Tag Archives: New Orleans Saints

Linebackers as Modern Day Bounty Hunters

3 Mar

Jack Lambert -- not afraid to hit.

Jack Lambert, the “Man of Steel” who played middle linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is famous for tough hits and saying that quarterbacks should be forced to wear dresses.

It was a cute little quote suggesting the sport of football is all about violence, and that the violence should not be held in check.

But football also is about money, lots of money, and when you mix money with violence, you end up with sub-human behavior.

It was revealed this week that members of the New Orleans Saints contribute bounty money to pay players who seriously hurt members of the opposing team. A hit that results in a player being carried off the field earned $1,000; if a player was knocked out of a game the payoff was $1,500, and so forth. In a 2009 playoff, it appears a bounty of $10,000 was provided for disabling a quarterback.

So … does this make football fans feel good or bad? Or indifferent?

While the athletic abilities and physical finesse of NFL players are sublime, the brutality of football may be its biggest attraction. With the epidemic of concussions, things are being done to make the game safer, with the risk of making it less lucrative. Despite this, the game probably won’t get much safer until the players – who gain so much from winning – accept that football is not the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

They might be convinced of this if the NFL trots out the hundred of retired players who are physical wrecks, the ones who live with daily pain and don’t even get medical coverage from their former teams. Let these guys lecture the active players – like one of Scrooge’s ghosts.

That might convince them.

Even better, for at least one game, make them all wear dresses.

The preservation of the game is at stake.

 

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