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Old 03-23-2012, 05:41 PM   #1
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Senate Questions For Goodell

A Congressional investigation of NFL bounty programs and player safety could prove interesting and more than a tad uncomfortable for Roger Goodell, whose most notable biographical detail before becoming NFL commissioner was that he is the son of a former United States senator.

Some suggested questions:

1. After the 2012 NFC championship game, regarding a hit on San Francisco player Kyle Williams, New York Giant Jacquian Williams said, "We knew he had four concussions, so that was our biggest thing, to take him outta the game." And New York Giant Devin Thomas said, "He's had a lot of concussions. We gotta put a hit on the guy." Is the targeting of players with a history of injuries to put those players out of the game against NFL rules? If so, did the league investigate the actions of the New York Giants regarding Kyle Williams?

2. Do you believe such targeting of players with a history of injuries to put those players out of the game is commonplace in your league? If not, on what evidence do you base your belief? If so, does that mean that your game is too violent?

3. Since the imposing of sanctions against the New Orleans, news reports quoting former players have appeared in numerous media outlets, including the Washington Post and the Buffalo News, stating that Gregg Williams ran identical bounty programs with other teams including the Washington Redskins, the Buffalo Bills and the Tennessee Titans. Indeed, there appears credible and substantial evidence that before the 2006 Monday Night game between Washington and Minnesota, there was a $15,000 bounty offered to prevent Minnesota quarterback Brad Johnson from finishing the game, and Washington defensive line coach Greg Blanche stated that player fines would be "taken care of."

Do you find such stories disturbing? Do you believe such stories warrant serious investigation? If after serious investigation, credible evidence shows that in all probabllity those incidents occurred, do you believe that sanctions should be imposed against those football organizations and coaches involved if they are still working in the NFL?

4. What steps did your league take to investigate the stories of bounty programs at Washington, Buffalo, Baltimore and Tennessee? Could you please tell us which persons with the league conducted and were directly responsible for those investigations so that we can subpoena them to testify and what reports of those investigations exist so that we can subpoena those reports?

5. Do you believe those investigations were a whitewash? If not, did your league find that other teams were offering bounty programs to put players out of a game? If not, should we not conclude that your league did not look hard for evidence of bounty programs with other teams?

6. If our investigation shows that bounty programs such as the program you found in place under Gregg Williams in New Orleans has been commonplace for decades and part of the culture of your game, and if your league's investigations have been unable to find even one other team with a bounty program--despite numerous media reports with names and quotations attesting to such programs--would you not agree that Congress would be warranted in taking serious action to ensure that these programs finally come to an end and player safety strengthened?

7. Before the 2012 New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49er playoff game, a former NFL player and radio commenator Bill Romanowski on San Francisco station 95.7 said, "This has got to be a stretcher game. I'm talking...bring out the stretcher and take Colston to the hospital. Take Darren Sproles to the hospital because he got knocked out." And of course, in that game on the opening drive, Saints running back Pierre Thomas was knocked out of the game because of a helmet to helmet hit. The irony of the comments being directed at the one team against which you imposed sanctions is striking. However, my question is: Do you think that the culture of your game is such that most defensive and special team players talk the way Romanowski talked?

8. What importance does the league place on player safety? Given the importance you place on player safety, how can the league propose an 18 game season? If credible medical and other scientific studies exist showing that an 18 game season will adversely affect player health and safety, will you commit to us that you will cease campaigning for an 18 game season?

9. Regarding the recent investigation of the New Orleans Saints, did game video reveal that the offer of money resulted in any illegal tackles or hits by Saints players? Can you tell us how many and which ones?

10. Much has been made of the hits taken by Brett Farve in the NFC championship game between New Orleans and Minnesota. In that game, do you believe that Farve received illegal hits that were motivated by payment of a bounty? If so, and if I tell you that your league in its football highlight videos has made money playing up those hits--and we have the video if tyou would like to see it--do you believe the league was wrong in doing so?

And with just a bit more time combing the Internet, we could come up with 40 more. Perhaps Goodell thought that he had to act. But by hitting the Saints hard--and focusing so much on player safety rather than the integrity of league investigations--he may have opened Pandora's box.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:51 PM   #2
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I would like to see Goodell answer each of those questions.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:59 PM   #3
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Are u an attorney? Very good.
I would email him and indicate selcted senators will
receive more. The Who Dat nation continues to plow ahead.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:01 PM   #4
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Epic. But he would never answer them
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:01 PM   #5
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It would be so entertaining to watch Goodell get backed into a corner like this. He needs to get called out for all of his BS.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:02 PM   #6
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I would like for the government to butt out. They have enough problems of their own they need to fix.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:02 PM   #7
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Some opponents are urging for Jonathan Vilma to be suspended for life, a proposition which could cost Vilma tens of millions of dollars, for offering $10,000 to anyone who could knock Brett Favre out of the game, which no one was able to do in that game. The Saints organization was fined $500,000 for allowing it. Charles Woodson was fined $10,000 and received no suspension for throwing a punch at a Saints player this season. Why does the league feel that paying someone to make a harder tackle is about 1,000 times worse than throwing a punch after a play?
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:15 PM   #8
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Didn't a niner corner mention they had a list of guys that they went after? Mentioned 8 of the 10 were knocked out.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:20 PM   #9
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Great Post!!
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:29 PM   #10
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Great post!
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:39 PM   #11
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This exact post needs to be all over the Internet. Let's get to work people!!
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:52 PM   #12
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Troy Aikman's prediction might just come true. The Saints are only the poster boys for the bounty culture at this current time and we deserve to be punished, but I'd bet every penny ihave that other programs had bounty programs and lied about them, and I think over time, more and more information will begin to leak about them. There are legitimate investigative journalists out there, and the tips will start pouring in.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:00 PM   #13
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RJ, you need to become a Senate Council. FWIW, I played in the UPenn Orchestra with the Council to the House of Representatives, but I doubt she would remember me.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:09 PM   #14
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