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Is Football as We Know It in Jeopardy?

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Okay, what? I haven't talked about it. Okay, here's the question: What's gonna happen to the defensive players in the New Orleans Saints in terms of punishment because of the bounty scandal.  By the way, speaking of that, today, Sean Payton, the coach, Mickey Loomis, the general manager, and an assistant coach named Vitt are appealing their suspensions before the commissioner, Roger Goodell, known affectionately to some as Roger God-dell.  This morning or last night a new tape was discovered.  There's a guy who was doing a documentary on a former Saints player who has ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, and he happened to have his camera running in the Saints locker room prior to their last playoff game against the Fort'iners in January. 

It was either in the hotel the night before the meeting or in the locker room before the game.  And the guy caught the defensive coordinator who had been suspended for life, or indefinitely, Gregg Williams, caught him on tape actually telling players to take out the quarterback, Alex Smith, with a chin shot and telling the players to go after other Fort'iners at the knees.  He was naming body parts. He was demonstrating how to do it.  It is not known whether commissioner Goodell knew of this tape before he handed out the suspensions, but it was theorized that if he didn't know about this tape and then the Saints personnel show up to argue their appeal today, that it might even get worse if commissioner Goodell did not know about this, that this might cause even more stringent suspensions. 

And, remember, one of the reasons why these suspensions are so huge is because the Saints management, the coaching staff, lied throughout investigation by denying it was going on.  That didn't sit well with Goodell, and it wouldn't sit well with anybody.  I mean you've got the investigation in there openly lying while continuing the bounty program.  That's as much as half the suspension reason.  So Goodell does the original suspension, he hears the appeal.  Now, the players, that's a whole different thing, 'cause they've gotta work with the players union on that.  There has been talk that there might be civil lawsuits filed against the players if there's evidence that this was more than just football. If it was, for example, assault and battery with intent to harm outside the rules of the game. 

Nobody knows what suspension penalties will hit the players involved here.  There is one player who's been named who was offered ten grand to take out I think it was Brett Favre, I'm not sure. The name was Jonathan Vilma, former Jet, now with the Saints.  But because the union is involved it's a different process.  I have no idea how that's gonna end up with the player punishment, no clue whatsoever.  But this tape -- I think Steve Gleason is the guy's name that has ALS. I think that's his name and they're doing a documentary on him and they just happened to catch Gregg Williams with specific instructions on specific players and specific body parts. 

Now, there's another side to this.  There is a player by the name of Bernard Pollard who was with the Chiefs.  Bernard Pollard is who took Tom Brady out for a year with a shot at the knee, ostensibly inadvertently.  Bernard Pollard also took somebody else out for a while when he was playing with I think the Ravens, and now Bernard Pollard is with a third team or maybe it's the Ravens he's with now.  Bernard Pollard said, (paraphrasing) "This Goodell is gonna ruin the game. In seven years they're gonna be playing flag football.  People that have never played this game trying to tell us how to play."  What Pollard's point is we're gonna do this whether we've got a coach telling us to do it or not. It's the name of the game. You take the quarterback out. This is football. We know it. We sign up for it. We're willing to put ourselves on the line.  This is the game, is his point. 

Here's something also interesting.  While this is going on, last week the owners meetings were here at the famed Breakers hotel. Last week the whole NFL was here.  And of course the Saints contingent was in town and the media and everybody was buzzing about the forthcoming suspensions because of the bounty program.  While this was going on, in one of the meeting rooms they had a television on to the NFL Network, and the NFL Network was doing an NFL Films feature on the ten toughest tacklers in the league, and number five was a guy named Hardy Brown, who's from Texas, but he played with the Fort'iners.  Hardy Brown -- I know of him -- was vicious. 

Hardy Brown perfected taking guys out, legally.  And while the league is abuzz at the meetings with handing out these penalties for bounties, Hardy Brown's on television at the Breakers on NFL Network telling how a team had a $500 bounty on him back in the fifties.  And he's smiling about it, and you know what Hardy Brown did?  Somebody on the Rams told him that they had a bounty on him. He said, (paraphrasing) "Okay, look, you hit me, I'll fake it, and we'll split the $500."  It's part of the game, and I told you people earlier this year, and I meant this from the bottom my heart, and I don't know that it'll happen in our lifetimes, but I can see where this country's going and I can see where political correctness is going.  Don't be surprised if somebody somewhere down the line suggests we ban football because it's too dangerous.  Concussions, head injuries, 124 players have a class-action suit against the league now, ex-players, concussions and so forth.  It is going to happen. 

Now, I don't know if whoever is gonna propose banning football will have any credibility because they'll be a kook, but it's gonna happen.  And once it happens it will be taken seriously somewhere.  This is what liberals do.  Liberals want to take away all risk, all danger.  That's why they tell you coffee will kill you. Then one day oat bran will kill you. Then MSG will kill you. You can't have coconut oil on your popcorn in the movies.  They want to take all risk out of life.  And it will happen.  It will happen.  And when you have people like Bernard Pollard say they're gonna make us play flag football, he's essentially saying the same thing. 

The sissies are gonna win out, and what he's saying. The sissies are gonna win at some point.  And we're not sissies who play this game.  That's what bothered him.  You can't, in the heat of battle, determine where you're not gonna hit somebody, make a tackle.  That's not what you're paid to do.  You're paid to take 'em out.  And the dirty little secret is that's what people watch to see.  But you can also, on the other side of this, you can go back and you can get tapes of football in the forties and fifties and you can watch really rough, tough football that's clean as a whistle, proper tackling, no head shots, no launching. I mean the game can be played rough and tough without the modern-day techniques that are taking place.  But the question is would it be entertaining to enough people, given the way it has evolved now.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: By the way, I'm calling Commissioner Goodell "God-dell" just for the fun of it here, folks. That's what a lot of the players are calling him. They are not happy with the fact that people who haven't played the game are legislating it, and his nickname is "God-dell" to a lot of people. I'm just telling you -- mark my words -- liberals are who they are, and risk is unacceptable. Being injured is unacceptable. Being hurt, being harmed, is unacceptable -- especially when it's purposeful. And somebody, someday, is gonna propose a major, major shift in this game, or banning it. And players are also sitting around saying, "We are not sissies." And the sissies are trying to take this game over is what they think. And of course right in there is the media. Hell, folks, the sports media is out proposing (impression), "A federal commission there to study this. A federal commission there to study that. And another federal commission over here to study this." It's getting absurd. It's getting absurd. The game is becoming political. It's the worst thing that could possibly happen to it. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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