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Friday, May 14, 2010

The Shield

If you read, then you know how well they cover stories. They handle the mundane signings and trade talks, etc. But PFT takes it several steps further when discussing contract negotiations, labor agreements and most importantly, legal matters. It's what makes them one of the best sites for football out there. Fantasy nuts won't get their full-fledged intake -- but there's more to the game than stats and injuries. And that's where PFT sets themselves apart, by handling the nuances of the NFL and how the small intricacies really matter.

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The most recent evidence of proof with this is on display with two matters -- Brian Cushing's recent suspension, and the New Orleans Saints Vicodin scandal, which is the purpose of this piece.

If you haven't been paying attention to the matter -- here's the synopsis of the Saints controversy:

* The Saints head of security was suing the team and was going to expose drug abuse/theft with 2 high level figures in the organization -- those two high level figures were Assistant head coach - Joe Vitt, and Head Coach Sean Payton.

* The Saints General Manager, Mickey Loomis, attempted to cover up the matter to avoid exposing Vitt and Payton as the guilty parties

* The head of security for the Saints decided to withdraw the lawsuit and let it be settled in arbitration -- in other words -- he'll get some payment for his grievances

With the arbitration, it's all going away -- this little matter of the assistant head coach swiping Vikes to support the head coach's habit, while having the GM attempt to conceal the matter (by telling the security guy to destroy the evidence, and then replace the evidence with un-incriminating surveillance).

But the cat's out of the bag -- some sort of tomfoolery was taking place -- stealing drugs, destroying/tampering with evidence -- I'm no Jack McCoy but me thinks those are criminal actions. Yet they are actions that will be part of an arbitration hearing where details can not be divulged in any capacity -- in other words -- the general public will never know how bad or blatant the Saints committed these crimes.

Even though the general public will never know these things -- will Commissioner Goodell and the NFL offices know these things. Because last I checked -- all of this happened under the NFL shield, right? So where do privacies begin and end?

And that's the big question I'd like answered. Because the Saints management tarnished the shield. The shield in which Roethlesberger also tarnished. The shield in which Belicheck was chewed up and spit out for tarnishing.

If Goodell knows the details, which I'm sure he does, will he penalize the Saints? Will he penalize the criminal behavior of their Assistant Head Coach, their Head Coach, and their GM -- the only ones missing in this cover-up is the President of the organization and owner Tom Benson.

It's time for Goodell to show consistency. As of now, the only Coach and Management team penalized by Goodell has been New England for Spygate -- New England was SLAMMED with penalties by Goodell -- losing a 1st round draft pick -- i believe another pick and receiving cash fines. Meanwhile, players get suspended regularly for far worse.

By all accounts, the Saints actions did not give them a competitive edge -- which so many people clamored about with New England's issue -- even though so many experts, especially former players, talked about what New England did was common behavior and widespread across a lot of franchises -- Despite this not being a competitive issue -- the Saints have tarnished the shield in a BIG way -- they broke the law -- in multiple ways -- and it wasn't a ball boy or an equipment manager -- it was the GM and top coaches -- aka the leaders of the organization.

So, Commissioner Goodell, on behalf of Patriot nation -- we can't wait to see how the Saints are handled -- the beloved Saints who pulled out from the dregs of NFL basement... who brought a city together -- whose coach isn't ornery and grouchy like Sir William --

Justice is blind -- too bad -- because if Justice could see the NFL shield right now -- there's a huge rip right square in the middle of it.

The Commish the head contributor to the Bingo Bar Blog and aspiring journalist. He's made his bones covering the MVFFL as a beat writer and now enjoys a freelance career.

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