If you’ve been keeping up with the latest NFL chatter, you have surely heard about the NFL investigation and crackdown on the New Orleans Saints for violating league rules. It has been written about in the various news outlets about the “Bounty Rules” that the Saints had out on players of opposing teams.New Orleans Saints football players and at least one assistant coach kept a cash bounty pool of up to $50,000 the last three seasons to reward game-ending injuries inflicted on opposing teams’ players, including Kurt Warner and Brett Favre, says the NFL .
“Knockouts” were worth $1,500 and “cart-offs” $1,000, with payments doubled or tripled for the playoffs.
These revelations have caused some Detroit Lions fans on fan forums and Lions fan Facebook Groups to try and excuse the Lions for their lack of control in games.
The news of these “Bounty Rules” even has stirred up questions in some media members as to the true level of guilt to be assigned to the Lions for their actions, the talented Mlive writer Anwar Richardson posed the question “is it possible Lions players were just frustrated because the Saints – more like Devils – were playing dirty?”
Anwar’s article is an interesting read and the way many die-hard Lions fans have reacted is to be expected but let’s be real here for a second.
The Detroit Lions have absolutely no one to blame but themselves for giving away good chances to win against football teams that they match up very well with in the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints.
It is true that what the New Orleans Saints have been caught for doing is wrong and truly dirty, but do you think for a second that this type of thing isn’t going on all over the NFL? Besides that, the Lions didn’t play against the Saints every week did they? Of course not, so let’s not look at everything through Honolulu Blue colored glasses. (It’s hard for me too!)
The truth is that whatever happened to the Detroit Lions has happened to every other NFL team as well and most of them reacted far better than the Lions did, the problem lies in the way that our young Lions handled themselves. Period.
After the back to back losses to the Packers and the Saints, Jim Schwartz readily admitted that the Lions are not being provoked anymore than usual for the NFL when he said….
“I wouldn’t say it’s any kind of provoking,” Schwartz said. “It’s stuff that happens within just about every single football game. There’s things that happen that you have to walk away from and these last two weeks we haven’t walked away from them. I don’t think it’s anything that anybody was particularly scheming to do or anything like that.”
And coach is absolutely right, the problem is Jim Schwartz has to put this to an end for good or the team will falter. These last two years the Detroit Lions have been one of the most penalized teams in the league. The Lions and the Raiders seem to go neck and neck in regard to penalties and lack of discipline.
The Lions were the 3rd most penalized team in 2011 after being the 2nd most penalized in 2010. Jim Schwartz is already many Lions fans favorite Lions coach ever, he definitely is my favorite but he has to “up his game” when it comes to curbing team penalties. Especially those that come before and after the whistle.
If this doesn’t get cleaned up, the Lions will fall short of the greatness that is within their reach. It’s really hard to run to a championship title with self-inflicted bullets in the foot.
So even though I’m glad to see the Saints get busted and I hope they get spanked good and plenty by the league(dummies shouldn’t have gotten caught, lol), let’s not give the Detroit Lions a free pass. They have to clean up this mess they have made for themselves and start playing clean football if they want to win big. Bounty or no Bounty.