How would you like it?
Perhaps that is the only question reporters should pose to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees when inquiring about his opinion regarding the devastating bounty scandal surrounding the Saints franchise.
His insistence that his teammates and coaches are not guilty of any such program which paid incentives for vicious hits and injured players, despite incriminating evidence and constant apologies from the mastermind behind the whole system, is absolutely head-scratching.
And yet, despite how clearly uneducated Brees is about what was going on in the locker room as well as the reports that have surfaced this offseason, he continues to go to bat for his teammates rather than choosing to decline giving an answer to anything related to the Saints’ bounty scandal.
You could call the Saints signal-caller admirably loyal—maybe—but in being so faithful to his teammates, he has emerged as an utter buffoon.
His failure to distance himself from the situation has harmed his credibility—as did wavering between unknowing of any sort of bounty scandal, to being positive no such thing ever took place—and it is very possible Brees has placed a target upon his own head going into the 2012 NFL season.
How would he like it if an opponent aimed to hurt him, maybe even end his career like they could have done while targeting Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton? Or Michael Crabtree? Or Aaron Rodgers?
How would he like it if his entire livelihood was intentionally threatened? How would he like it if his opponents’ cruel intentions were putting his very existence on the line, all for a few extra bucks?
There are hundreds of former NFL players fighting/suing the league in light of health problems the Saints were aiming to inflict upon their opponents.
The next time Brees decides to speak out in honor of teammates and coaches, defending their integrity without taking into consideration the stark reality this entire scandal has brought about, maybe he should stop for a moment and meditate on those thoughts. Surely, his bitter feelings towards the punishments laid upon the Saints would subside—assuming Brees is as intelligent a man as he appears to be.
Football is a naturally violent sport. Players are taught to hit and hit hard. However, that does not and should not ever excuse the animalistic intent to injure an opponent no matter the level of seriousness behind it. What the Saints have been accused of is inexcusable and should not have a blind eye turned to it—not even by Brees—just because “everyone else does it”.
Your mother has told you a million times in your life, “Just because everyone does it doesn’t mean it’s right!”
What the Saints have been accused of—and what has plenty of proof behind it—is not right.
Whether Brees, a role model for children and widely considered one of the NFL’s classiest players, chooses to accept the truth and keep his mouth shut when speaking on the bounty scandal is his own decision.
But the next time Brees chooses to defend his teammates and coaches despite all the incriminating evidence and in spite of the threats placed upon his fellow NFL players, such as the young Cam Newton whose livelihood could have been taken from him before it ever really began, I hope someone will ask him just once:
How would you like it?