Thursday, February 7, 2013

Is Bounty-Gate Finally Behind Us Now?

For at least the majority of the second half of the season I don't think I heard the Bounty-Gate scandal mentioned too often. Of course during the playoffs it wasn't since the Saints didn't even make the playoffs.

Now it did creep back into the spotlight in the week prior to the Super Bowl that saw Roger Goodell come to a city--New Orleans-- that had every reason to hate him with a deep an intense passion.

And they did. Many bars and eating establishments made it no secret that the commissioner of the NFL was not welcome in their place of business. Plenty of folks hung Goodell in effigy. Dart boards everywhere had a picture of him front and center. There were even floats in local Mardi Gras parades that made sure it was clear how people felt about Goodell.

As much as the Bounty Gate was black mark on the integrity of the league, the way it was handled was even worse. Paul Tagliabue did the fans and Goodell a favor when he vacated the punishment for the players. That just left the suspensions of head coach Sean Payton and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

Payton was reinstated prior to the Super Bowl and on Thursday the league announced that the suspension on Williams had now been lifted as well. Williams immediately took a job as senior assistant/defense for the Tennessee Titans.

Williams will be subject to monitoring throughout the season, but for all intents and purposes he is free and clear of any and all punishment capable of earning a living like he has for years (minus the bounties of course).

So with that, the reinstatement of the mastermind of the bounty system, is this ugly period in NFL history finally behind us? Are we done hearing about this mess for good?

There are no pending lawsuits anymore. No one seems to be complaining about anything anymore. All is quiet on the Big Easy front, right?

The answer to that is sadly almost. During the draft the team will not have a pick in the second round., the last sanction against the team.

Then--and only then--can we finally be done with this mess.

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