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Is NFL vindictive by smearing Scott Fujita in New Orleans Saints bounty

payton2blueAre the bounty charges against the former New Orleans Saints’ Scott fujita part of a smear and vindictive campaign for his high-profile role in the National Football League Player’s Association?

Could the now-Cleveland Browns linebacker who will be suspended for three games for his alleged role be as hypocritical as it is projected, at least implicitly, by the league?  After all, if any player has been as out front in defense of player safety, it would be Fujita, yet his role in any bounty program would mitigate such efforts to the point of rank inconsistency.

 

Fujita expressed his feelings in an interview with the AP and said that ''I'm not saying the NFL is intentionally lying,''

''I've been willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that they may have just been working with the information they've been given, even though much of that information was inaccurate and lacked credibility.

''It's their cavalier interpretation of everything that's been way off. They clearly proceeded with a public smear campaign with very little regard for the truth.''

The Associated press reported that NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the NFL stands by its finding that Fujita gave ''more than token amounts'' of money to a pool that also rewarded injury-producing hits called ''cart-offs'' and ''knockouts.''

In 2010, Fujita became a member of the NFLPA executive committee, and has since echoed comments by Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) comparing the NFL's 2009 position on concussions' links to brain disease to the way the tobacco industry denied knowledge that smoking caused cancer, said the Associated Press.

Deuce

Deuce McAllister is not surprised by the Saints' bounty charges.

The career rushing leader for the Saints said the bounty cash for-pay-for crunch charges against the Saints for the 2009-11 seasons did not catch him entirely off guard.

'It's something every team does -- or did," the former Ole Miss star told the Shreveport Times the day before he joined seven other inductees into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday night in Natchitoches. "We're just the team that got caught. It's unfortunate."

McAllister said he didn't know the extent of the Saints' bounty program. He said it appeared to him to be an extension of a practice he remembers  where the running backs would put up money in a pot for fines the group would  get to pay for a fine the back would get for a fumble or a penalty, a practice that has been the league for a long time.

McAllister said, "Sometimes we might have $500 or $600 in the pot that would pay for a real nice dinner for the six or seven running backs. Or after some games we might donate the money in the pot to our manager who was assigned to care of the running backs.

What McAllister is describing may, indeed, be something every team does, but it's a far cry from what the NFL alleges the Saints did.

SOME hither, others yon: Brett Favre isn't upset that he was a bounty target for the Saints during the 2010 NFC Championship Game. The retired QB, who now spends most of his time on a tractor in Hattiesburg, is just upset he couldn't lead the Vikings to victory. "My feeling and I mean this wholeheartedly, is that I really don't care." Favre said in an interview with NFL Network. "What bothers me is we didn't win the game. And they didn't take me out of the game. They came close. but a lot of people have come close. I'm too stubborn to come out. Plus, that was kind of a big game.  I'm not going to sit the last three minutes. I'm going to go out there with bones sticking out of the skin. I'm going to finish it." Favre said he was playing with an injury he had suffered in an earlier game...

Goodell Service
Creole Creamery owner  David Berger has a photo of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in his restaurant that reads "Do Not Serve This Man," It's a message to employees not to serve the commissioner, now the public enemy No. 1 among Saints fans...Many believe the "Tickle Monster" got what he deserved for what he was giving. Call it the heavy hand of Karma. Except in prison they don't call it tickling...

Dan Le Batard of  the  Miami Herald wrote after the Heat's championship win: "Look at what you did, America. You created a monster that broke out of its shackles, roared, and has shaken this entire city all weekend with the fury it unleashed,  making children like Kevin Durant and James Harden scurry out of their swaggering youth. Heat players, family and friends partied all night after the victory at a club in the Fountainebleau running up a tab of $250,000...

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  

 

Website: www.louisianasportstalk.com

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