NEW YORK GIANTS AND THE BOUNTY-GATE SCANDAL: A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE
"Thursday's leak of former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator,
Greg Williams’, pre-game “pep-talk” has re-ignited the already
red-hot Bounty-Gate issue. There are so many different opinions on this issue
that it felt high time that Giants 101 put something out there about it.
Giants Spencer Paysinger (55) signals Giants ball as Devin Thomas (ground)
recovers a San
Francisco 49ers Kyle
Williams fumble in overtime in the NFC Championship at Candlestick Park in
Francisco on January 22, 2012. The Giants defeated the 49ers 20-17 and will
face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI on February 5. UPI/Terry
Specifically, the buzz around Thursday's news actually made its way back to
the New York
Giants, thanks to the reporting of Mike Florio on ProFootballTalk.com. Once I heard the audio of Williams’
speech, I immediately remembered the story post-NFC Championship game and
figured that this would find its way back to the surface, but there is a very
major difference here.
Florio’s re-reporting of the comments about San
Francisco 49ers wide receiver, Kyle
Williams’ (thanks to comments from Giants linebacker,
Jacquain Williams, and former Giants special teams specialist,
Devin Thomas)was not necessarily out of line.
However, putting those comments on the same level as Williams’ paying his
defense to go hurt opposing players is simply sensationalism.
Let’s back-track for a moment.
Most NFL players have come out and acknowledged that there is some level of
admitted violence in football. After all, football is a violent sport, without question. Some have
gone as far as to say that locker-room talk does, in fact, include singling out
certain players. The biggest difference here is the idea of not just targeting
players, but offering rewards for injuring them.
As reported by Dan Benton yesterday, San
Francisco 49ers safety, Carlos
Rogers, claimed that they were targeting Giants quarterback
Manning in the NFC Championship game. He did not go as far as to
say it was a bounty system, but simply that the defense needed to eliminate
These sentiments are not the problem. The nature of the beast is that
players are trained their entire lives to go out and put fear into their
opponents. That has been and always will be the mantra these warriors follow.
But again, when it comes to monetarily incentive bounty systems, it goes too
When the Greg Williams fiasco started, Giants coach Tom
Coughlin wasted no time in coming out adamantly against bounty
programs, saying that there was “no place in the game” for that kind of
sportsmanship. I believe that most NFL players, coaches and staff believe just
However, when you’re playing an opponent and know that they are nursing some
kind of ailment, it is part of the game to take that into consideration. Are
players and coaches expected to go out of their way to avoid Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, Michael Vick’s, ribs
when he’s back from that injury? If opposing defensive players know that Giants
running back, Ahmad
Bradshaw, had bad ankles, should they avoid a necessary shoelace
The answer to both questions is no. It’s part of the game. When it is wrong
is when there is a monetary incentive in literally trying to put a player on a
stretcher. That is not sportsmanship.
The line between the two may be thin, but it’s there and makes a huge
difference. As such, trying to drag the Giants into the bounty-gate scandal is
erroneous and borderline offensive. The NFL is taking a stand against
bounty-based programs and that is the correct course of action, regardless of
how things were “back in the day.”
But the one thing that will never change is that these men are gridiron
warriors and will always seek-out an advantage when they see one."