Here is my Gregg Williams column, as I promised earlier today. In this I ask if Williams’ paying of bounties to hurt opposing players and if his rant the night before the Niners playoff game is business as usual in the National Football League. Remember, he told his players to hit Kyle Williams in the head and maybe cause another concussion and he seemed to be offering money to the first New Orleans Saints defender to get a chin shot on Alex Smith. To read what I have to say about Williams and his philosophy, click here.

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  1. Frippertopia

    I just listened to the clip on You Tube and was sickened. There is a huge difference between telling players to go out and hit hard, versus telling them to commit mayhem! The man is a sick-F and he should be made an example of, as should Sean Payton. Criminal charges are not out of the question. ESPN interviewed Michael Irvin who gave a poignant and impassioned response. Essentially, if the NFL allows Williams or Payton back into the league, they have ZERO credibility, particularly regarding the issue of traumatic brain injury.

    April 5th, 2012 9:51 pm

  2. Rich, San Ramon

    Lowell, perfectly said.

    April 5th, 2012 10:18 pm

  3. russell

    Anybody still want to claim Goodell was too harsh?

    April 5th, 2012 10:39 pm

  4. Dave T

    While I and many others will certainly believe that this is not the only locker room where such things take place it in no way shape or form makes it right. This footage coupled with the other evidence will cost each of these men and the Saints organization dearly, as it should. The fact that we want contolled chaos, mayhem and ferocious hitting on the field does not mean we want to see any players career ended or life placed in jeopardy as this rant would seem to suggest. Bottom line here, way, way, way, way, way out of line and the punishment is just.
    Perhaps Payton and his coaches should as a part of their suspension have to spend time with indiviuals who have inurred injuries that affect their every day living. And these should be caused by sports injuries or smply freak accidents. Perhaps it will give them a greater understanding of what they were encouraging their players to do on the field.

    April 5th, 2012 11:14 pm

  5. Dan

    Gotta agree with your point about the Raiders, especially during the Madden years. Madden was a regular visitor to Darryl Stingley in the hospital. I can’t imagine him ever telling his players to hurt someone intentionally.

    April 5th, 2012 11:38 pm

  6. BadNewsBear

    Spot on Lowell. Greg Williams is a coward. His actions are cowardly and demonstrate the lack of confidence he has in his players but even more important the lack of confidence he has in himself and his abilities.

    Yet even more cowardly than Williams, in my opinion, were the members of the Saints coaching staff and front office who knew what he was doing remained silent thus permitting his behavior. Mankind shows us time and time again what happens when immoral behavior is ignored and permitted. Let this be yet another lesson, fortunately, without the tragic results of our more recent history.

    April 6th, 2012 3:16 am

  7. Johnc

    I bet next season the Saints are going to be physically punished on the field by every team they play. I’m saying that their opponents will be extra motivated to go after them in a hard hitting (but clean) fashion.It’s called payback.

    April 6th, 2012 3:32 am

  8. RC

    No Question, take it to the bank. Williams got caught is the only difference between him and his counterparts.

    NFL is a gladiator sport, this Williams ordeal just let the average fan see behind the curtain.

    I remember some time ago Buddy Ryan put a bounty on Al Del Greco (A kicker of all things) this was swept under the rug by the NFL b ut I believe that his leg was broken in that game. Andre Waters (safety Eagles, also played for Buddy) the notorious cheap shot artist went out of his way to deliver the knock out blow, you dont think he got a little extra stocking stuffer come Christmas time?

    Trust me the bounty system has been around for a long time.

    April 6th, 2012 10:02 am

  9. Frank in Minnesota

    You know what’s really sickening? Is that the Head Coach and team leaders allowed for that type of assault ( i will not call it ‘play’)to continue game after game, season after season….

    April 6th, 2012 10:09 am

  10. RC

    Sorry, slight error it Luis Zendejas not Del Greco.

    April 6th, 2012 10:09 am

  11. Mark M

    A bit over the top for me. When I heard they had this tape, I specifically listened for things like “$1k for and Alex concussion” or “cash for a Gore injury” or something similar. Never heard it. Don’t know if hand gestures or other types of non verbal communication was being used in conjunction with this speech. But I can’t believe he is the first coach to suggest his players test specific injuries of an opponent. It’s a vicious game and this type of stuff did not really shock me, except that he was dumb enough to say it all with the tape running. I think there is a good reason the locker room is a confidential place for men to talk, plan, and just be men. That confidence was violated here which surprises me.

    Don’t get me wrong, a line did get crossed. This guy will not work in the NFL again, whether or not there is a ban. And I agree with that. But this universal condemnation is pissing me off. We can’t take out the violence of the game when we also sell it en masse as a key component to the game itself. A new line needs to be drawn and it will be. It needs to be before the place Greg Williams went to. But if we sterilize this game completely, we may as well sit around sewing quilts instead. And I certainly vote for preserving the sanctity of the locker room. Sheeesh, next thing you know they’ll put cameras and microphones in the showers, locker rooms and meeting rooms. Let’s not go that far please.

    April 6th, 2012 12:03 pm

  12. Streetglide

    There is no remorse in New Orleans. Check the sports page there. The whole state seems to be filled with goons…

    April 6th, 2012 12:11 pm

  13. Dr. Feelgood

    You’ll need to take this on faith- I’m a law abiding citizen with no place in my make-up for violence, and am as gentle as a lamb, maybe more so.
    That said, the violent sports are extremely attractive. The organized mayhem of football, boxing with its KO’s (and attendant life altering concussions), MMA, etc., all are personally appealing and all come with the possibility of significant bodily injury and long-term mental and physical debilitation. Judging by the popularity of these “entertainments”, I am not alone. Fans can enjoy the vicarious rush of victory when “we” win, or can get so worked up we shoot one another, an outcome far, far worse than anything spewed by a coach trying to pump up his squad.
    Without the tape to review and only memory to work from, I cannot recall any obvious unsportsmanlike hits in the playoff game with the Saints. If the Saint players took literally William’s message to maim, they failed badly in the task. What I saw was an outstanding game, with what appeared to be good sportsmanship, in an important and heated elimination game.
    This Williams thing makes for great theater. I’ll say again that he should be held accountable his crimes, which are the “bounty system”. But somehow his over the top rhetoric is on trial as well. Cohn Zone submits that football is not war, which of course it is not, but is it rare to hear that expression going into contests? It’s a euphemism, a call to arms, part of the language of winning or losing. There are thousands of coaches across the land and hence thousands of motivational techniques, many of which push the envelope to the edge of legality, of morality. Coaches can step over that line (the coach who locked up his player in a tool shed ?? Texas??), Bobby Knight (of my beloved Indiana) choking a player (what a conundrum, I loved him, I hated him).
    So Williams has stepped over the line. He must bear the consequences.
    What is of interest is the effect this will have on the coaches just inches behind that line.

    April 6th, 2012 1:27 pm

  14. mike

    Dr. Feelgood….first of all, Mike Leach, then the head coach at Texas Tech, did not lock up Craig James’ son in a tool shed. The kid thought it would be “funny” to go in there with his cell phone and send a pix to his dad stating that was where Leach put him. Truthfully, because of concussion syndrome and still suffering the after effects of the concussion, such as sensitivity to light, the trainer recommended that the player be placed in a light restricted room. Craig James had a burr in his saddle because he thought his son was a better player than he really was and was upset because Leach was not using the kid the way the father thought he should be utilized.

    As far as Williams and the bounty program, he needs to be banned permanently from the NFL. The natural context of the game is violent enough and the risk of injury during fair play is something players deal with continuously, but having a coach promote maiming or injuring seriously a player and then offering payment for players carted off the field is criminal and definitely not within the rules of play.

    April 6th, 2012 4:13 pm

  15. chris

    Lowell, I cant believe some of what you said in your column. People like myself that dont think this bounty issue is such a big issue dont believe that what Williams is saying isnt wrong, its just nothing to take so seriously like you think it is. I’ve been watching football for four decades since 1972, and have seen players with a specific injury be targeted ever since then. And Bill Walsh did advocate his defense to play brutal. You must not watch NFL films much because there’s lockeroom video of Walsh telling his players to hit the quarterback early and hard. The 1985 game vs. the Raiders where Plunkett is injured by Jeff Stover is a CLEAR example. You just seem to put blinders on to these things. And you’ve got to be kidding about the Raiders and AL Davis not going beyond the rules!! A well known Raiders motto from the 70′s was….”if you’re not cheating you’re not trying”. And again refering to NFL films, there’s tons of video of illegal hits by the Raiders, causing injuries. Bizarre column Lowell.

    April 6th, 2012 7:10 pm

  16. chris

    oh and Lowell, you said that football is not war? Another motto of the Raiders of the 70′s was what was written on the lockeroom chalkboard on the day of the game……”go to war”. This was mentioned by Gene Upshaw in a NFL films interview. There’s tons of this stuff on youtube of Upshaw, Atkinson and Villapiano. Also the Raiders used to use plaster casts under the tape on their forearms. The team doctor made these casts. Go check youtube Lowell to get educated….jeez.

    April 6th, 2012 7:18 pm

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