People have taken to Twitter to react to Paul Tagliabue's decision pertaining to the New Orleans Saints Bountygate scandal.
The former commissioner, who was acting as an appeals officer, has ruled to vacate (via CBS Sports) all player discipline initially handed down by current commissioner Roger Goodell.
Although the residual effects will be felt for some time for all the parties involved, this news seems to be a rather definitive end to one of the most egregious sagas in league history.
Drew Brees, the Saints' franchise player and staunch supporter of his teammates and coaches during this incident, chimed in:
Congratulations to our players for having the suspensions vacated. Unfortunately, there are some things that can never be taken back— Drew Brees (@drewbrees) December 11, 2012
Who knows how New Orleans would have played this season had all of the sanctions and subsequent distraction never come to fruition.
Then again, nothing has changed regarding Sean Payton or Gregg Williams, and SI's Peter King added on to a tweet from ESPN's Trey Wingo regarding who remains the biggest loser:
RT @wingoz: Biggest loser in this ruling? Sean Payton ... Gregg Williams.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) December 11, 2012
To many, the absence of Payton has had the most catastrophic influence on the Saints in 2012. Also, Williams' reputation in football circles has been irrevocably damaged—these rules do nothing for either significantly punished coach.
Mike Freeman of CBS Sports made an astute observation upon hearing the news:
One of the big takeaways from Tags ruling: Fujita said he was innocent all along and he was.— mike freeman (@realfreemancbs) December 11, 2012
Unfortunately, Fujita was placed on season-ending IR with a neck injury by the Cleveland Browns in October and, according to Rotoworld.com, his "career is in doubt."
Fans of the Saints and other NFL teams weren't shy to get their opinions into the Twitterverse.
Rick Lewis seems to be unaffected by the overruled penalties:
Don't hold back, Rick.
However, as you can imagine, plenty of the Saints faithful were ready to boast about the vacated sanctions.
Andrew Holleman was happy with the developments, but noted that improvements need to be made to the Saints franchise:
Very reasonable, Andrew.
Lastly, this likely will be a popular opinion for Saints supporters:
So did Goodell ruin the Saints whole season and now is just going to sweep it under the rug?— Ivor van Esch (@TheIvor) December 11, 2012
At least Bountygate will be put to rest once and for all in the coming weeks. In conclusion, it's been a horrible situation for everyone—including Roger Goodell.