Outta’ Right Field: No place for ‘bounty-gate’

By Ransom Cozzillio
March 14, 2012

Well, imagine that. The NFL is in hot water again over the practices of its employees. It’s been dogfighting, player misconduct, weapons charges, steroids and concussions (among countless others). Now, apparently, it’s the revelation that some teams have been offering a “bounty fee” to their defensive players as incentive to knock opposing players out of the game.

And, just like the litany of other offenses, the NFL and the football watching public just can’t seem to react reasonably. With player conduct and “Twitter abuses” we’ve heard too much. With concussions, we are still hearing dangerously little.

So what if a few defensive coordinators put a few thousand dollars on the table to any player who could get the opposition “carted-off”. The “bounty scandal” is the least of the NFL’s problems. Honestly, it’s just football.

You want to know what a “bounty” is? Any hard-hitting defensive player’s contract. Watch old footage of Brian Dawkins, tell me his salary wasn’t a bounty on any offensive player in range. Love him though I do, Dawkins isn’t so much a football player as he is a running muscle that happens to be on a football field. He doesn’t tackle, he clobbers and that style of play has left countless players unconscious after a hit from him.

So go ahead, tell me a bounty would make players like him any more dangerous. Inevitably though, someone will argue that with extra money on the table, players might be encouraged to go for career threatening dirty hits. It’s certainly possible, just not necessarily rational.

What if we found that illegal hits exempted a player from winning the bounty? That alleviates the worry that it’s spurring dirty play. We would still viscerally protest but our reason would be gone. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter because the effects of this bounty program are certainly marginal at worst. At the NFL level, everyone is fighting tooth and nail for every inch, just to stay in the league. Excuse me if I’m a little skeptical that an extra grand is going to make them hit any harder than they already are in the hopes of earning millions.

Nevertheless, reasons or not, here we are, inveterate in our purchase of outrage. Especially in sports, our common last frontier of hero worship, where our broken moral compasses speak volumes. Be my guest, get mad, demand reform. But before you do, tell me you won’t be madder when they stop playing like this.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ransom Cozzillio

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap