Wednesday, 07 March 2012 12:41
Get Over It Fans, New Orleans Saints Betrayed You With Bountygate
Written by 

Fans are like innocent lambs. It doesn't matter that in real life they might conduct a sober, serious life, have a responsible position in a legitimate enterprise or even run a million-dollar company. When it comes to our favorite teams, we fans put the lampshades on our head, paint our bodies in fluorescent hues and howl at the moon until we are hoarse. And that is the good thing about the emotion of sports.

      The bad thing is when we take our instructions from scrolls discovered in a madman's crypt and cease all reason and logic. Creatures of the Kool-Aid generation, we lap up everything good about our team and we reject any suggestions to the contrary. And that rejection often comes with great umbrage toward the critics. How dare they criticize our team? Some good examples of this suspension of logic have come this week in the wake of the double-dose of bad news involving the Saints, to wit the "Bounty-gate" revelations and the imposing of the franchise tag on QB Drew Brees.

     One letter writer to the Times-Picayune opined "to think that any professional athlete in this day and age would sell his soul for $1,000 is ludicrous." Another suggested the NFL is "picking on" the Saints and points to the franchising of Brees as additional evidence. Fans have rationalized that the Saints coaches and players must be forgiven because "everybody does it." Even the local wipe of record chipped in with a remarkable editorial page comment when a Times-Picayune staffer suggested Saints critics should get off  "their high horse" and accept what has happened.

     What tripe! Take off the rose-colored glasses and clown masks, Who Dats! Mardi Gras is over! This is not oppression by the NFL. Saints players and coaches betrayed you and themselves. What they did was wrong because it was against the rules and they knew it. Their actions may very well kill the hopes of Who Dat Nation in a year that their heroes could be the first team to host a Super Bowl in their home stadium. Their actions, as outlined in the NFL report, betrayed those hopes.

     Betrayal of fans is not new. Pete Rose betrayed baseball fans when he bet on games involving his teams. Oil Can Boyd betrayed Red Sox fans when he pitched while high on cocaine. Do you think Miami Hurricane fans didn't feel betrayed at the revelations of the booster and his $100 handshakes? You don't think Ohio State fans felt betrayed when Jim Tressel lied about extra benefits his players were receiving by another rogue booster? Damn right I felt betrayed when an Emery shipping envelope busted open to reveal cash that was intended for a Kentucky recruit back in the late 1980's.

     Some of the above examples resulted or will result in penalties that prohibit postseason play, which is the most valid reward for fan loyalty. The NFL will not ban the Saints from the playoffs next year, but the likely penalties may have the same result. Loss of draft choices alone certainly will retard the team's ability to replace starters lost in free agency. With penalties looming, some free agents might feel differently than they did a few weeks ago when the Saints organization was a fuzzy, feel-good and attractive place to be. Add to all this the possibility of lingering hard feelings from Drew Brees because the Saints did not bow to his agent's demands, and this year of betrayal could quickly turn into a season of disappointment.

Jim Miller is a former journalist (Baltimore Sun), NFL executive (Saints, Bills and Bears) and college athletic director (University of New Orleans). See Jim's unique perspective of sports and more on his website:

(Visit Louisiana Sports for a sale ending soon on Saints, LSU merchandise)

Bayoubuzz is pleased to announce that it will be republishing on a regular basis the columns and opinions of Jim Miller.  Please visit his website on a regular basis for more information.

Join Our Email List



Login to post comments
  • A July 4th Fact of Facts: America is Land of Immigrants
  • Poll: Trump strong on jobs, weak on tweets, viewed as reckless, thin-skinned, sexist
  • President Trump, It doesn't feel like Independence Day
  • YIPPIE! The naked truth about free speech, cherished especially on Independence Day

mass2On July 4, 1778, George Washington doubled liquor rations for the soldiers quartered in Princeton, NJ, as a way to celebrate Independence Day. It’s fitting, therefore, that the Fourth of July is America's top-selling beer holiday, according to the Beer Institute. It estimated, in 2013, that sales of beer on the 4th could total $1 billion, doubtlessly higher today. “In moderation,” claims a CA brewery investor, Grover McKean, “beer is tasty and healthy.” Who could disagree?

Read More

joe mikaAs Donald Trump faces the top world leaders this week, including a face-time with Vladimir Putin, and as his healthcare proposals face an uphill climb, his poll numbers for how the nation views him could be better.

According to a morning Consult/Politico poll released Wednesday morning, his tweets, including that against MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski, and his personality are not helping him, at all.

Read More

indy dayII know the calendar says we are approaching the 4th of July, but, it just doesn’t feel like Independence Day.

Perhaps it should.  It’s hot as heck.  The airlines have been packed. The hot dogs are ready for grilling.  The umps are saying, "play ball". The patriotic activities are scheduled. The fireworks are ready-for-blasting. 

Yet, it just doesn’t feel like independence day.

Read More

bill rights2To President Thomas Jefferson, July 4th celebrated more than the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He thought it was a link to the future. The message prominent colonists sent to King George III led to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the initial and most prominent feature of which is the First Amendment that guarantees free speech. It’s part of the country’s fundamental essence that each man and woman can say what they feel about government, or anything else, proving President Donald Trump needs some civics lessons.

Read More


Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1