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New Orleans Saints fans play defense as Fujita, Hargrove, Vilma, Smith play offense

vilmaIn a week in which the NFL and the accused New Orleans Saints players and even coaches have argued in public about the evidence provided by the NFL in the bountygate mystery, here is an opinion from Greg A. Bedard which appeared in Sunday’s Boston Globe.


Of note, Bedard said of the New Orleans Saints fans, “Saints fans should not automatically take the word of the players or their lawyers in regards to the case. They are all in full defense mode. They will deny everything and accuse the NFL of everything because they know, at the end of the day, the NFL will not show its entire case because it wants to shield some of the sources from retribution (which is understandable). The players can go to their deathbeds denying their involvement because the NFL won’t be able to divulge ironclad proof to the public.”

 

Here are some of his other findings

The bounty system - regardless of whether it was payment for injuries or for performance (both are illegal) - remained in effect until the end of the 2011 season. The audio of Williams’s speech before the 49ers game captured by filmmaker Sean Pamphilon makes that clear, aside from the other evidence the NFL has.

For this, Saints management is tried and convicted. They all lied to investigators that anything was going on. And not only didn’t they stop what they were doing after having a shot go across the bow, they kept at it for two more seasons…

As to the players, the evidence the NFL presented against Vilma is overwhelming. “At least three sources’’ stated that he pledged $10,000 cash for knocking out Favre, and “two sources’’ said he pledged $10,000 for Warner.

I do have a bit of a problem with the “at least three sources’’ statement. Exactly how many is it? Why the gray area…

The case against Hargrove, however, is flawed.

First, his signed declaration does not admit to the existence of the program or that he was told to lie, as the NFL said it does. That’s just wrong.

And the video from the Vikings playoff game does not conclusively prove that it was Hargrove saying, “Bobby, pay me my money,’’ after hearing that Favre was knocked out of the game (ultimately, he didn’t miss a play).

Hargrove definitely lied to investigators the first time around. That is a serious matter and does merit a suspension.

The NFL said it does have other evidence against Hargrove.

Written by Greg A. Bedard for the Boston Globe http://articles.boston.com/2012-06-24/sports/32383645_1_mickey-loomis-saints-bounty

 

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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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