Griese claims bounties weren’t needed in the ’70s

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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.

53 responses to “Griese claims bounties weren’t needed in the ’70s

  1. Guys like Deacon Jones played the game to win, no friends on the other team. Free agency wasn’t what it is today, you didn’t really change teams, so once you played for a (fill in the team) you bled for that team. QBs of other teams were fair game.

  2. There’s a difference between hitting a guy as hard as you can, and a coach telling players to hit a guy who’s had concussions in the head deliberately.

  3. Bounties aren’t a product of an era. They’re a product of a mindset that transcends time.

    But make sure to send your kids to football camp this summer, you gotta toughen (the non-brain parts of) them up!

  4. It’s funny reading the post from you You want Payton fired, you say he is pulling strings to make sure he gets his job back, you hoping Brees sits out the season. One question; WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?????? The Who Dat Express is headed to the Super Bowl, and there is nothing you can do about it!!!!!

  5. In the heat of the game a defensive player gets a rush out knocking a player out of the game with a clean hard hit. That is the nature of the game. A player knocked out of a game with a knee injury or a player who has suffered an obviously serious injury are the exceptions. In the immediacy and violently physical nature of the game there is no time for reflection.

    Coaches are under no such pressure and when they encourage players to knock out opponents they are clearly acting recklessly. I agree with Griese completely. The benefit of knocking out an opponent does not need to be discussed and should never be a point of emphasis by a coach.

  6. Yes, but there’s a big difference between trying to knock the quarterback’s socks off and literally attempting to tear his ACL. Football is vicious and there’s nothing wrong with that. But it should be like a pick-up game, brothers throwing themselves at each other, knowing they’ll get hurt, for the hell of it, because it’s fun to get back up after getting knocked down. But this pre-planning crap is not okay. Big, big difference between now and then.

  7. True talk. Exactly why roger goodell is a dbag for the insane punishments and the media sucks for harping on this story.
    People hit people in football. Really, really hard. Inflict pain; that’s the goal, that’s football.
    Go watch golf if you have a problem with violence in a sport predicated on violence.

  8. Griese’s comments just emphasis that when he played it was a game. Nowadays it’s an overhyped circus show with millionaire dancers practicing their dance moves when their team is losing by three TDs.

  9. It has always been about knocking the other players out of the game.
    The problem with the bounty system is that they are TRYING to injure.

  10. “…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”

    I told you so! everybody did it then and now.

    We demand an unconditional pardon for the saints!

  11. This was back in the ’70s when you could hit the qb. Now you can only hit the in an area the size of a strike zone and that’s if he has the ball. If not you can’t even look at him without getting a flag.

  12. Tyler says:
    Apr 12, 2012 11:27 PM
    Football was just as dirty, if not dirtier back in the 70′s.


    Indeed it was so the difference is our PC culture and general nature to be flabbergasted about anything and everything that is newsworthy or in the case of PFT – click worthy….

  13. yes, such behavior was perfectly acceptable in the ’70s. And so was drinking and driving, and littering as well. Do I need to say more? Anchor Man is funny mostly due to the absurdity of the behavior when compared to present day societal standards. Wake up old man.

  14. Like I said, reward the players today with a snickers bar or paste a 5-cent gold star on their shirt in the post game film review and it would have the same effect. Give a little individual recognition in front of your teammates and the players would respond. $50,000.00 bounties is a waste of money. Spending $1.00 or less under the right circumstances would have the same result.

    Williams is simply a douche. Always speak as if what you are saying will be on the front page tomorrow.

  15. “jbcommonsense says: Apr 12, 2012 11:21 PM
    How did Griese survive all those years as an NFL QB wearing glasses?”

    Simple, handing off to Larry Csonka about 25 times a game.

    He’s right about one thing, .. the game was viewed differently especially as it relates to hitting skill players. Today if you touch a receiver 5 yards down field, .. foul. Hit a QB that isn’t holding the ball, .. foul. Touch his head, .. foul and a fine. Back when he played QBs didn’t know what flack jackets were and were hit a lot after they threw the ball. Of course, players are MUCH bigger and stronger today. Back in the 60s-70s a big DE or OT was 275 pounds. Today that a tight end and DE and OTs are 300+. Jack Lambert was one of the most feared middle LB of his day and if I remember correctly his playing weight was about 220, .. that a safety today.

    The game has changed and there are obvious efforts to protect players. But, today’s players are bigger stronger and faster than the were in Bob’s day too.

  16. I still can’t believe that so many fans supporting the Comish’s version of “football”, and I use that term lightly now. In 10 years the game will be more like basketball, sad sad sad.

  17. @ duhbears
    Um, if someone is knocked out of a game because another player looked to knock him out, then didn’t that player INTEND to injure him? How else is he knocked out of the game? Maybe he gets the wind knocked out of him, but then the other player didn’t really succeed because the intention of knocking someone out of a game is so that they don’t come back in. And the only real way to do that is to injure him. So, in the end, the intent is to injure whether there’s a bounty in place or not.

  18. the point he and other old timers wre trying to make is that while they may have tried to knock the qb out of the game they did not need or get anything extra out of doing it. they did not take cheap shots to do it,you knew they were coming after you and tried to avoid it. I read an article yesterday about how at the end of his career and playing on bum knees guys did not take the shots that they could have at Joe Namath because they had respect for him and did not want to cripple him. in other words they did not go for his knees or try and take out hacksaw renyolds broken fibula that he played in the playoffs on. can you imagine anybody playing in todays game like that and not be taken out on a stretcher?

  19. danslonestarblog says: Apr 12, 2012 11:15 PM

    Back in my day linebackers were 10 feet tall and could breathe fire. We used to walk uphill both ways to Fidel’s mansion to party in 120 degree heat too!

    Are you INSANE ?? Have ever watched films from the antiquated “Gear” they even used in the 70’s ??? The top inside center of the of the helmet consisted of a small piece of plastic suspended by guaze, the facemask were wide enough to punch a player directly in the face, “clothes-lining” someone in the neck with your forearm was an “Artistic Skill” and if you got your teeth knocked out you went over and washed your mouth out in the bucket then went back in the game !!! Hold up your hand next time and ask Permission before you speak !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. The problem isn’t weather the game was tougher back in the day or not. The problem is the league has no idea what their identity is. They want a less violent product but continue to sell hardest hit videos. They continue to not take good care of former players that have health issues caused because of the violent culture that the NFL itself has created. The commissioner and everything he represents is a walking contradiction. Please don’t hit anyone to hard but keep the game interesting.Myself, I like everything the NFL brings. I love hard hits I love the violent nature of the game. I also love an exciting offense that can score 40 points a game. What I don’t like is the fake public persona that the NFL is very concerned about the players health. Its very much bull. They are more concerned with lawsuits and having to shell out money than they are about platers general well being

  21. If trees get cut down the woods, but no one admits to doing it publicly it or gets caught, does that mean no one is cutting down trees? Nothing will change except players will go back to using Fight Club rules when it comes to bounties.

  22. What gets me is, theyre already getting paid millions to play the game. So, you have to pay extra to get more effort from them?

  23. timsmooth says:
    Apr 12, 2012 11:20 PM
    It’s funny reading the post from you You want Payton fired, you say he is pulling strings to make sure he gets his job back, you hoping Brees sits out the season. One question; WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?????? The Who Dat Express is headed to the Super Bowl, and there is nothing you can do about it!!!!!


    Could you please point out who was saying any of that stuff about the Saints in the comments on this article?

  24. What’s up with the glasses comment Florio? You got a problem with those of us that require corrective vision? At least he didn’t quit football because of a small correctable limitation! Made a pretty good QB that had a undefeated season..

  25. “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.”

    Or continue to do it after the league tells you, in no uncertain terms, to stop doing it, then lying when you get caught, you left out those parts.

    You know, Williams talked a macho game, but when he got caught, he didn’t man up, he lied like a third grader.

  26. Although the QB wore glasses (one season), you would NEVER see Zonk, Kooch, Little, Manny, Nick, Mad Dog, or any of the other guys wearing aqua pants.

    Ross needs to call Nike today, and change the uni’s back to the old 1973 look. No aqua pants. No blue drop shadow. Block number font. Stripes on sleeves and socks. Gray face mask.

    Dress like a champion, play like a champion. See the Miami/Dallas Thanksgiving game from 2003? Wore the 73 uni’s. Played the best game they played in the last 20 years. It’s true, look it up.

  27. Apparently, the Saints are being punished for talking about hurting players. Because, none of the talk transferred to the field. They can’t find any hits that put players out games. The Saints had ZERO defensive penalties in that SF game.

  28. I don’t believe this story. The Saints are the only team in the history of football to try and take ppl out. Any other storyline is BS all the other teams love their opponents and would never think of hurting them. All the Saints D should burn in hell for all eternity and they should lock up their families cause they must have known. Oh yea lock up their pets too leave no stone unturned.

  29. Soulman45 says:
    Apr 12, 2012 11:11 PM
    Frist to say
    This is not new it the way the game should be played it a trough sport you can get hurt KO the QB is part of the game.
    A little hung over this morning?

  30. Florio why must you create a story where there isn’t one. When Griese played, players often worked other jobs during the offseason to make ends meet. Players didn’t have the money to pool together and neither did coaches for that matter, to say take this guy out and we’ll pay you this on the side(i.e. Bounties).

    Back then players played for the love of the game, to be the best. The road to the Super Bowl went through Miami, Pittsburgh, or Oakland. QBs weren’t protected like they are now, so pinning your ears back with reckless abandonment to get to the QB was acceptable. I don’t see what Griese said is so hard to understand.

  31. They weren’t doing it because they needed the money. The money just made it more exciting. Seriously, if you never played football, especially on defense, you will never ever no matter how hard you try, understand why the Saints D took place in the program in the first place. It wasn’t about winning the money, it was about winning the race to be the first to lay a hit on someone.

  32. By the way, talking 1970s NFL in the 2010s, is the same as taking 1930s NFL in the 1970s. Apples and oranges.

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