The terms are synonymous these days and with the news that newly-hired St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator/New Orleans, Buffalo, Washington, et al, coordinator/coach being summoned by the league big wigs for a pow-wow about what’s transpired this past weekend, one has to wonder if the fire pit has already been built.
Williams, who has been connected with bounty schemes and play for pay incentives at just about every stop along his career, has been told that he has to report to league headquarters to talk about it. Yes, Williams has gone on record and apologized – publicly admitting that he was aware of his behavior, saying that it was wrong, thus setting up an awkward meeting that will have Williams sitting across from administrators who know deep down that what Williams has done isn’t anything new.
Locker rooms with players’ cigar boxes filled with cash to be handed out to those who fulfill specific incentives is nothing new in professional football and the practice goes back to the early days of the game when it was not only a lot rougher, but not as lucrative. Not only did it add spice to the day’s game, it provided a few extra bucks for the players who not only played the games on the weekends, but held down regular jobs during the week.
To be a fly on Roger Goodell’s wall during this meeting … to hear the noble gestures about ethics and the integrity of the game would be priceless.
No doubt some type of penalties will be incurred – not only by Williams, but by the New Orleans Saints. Press conferences and news releases will include demands by the league for teams to frown upon any future shenanigans and those involved in this most recent activity will again apologize.
Then hopefully everyone will get back to the business of football. There will be hard hits on quarterbacks, players will get injured and carried off the field … that’s the grisly nature of the game.
Will players again get back to slipping one another C-notes? Probably. Will it hurt the integrity of the game? Only if they get caught.