A lot has been said about the New Orleans Saints bounty program and the notion of hurting offensive players. The fact of the matter this is all a part of the game.
The whole issue is being brought up again as a film maker Sean Pamphilon, who was following the Saints last season, released audio of former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams giving a speech before their Division round playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers this past January. Speeches like the one Williams gave and encouragement to hurt the opponents, like Williams did in the speech, is a part of the game at all levels.
Former National Football League quarterback and current ESPN NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck confirmed this as on the Colin Cowherd show Wednesday he said, “Never ever was I on a team where a coach didn’t talk about injuries of the opposing player.”
This encouragment is the exact reason why NFL and National Hockey League coaches lie on injury reports or are extremely vague in their comments to the media. Because they know if they disclose what the injury is, opposing players will go right after the injury then.
“Little 32,” Williams said. “We want to knock the f#4* out of him. He has no idea what he is in for.”
Talk like that is common in every locker room at every level of football. The reason is that when you keep hitting offensive players so hard all game long, eventually they will not want to be out there.
Even though football is a physical sport, psychology is an important aspect of the game, because sometimes teams are evenly matched physically. That means the difference between winning and losing in these games is the will and desire to win.
With hard physically punishing hits being the best way to break a team’s will, along with the game being so violent in nature, a player knows from the very first time you put the pads on that by the time you played your last game there is a good chance you will have suffered an injury that will alter your life down the road.
That is the exact reason why retired players for years now have been seeking to change the way disability cases in the National Football League
“You have to be paralyzed for them to give you disability,” a former player said to Pamphilon
The whole reason that Pamphilon released the tape is, because Williams made reference to giving players concussions.
“Or was it because I have friends I love dearly who played the game and got their “bell rung” so many times that I fear they won’t remember their children’s faces by the time their kids have kids,” Pamphilon pondered as why he made the audio public. “Yep, I’m pretty sure the last one was the reason I wasn’t smiling.”
Pamphilon went on later in the statement made reference to Dr. Bennett Omalu who was the doctor that discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy in Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame center Mike Webster.
The funny thing is Pamphilon must have missed Dr. Omalu’s long time partner in CTE research Dr. Julian Bailes, who is now the chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at NorthShore Universirt HealthSystem, comments on preventing concussion.
“Helmets have a natural limitation,” Bailes said in a Chicago Health article. “With some major collisions, the helmet—the head—stops moving. The brain, which is floating inside, can continue the momentum, hitting against the inside of the cranium possibly rotating and tearing fibers. Helmets work well for preventing scalp laceration, skull fracture and bleeding in the brain, but they don’t always prevent rotation and tearing of brain fibers.”
The article went on to state that there is now a possible new solution in preventing concussions. That being a collar that compresses on the arteries in the neck to increase blood flow and prevent sloshing, which is the term Bailes came up with for the process of suffering a concussion.
The collar in studies on rats is found to have reduced the tearing of brain fibers by 83 percent. In other words unless a device is created that can be inserted into a helmet and emanates some kind of field that stops sloshing, concussions will always be a part of football.
The only thing that Pamphilon really accomplished is destroying his credibility with all sports teams and his career as he released the audio without the permission of the team or coaches.
In the end, next year all the coaches and players that have been and will be suspended due to bounty gate will be back in the NFL, except Williams that is as his return depends on the approval of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, which is reviewed on a yearly basis, while Pamphilon won’t be allowed in a sports team facility long after they return.