOT have been made if the player wasn’t trying to win a bounty for knocking out Favre:

    It’s the play in the first quarter where he got hit under the chin long after he had handed that ball of the Percy Harvin. It is extremely rare for QBs to be hit after handing the ball off.

    And given what we know now- that the bounty was $10,000 and not the $1,000 to $1,500 numbers that were being thrown around before- I have come around to the opinion that these bounties were a huge part of how that game played out.

    I will not go so far as to say the outcome would have been different, but I can no longer rule it out.

    No matter how much money you have, nobody is going to sneeze at an envelope with $10k Large in it.

  35. nineroutsider says: Mar 5, 2012 4:18 PM

    Well the good news is we know we can trust the league, it’s not like they have burned incriminating video evidence in a dumpster fire in the past.

    (For you geniuses who want to point out that this isn’t the same thing, don’t waste your time please…)

    The easiest way to get rid of the foul stench coming out of New Orleans is take Benson up on his offer to move the team (like he wanted to do right after Katrina), to wipe out their history, to change their team name and uniforms. Still penalize the new team and coaches though. Yeah, that will work.

  36. geauxmez says: Mar 5, 2012 4:18 PM

    lame. this was the best game of the 2009 season. Pocket change aside… everyone wants to see hard hits. It’s what made football, football.

  37. aardvark4gb12qb15 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:19 PM

    No worries NFL. All I want to watch over again is Favre’s interception to Porter at the end of the game. I’ll go to youtube and select a replay complete with the Paul Allen call from the Vikings radio station broadcast. I love to be reminded about how this was the Super Bowl and not Detroit! What a golden moment in radio history!

  38. noquickreactionshere says: Mar 5, 2012 4:19 PM

    jigga757 says:
    Mar 5, 2012 4:12 PM
    this saints bounty mess is a bunch of BS!!! if they had a bounty program i couldnt see it the way matt hasslebeck tourched them and why didnt they have one on calvin johnson who caught 210 yards and 12 catches or on vernon davis who ran only 2 routes to get 180 yards or eli manning who threw over 400 yards on them like matthew stafford did…SMH WOW

    _________________________________

    From what I have read the Saints have not disputed the fact that there was a bounty program…..

    Let me guess, you also don’t think Barry Bonds used steroids…..

  39. numberoneinthehoodg says: Mar 5, 2012 4:19 PM

    Maybe they’re not trying to hide what you can see. What about some audio?

  40. jeffchadwick says: Mar 5, 2012 4:19 PM

    Just go to youtube and type in “Brett Favre Saints” and see the results. Not hard to get a second look at a few of the brutal hits old man Brett was given in that game.

  41. purple4reak says: Mar 5, 2012 4:22 PM

    The NFL yanked this replay game, much like the NFL yanked the original game away from the Vikings and their fans. The same refs that spent years protecting Brett Favre if anyone laid a finger on him after the ball was released, suddenly couldn’t find their little yellow hankies. Replay it, rewatch it…you all will see the truth. The NFL wanted the Taints in the Super Bowl because it was “such a great story…their fans deserve it, the city deserves it for all they’ve been through…blah-blah-blah.” Well NFL, look how they repay ya!

  42. oberg435 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:22 PM

    Unreal, how bad did the NFL want the saints to be known for “saving the city.” No team has that power they are a football team, this is why the Vikings are the only team to loose a playoff game and gain 200yds (or somethin like that) than the other team. The vikes were a far superior team that yr. Skol, long live number 4 no matter the colors he plays in.

  43. pghguyy says: Mar 5, 2012 4:25 PM

    That game made me belive farve was the toighest sob in the game.

  44. erictheclown says: Mar 5, 2012 4:26 PM

    andrewsherylandharry says:
    Mar 5, 2012 4:03 PM
    I wonder if that nefarious friend of Payton’s shows up on the sidelines?
    ———————————————–

    Mr Percocet?

  45. herrmannator1810 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:27 PM

    Food For thought: It seems bounties with intent to injure would constitute a contract maiming or the felony offense Malicious Wounding. Different then “causing a fumble” which wouldn’t mandate excessive violence, but “$10,000 for knocking Favre Out” would. Here is a long but accurate description of the FELONY that these bounties represent. This could get ugly in A LOT of ways.

    What is Malicious and Unlawful Wounding?
    The general Virginia malicious/unlawful wounding law (Va. Code 18.2-51) states that if a person “maliciously shoots, stabs, cuts, or wounds any person or by any means causes him bodily injury, with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill” he shall be guilty of malicious wounding. However, the statute goes on to say that if the accused does the act “unlawfully but not maliciously,” he shall be guilty of unlawful wounding instead.
    One of the main differences between assault and battery and malicious/unlawful wounding is the mental state required. To obtain a conviction for malicious or unlawful wounding, the prosecutor must prove that the accused intended to “maim, disfigure, disable, or kill” the victim. This is a substantial burden. It is a burden that many jury members have difficulty with. In an assault and battery case, the prosecutor must only show the intent to do a harmful or offensive act (such as spitting on someone in a rude manner). It is not necessary that one specifically intend to shoot, stab, cut, or wound. One must only do these things maliciously, which includes extremely reckless actions. A malicious wounding becomes an unlawful wounding if an accused is provoked or acts in the heat of passion.
    The other requirement of a malicious or unlawful wounding case is a shooting, stabbing, cutting, or wounding that cases bodily injury. Generally, a malicious or unlawful wounding does not require a breaking of the skin. Nor does it require the use of a weapon, although it often does. In fact, use of fists, feet, teeth, knees are within the phrase “by any means.”
    A malicious wounding becomes an aggravated malicious wounding when the alleged victim is “severely injured and is caused to suffer permanent and significant physical impairment.”
    What is the Penalty for Malicious and Unlawful Wounding?
    Malicious Wounding and Malicious Wounding by Mob are a Class 3 felony punishable by a minimum of 5 years in jail and a maximum of 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $100,000.
    Unlawful Wounding is a Class 6 felony punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a $2,500 fine.
    Aggravated Malicious Wounding is a Class 2 felony punishable by a minimum of 20 years in jail and a maximum of life in prison, and a fine of up to $100,000.

  46. tinkerthinker26 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:27 PM

    Can we Please dismiss the Katrina Crap…If you knew anything about the city of NO or the state of Louisiana you would understand how we cringe with the idea of your so called Sympathy.Leave it alone , we certainly do.

  47. soforizo says: Mar 5, 2012 4:27 PM

    I’m by no means a Saints or Vikes fan, but I watched the game because I love the sport. But I also felt the Saints were given a lot of leeway with their hits. I came away with the impression that the NFL wanted a nice story for the Katrina stricken New Orleans.

  48. golonger says: Mar 5, 2012 4:30 PM

    Was there a bounty on Manning’s arm throwing the interception that choked-away the game? I think not!

  49. mrvikingsfan11 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:32 PM

    Damn it I had it Rec and was looking forward to watching it again, now I’m even more pissed. Show the damn game!!!!!!!

  50. crabboil says: Mar 5, 2012 4:34 PM

    What you would see is Drew Brees being driven into the ground with no flag thrown.

    Totally milking this bounty thing. What are you going to do when the real story comes out and it’s nothing close to the one that’s driving all this chicken little hysteria?

  51. darthhitman77 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:34 PM

    jigga757 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:12 PM

    this saints bounty mess is a bunch of BS!!! if they had a bounty program i couldnt see it the way matt hasslebeck tourched them and why didnt they have one on calvin johnson who caught 210 yards and 12 catches or on vernon davis who ran only 2 routes to get 180 yards or eli manning who threw over 400 yards on them like matthew stafford did…SMH WOW

    ACTUALLY, Greg Williams was quoted leading up to the wildcard game in freep about there not being any rules against the ground injuring a player, that a 6’5 receiver only 5’5 on his head and they have to use the ground as their ally…GOOGLE IT “saints hurt calvin johnson”

  52. dvdman123 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:36 PM

    As Justin Timberlake would sing “Cry Me A River Viking Fans”. The Saints won because they didn’t cough up the ball 5 times and Bret Favre still had the gunslinger mentality that got him in trouble throughout his career….end of story.

  53. dachozen1 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:39 PM

    I hope they cancel the sport all together. It has become too political and no other sport is facing this much hypocracy. This is a joke!

  54. tinkerthinker26 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:39 PM

    Answer this, If the Refs GAVE the Vikes-Saints game away then why or how did they win the Superbowl? I dont recall a sack or hit on Manning.Is it still because of Katrina? Or because Manning is from NO….I want to hear the theories?

  55. greatminnesotasportsmind says: Mar 5, 2012 4:40 PM

    I was hoping I could yank that Band-Aid off once again a re-live the heartbreak.

  56. devinmr711 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:40 PM

    The NFL has gone PG like the WWE, it will never be the same.

  57. glynners says: Mar 5, 2012 4:40 PM

    purplefaithful says: NFL or the refs wanted the Saints in the super bowl because New Orleans had been hit so hard by Katrina & it made a great story.
    ————————————————-

    Haha still with the childish conspiracy theories?

    I suppose AP felt so sorry for New Orleans he fumbled 500 times on purpose?

    I also guess Childress thought he better send 12 men into the huddle so the NFL could have a nice story?

    And then, EVEN THEN, Favre had the chance to seal the game but felt so bad about the devastation in the Big Easy that he threw the ball to Tracy on purpose?

    Bitter Vikes fan needs to get over it

  58. numberoneinthehoodg says: Mar 5, 2012 4:42 PM

    Hate to comment on my own post so thumb down away, but maybe this is why the NFL is having linemen wear microphones????

  59. musicman495 says: Mar 5, 2012 4:43 PM

    I say death by lethal injection for all Saints players and coaches. And give a Lombardi trophy each to Arizona, Minnesota, and Indianapolis. And how about another Lombardi trophy to Miami for being such great hosts, and because the Saints beat them in the regular season. And one more Lombardi trophy to everyone in the Commissioner’s office and to the referees who clearly fixed all three games. Oh, and no Saints draft choices until 3012.

    There. Feel better now?

  60. nawlinsvike says: Mar 5, 2012 4:46 PM

    had Favre not been mugged all game and hit late, he could’ve ran for the 10 yds at the end of the game instead of throwing and getting picked. Anyone that thinks that those late hits and high-low’s didnt have an effect on the outcome of that game is insane.

  61. pappavike says: Mar 5, 2012 4:49 PM

    I remember thinking before the game that no matter who wins. This will be a great game, Being a Vikings fan,Of course I wanted the vikes to win, That being said I Had no problems with the Saints winning as long as the Vikes & Saints decided the outcome, Not the Refs Everyone that has ever seen that game Knows there were missed calls but why were they missed? The high low on Farve was by far the worst. Hitting in Football is part of the game. Players know whats a clean hit and what isn’t My thought is this while paying for hits is ok! Isn’t the leader making more of a competion for more and more severe hits that lead to Injury.

  62. lovetron says: Mar 5, 2012 4:55 PM

    I get the impression that there are a lot of impressions to keep track of.

  63. crabboil says: Mar 5, 2012 5:01 PM

    By the way, I got a copy of the game off iTunes. Brett Favre gets blasted on his very first snap. It’s awesome!

  64. imaduffer says: Mar 5, 2012 5:02 PM

    The NFL Network should show a replay of this years Pro Bowl game. Welcome to the new NFL.

  65. iluvbears says: Mar 5, 2012 5:04 PM

    I was all set to watch the game this afternoon after watching the 1975 Minnesota-Dallas “Hail Mary” NFC Championship game (the Drew Pearson offensive pass interference game) and was surprised to see that they opted to air SF-Dallas instead. I agree, they didn’t want to put the Saints bounty program on display so everyone could look at it unfolding in front of their eyes with a new, fresh take on what they were seeing. I assume they would rather rely on the fan’s memories as opposed to the actual footage of it taking place at its zenith.

  66. trojan33sc says: Mar 5, 2012 5:08 PM

    Boy, in a game which is noted for defining “being a man” the NFL has clearly “Pussed-Out” !!

  67. rdcoffey5 says: Mar 5, 2012 5:12 PM

    Purplefaithful says that N.O. won the playoffs & superbowl cuz the league felt it would make a good story in light of what the city had been through with Katrina. No, no, no, vikes lost the game cause Favre coughed up a turnover at the end. However, Purplefaithful does make a point about the coincidence here and it’s not the first time it’s happened. Lest ye be reminded who won the SB after 911? You guessed it, THE PATRIOTS!!!!!! Do you all remember the very moving halftime show? It all fit in so perfectly, and the nation needed it.
    Think about it.

  68. hagigun says: Mar 5, 2012 5:13 PM

    Bounty or not…The refs had no idea it was going on at the time. They made the calls they saw. If they didn’t see a call or make a call, I really can’t see why that would have slanted their judgement knowing guys were getting paid a bonus?

    The NFL is really putting those refs in a tough spot. This shouldn’t be a ‘referee issue’, or ‘lets go back and look at the hits’ type of thing. The hits have not changed, it was the same hits that the refs did not flag, so why would it matter if the players made some cash for them?

    I am not saying the bounty stuff is legal or condoned, but it shouldn’t change the fact that the officials called what they saw at the time of the game.

    I am a Vikings fan and can say we fumbled the game away. Sure there were some missed calls and it COULD have changed the outcome, but the 12 men in the huddle and Favre’s pick on top of all the fumbles is just too much to overcome. While we may have BEEN the best team that day, we didn’t play like it and true champions find a way. We didn’t.

    Fine these clowns and lets move on. I hate the Saints but grow up, this is not a big deal and shouldn’t be treated as such. The NFL ought to get to the bottom of HGH and Steriods and stop stalling on things that are ACTUALLY cheating!

  69. contra74 says: Mar 5, 2012 5:15 PM

    dvdman123 says:
    Mar 5, 2012 4:36 PM
    As Justin Timberlake would sing “Cry Me A River Viking Fans”. The Saints won because they didn’t cough up the ball 5 times and Bret Favre still had the gunslinger mentality that got him in trouble throughout his career….end of story.
    —–
    Oh, ok. That solves the case. Lets put this whole bounty program to rest now that youve put an end to this story counselor. Regardless of them winning, it is still wrong.

  70. theytukrjobs says: Mar 5, 2012 5:28 PM

    I am usually against making a big deal about nothing. Personally I thought the spygate scandal with the patriots was mildly overblown and I hate the pats generally.

    But in this case I don’t think it can be overblown. You have an organization running a system by which players are rewarded with cash for injuring opponents. The system is cheating, since extra compensation is prohibited by NFL rules and the CBA. The system was illegal under US tax law if the income was not claimed. It could be viewed as a form of gambling on games (the player who “wins” is rewarded $10k of someone else’s money). It is downright dirty. It might be criminally illegal to pay someone to intentionally cause physical injury to another person, even if it is during a sport. US law is quite clear on this. You can’t pay a guy to go injure someone.

    This is a really, really big deal. The coaches AND top management knew about this. It is clearly cheating to use this type of cash incentive. This is a massive scandal that we are only at the tip of.

    Let’s look at it another way. Let’s say the system was set up to reward players $10k, paid by other players, for getting a TD. THAT would be cheating under NFL rules, possibly gambling, and most definately illegal under tax law if not claimed. And the fact that instead of catching a TD we are talking about committing a criminal act. Wowzers.

  71. domezo says: Mar 5, 2012 5:29 PM

    as a vikings fan i would just like to put this behind me like the ’98 season. we all knew there was something fishy going on with either the refs and the saints players. wish they get the worst punishment the NFL can allow. we all the better team DID NOT win that fateful night. SKOL VIKINGS!!!

  72. mdd913 says: Mar 5, 2012 5:34 PM

    Thank God I’ve got the blu-ray so I can watch this vicious beatdown in beautiful HD and 6.1 surround sound.

  73. colt2011 says: Mar 5, 2012 5:38 PM

    Having seen the original game and a replay, I was not impressed either time. The officiating WAS pitiful and some hits very questionable. Bountygate has only just begun. Pretty serious implications and this investigation started in 2010 (they have binders full of actual documentation-per official statement released by NFL on Friday). The “HeadHunter” is in deep doggie doo-doo. So too are coaches, players etc from Saints. Williams contract expired in NO (they sure didn’t offer him an extension) and he quickly slid in with Fisher. The other teams he worked for (also now under the microscope) he was fired from. HE confessed his indiscretions from NO. We remember the game they just yanked from viewing. This is just the tip of the iceberg!
    I’m waiting for more news on Peyton, in between scandals!

  74. edenprairieballer says: Mar 5, 2012 5:45 PM

    Sean Payton is the John Calipari of the NFL. Just dirty and sleazy. Cal has had two final fours vacated i don’t see any reason why a Super Bowl can’t be vacated.

    Skol Vikes

  75. sarro5 says: Mar 5, 2012 5:48 PM

    hagigun

    “Fine these clowns and lets move on. I hate the Saints but grow up, this is not a big deal and shouldn’t be treated as such.”

    You are kidding right?? I agree the offense of the bounty program really isn’t that bad. The fact that the NFL contacted the team and asked them to stop this if it is indeed happening. The teams owner told the G.M. that if this is going on, this needs to end. To have over 20 members of your organization flat out lie to investigators to cover up the story…… Yeah, I think that is a problem and needs to be dealt with.

    For this so called program to be funded by a 2 time convicted felon that you allow to patrol your sidelines even though he is not employed by the Saints is troubling too, but to have e-mail evidence that the Head Coach associated with this guy is sickening. I used to like Payton, but now I an saddened by this story.
    I wouldn’t lose any sleep if there ass clowns never were employed in the NFL again. Legal hard hits are one thing. Purposely trying to injure other players to enhance your chances at winning is unacceptable.
    Didn’t the Saints have a Union Rep then?? For as long as I can remember all I heard was how the players are united as far as Labor and Ownership went. I guess this excluded the “Aint’s”.
    How embarrassing….

  76. jesse1834 says: Mar 5, 2012 5:50 PM

    As much as Goodell probably hates what happen in New Orleans, DC, and Buffalo…it keeps the NFL in the news until free agency starts.

  77. captaintriumph says: Mar 5, 2012 7:00 PM

    That game was fixed. It’s not just about dirty hits – check the officiating in overtime. 5 terrible calls all in a row to make sure Favre never got the ball.

  78. bagadeez04 says: Mar 5, 2012 7:27 PM

    This is silly of the NFL. Reminds me of when they showed the spygate tape on NFL Network and then the NFL Confiscated and destroyed all the tapes.

    As much as I love NFL football, the league (Goodell) acts like tyrants with this stuff.

    I really don’t think fans care much about this bounty stuff anyways.

  79. jollyjoker2 says: Mar 5, 2012 7:32 PM

    I think it was a combination of both. Favre was getting rolled up on left and right for no reason outside of maiming. This revelation coming out was not a surprise to me.. I am suprised it didn’t come out a year earlier….. The vikes should have gotten back at them in the following year by taking the 15 yard penality after body slamming brees head first into the capet. I tell you what, if the saints GM and coach are not fired, I would call on any team to hit them to take out ACl’s.

  80. dallasstars9 says: Mar 5, 2012 7:42 PM

    Who the hell watches a replay of a game anyway?!?!

  81. n001363 says: Mar 5, 2012 9:12 PM

    The game is tainted. The refs overlooked the obvious fouls, and the tape will prove it. This is a non issue if your not a viking fan, but I am. This is proof they have something to hide, and everyone who doesn’t think this concerns you because your not a Vikings or Colts fan, you can go F#*CK yourself!

  82. n001363 says: Mar 5, 2012 9:19 PM

    Saints fans. Forever the paper bag team. They have to cheat to win. Bring on another Hurricane and wipe the whole city into the ocean.

  83. deeppurple23 says: Mar 5, 2012 9:45 PM

    The NFL has known this was a bad deal all along, they fined the Saint players a combined $125K after the game. I guess that’s what you want coming out of conference championship game…

  84. nofunleague says: Mar 6, 2012 12:22 AM

    Tape Gate, Jets coaches tripping gunners, bounties. The NFL has been corrupt since they buried Hoffa in the end zone. anyone who bets any money on NFL games, other than the refs, should have their heads examined. Take your wife out to dinner and have some real fun. Screw all of these millionaires.

  85. axespray says: Mar 6, 2012 2:42 AM

    Did the bounty involve The Vikings putting 12 men in the huddle when they were in field goal range(which then led to Favre having to make something out of nothing = int.) ?
    Did The bounty involve the vikings fumbling 3 or 5 times in that game?
    Seriously, that bounty is messed up, but this is BRETT FAVRE we’re talking about, he was beat up worse in games against Warren Sapp, to up and say that a team’s superbowl win is tainted? c’mon now, if the bounty decides games then how did inferior teams like the 7-9 Seahawks man handle the defending champion Saints ?
    I mean, hasselback isn’t exactly known as an Iron Man.

  86. axespray says: Mar 6, 2012 2:45 AM

    edenprairieballer says:Mar 5, 2012 5:45 PM
    “Sean Payton is the John Calipari of the NFL. Just dirty and sleazy. Cal has had two final fours vacated i don’t see any reason why a Super Bowl can’t be vacated.
    Skol Vikes”

    considering Coaches since the beginning of the NFL probably had bounty programs, do you want every single championship vacated cause a team hit “too hard”? Skol we’re soft!

  87. truthserum4u says: Mar 6, 2012 4:05 AM

    mdd913 says:Mar 5, 2012 5:34 PM

    Thank God I’ve got the blu-ray so I can watch this vicious beatdown in beautiful HD and 6.1 surround sound.

    ——————————–

    Beatdown? What game did you watch? The Vikings rolled over that New Orleans defense the entire game.

    Even with the benefit of a bazillion turnovers and getting away with constant cheap shots, the Saints needed the refs to help them win the game in overtime.

  88. truthserum4u says: Mar 6, 2012 5:55 AM

    realitypolice -

    I asked you to explain your point of view on this subject on another thread and you gave a legit account of your take. Glad to see you coming around on this though.

    At the time of McCrary’s hit on Favre after the handoff, I thought they were going after him as Gregg Williams stated they would before the game. While definately the most questionable, there were two other hits that were close behind. McCrary taking two steps and then diving at Favre’s lower legs (during the hi-low on the first INT) and the d-lineman picking Favre up and pile driving him were nearly as blatant.

    Whether driven by a bounty or not, there were numerous cheap shots throughout that game by the Saints.

  89. brobokil says: Mar 6, 2012 11:47 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 bad 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.

    Maybe that’s why the NFLN pulled the game. It was called incorrectly. The NFL actually admitted this mind you.

    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 eaon. 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. 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.

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