5.1.12 - Kristian Garic reporting - Kristian@wwl.com
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has taken long enough in handing down punishments for Saints players involved in the teams bounty program. It's time for the ''emperor'' to rule and move on with it. The Saints organization deserves closure and the players deserve to know their fate. I've been a supporter of Goodell; I was in his corner when he crushed the Saints by suspending head coach Sean Payton (a full season) and General Manager Mickey Loomis (8 games) along with assistant head coach Joe Vitt (6 games). Not on this one, Goodell has dragged his feet long enough. The Saints are trying to move on and prepare for the regular season that will already require them to be without their General (Sean Payton) and their front office wizard Mickey Loomis.
It's only fair, right? It's only fair that the players learn what they face, right? It's only fair that the team can prepare for possible life without leaders such as Jon Vilma, Roman Harper, Will Smith and maybe more. I'm not sure the commissioner cares about fairness. Mr. Goodell, you have flexed your muscle loud and clear with aforementioned suspensions. Can you cut the Saints some slack? I'm not asking for a reduction in possible suspensions, but at least give it to them already and quit tap dancing. It's perplexing to see the commissioner speak out (with NFL network) prior to handing down suspensions, as if he's trying to gauge the public support he would get. If you have evidence, release the evidence against the players and move on with it. Goodell has always acted swiftly on player discipline dolling out fines and suspensions like a bar tender handing out shots on New Year ’s Eve. Isn't it time? Don't the fans have the right to know? Don't the players have the right to know? Don't the Saints have the right to know?
I've sent repeated requests to the league office for interview(s) with the Commissioner only to be declined. I think the commissioner owes the Saints and the Who Dat Nation, some form of an explanation. The first question I would ask…”How do you maintain a competitive balance with the Saints and still enforce discipline? If you suspend multiple players at a time wouldn't you skew the competitive line for the Saints, Mr. Goodell? Hummm?" Also, “what about the evidence you claim you have? Don't you think the fans, media and the Saints are entitled to see that evidence? Not just in the case of the players, but in the case of Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis? Where are the 50,000 pages and 18,000 documents? Shouldn't we see them? Or, should we just take your word for it?” What would you ask the commissioner in a one on one sit down? I'm all ears. Goodell likely will not be.
Yes, it has been plenty long enough...........funny you don't hear squat about the so call "wiretapping" charges or whatever evidence anyone has. That was reported and then...nothing since!
Would be neat if u got the interview, Kristian........keep tryin'
Goodell cares about one thing
Great article by Dan Le Batard from the Miami Herald...
Lack of on the field evidence
Until any evidence is presented that shows an on the field incident of an intentional injury and the ultimate receipt of money for said injury is every presented to the general public, I and other Saints fans will not accept the diatribe that is being presented as fact. You know how you can be called to testify before congress or a grand jury. There is no evidence against you, but if they catch you in any inadvertent false statement, they just prosecute you for that. The commissioner is interviewing all Saints' defensive players without presenting to any of them any evidence of wrongdoing. If he believes they are untruthful in any way, he can suspend them for that instead of bounties. Each player should have their meeting with the commissioner with an attorney present. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk spoke to Tim Brando on his radio and TV show on CBS sports. Brando asked Florio why the NFL was taking so long handing out player punishments. Florio responded, "There is a disconnect between what Gregg Williams said on the audio tape to what actually happened on the field". The NFL announced that if the players were suspended, it would be for conduct detrimental to the NFL and not what they did on the field of play. That means the commissioner will be handling their appeals and not a third party arbitrator. If the players had been suspended for committing offenses on the field of play, they could have had the third party hear their appeal. Now, wait a second. IF the players were playing dirty on the field of play and you do not suspend for that, it does smell fishy. The fact is, the NFL has very little on the field evidence. The commissioner is circumventing the collective bargaining agreement because he knows the players would win a normal appeal with an arbitrator.