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After Solving All Problems In The Country, Congress Set To Take On The NFL.

It is a joyful day here at Raised On Hoecakes as Congress, having solved all problems facing the country (including the problem of Congress itself) has found itself so bored and without anything to do it needs to look at the NFL “Bounty Scandal.”

In case you aren’t familiar with the scandal, the NFL’s New Orleans Saints had a program of giving extra money to defensive players for certain types of plays, the most troubling of which were plays where a player ended up being hurt. The program was run by players, but coaches and members of the organization knew of the program and knew it was against the rules of the league.

The program runs in violation of league rules, and the investigation showed that Saints players received $1,500 for a “knockout” hit and $1,000 for a “cart-off” hit, with payouts doubling or tripling during the team’s three playoff appearances.

A memo sent to clubs throughout the league included a statement on how Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma put up $10,000 cash as a bounty before a playoff game, a source familiar with the memo told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora.

The memo also said Mike Ornstein, a noted marketing agent who has close ties to Saints coach Sean Payton and has worked with him on projects in the past, put up money as a bounty at least twice.

The program also entailed payments for interceptions and fumble recoveries, which also violates league rules against non-contract bonuses. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will determine the appropriate discipline based on the investigation, the [NFL] said in a statement.

After an extensive investigation where several members of the Saints’ organization lied to league investigators, the NFL handed down penalties to the organization with player specific penalties to follow. Those penalties include:

» The New Orleans Saints are fined $500,000. In addition, because the violation involves a competitive rule, the Saints will forfeit their selections in the second round of the 2012 and 2013 NFL drafts.

» Saints Head Coach Sean Payton is suspended without pay for the 2012 NFL season, effective April 1.

» Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis is suspended without pay for the first eight regular-season games of the 2012 season.

» Former Saints (and current St. Louis Rams) defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is suspended indefinitely from the NFL, effective immediately. Commissioner Goodell will review Coach Williams’ status at the conclusion of the 2012 season and consider whether to reinstate him, and, if so, on what terms. Commissioner Goodell said he will give close attention to the extent to which Coach Williams cooperates with the NFL in any further proceedings.

» Saints assistant Head Coach Joe Vitt is suspended without pay for the first six regular-season games of the 2012 season.

Pretty stiff and damaging penalties and as we said, the penalties and fines for the players involved are yet to come.

With nothing better to do, Senator Dick Durbin (D – Illinois) is now calling for a Senate Judiciary Hearing on the matter.

The assistant Senate majority leader, an Illinois Democrat, said Thursday he wants to examine whether federal law should make such bounty systems a crime.

“Let’s be real basic about it here. If this activity were taking place off of a sporting field, away from a court, nobody would have a second thought [about whether it’s wrong]. ‘You mean, someone paid you to go out and hurt someone?’ ” Durbin said in a telephone interview before raising the issue on the floor of the Senate.

“It goes way beyond the rules of any sporting contest, at least team contest, to intentionally inflict harm on another person for a financial reward,” he said.

So let’s see….

You have a sporting league in which a team and players violated the rules and contracts administered by that league were severely punished and now there needs to be a federal law on this subject?

People are paying too much at the gas pump, the Congress won’t pass a budget, crony capitalism is rampant, and this – a problem that has been resolved – is what Durbin wants to look at?

“I am encouraged by what the National Football League did. What they came down with as a penalty on the New Orleans Saints was decisive and historic,” Durbin said, adding that he thought the league was “taking this very seriously.”

But moving forward, the NFL and other leagues must “come up with standards to make sure this isn’t going to happen again,” he said. Otherwise, lawmakers will need to “at least explore whether it is necessary to have federal legislation in this area.”

One possibility, Durbin explained, would be to extend federal sports bribery laws to cover bounties, so that “if someone offers in a team sports situation some sort of value, money or otherwise, to intentionally hurt another player, that, in fact, would be a crime.”

Yo, Dick!

The NFL and other leagues all have rules in place against this type of “bounty program.” Or are you that stupid to think that a league can simply punish people at will?

It’s enough to make you want to pull your hair out.

This is nothing but a ploy by Durbin to get some face time and distract people from the lousy job Congress and Obama are doing.

Of course, representatives from various leagues will go to Congress, sit at a table and be berated by people like Durbin. The representatives will nod and agree with what is said and offer faux penitence for an issue that has already been handled in a manner in accordance with league rules and policies. Instead, what the representatives should do is stand up and tell Congress to stop trying to look into matters that are not an issue and fix the issues that are.

Better yet, stay the heck out of people’s lives.

The representatives won’t do that, of course, because it would bring the wrath of Congress down on their heads.

Please, Dick, please just shut up and work on actual problems in the country – such as Congress itself – instead of ones that garner you headlines.



2 Responses to “After Solving All Problems In The Country, Congress Set To Take On The NFL.”

  1. Hmm, that seems familiar 😀

    Anyhow, Dick needs something to distract from the shear incompetence and feckless behavior of Democrats as the election approaches. We will surely see many more distractions as the general election comes closer.

    • AAfterwit says:

      I think I saw something similar on another blog, but I am not sure. 😉

      This may be one time the government is being transparent. This is a transparent by a Senator from Illinois trying to distract from the record of the Congress and the guy in the White House.

      Only an idiot won’t see it as being something else.

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