The man who quarterbacked the Miami Dolphins during their glory days of yesteryear has addressed the recent bounty brouhaha by explaining that, in his day, bounties weren’t used because bounties weren’t needed.
“Everybody would try to get the quarterbacks out of the game back then,” Griese said Thursday, via the Associated Press. “They weren’t getting paid for it. They would just try to knock you out.”
Griese explained that it was simply part of the game.
“It wasn’t malicious, it was just hard hitting,” Griese said. “There were no bounties. They kind of knew that if you knock the quarterback out of the game, you had a pretty good chance of winning.”
And that’s where we’ll split with Griese’s logic. The same logic that existed in the ’70s applies today. If the starting quarterback can be knocked out of the game, the chances of winning increase.
Hell, that’s why Gregg Williams offered his players money as an inducement to try.
Indeed, that concept may be even more true today than it was in the 1970s, when quarterbacks did far less passing than they now do. (Although those Urkel glasses Griese wore surely provided extra temptation for a defensive end to blast him.)
Bounties aren’t a product of an era. They’re a product of a mindset that transcends time. The question is whether they’ll continue in the wake of the Saints scandal.
Even if they don’t, defenses will recognize the benefit of knocking the opposing quarterback out of the game. The trick will be to not talk about it. Or to offer anyone money to do it.