Bears legend and Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers was having a good conversation with Comcast SportsNets David Kaplan on Wednesday for a future episode in Inside Look, when the talk brushed up against the bounty related suspensions for New Orleans Saints coaches and players.
Sayers could barely control his fury:
Those fools should never get a chance to play or coach in the game again. Never! Sayers raged. How can you do that? I have never had anyone say, Im going to break your arm.
They should never go out and play this game again, go out and coach this game again.
Kap mentioned that there are those who believe the offenders should go to jail for what they did.
Damn right they should, Sayers declared, voice trembling. Yes, they should.
I dont know about the jail time. But having watched this game for some time, including when Gale was playing with the king of on-field fury, Dick Butkus, if the NFL caves on the suspensions, shame on Roger Goodell and the discipline administrators.
Football is a violent game. Adding to its violence with an intent to injure is so far beyond stupid that, as Gale did, you sputter trying to find words for it.
Sean Payton knew, condoned, covered up and lied about the program on his watch. He is lucky to have just a one-year suspension. Jonathan Vilma got off with an eight-game ban.
It matters not even a little bit that this is hardly the first time or place a bounty system was in place. That excuses nothing.
A flu epidemic doesnt mean you stop trying to stamp out the disease just because its everywhere. And players who can see no further than the end of a play and in any way rationalize intentional injury to someone are a disease.
One commentator suggested that players Vilma, Anthony Hargrove and Scott Fujita had to do what their coaches like Gregg Williams were directing.
Bull. Fujita and Vilma were not going to lose starting jobs if they didnt go along with the program. Williams was stupid in more than a few ways but there is absolutely no way a coach benches best players because they dont injure people.
The players were being incented to injure. They were not being penalized for not injuring.
And anybody who has dealt with an idiot for a supervisor knows what you do in those situations: You say, Gotcha, boss and then go out and do it the way you know it should be done.
Good call, Gale.
Be sure to watch the video above.