Two years ago the New Orleans Saints were Super Bowl Champions and everyone in the nation instantly became a fan of a great team and a wonderful organization. No one would've thought otherwise.
Early Wednesday morning NFL commissionaire Roger Goodell instituted his rule, by punishing the team and making it clear who runs the show in the league. In general he decided to show the Saints and the entire league the act of bounties in the NFL will not be tolerated by any team, coach or player.
Here's brief a background, of what was incorporated by the Saints' defense for three seasons, beginning in 2009, the team operated a bounty program that offered rewards for seriously injuring or knocking opposing players out of games. Players that are said to be victims of the Saints bounty program include quarterbacks Cam Newton, Brett Farve, Aaron Rodgers and Kurt Warner.
Goodell stamped his foot and handed down the punishment for the crime, where it may damage the team this season but it also set word around the NFL to never let happen again.
The inconceivable step goodell made was suspending Saints head coach Sean Payton for the 2012 season without pay ($7 million). He also suspended Saints general manager Mickey Loomis for eight games without pay and assistant head coach Joe Vitt was suspended for six games without pay.
Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who instituted the bounty program in New Orleans, has been suspended indefinitely. Williams had left the Saints to become defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams. Jeff Fisher, Rams head coach acknowledged the situation and recognized the crime and the coach of who, Williams is and will make the necessary changes he sees fit.
In addition New Orleans will forfeit their second-round draft choice this year and in 2013. They also have been fined $500,000.
The punishment may seem harsh to some but to others it defines it's purpose. In the next few weeks prior to the draft expect some of the Saints defensive players to also receive some sort of suspension and/or fine from the NFL.
To "Who Dat Nation" and the city of New Orleans this couldn't have come at a higher price especially to lose their team leader head coach Payton for the entire season. The Saints are a team that means more to the city than any other franchise in the NFL. The players, coaches and the dome the team plays in, played a significant role in building back many of their lives.
Fans must stop looking for answers as to why the punishment was severe or blame it all on Goodell. It’s not his fault for doing his job. The bulk of Saints family is still intact and will find the power to strengthen together as players, coaches and fans to make this season a great one with the hopes of returning to the Super Bowl.