This piece has been sitting in google docs for a week or so now, so I thought it was high time to share it.
Gregg Williams was a good coach. He knew how to build a defense. His teams were often in the league’s top ten, sometimes top five. He didn’t need to stoop so low. He didn’t need to venture into that abyss. Everything about his elaborate bounty system reeks of complete immorality.
I got this sinking feeling in my stomach after reading about the scandal in depth. It wasn’t so much that I was disgusted at the thought of a system used to monetarily reward a player who put another human being’s health at risk--whether it was “part of the game” or not. I was hit with a gust of relief. Remember, this guy could have been our head coach. Our team could be in the precarious position that the Saints are. Yeah, I was relieved. I thought he would be an okay coach at the time, but more and more, I pictured the same disastrous, shameful downfall, and it’s just too much.
I’m still very angry at Gregg Williams, but part of me is very hurt, too. If indeed such a system existed during his tenure with the Redskins, I feel personally wronged. Those were players I idolized, I watched every Sunday, I wanted to see succeed. Now, those fond memories are tainted. I can’t remember a time when there was an egregious hit leveled against an opposing player, one so punishing that it knocked said player out of the game, because I guess I wasn’t looking for it. I debated whether to get my hands on some old tape and take a long, hard look, then I realized it would be far too painful.
Saints fans who are crying foul at Commissioner Roger Goodell’s iron fist shouldn’t really be angry at him. They should be angry at the people who continually dug their beloved team into a hole when they repeatedly lied and refused to shut down their despicable bounty program. I can’t put myself in their shoes, of course, and their reaction is only natural.
If it were me, though, I would hate the man who started it all. That same man bolted the minute things went wrong, and perhaps it had to do with the scandal. For me, it’s tragic. He handcuffed a franchise, a city, a fanbase because of some fun, twisted, shady little game. He played with the collective souls of New Orleans. Through all this, I thank the Lord almighty that he didn’t get his tainted hands on our collective souls.
Perhaps the investigation of our team isn’t over. Few, if any, players are still on the team from Gregg Williams tenure, and the coaching staff is entirely different. I don’t think we’ll be hit. We should be thankful that the bounty scandal hurricane didn’t reach the shores of the Chesapeake. I can’t even bear the thought.