Rand: Big Hurt in Big Easy demands justice

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 5, 2012 - 7:00 AM

Possible solutions to resolve what happened to the Vikings at the Superdome two years ago.

hide

Brett Favre, who grimaced in pain after a big hit in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship Game in New Orleans after the 2009 season, was a target of Saints defensive players who got paid for putting players out of commission.

Photo: Brian Peterson, DML - Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Vikings fans are outraged -- and more so than they have been, as a general rule, for the past 35 years or so without a Super Bowl appearance.

The revelation by the NFL and subsequent reports on Friday that Saints players had "bounties" out on specific players -- quite notably Brett Favre in the NFC title game following the 2009 season -- adds another layer to the angst of a fan base that already had a hard time telling which part is scab and which part is skin anymore.

This is like Drew Pearson admitting he pushed off. It's like finding out the ball Gary Anderson kicked was somehow tampered with in the post-1998 NFC title game (TIME TO CONFESS, ATLANTA!). Without a gimpy ankle suffered from one of the many cheap shots that game, is Favre a different quarterback on that final, fateful drive in regulation?

The players and coaches involved figure to be punished. The Saints organization, too, will likely be hit. But that means nothing to a Vikings fan who watched the latest best chance to reach the Super Bowl two years ago evaporate by the thinnest of margins -- a sliver perhaps influenced by those cheatin' Saints.

As such, we have determined any punishment levied by the league needs to look backward and not just forward. Anything short of one or more of the options listed below will simply not suffice:

• Forfeiture of the NFC crown and Super Bowl title by the Saints. We won't be so bold as to say the Vikings should be named the rightful winners of the NFC that season, but if the league wants to go that far, so be it. At the very least, take it away from the Saints. You can say "everyone is doing it" when it comes to these bounties. But the Saints were caught in a big way. And if that was a viable defense, there would still be a Final Four banner hanging in Williams Arena.

• Replay the entire NFC title game, reassembling the rosters of both teams exactly as they were for the game. Sure, this would mean bringing back players who have moved on from both sides. But it's the fairest way to solve this problem. And besides, it would give Favre a league-sanctioned reason to come back one more time.

• Jail time for the Saints players and coaches. Per a friend, the legal implications of these bounties were being debated quite heavily over the weekend by those with extensive knowledge of the law. Their conclusions did not rule out prosecution.

• For those who prefer an "eye for an eye," a predetermined number of unabated and certainly cheap hits on Drew Brees by Jared Allen. This won't solve the problem of the result from the game, nor is it particularly fair to Brees. But vengeance is vengeance.

• The disbandment and/or permanent relocation of the Saints franchise. You might have heard Los Angeles is looking for a team.

MICHAEL RAND

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta - A. Wood 3:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Arrieta
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - A. Burnett
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Kluber
NY Yankees - H. Kuroda 6:05 PM
Baltimore - M. Gonzalez
Pittsburgh - J. Locke 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - M. Latos
Miami - H. Alvarez 6:10 PM
NY Mets - Z. Wheeler
Toronto - M. Buehrle 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
LA Angels - G. Richards 7:05 PM
Texas - N. Tepesch
St. Louis - J. Kelly 7:10 PM
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo
Boston - J. Lackey 7:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Detroit - A. Sanchez 7:10 PM
Kansas City - D. Duffy
Minnesota - K. Johnson 7:40 PM
Colorado - J. De La Rosa
San Diego - J. Hahn 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Oakland - J. Samardzija 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Arizona - M. Bolsinger 9:15 PM
San Francisco - T. Lincecum
D.C. 10:00 PM
San Jose
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 7/12/14 5:30 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 7/12/14 8:30 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 7/17/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 7/18/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Hamilton 7/18/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Montreal 7/19/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Los Angeles 6:30 PM
New York
Seattle 7:00 PM
San Antonio
Phoenix 7:30 PM
Chicago
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close