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March 03, 2012


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I am guessing you never played any serious football. Football is not a contact sport, it is a collision sport. Players assume the risk that they are going to be hit hard. The hits seem to have been within the bounds of the rules, so everyone should just calm down. The formal bounty may seem a bit odd, but football players always talk about taking out the other star players. I played QB for 15 years and am certain defensive players tried to take me out. Keep your head on a swivel and hit back.

Steven Lubet

The comment above is an excellent example of the need for outside intervention in an industry that does not appear capable of policing itself.

But why stop at suspensions? Why not a criminal investigation?


I agree with Lubet--this sounds like a crime to me. There was criminal prosecution for vicious hockey hit, I believe.


I'd like to hear from someone who actually played football, preferably at least in college. This sort of thing goes on all the time, formally or informally. I am not saying that it is "right," but even if you shut down the formal bounties, there will always be informal bounties, rewarded with congratulations, etc. (for clean hits, of course). The sport of football is not so far removed from boxing. There the entire object of boxing is to knock your opponent out. And we sanction boxing and boxing is not criminal. Defenses are always told to hit hard - so that the offense becomes more tenative, or so, in extreme cases, they have to leave the game. What if the Saints bounty was expressly limited to clean hits, within the rules? Still have a problem?

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