New Orleans Saints' Bountygate: Gregg Williams Is a Patsy

Brendan O'HareContributor IApril 7, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 31: Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams of the New Orleans Saints looks on prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Louisiana Superdome on October 31, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Matthew Sharpe/Getty Images)
Matthew Sharpe/Getty Images

Gregg Williams is currently receiving the public desecration of a lifetime, from professional gum-flapper Cris Carter to professional writer Gregg Easterbrook, all burning a public effigy of the former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator.

They say he's allowed the NFL to lose all of its pietistic integrity and has rattled the game to its leather-encrusted core. The audio released a few days ago only seals Williams' fate as a nihilistic headhunter who probably has no further future in the NFL, his future damned by the press and former players who think he's ruined the game of football. 

All of the information above, of course, is just shock and awe drooled out of the mouths of people who claim to believe that football is safe and full of morals, and that these types of bounties are not common practice.

Certain players, like Chris Harris and Damien Woody, have come out and said these are normal actions and implied that if anyone really cared and wanted to do some further digging, he or she would probably find similar programs around the NFL.

Williams just was the only one dumb enough to leave a paper trail, and the only one absent-minded enough to leave such incriminating audio.

These snippets that are causing lace hankies to be furiously waved—"Kill the head and the body will die. Kill the head and the body will die," "Early, affect the head. Continue to touch and affect the head," "We've got to do everything in the world to make sure we kill Frank Gore's head. We want him running sideways. We want his head sideways."—are just, like, really perversely weird.

The dude is obsessed with heads as much as Robespierre. It is not the way a rationally-thinking human being has thoughts.

Then again, are we so sure about that statement? One statement that has caused uproar was about San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kyle Williams regarding his concussion-filled past:

"We need to find out in the first two series of the game, the little wide receiver, No. 10, about his concussion. We need to f--kin' put a lick on him."

Obviously, not good stuff. The problem is, the New York Giants came out during the same playoff series and pretty much admitted that they wanted to further Williams' decline into dementia:

"He's had a lot of concussions. We were just like, 'We've got to put a hit on that guy.'" said Devin Thomas, a Giants wide receiver/special teams player.

"The thing is, we knew he had four concussions, so that was our biggest thing, to take him out of the game," said Jacquian Williams, another Giants special teams member.

This was captured by a professional reporter, rather than some rogue documentarian, and was quickly swept under the rug. These players willingly spoke to the media and admitted they intentionally tried to cause a concussion.

How is Tom Coughlin's head not on a stake in the middle of a town square, the way Williams's will inevitably be? Why isn't the Giants' Super Bowl being challenged, the way people have done with the Saints? This culture exists in the NFL, and it is extremely difficult to completely wipe out.

Williams is going to get a raw deal out of this and probably feels upset that he is the only one being caught. The bounty system—the idea of "hard hits"—is prevalent everywhere in the NFL. Roger Goodell may be doing his best to convince the football-viewing public that "all is being done," and unfortunately for Williams, he is a victim of this. 

This was never about money; it is about the promotion of violence and a league that is attempting to change against its will. Due to the never-ending string of lawsuits by former players and congressional pressure, the NFL is being forced to care about head-hunting and concussions and the like.

Goodell needs to ensure that the NFL shield is eternally marketable, and if people begin to catch on that players are developing into human games of "Operation", people begin to question the morality of such a thing.

There cannot be any insinuation that football is reverting to its leather-helmeted, flying wedge days of old—as the Super Bowl commercial sponsored by the NFL Coalition Against Evil stated—and Williams is caught in the crossfire.

This is obviously Williams's own fault, and I am in no way advocating what Williams did. But he is being blamed for creating a culture that has been around for a century, and one that doesn't seem to be letting up.

Williams is being blamed for every moralistic flaw of professional football, and quite frankly, he just doesn't deserve it. 

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