Jon Saraceno of USA Today offers an interesting opinion on the New Orleans Saints scandal, which included some of the stiffest penalties handed done in league history.
Saraceno believes that although the suspensions, fines and taking away of draft picks will have far-reaching implications on careers and the lives of some players, overall he believes the NFL will remain a violent game.
Saraceno: Long-term ramifications? The careers and legacies of coaches, administrators and perhaps 20 players are at stake. Will the game lose its violent edge? It's unlikely. In recent years, even as the NFL has escalated fines and suspended players for vicious hits, the highlight reels are not lacking. The game promises to be as malevolent as ever.
“Short-term fallout? Almost assuredly, the Saints' 2012 season is in jeopardy without Payton, one of the league's brightest offensive minds, with one Lombardi Trophy in tow and a potential Hall of Fame candidate. Indeed, Caesars had the odds of the Saints winning the Super Bowl this season at 8-1 before Bountygate and raised them to 10-1 right after. After the NFL announcement Wednesday, they fell to 15-1. Payton, along with quarterback Drew Brees, dramatically helped lift the city's spirits during its recovery efforts from Hurricane Katrina.”
Mike Freeman of CBS Sports writes that New Orleans fall from grace can be traced to one man – Saints head coach Sean Payton.
Ray Ratto writing for CBS Sports says that Commissioner Goodell may be weakening his job security by penalizing the men who pay his salary – NFL owners. Ratto writes that Goodell has created some enemies in Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Washington Redskinds owner Daniel Snyder and New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson with the penalties he’s recently handed down.
Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports writes that tight end Jeremy Shockey, who played for the Saints, denies a report by former NFL player Warren Sapp that he was the “snitch” who reported to the league New Orleans’ bounty system.
As Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports the league isn’t done imposing penalties on the Saints, as the players involved have not been dealt with.
Aaron Wilson of Scout.com is reporting that Tampa Bay free agent running back Kregg Lumpkin will visit Seattle today in a visit that will extend into Friday. The Georgia product was an undrafted rookie free agent with Green Bay in 2008, so there’s a connection to Seahawks general manager John Schneider. He’s a bigger back at 5-11, 228 pounds.
Bill James writing for Grantland discusses the evolutions of fans in sports, saying there’s a connection between fan and inmate behavior. Interesting read.
Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe reports that Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly impressed scouts during his pro day on Wednesday.
You can check out video from Kuechly’s pro day below.
As you know, I’m an Adidas guy and not a big fan of Nike. But I liked what they did with Marshawn Lynch in this commercial for a new product called Nike Pro Combat Hypercool, which I assume is supposed to keep athletes cooler. Check out the video below.