1. Nobody is surprised about this bounty business are they? You didn't think the culture of a game that is seemingly engineered to inflict pain would be wiped clean of such a practice? I think what surprises me the most are some of the dollar figures. In an age of multi-million dollar contracts, $1,000 here and $1,500 there just doesn't seem to be a lot of money. It doesn't even cover a fine. I didn't think some of these players rolled out of bed for less than five figures.
2. Don't get me wrong--the idea of paying players bounties for injuring other players is absolutely barbaric...but so is the opening kickoff. As much as the game of football tries to legislate violence out of the game, it will never be able to completely remove the inherent intent behind every hit made between the whistles. You might not wish harm to your fellow players, but ramming your body at full speed into another man's kidney is an action that hints at just a teeny bit of ill will.
3. Is anyone else amused that this bounty story has direct ties to the Redskins? Granted, this thing is likely going to shine a light on many teams and the practices of numerous coaches and players, but our boy Gregg Williams is right at the epicenter of this storm. Joe Gibbs was even compelled to comment on it, saying that he was unaware of anything like that taking place, and that he would "never" ask a player to intentionally injure another player. Dare I raise the potential question: Could this have had something to do with Gregg Williams NOT being retained to be the head coach that succeeded Joe Gibbs?
4. Gregg Williams is going to be made an example of by good ol' Roger Goodell. You can just feel it coming. Goodell has emptied the wallets of players around the league for violent hits and out-of-control behavior on the field. This gives Roger the opportunity to really underline his agenda and show the players that everyone is going to be punished severely when it comes to keeping the game safe.
5. One of the things about this that makes me scratch my head a little is the natural bent of certain players--defensive players especially--to "lay the wood" on their opponents. I just can't see Sean Taylor, for instance, being motivated by a thousand bucks to inflict pain on people. Players like him were/are just naturally violent.
6. The trivial sums of money combined with the undeniably violent undercurrent of the NFL game makes the bounty stuff seem like immature nonsense. It reminds me of the kind of thing you would expect to see if the same guy who coached you in pee-wee football somehow made it to the NFL coaching ranks. That was the last organized football I ever played, and I recall some of those coaches preaching "Do unto others before they do unto you." They convinced me that someone was going to get hurt on almost every play and that the best way to ensure that it wasn't me was to make sure it was the other guy. Oh yeah...I see this costing Gregg Williams plenty.