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Old 06-22-2012   #1
Texans_Chick
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Default Predicting the Saints Bounty Mess

So the bounty investigation is clear as mud. And there's no closure.

I predicted the problems with the investigation in March.


Why the New Orleans Saints Bounty Penalties are Too Harsh

In particular section 4 of this.

Goodell strengthened the personal conduct policy after all the PacMan Jones BS, where PacMan would do gross things, and the Titans either didn't punish him or did delayed punishment (IIRC, with one of the spitting incidents, they didn't suspend him for a game until after the Texans played the Titans).

The point of the strengthened personal conduct policy was that legal justice goes too slow, so instead, he would investigate things and have the right to punish players even if the justice system didn't.

Problem with this is that he has to make up bleep as he goes along. And when you make up bleep, not everybody is going to be cool with it, and you may end up with some odd results with relative justice for different offenses.

Some media member asked me about the policy a while back, and I put together a Q&A here:

‘Presumption of Innocence’ or ‘Everybody Knows They’re Guilty?’
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Old 06-22-2012   #2
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Default Re: Predicting the Saints Bounty Mess

I saw your post over at SR, too.

I don't understand how more fans of other teams aren't bothered by this entire process. As time goes on, and more information is revealed, it's increasingly apparent that Goodell is - as you say - making things up as he goes along, for whatever his reasons might be (speculation incl positioning the league for countering lawsuits now and down the road)

It's been gratifying to see many national media figures move from excoriating the Saints - coaches, franchise, players - to questioning the league here and the punishment. And scratching their heads about how one doesn't fit the other. People who were initially very, VERY critical of the Saints, calling for stiff punishments, incl lifetime bans (e.g. Peter King, Adam Shefter, Mike Florio, Ashley Fox), now saying that the league's 'evidence' is really very, very thin. In some places, it's been misleading. In others, contradictory. In others, contrary to simple chronology. In others, hypocritical. In others, self-contradictory.

It's pretty apparent that the Saints had a pay-for-performance and should be punished. Front office, coaches, players. I know they aren't the only team that does this, but they did do it, and they did get caught.

I've never been against them being punished.

I've maintained, from the beginning, that this was not something I trusted Goodell in handling. I've never trusted him - long before this. But I didn't say a whole lot, waiting to see what we'd learn over time.

But the bounty aspect - for which they were punished so severely - doesn't appear to be substantiated at all. And the presented evidence doesn't come close.

The entire strategy of Goodell - "trust me, don't question it. I know what I am doing and why" - just doesn't stack up against increasing evidence, questions, criticisms.

The precedent here is not, imo, a good one for the league.

A commissioner with that sense of self-righteousness and few checks to his power isn't a good thing.

If I am a fan of the NFL (not necessarily the Saints), I'm paying close attention to what happens here and going forward. And I certainly have no more reason (I'd argue even less) trust in Goodell than I had before this all started.

Thanks for the blogs, Steph - and for being a contrary voice, not passively accepting all that the NFL is generating is true or fair.

edit: The players aren't guiltless in this process, either. The NFLPA granted Goodell this power and authority. During the CBA battles, it seemed their focus was on other things during negotiations. I think this is something that will have to be dealt with before the deal is up in 10 years. LaCanfora had a piece a day or two talking about this very subject - the argued that he acrimony will have to be settled between CBA negotiations like other issues have. This won't/can't last 10 years.
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Old 07-03-2012   #3
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Default Re: Predicting the Saints Bounty Mess

Quote:
Originally Posted by RazorOye View Post
If I am a fan of the NFL (not necessarily the Saints), I'm paying close attention to what happens here and going forward. And I certainly have no more reason (I'd argue even less) trust in Goodell than I had before this all started.

Thanks for the blogs, Steph - and for being a contrary voice, not passively accepting all that the NFL is generating is true or fair.

edit: The players aren't guiltless in this process, either. The NFLPA granted Goodell this power and authority. During the CBA battles, it seemed their focus was on other things during negotiations. I think this is something that will have to be dealt with before the deal is up in 10 years. LaCanfora had a piece a day or two talking about this very subject - the argued that he acrimony will have to be settled between CBA negotiations like other issues have. This won't/can't last 10 years.
Vilma is arguing that even the basic protections given to the players in the CBA haven't been followed. I write about this and other things in this follow up post:


NFL Exit Strategy for Saints Bountygate Mess?


All fans should be concerned with this. You can't just go, well it was the Saints so whew. What about next time?
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Old 07-03-2012   #4
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Default Re: Predicting the Saints Bounty Mess

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
Vilma is arguing that even the basic protections given to the players in the CBA haven't been followed. I write about this and other things in this follow up post:


NFL Exit Strategy for Saints Bountygate Mess?


All fans should be concerned with this. You can't just go, well it was the Saints so whew. What about next time?
Thanks for the link, TC.

I wonder how much perpetuating the NFL's harsh dogmatic approach had to do with Congress agreeing to recind its investigation. Maybe Goodell decided he'd rather fight lawyers than have the eyes of Congress in "his" business.
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Old 07-04-2012   #5
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Default Re: Predicting the Saints Bounty Mess

Quote:
Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
Thanks for the link, TC.

I wonder how much perpetuating the NFL's harsh dogmatic approach had to do with Congress agreeing to recind its investigation. Maybe Goodell decided he'd rather fight lawyers than have the eyes of Congress in "his" business.
He could have done a Spygate sort of punishment and still made sure Congress knew they didn't have to grandstand this. Bounty stuff is dead.

Interesting that Jonathan Vilma read what I wrote and said good read. Also suggested I write more about the defamation case.
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Old 07-04-2012   #6
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Default Re: Predicting the Saints Bounty Mess

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
He could have done a Spygate sort of punishment and still made sure Congress knew they didn't have to grandstand this. Bounty stuff is dead.

Interesting that Jonathan Vilma read what I wrote and said good read. Also suggested I write more about the defamation case.
Won't the defamation route be a pretty hard case to go?
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Old 07-05-2012   #7
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Default Re: Predicting the Saints Bounty Mess

saints will not make the playoffs yeah i said it !!!!!!!!!
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Old 07-06-2012   #8
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Default Re: Predicting the Saints Bounty Mess

Quote:
Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
Won't the defamation route be a pretty hard case to go?
Yep. But if you emphatically want to say you didn't do something, that's what you do. But tough though, especially for a public figure.


Saints Bountygate is Now Saints Litigate: Common Q&As


I talk a bunch of updated stuff here.
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Old 07-07-2012   #9
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Default Re: Predicting the Saints Bounty Mess

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
Yep. But if you emphatically want to say you didn't do something, that's what you do. But tough though, especially for a public figure.


Saints Bountygate is Now Saints Litigate: Common Q&As


I talk a bunch of updated stuff here.
Your piece answers a lot of questions and simplifies several important issues. Thanks again for your legal take.
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Old 07-08-2012   #10
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Default Re: Predicting the Saints Bounty Mess

Here's part 2 of my Q&A:


Roger Goodell Moves the Goal Line: Part 2 Saints Bountygate Q&A

In addition, I added the NFL's final disposition in the list of litigation documents in the first post.

If you read the litigation documents, it gives you a much different feel than most of the public reporting of this case. Really, the only general media type that is writing anything of substance about this stuff is Florio, and he's a lawyer.

If I find myself agreeing with Florio a lot, that is weird.
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Old 07-08-2012   #11
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Default Re: Predicting the Saints Bounty Mess

I couldn't find the personal comment to you from Vilma himself. Can you link to it specifically?
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Old 07-08-2012   #12
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Default Re: Predicting the Saints Bounty Mess

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Originally Posted by NitroGSXR View Post
I couldn't find the personal comment to you from Vilma himself. Can you link to it specifically?
Interesting.

He must have deleted it. He referenced it as a "Good read." And then said I should have written more about the defamation part.

Here's the deleted Tweets as a part of the conversation with me:


https://twitter.com/StephStradley/status/220192852657967106



https://twitter.com/StephStradley/status/220195240814985216


Scott Fujita RTd my first Q&A about the litigation documents on July 5th.
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