A big tip of the hat to the Commish

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 22, 2012 - 2:53 PM

Vikings players believe Roger Goodell's punishment of the Saints for "Bountygate'' was spot-on.

Members of the Vikings team that lost to New Orleans in the NFC Championship Game 26 months ago say NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acted appropriately Wednesday. And by appropriately, we mean using both barrels to blast Saints management to smithereens with a list of "Bountygate" punishments that shocked people throughout the league.

"I think it was necessary because there needs to be strong punishment any time a coach or a player thinks they can take someone else's career into their own hands and purposely do something that could end it," defensive end Jared Allen said. "We all play hard. But to give bonuses for carting someone off the field? Man, that's just wrong. There's no place for that in the NFL, and I think it's now safe to say you won't be hearing about bounties in the NFL ever again."

The Saints were caught violating the league's long-standing rule against bounties from 2009 to 2011. Head coach Sean Payton was suspended without pay for a year. General Manager Mickey Loomis was suspended for eight games. Former defensive coordinator and bounty mastermind Gregg Williams, who's now with the St. Louis Rams, was suspended indefinitely.

The Saints also were fined $500,000 and docked second-round draft picks this year and next. And that doesn't even include the punishment that's still to come for the 22 to 27 players cited in the league's investigation.

"It shows everyone that Goodell is definitely serious about player safety," defensive end Brian Robison said. "It's a tough league, but what [the Saints] did was messing with health and livelihood of guys. Goodell doesn't want to deal with this again. So he had to make an example of the Saints."

The punishment fits the crime and the attempted cover-up. At least that's how Vikings punter Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) saw things when he tweeted, "Commish sent the right message. It's one thing to break the rules. It's a completely different one to consistently lie about it for 3 years."

The Saints' 31-28 overtime victory in the NFC Championship Game in January of 2010 played a major role in this debacle. However, the bounty that was placed on then-Vikings quarterback Brett Favre isn't the reason the Vikings lost, said members of that losing team.

"We turned the ball over five times, we had 12 men in the huddle at the end," Allen said. "We did all kinds of things to ourselves that had nothing to do with bounties or anything like that."

According to the NFL's investigation, Saints linebacker and defensive captain Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 to any player who knocked Favre out of that game. Favre, who was roughed up early and often, didn't leave the game, but did injure an ankle late in the third quarter on a hit that wasn't penalized but later drew a $20,000 fine for defensive lineman Bobby McCray.

Then-Vikings coach Brad Childress later complained to the league, saying there were eight plays that should have been roughing penalties but weren't. The only one the league agreed with was the hit by McCray, which came low and from behind while then-Saints nose tackle and now former Viking Remi Ayodele was hitting Favre high and legally.

Favre threw an interception on that play, which came with the score tied and the Vikings at the Saints 24-yard line. The defense held, the Vikings got the ball back and then lost a fumble at their 7-yard line. The Saints quickly scored to take a 28-21 lead.

That was one of three fumbles the Vikings lost that day. The other two came inside the Saints 10-yard line.

Fans, however, still want to believe it was the bounty that cost the Vikings a trip to the Super Bowl. They point to Favre's interception in the final seconds of regulation, saying he would have run for the first down through a wide-open space had his ankle not been hurt.

But a review of that play clearly shows that Favre was running fine until he decided to throw against his body into the middle of the field.

"It's the first thing they teach you not to do," Fox analyst Troy Aikman said.

It also was vintage Favre. As great as he was, being careless with the ball (translation for "gunslinger") was a trademark that Favre had established for about two decades before McCray hit his ankle.

"I know people have said we lost the game because of the bounty, but I disagree," Robison said. "You can say there were some iffy calls, like the pass interference on Ben Leber in overtime. ... But as far as the bounty being a factor? Nah. I just think there were a lot of other reasons we lost that game."

Mark Craig • mcraig@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 17 FINAL
New England 9
Cleveland 10 FINAL
Baltimore 20
Dallas 44 FINAL
Washington 17
Indianapolis 27 FINAL
Tennessee 10
Jacksonville 17 FINAL
Houston 23
San Diego 7 FINAL
Kansas City 19
NY Jets 37 FINAL
Miami 24
Chicago 9 FINAL
Minnesota 13
Philadelphia 34 FINAL
NY Giants 26
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Tampa Bay 20
Carolina 24 2nd Qtr 0:55
Atlanta 3
Detroit 0 2nd Qtr 0:33
Green Bay 14
Oakland 7 2nd Qtr 1:11
Denver 17
Arizona 10 2nd Qtr 1:18
San Francisco 13
St. Louis 6 2nd Qtr 0:02
Seattle 0
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/4/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/4/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Detroit 50 3rd Qtr
Cleveland 47
Houston 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Oklahoma City 6:30 PM
Dallas
New York 8:00 PM
Portland
Toronto 8:00 PM
Denver
Phoenix 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Toronto 0 1st Prd 1:21
Florida 0
Vancouver 7:00 PM
Anaheim
Tulane 57 FINAL
St Johns 82
Central Conn St 48 FINAL
Connecticut 81
Iona 81 FINAL
Drexel 62
Concordia (MI) 42 FINAL
Eastern Mich 100
Harvard 46 FINAL
Arizona State 56
Longwood 64 FINAL
Ball State 69
Sacred Heart 76 FINAL
Brown 79
Colgate 64 FINAL
Columbia 69
MD-Eastern Shore 78 FINAL
Duquesne 69
UNC Greensboro 50 FINAL
East Carolina 71
Marist 64 FINAL
Elon 69
NJIT 71 FINAL
Lafayette 76
Cincinnati Christian 58 FINAL
Liberty 78
Morgan State 53 FINAL
Marquette 81
Campbell 56 FINAL
Samford 65
Bucknell 71 FINAL
Siena 73
Long Beach State 67 FINAL
Syracuse 85
Coppin State 80 FINAL
Evansville 85
UMKC 73 FINAL
Indiana State 70
Hofstra 88 FINAL
Long Island 62
Coast Guard 48 FINAL
Army 93
Thomas (GA) 48 FINAL
High Point 85
Texas Southern 58 FINAL
Kansas State 56
Rutgers 59 FINAL
Monmouth 58
NC Wesleyan 54 FINAL
NC A&T 58
South Dakota St 63 FINAL
Northern Iowa 74
Central Penn College 69 FINAL
Radford 119
Bowling Green 79 FINAL
South Florida 70
Harris-Stowe 66 FINAL
SE Missouri St 94
Robert Morris-IL 56 FINAL
SIU Edwardsville 104
Northland College 59 FINAL
North Dakota St 83
Milwaukee 60 FINAL
South Dakota 84
Northwestern St 92 FINAL
Arkansas 100
Saint Peters 45 2nd Half 0:29
Cornell 45
St Katherine 62 FINAL
Fresno State 93
Haskell 42 2nd Half 2:15
Oral Roberts 94
Wake Forest 55 2nd Half 3:04
Richmond 53
Fla Gulf Coast 44 2nd Half 8:11
Xavier 58
SD Christian 43 2nd Half 1:28
Northern Ariz 69
Judson 22 2nd Half 20:00
IUPU-Ft Wayne 44
Ill-Chicago 21 1st Half 3:48
Bradley 23
Loyola-Maryland 19 1st Half 2:17
Fairfield 21
Miss Valley St 25 1st Half 4:04
Houston 33
Lehigh 21 1st Half 5:30
UMBC 24
Delaware State 21 1st Half 0:10
Temple 31
Belmont 5:00 PM
Butler
Howard 5:00 PM
Fordham
NW Christian 5:00 PM
Nevada
UC Davis 5:00 PM
Washington St
Abilene Christian 5:00 PM
Grand Canyon
UCLA 5:30 PM
Alabama
Stony Brook 7:00 PM
Washington
Buffalo 7:00 PM
Wisconsin
CS-Bakersfield 9:00 PM
California
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
Toledo 1/4/15 8:00 PM
Arkansas State
Drexel 71 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 54
Holy Cross 63 FINAL
Norfolk State 62
East Carolina 62 FINAL
South Florida 69
(10) Oregon State 63 FINAL
(8) Tennessee 74
Providence 51 FINAL
Boston College 79
Florida A&M 47 FINAL
Miami-Florida 83
Oakland 69 FINAL
Central Michigan 74
Chattanooga 59 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 49
Fairfield 59 FINAL
La Salle 73
St Francis-PA 59 FINAL
Pittsburgh 97
Milwaukee 72 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 78
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Longwood 63
New Hampshire 58 FINAL
Manhattan 54
Bucknell 68 FINAL
Binghamton 57
Northeastern 70 FINAL
Albany 67
George Mason 70 FINAL
Towson 72
Richmond 59 FINAL
William & Mary 56
Tulane 60 FINAL
Cincinnati 50
North Florida 51 FINAL
Florida 63
(14) Georgia 51 FINAL
Seton Hall 70
Tennessee St 75 FINAL
(12) Kentucky 87
American Univ 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 77
Massachusetts 78 FINAL
Boston U 57
Quinnipiac 69 FINAL
Saint Josephs 67
Lafayette 49 FINAL
Saint Peters 34
Northwestern 61 FINAL
(20) Michigan State 57
Duquesne 82 FINAL
Lehigh 75
George Washington 72 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 49
(17) Rutgers 66 FINAL
Indiana 51
(24) Green Bay 66 FINAL
Dayton 72
Western Mich 55 FINAL
Stony Brook 59
Davidson 67 FINAL
Virginia 57
UNC Greensboro 61 FINAL
LSU 82
Denver 63 FINAL
North Texas 55
VA Commonwealth 63 FINAL
Coppin State 52
Huston-Tillotson 36 FINAL
Houston Baptist 86
Lamar 63 FINAL
Rice 97
Miss Valley St 40 FINAL
Alabama 71
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 49
Middle Tennessee 98 FINAL
Tenn Tech 76
Penn State 52 FINAL
(23) Iowa 77
Purdue 62 FINAL
Illinois 55
DePaul 99 FINAL
Illinois State 62
Sam Houston St 46 FINAL
Wichita State 70
South Dakota 76 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 69
(4) Notre Dame 66 2nd Half 6:45
UCLA 54
Coll of Charleston 46 2nd Half 1:42
SC State 58
Alcorn State 47 2nd Half 2:47
Texas-El Paso 51
Dartmouth 72 2nd Half 1:03
Niagara 68
Colgate 33 2nd Half 15:33
Siena 43
Michigan 39 2nd Half 5:51
Wisconsin 50
Fla Gulf Coast 34 2nd Half
CS-Northridge 29
Yale 28 2nd Half 16:40
(25) Arizona State 40
UC Santa Barbara 13 2nd Half
(16) Stanford 39
Long Island 34 1st Half 1:36
Long Beach St 20
Jackson State 19 1st Half 4:07
Louisiana 22
Eureka 3 1st Half 17:43
Western Ill 10
Cornell 5:00 PM
(22) Syracuse
Temple 7:30 PM
Memphis
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 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close