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Hawaii 5-0
05-02-2012, 05:14 PM
Steelers take to Twitter after Bountygate suspensions

May 2, 2012
By Gerry Dulac / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://c4241337.r37.cf2.rackcdn.com/05-02-00_james-harrison_420.jpg

Several Steelers players reacted incredulously today on Twitter to the punishment handed four New Orleans Saints players -- including a one-year suspension to linebacker Jonathan Vilma -- for their role in Bountygate.

Outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley was one of several players who voiced displeasure after National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the suspensions.

"Vilma suspended a whole yr FOR PLAYING FOOTBALL???? Cmon man!!!!!," Woodley wrote on Twitter.

Outside linebacker James Harrison, who has been fined and suspended by the league for illegal hits, tweeted, "Ridiculous, and nobody really sees why the punishments have been so severe over the past 3 4 years! Lawsuits and 18 games???"

Safety Ryan Clark played for the Washington Redskins when Gregg Williams, who was suspended indefinitely without pay for orchestrating the bounty scandal with the Saints, was their defensive coordinator. Williams is the defensive coordinator with the St. Louis Rams.

"Wonder why the team got the least penalties in Bounty Gate! Think about who elects & rewarded the commish, it's the owners of the teams!" the safety wrote on Twitter.

Vilma was one of four players identified as the ringleader of the bounty program that financially rewarded teammates for taking out or injuring star players on the opposing team. He was given the harshest penalty -- a one-year suspension -- for his role.

Also suspended were defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove (eight games), defensive end Will Smith (four games) and linebacker Scott Fujita (three games). Fujita now plays for the Cleveland Browns.

Responding on Twitter to a question about whether other teams condone similar actions, Harrison wrote, "I can't say that every team does that cause we don't and I haven't played for any other team."

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/steelers/steelers-take-to-twitter-after-bountygate-suspensions-634069/

kan_t
05-02-2012, 06:46 PM
Players should stop twitting.

Vis
05-02-2012, 06:49 PM
I prefer my response to Ryan


ryan clark ‏ @RealRClark25
Wonder why the team got the least penalties in Bounty Gate! Think about who elects & reworded the commish, it's the owners of the trams!

Paul Rathke ‏ @Paul_Rathke
@RealRClark25 Direct liability worse than respondeat superior
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Fire Arians
05-02-2012, 07:11 PM
more reason for goodell to hate our defense even more. expect the next james harrison infraction to be a multi game suspension

TRH
05-02-2012, 08:30 PM
just stay the hell off Twitter. Please.

tanda10506
05-02-2012, 08:41 PM
I'm all for free speech, but free speech refers to being free from persecution not free from your employer telling you to shut up, which is what Tomlin needs to do. Of course our team doesn't make as ridiculous "tweets", but the Steelers are starting to sound like the Jets.

Bayz101
05-02-2012, 08:47 PM
The defensive players we're just doing as instructed by their coach. He's the one who should be punished, and he has been.

Now, as for twitter. I normally agree with a lot of what our players have to say, but this is a bit ridiculous. It's cool to speak your mind, but what these guys are doing now is putting a target on their backs. Goodell will be all over them if they don't cool it.

tony hipchest
05-02-2012, 09:07 PM
[QUOTE=Bayz101;1009924] It's cool to speak your mind, but what these guys are doing now is putting a target on their backs. Goodell will be all over them if they don't cool it.[/QUOTEand this is different than when?

]roger will be all over them if they do cool it. goodell has had a target on their back since before twitter. he's had a hard on for them as the hardest hitting team ever since he took over and the 1st lawsuit hit. why do you think the players respond to him the way they do?

hell, im generally a nice guy and i call him a piece of shit via twitter. :noidea:

ricardisimo
05-03-2012, 01:07 AM
Twitter is just talking out loud. This is the US of A, it's fine. Besides, Harrison's suggestion is right on the mark; if player safety is the key, Goodell should be suspended indefinitely for repeatedly bringing up and pushing the 18-game schedule.

tucker6
05-03-2012, 07:58 AM
Twitter is just talking out loud. This is the US of A, it's fine. Besides, Harrison's suggestion is right on the mark; if player safety is the key, Goodell should be suspended indefinitely for repeatedly bringing up and pushing the 18-game schedule.
On the flip side, I would suggest that until the players take the ramifications of bounties more seriously with regard to player safety, their reasons for refusing an 18 game schedule (player safety) ring hollow.


I agree with most posters here. Tweet less and think more.

Steelerindc
05-03-2012, 08:11 AM
Yes, I agree with the stop tweeting thing. But would these guys be punished if Vilma would have said "the guy that gets Favre gets a steak dinner from Ruth Chris'?

I don't think so but it's the same thing. This is not a contact sport it's a collision sport and none of the hits we have seen run a thousand times or ESPN look like someone was going over the top.

Most of us think that Ryan Clark and James Harrison shouldn't have been suspended as many times as they have been.

I get it, you have to send a message, you have to let players know that you're playing. But if you can't find any evidence that somebody got actually hurt behind this then why the harsh suspension. These bounties amounted to nothing.

Punishment to harsh for Vilma I think. 4 - 6 games seems about right.

Vis
05-03-2012, 08:22 AM
Yes, I agree with the stop tweeting thing. But would these guys be punished if Vilma would have said "the guy that gets Favre gets a steak dinner from Ruth Chris'?

I don't think so but it's the same thing. This is not a contact sport it's a collision sport and none of the hits we have seen run a thousand times or ESPN look like someone was going over the top.

Most of us think that Ryan Clark and James Harrison shouldn't have been suspended as many times as they have been.

I get it, you have to send a message, you have to let players know that you're playing. But if you can't find any evidence that somebody got actually hurt behind this then why the harsh suspension. These bounties amounted to nothing.

Punishment to harsh for Vilma I think. 4 - 6 games seems about right.

There are many different issues We don't know what the actual evidence is. If Vilma actually sues, we might find out.

SteelKid212
05-03-2012, 09:35 AM
let the players talk. its the only offseason action right now :popcorn:

Kingmagyar
05-03-2012, 01:13 PM
The fact that they don't quite get what was done is the most disheartening thing to me. They just come across as sounding like complete dumb football players. Williams should be suspended for life and every one else got what they deserved. You target an opponent's head or previous knee injury you are targeting their livelihood and their lives. This is the closest thing to actual attempted murder in sports that there is.

And is there actually anything that has ever been said on twitter by a Steeler that sounds even remotely intelligent? They all come across as absolute morons. I love my team and players on it but someone in the organization needs to step up and say your just looking stupid.

Hawaii 5-0
05-03-2012, 03:00 PM
Saints Suspensions in Bounty Scandal A Reminder of Why The Steelers Voted 'No' on the CBA

by Neal Coolong on May 3, 2012

Charlie Wilmoth of SB Nation Pittsburgh compiled an interesting piece (via ESPN's Adam Schefter) regarding some reactions of the suspensions in wake of the bounty scandal in New Orleans.

As probably suspected, those reactions were colorful, aggressive and not in support of the verdict handed down by Commissioner Roger Goodell.

OLB James Harrison, the Steeler fined and suspended the most often by Goodell, was at no loss for words concerning the suspensions, as we've come to expect.

@jharrison9292
Wonder why the Team got the least penalties in Bounty Gate? Think about who elects & rewarded the commish... it's the owners of the teams!
2 May 12

It's hard to argue with that point. LB Jonathan Vilma will miss a full year, Packers DL Anthony Hargrove was suspended eight games, Saints DE Will Smith was suspended four games and Browns LB Scott Fujita will miss three games. The Saints were docked two second-round draft picks and fined $500,000.

Upon achieving the roster bonus he no doubt would have achieved, Vilma would have been paid $2.2 million this year.

OLB LaMarr Woodley chimed in as well:

@LaMarrWoodley
Vilma suspended a whole yr FOR PLAYING FOOTBALL???? cmon man!!!!!
2 May 12

If the suspensions are indeed extreme, which many have said they are, have been and presumably, will be in the future, at least partial blame lays with the Players Union, and Executive Director DeMaurice Smith.

Under his watch, the players signed off on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which gives Goodell the authority to do essentially whatever he pleases. They knowingly allowed him to make himself judge, jury and executioner, and that's not an exaggeration.

The players who weren't on the Pittsburgh Steelers at least. The Steelers voted 'no' on the CBA, according to the Tribune-Review (via National Football Post).

Why did the Steelers go against the grain? Many players are not thrilled with the way discipline issues will be handled. Some are a little apprehensive about new testing for HGH.

"There was a level of uncertainty because a lot of guys didn't know what they were signing up for," linebacker Lawrence Timmons said. "We had a short time limit to sign everything, so I feel we were rushed."

It's humorous to listen to Smith talk about appealing the decision, and fighting it possibly even into the courts.

According to a Fox News article from Wednesday:

DeMaurice Smith said the union "has still not received any detailed or specific evidence from the league of these specific players' involvement in an alleged pay-to-injure program. We have made it clear that punishment without evidence is not fair. We have spoken with our players and their representatives and we will vigorously protect and pursue all options on their behalf."

What options, De? You have no options. The league has no rule stating they have to inform you of why they're being suspended. It doesn't need evidence.

The players allowed this sham of due process is exist, and they have no legal leverage on which to fight what appears to be an extreme penalty for doing something their coaches clearly endorsed and supported.

True, Saints coach Sean Payton was suspended for a year, but a reasonably-minded person could conclude rather easily Vilma, Fujita (the team's former player rep and member of the union's executive committee), Smith and Hargrove were doing nothing more than reacting to the culture Payton and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams are accused of creating within the Saints locker room.

Too bad the argument will never be made, His Honor has already voted, and the appeal goes straight to him.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/5/3/2995955/new-orleans-saints-bounty-jonathan-vilma-anthony-hargrove-scott-fujita-will-smith-suspended#storyjump

tanda10506
05-03-2012, 07:28 PM
The fact that they don't quite get what was done is the most disheartening thing to me. They just come across as sounding like complete dumb football players.

This^. If you follow the Saints issue at all, you will hear COUNTLESS times that the fines, penalties, suspensions, etc. are all based on BOUNTIES for INJURIES. Not for hitting hard and not for doing something that would be classified as "playing football" (Woodley). EVERY true Steeler fan wants to see us hit everybody as hard as possible, but the Saints weren't guilty of doing that, they weren't even necessarily hitting harder, it's how, where and why they hit like that that is the problem, why do they still not understand this?

RufSteel
05-03-2012, 08:38 PM
First post here. Hello fellow Steeler fans! I live in Louisiana and am a Saints fan as well as a Steelers fans, so I wanted to comment on this topic.

First off, it's not only Steelers commenting or tweeting about these suspensions. Players from across the league have voiced their opinions and most are shocked/unhappy. These suspensions are far too harsh and the players have every right to complain about it. But these suspensions shouldn't hold up, the NFLPA is taking action. The fact that no evidence has been released is making the commish look like a liar. The players are standing together, I see no reason to complain about that. The only thing to complain about is the commissioner. The only reason some are not liking them posting their opinions is out of fear for what their "penalties" could be. And that's my point. I'm glad they are doing this, the league should take notice.

Hawaii 5-0
05-03-2012, 09:44 PM
First post here. Hello fellow Steeler fans! I live in Louisiana and am a Saints fan as well as a Steelers fans, so I wanted to comment on this topic.

First off, it's not only Steelers commenting or tweeting about these suspensions. Players from across the league have voiced their opinions and most are shocked/unhappy. These suspensions are far too harsh and the players have every right to complain about it. But these suspensions shouldn't hold up, the NFLPA is taking action. The fact that no evidence has been released is making the commish look like a liar. The players are standing together, I see no reason to complain about that. The only thing to complain about is the commissioner. The only reason some are not liking them posting their opinions is out of fear for what their "penalties" could be. And that's my point. I'm glad they are doing this, the league should take notice.


great first post RufSteel and welcome to this board! :drink:

I happen to completely agree with you, there is something wrong when the guy who hands out the sentences is the judge, jury, executioner and the guy you appeal to and I believe the players have had enough of Roger Goodell playing God and dictator.

tucker6
05-04-2012, 09:28 AM
great first post RufSteel and welcome to this board! :drink:

I happen to completely agree with you, there is something wrong when the guy who hands out the sentences is the judge, jury, executioner and the guy you appeal to and I believe the players have had enough of Roger Goodell playing God and dictator.
Why are we bashing Goodell here. Because he is the MAN? Is he the one that participated in illegal football activity (bounties)? Is he the one that repeatedly hits opposing players in the head, which is against the rules? Is he the one smoking or selling dope and getting arrested? Is he committing the domestic batteries? Is he riding around drunk and killing pedestrians? Is he getting into bar fights at 2am? Just stop the bashing of Goodell because last I checked, he didn't commit any of these violations, and yet is being blamed for being judge and jury. If you don't want to do the time, don't commit the crime. Pretty simple philosophy. It isn't like he's hualing innocent people into his office and handing out penalties.

Hawaii 5-0
05-04-2012, 01:16 PM
Why are we bashing Goodell here. Because he is the MAN? Is he the one that participated in illegal football activity (bounties)? Is he the one that repeatedly hits opposing players in the head, which is against the rules? Is he the one smoking or selling dope and getting arrested? Is he committing the domestic batteries? Is he riding around drunk and killing pedestrians? Is he getting into bar fights at 2am? Just stop the bashing of Goodell because last I checked, he didn't commit any of these violations, and yet is being blamed for being judge and jury. If you don't want to do the time, don't commit the crime. Pretty simple philosophy. It isn't like he's hualing innocent people into his office and handing out penalties.


I am not bashing Roger Goodell the man as much as I am bashing the system that allows him to be judge, jury and executioner and if you don't like it and wish to appeal you have to appeal back with him?

you don't see anything wrong with that system? where are the checks and balances? there is no way the appeal process should be conducted by the same person who handed out the punishment in the first place.

tucker6
05-04-2012, 01:33 PM
I am not bashing Roger Goodell the man as much as I am bashing the system that allows him to be judge, jury and executioner and if you don't like it and wish to appeal you have to appeal back with him?

you don't see anything wrong with that system? where are the checks and balances?
This is not geared toward your comments, but more of a general commentary.

All I'm saying is that if you don't break the rules, you don't have anything to fear from Roger Goodell. Claiming the system is broken or that Goodell has too much power is simply diverting from how this all started in the first place, which was players breaking the rules.

As for your questions, my opinion is irrelevant. Both the owners AND players agreed to it, so that is what they obviously wanted, wouldn't you agree? Why find fault with it now when you had the chance to correct it last year? They need to live and deal with it and stop crying about it. This is one occasion where the players need to MAN UP.

Hawaii 5-0
05-04-2012, 01:44 PM
Both the owners AND players agreed to it, so that is what they obviously wanted, wouldn't you agree? Why find fault with it now when you had the chance to correct it last year? They need to live and deal with it and stop crying about it. This is one occasion where the players need to MAN UP.


NFLPA grievances attempt to steer review process away from Goodell

Posted by Mike Florio on May 4, 2012

The NFLPA has wasted little time challenging the discipline imposed on four Saints players (two current, two former) by Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Two separate grievances have been filed, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. PFT has obtained copies of the documentation.

In one grievance, filed under Article 43 of the labor deal, the union initially argues that Goodell lacks the authority to discipline players for conduct occurring before August 4, 2011, the date on which the current CBA was finalized. The grievance cites language releasing all players from conduct in which the players engaged before August 4, 2011.

The Article 43 grievance then argues that, as the discipline relates to any intention or effort or offer to injure opposing players, Ted Cottrell and Art Shell have authority over the appeal process, and not Goodell. Cottrell and Shell have been jointly appointed by the NFL and the NFLPA to handle the appeals of fines or suspensions for “conduct on the playing field with respect to an opposing player or players.” The NFLPA believes that the bounty allegations fall within the scope of that clause.

The NFLPA also has filed a “System Arbitration” proceeding, arguing that allegations of payments being made to players separate and apart from their contracts fall within the authority of Special Master Stephen Burbank. This claims arises from the fact that the labor deal carves out specific types of disputes that are referred to Burbank for resolution. Burbank’s jurisdiction includes Article 14 of the CBA, which encompasses payments to players beyond their contracts (and thus beyond the salary cap).

And so, as expected, these grievances represent a threshold effort to steer the appeal process away from Goodell. One grievance focuses on the penalties from the perspective of the funding of the bounty pool, and one focuses on the penalties from the perspective of the effort to secure payment via attempts to inflict injury.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/05/04/nflpa-files-grievances-over-bounty-punishment/

Curtain_of_Steel
05-04-2012, 01:59 PM
Apparently they were told to stop. They choose not too.

In this case, I think Goodell has done well. I think the teams exposure and fine was light. Not taking the 1's away was wrong. It shouldve started with the 1's. Also, any player who participated should've had a fine attached to it.
Drew Brees should've been told to sign the contract or get out of the proceedings. He had less than zero busienss being there as he is not under contract and not an nfl player as it stands today. Im still not sure how he can say he had no clue. Thats complete BS and he could be lying or expanding up the lack of truth, lol

The example of Favre taking a beating that game, as I remember yelling "stay down old man if not they are going to hit you again". The ref's if I recall didnt call a thing that game. So the game is a good example of the bounty system, they hit him harder and harder, and late and later yet still no flag. But when you look back at that game and the late hits and so on, you can now say, hey they had money on his head.

Here is a petty question. Did those who received money which assuming it was over $600.00, pay taxes? Did Vilma write off the donation as a business expense?lol

The government has spent millions on a pointless Roger Clemens perjury charge, which all but blew up in their faces 2 days ago. Certainly the IRS could come a knocking on these guys.

TRH
05-04-2012, 02:10 PM
Apparently they were told to stop. They choose not too.

In this case, I think Goodell has done well. I think the teams exposure and fine was light. Not taking the 1's away was wrong. It shouldve started with the 1's. Also, any player who participated should've had a fine attached to it.
Drew Brees should've been told to sign the contract or get out of the proceedings. He had less than zero busienss being there as he is not under contract and not an nfl player as it stands today. Im still not sure how he can say he had no clue. Thats complete BS and he could be lying or expanding up the lack of truth, lol

.


on a side note....

I've followed the things Brees has done and said during the off-season and followed his negotiations (or lacktherof) for a new contract.
My impression of him is that he's a pompous, arrogant SOB, a real piece of work. He and his PR have attempted along the way, in the past few years, to portray this "meek, mild, really NICE down-to-earth" guy, which is, honestly, laughable.
I hope the Saints play some hardball with him, but my guess is that they're going to cave and give him all and more of the money in an effort to get back in good public graces down there. This A-hole is going to force them to mortgage the whole franchise to just one guy.
I haven't liked anything i've seen of Drew Brees.

Hawaii 5-0
05-04-2012, 02:18 PM
Apparently they were told to stop. They choose not too.

In this case, I think Goodell has done well. I think the teams exposure and fine was light. Not taking the 1's away was wrong. It shouldve started with the 1's.


the Saints didn't have a #1 pick this year to take away, they gave that up in last season's trade-up for running back Mark Ingram.

RufSteel
05-04-2012, 05:34 PM
Apparently they were told to stop. They choose not too.

In this case, I think Goodell has done well. I think the teams exposure and fine was light. Not taking the 1's away was wrong. It shouldve started with the 1's. Also, any player who participated should've had a fine attached to it.
Drew Brees should've been told to sign the contract or get out of the proceedings. He had less than zero busienss being there as he is not under contract and not an nfl player as it stands today. Im still not sure how he can say he had no clue. Thats complete BS and he could be lying or expanding up the lack of truth, lol

The example of Favre taking a beating that game, as I remember yelling "stay down old man if not they are going to hit you again". The ref's if I recall didnt call a thing that game. So the game is a good example of the bounty system, they hit him harder and harder, and late and later yet still no flag. But when you look back at that game and the late hits and so on, you can now say, hey they had money on his head.

Here is a petty question. Did those who received money which assuming it was over $600.00, pay taxes? Did Vilma write off the donation as a business expense?lol

The government has spent millions on a pointless Roger Clemens perjury charge, which all but blew up in their faces 2 days ago. Certainly the IRS could come a knocking on these guys.

Have you not been keeping up with the story? Alot of reports are changing on what supposedly took place. Multiple sources are reporting that Gregg Williams gave Vilma 10,000 dollars to offer as motivation to defensive players for the 2009 divisonal round game and the NFC championship only. That money was reportedly returned by Vilma to Gregg Williams. No player has admitted to receiving any money for injuring another player. Darren Sharper says that he never heard there was an investigation going on and the players had no idea the league was looking into the system. Wether the money was used or not is irrelevant IMO. If the players werent told to stop why should they be punished? If players dont go with the system their teams run they will be replaced, plain and simple. The NFL has released ZERO evidence that there was ever a pay for injury bounty system going on in New Orleans. They just keep saying they have evidence. If they have the evidence why not release it to the NFLPA to avoid these lawsuits? Giants defenders admitted to targetting Kyle Williams's concussion. They haven't been fined in any way. Even ESPN is back tracking and starting to side with the players, and thats obviously where most of you gurus get your information. These suspensions should not hold up. Until the evidence is released and the players are proven guilty I think its very unjust to suspend them. These penalties are far too harsh. SHOW ME THE PROOF!

tucker6
05-04-2012, 07:35 PM
Have you not been keeping up with the story? Alot of reports are changing on what supposedly took place. Multiple sources are reporting that Gregg Williams gave Vilma 10,000 dollars to offer as motivation to defensive players for the 2009 divisonal round game and the NFC championship only. That money was reportedly returned by Vilma to Gregg Williams. No player has admitted to receiving any money for injuring another player. Darren Sharper says that he never heard there was an investigation going on and the players had no idea the league was looking into the system. Wether the money was used or not is irrelevant IMO. If the players werent told to stop why should they be punished? If players dont go with the system their teams run they will be replaced, plain and simple. The NFL has released ZERO evidence that there was ever a pay for injury bounty system going on in New Orleans. They just keep saying they have evidence. If they have the evidence why not release it to the NFLPA to avoid these lawsuits? Giants defenders admitted to targetting Kyle Williams's concussion. They haven't been fined in any way. Even ESPN is back tracking and starting to side with the players, and thats obviously where most of you gurus get your information. These suspensions should not hold up. Until the evidence is released and the players are proven guilty I think its very unjust to suspend them. These penalties are far too harsh. SHOW ME THE PROOF!

your post cannot be serious. You believe that clap trap by Vilma and his people. You don't think GW spilled his guts to Goodell and his investigators about everything. If what you say is true, why did the player getting an 8 game suspension write an affidavit stating that everything was true? Why did Peyton, Vitt, GW, and Loomis write similar statements? You really believe Goodell is suspending players without any reason and jeopardize his own job? And you question our sanity? You really think the NFL wants these headlines? Just FYI, the NFL doesn't owe you squat as far as info goes. Same goes for the NFLPA. I also don't change my opinion of a case based on what Mike & Mike say at 7am each morning.

RufSteel
05-04-2012, 08:07 PM
your post cannot be serious. You believe that clap trap by Vilma and his people. You don't think GW spilled his guts to Goodell and his investigators about everything. If what you say is true, why did the player getting an 8 game suspension write an affidavit stating that everything was true? Why did Peyton, Vitt, GW, and Loomis write similar statements? You really believe Goodell is suspending players without any reason and jeopardize his own job? And you question our sanity? You really think the NFL wants these headlines? Just FYI, the NFL doesn't owe you squat as far as info goes. Same goes for the NFLPA. I also don't change my opinion of a case based on what Mike & Mike say at 7am each morning.

Neither Sean Payton or Joe Vitt ever said a bounty program took place. They said the commissioner made his decision and they would respect it and move on. When asked what he would change if he could go back, Vitt said he would change the language. He still denied that a bounty system took place. So I'd love to know where you heard Payton or Vitt admit to anything. Secondly, your referring to Anthony Hargrove. He is the player who received the 8 game suspension. He all of of the players receiving suspensions easily has the most to lose. Proves nothing really. This is smoke and mirrors. This doesnt change the fact that they havent shown any real evidence that bounties occurred, money changed hands, people were injured, etc...Cirmcumstantial evidence shouldnt be the driving force for all these suspensions. And YES the NFL does owe the NFLPA the evidence as well as the Saints fans and organization. You don't jeopardize a teams chance for success and not proove that it's justified. I believe if this was happening to the Steelers you would be singing a different tune...

tucker6
05-04-2012, 08:26 PM
Neither Sean Payton or Joe Vitt ever said a bounty program took place. They said the commissioner made his decision and they would respect it and move on. When asked what he would change if he could go back, Vitt said he would change the language. He still denied that a bounty system took place. So I'd love to know where you heard Payton or Vitt admit to anything. Secondly, your referring to Anthony Hargrove. He is the player who received the 8 game suspension. He all of of the players receiving suspensions easily has the most to lose. Proves nothing really. This is smoke and mirrors. This doesnt change the fact that they havent shown any real evidence that bounties occurred, money changed hands, people were injured, etc...Cirmcumstantial evidence shouldnt be the driving force for all these suspensions. And YES the NFL does owe the NFLPA the evidence as well as the Saints fans and organization. You don't jeopardize a teams chance for success and not proove that it's justified. I believe if this was happening to the Steelers you would be singing a different tune...
Why is a Saints fan posting on a Steeler board? We don't care that you're butt hurt over this. If you had any decency, you and your team would have admitted your sin and moved on. I'll get a good chuckle when all these appeals fail and you go back to paper bags over your head. Your only SB is tarnished forever cheater.

RufSteel
05-04-2012, 08:40 PM
Why is a Saints fan posting on a Steeler board? We don't care that you're butt hurt over this. If you had any decency, you and your team would have admitted your sin and moved on. I'll get a good chuckle when all these appeals fail and you go back to paper bags over your head. Your only SB is tarnished forever cheater.


I'm also a Steelers fan, have been since I was kid. Grandpa was friends with Terry Bradshaw when they both went to Tech and when Bradshaw came to Pittsburgh my family members were automatically Steelers fans. I wouldn't come to this board just to rep the Saints. I commented on this topic because I think some of you are way off base with your assumption the Saints are guilty of something that hasn't been proven.

RufSteel
05-04-2012, 08:50 PM
And to be fair, I've had to defend Steelers players several time on the Saints board. It's not easy being a fan of two teams..

Hawaii 5-0
05-05-2012, 01:34 PM
Both the owners AND players agreed to it, so that is what they obviously wanted, wouldn't you agree?


looks like the players are also tiring of Roger God-ell's ability to hear appeals on decisions that he himself made...


Players challenge Goodell's power

May 5, 2012
By Barry Wilner / The Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The NFL players union has challenged commissioner Roger Goodell's authority to suspend players who participated in the New Orleans Saints' pay-for-pain scandal and wants him removed from hearing appeals.

The union filed a grievance late Thursday, one day after Goodell suspended four players who participated in bounties from 2009-11. The complaint says Goodell is prohibited from punishing players for any aspect of the case occurring before the new collective bargaining agreement was signed in August.

It argues that a CBA system arbitrator, and not Goodell, has the right to decide player punishment under such circumstances, as well as rule on any appeals.

In a document obtained by The Associated Press, the union told the league Goodell "released all players from conduct engaged in prior to execution of the CBA."

"Thus, even assuming for the sake of argument that the commissioner had the authority to punish players for conduct detrimental under the alleged facts and circumstances of this particular situation -- he does not -- he nevertheless would be prohibited from punishing NFL players for any aspect of the alleged 'pay-for-performance/bounty' conduct occurring before Aug. 4, 2011," the union said.

The league agreed not to file lawsuits against players regarding detrimental conduct that occurred before signing the new CBA in August, but the clause the union cites doesn't deal with conduct detrimental to the league that endangered player safety over three seasons.

Earlier this week, Goodell suspended linebacker Jonathan Vilma for the 2012 season; defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, now with Green Bay, for eight games; defensive end Will Smith, for four games; and linebacker Scott Fujita, now with the Cleveland Browns, for three games.

The union said the suspensions violate the league's "duty of fairness to players," and that the process "violated various procedural requirements of the collective bargaining agreement, including limits of Goodell's authority over the matter and failure to disclose sufficient evidence of the violations."

"There is an article in the CBA that the players release certain claims against the league and another that says the league releases all claims for conduct that occurred prior to the new CBA," union lawyer Jeffrey Kessler said.

Asked what conduct that covers, he responded, "Anything."

The league said its investigation showed "a significant number of players participated" in the bounty system -- by ponying up cash or collecting it -- but noted that "the players disciplined participated at a different and more significant level."

The league said anywhere from 22 to 27 Saints players participated.

The suspended players have not filed appeals, league spokesman Greg Aiello said Friday. The deadline is Monday, and Vilma and Smith already have said they plan to file.

Vilma tweeted Friday: "NFL needs to publicly release evidence of players' bounty involvement if it exists."

Aiello said the union is seeking immunity for the four suspended players, "a position it never advanced during the months of discussion on this matter."

The union letter said the NFL must begin proceedings before arbitrator Stephen Burbank, a University of Pennsylvania law professor, and that he "would ultimately determine whether and to what extent the players should be punished."

"We expect that the arbitrators will reject the union's efforts to protect players from accountability for prohibited and dangerous conduct directed against other players, and uphold the disciplinary process that was so carefully negotiated in the collective bargaining less than a year ago," Aiello said.

Even if the arbitrator finds that Goodell had the authority to punish the players, the union maintained that appeals for on-field behavior should be heard by Art Shell and Ted Cottrell, not Goodell.

Shell and Cottrell are employed by the NFL and the NFLPA as independent hearing officers when players are fined or suspended for flagrant hits during games.

The union also urged an expedited hearing of its grievance before another arbitrator, Shyam Das, May 16.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/steelers/players-challenge-goodells-power-634492/

tucker6
05-05-2012, 01:46 PM
looks like the players are also tiring of Roger God-ell's ability to hear appeals on decisions that he himself made...


Good luck with that ...

They are about 9 months too late in figuring that out. Besides, isn't safety the player mantra? If so, they should be supporting Goodell. Unless their mantra is BS and they don't mean it.

Hawaii 5-0
05-07-2012, 11:09 PM
Players are Goodell's toughest critics

Originally Published: May 7, 2012
By Jeffri Chadiha | ESPN.com

NEW YORK -- On the Wednesday before the NFL draft, as mid-morning sunshine soaked lower Manhattan, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell strode onto a soccer field cluttered with giddy children, eager reporters and 26 draft prospects. The league had organized a football clinic as part of its "Play 60" program, and Goodell, wearing a baggy blue sweat suit, ambled to midfield to survey the action. The commissioner was there to help future rookies sell youth fitness, but he didn't overlook an opportunity to chat with New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora, who was speaking at the event. The two spoke for at least 10 minutes, talking seriously at times, joking and laughing at others and looking eerily like long-lost pals.

This didn't seem like the no-nonsense Roger Goodell who just issued suspensions to four players -- including a one-year ban for linebacker Jonathan Vilma -- for their roles in the New Orleans Saints' bounty system. It also didn't appear that Goodell had any problems bonding with a veteran at a time when so many players despise him.

"The stupidity of some people gets me sometimes," Umenyiora said later, adding that he first met Goodell on a USO tour of Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008. "A lot of players think he's trying to take away our game, but Roger really cares about us. He's a regular guy."

Goodell surely would love to hear similar comments from other players. The problem is that too many players don't think like Umenyiora. Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison once said, "If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn't do it." Others whisper that he is arrogant, endowed with too much power and wants to both govern and be liked. Some have even developed a catchphrase for summarizing their feelings: "You can't spell Goodell without G-O-D."

Goodell clearly understands that such hostility comes with his job. What makes him so intriguing is his unwavering desire to forge a relationship with players who are at odds with his reign. Arizona Cardinals kicker and NFL Players Association representative Jay Feely said, "There's a general distrust for him." Kansas City right tackle Eric Winston, who joined the Chiefs after six seasons in Houston, added, "He's judge, jury and executioner. The joke around the locker room in Houston was that Goodell is like Xerxes [the ruler] in the movie '300.' He can do whatever he wants. Obviously, he has the power to do that -- and that's partially our fault because we didn't get it addressed in the [collective bargaining agreement] -- but it also doesn't make for a friendly environment."

"The basis of what we do is about keeping the integrity of the game," Goodell said when asked about how players view him. "We're committed to doing that, and I know everybody isn't going to like how we're doing it. But I also don't make up rules while I'm just sitting at my desk. I have to get at least 24 teams to agree on them. I have to go through a competition committee and talk to coaches and players and collect as much information as we can before making a decision. That's a good thing. And that's something dictators don't do."

Harsh penalties

To the average player, Goodell is best known for his harsh policies. Players have seen teammates called to the league office to discuss behavior and vicious hits and they've seen more peers strictly penalized for breaking newly emphasized rules that sometimes contradict how they learned the game. Harrison is the most prominent target of this new NFL -- the five-time Pro Bowl linebacker has been fined six times for a total of $125,000 and was suspended one game last season after a collision with Browns quarterback Colt McCoy -- but there are plenty of others who can empathize with his pain. In today's league, a face mask ($15,000 fine for a second offense) or excessive profanity ($20,000 for a second offense) penalty can be extra costly.

The environment became even more tense after the recent Saints scandal. In addition to banning Vilma, Goodell suspended former New Orleans defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove (eight games), defensive end Will Smith (four) and former linebacker Scott Fujita (three). The NFLPA has filed a grievance challenging the authority of Goodell to suspend the players.

Though players had mixed reactions to the punishments -- Giants quarterback Eli Manning tweeted that "[Roger Goodell] is doing the right thing to make sure that this doesn't happen ever again" while Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush wrote, "Man, these suspensions are outrageous!" -- most understand how such discipline reflects on Goodell.

"I've been in the locker room when those fines come down and I know what happens when you're dealing with 53 guys who don't know Roger," former Giants center and player representative Shaun O'Hara said. "You've got the guy getting fined plus five guys to his left and five guys to his right who see it. That's 11 guys who now hate the commissioner. That stuff can spread like wildfire."

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2011/1014/grantland_g_harrison_576.jpg

James Harrison -- a frequent target of Roger Goodell's disciplinary measures -- has become one of the commissioner's most vocal critics.

Goodell is savvy at the little things, something that could never be said of his dour, grim-faced predecessor, Paul Tagliabue. O'Hara said the commissioner asks about his wife and remembers her name every time they run into each other. Umenyiora bonded with Goodell during that USO tour because they shared a room and worked out together at 3 a.m. most days. And when the league fined New York Jets safety Eric Smith for a brutal hit on then-Arizona wide receiver Anquan Boldin in 2008 -- Smith received a $50,000 fine and a one-game suspension -- Goodell at least listened intently as former Jets fullback Tony Richardson pleaded for a lesser punishment during a lengthy phone conversation.

"He's definitely kept the dialogue open," said Richardson, who served on the NFLPA executive committee. "I've also been on some competition committees so I understand how the fine system works. But if you're an average player, you're going to feel like things are getting worse. And defensive players are definitely at the disadvantage."

Goodell's standard response to such concerns is that evolution is never easy. It's that approach that has made Goodell so controversial. "What I've always liked about Roger is that he decides what he thinks is right and he goes with it," Texans owner Bob McNair said. "When you do that, you set yourself up for a lot of criticism. But it's also his job to protect the shield. He's the watchdog."

Courting the players

One reason Goodell so values a solid relationship with the players is that he's always believed in the idea. When he oversaw the Pro Bowl in the 1990s, Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon once lobbied Goodell to add a third quarterback to the All-Star event. When Goodell said that would be a tough sell, Moon kept pushing. "You aren't seeing it," Moon said. "If the other guy gets hurt, I have to play the entire game."

Goodell laughed about Moon's logic during a recent interview, but he still embraces that lesson: The players can be part of the solution. "I don't have to [reach out to the players], but I do think their perspective is important," Goodell said. "[This year's] Pro Bowl is a good example of that. We felt like the game wasn't reflecting what the NFL wanted, so I met with three or four player groups to discuss it. And they acknowledged that it wasn't the type of football we wanted to present to our fans."

Goodell also is quick to point out that players were responsible for some of the authority he now holds. When he succeeded Tagliabue in 2006, the league was dealing with a handful of controversial off-the-field incidents, notably those involving cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, wide receiver Chris Henry and defensive tackle Tank Johnson. Shortly after Goodell's election by the owners, players' association chief Gene Upshaw and a committee of players agreed to give him the power to discipline those who embarrassed the league. "They were troubled by some players falling into trouble because it was affecting all players," Goodell said. "I think we talked to as many as 160 players to develop a policy that was thoughtful and effective. And it works. It's helped players."

Regardless of how players feel about the personal conduct policy, they can't argue against Goodell's consistency. Before punishing the Saints players last week, he suspended former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (indefinitely), coach Sean Payton (one year), general manager Mickey Loomis (eight games) and assistant Joe Vitt (six games). Goodell also has taken on his bosses. "I know he's been even-handed because he fined me $100,000 for some comments I made in Minnesota involving revenue sharing," Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "And I obviously didn't think that needed to be done."

In fact, most players say their relationship with Goodell is strained primarily because of one issue: player safety. The league knows how critical this matter is because it currently faces 62 lawsuits with more than 1,500 former players claiming the league didn't do enough to address head trauma. However, it took only one mid-October weekend in 2010 for Goodell to shake up the players with his vision for a safer work environment. The league fined three players -- Harrison, Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson and then-New England safety Brandon Meriweather -- a total of $175,000 for violent hits on defenseless receivers (it was later reduced to $115,000 on appeal). The message Goodell's office sent that day: This league has become too brutal.

Goodell has argued that such a strong reaction, as well as the fines that have been levied against other players since, has been essential because "we're protecting them. I get it if you're a player doing the striking and you want to continue playing the game that way but there's also a player being struck." But Buffalo Bills linebacker Nick Barnett said more players would embrace these rules if they weren't imposed at such a high cost.

"Paul Tagliabue wasn't fining guys and taking their money," Barnett said. "We're going through big changes, as far as the culture of the sport, and it's hard to agree when a lot of money is being taken from you while you're going through a transition. Roger was killing people last season. A guy like James Harrison lost something like 10 years of taking care of his family."

Doubts about sincerity

Some players are irritated by the commissioner's displays of affability at the draft and doubt that he sincerely has the players' best interests at heart. His support for an 18-game schedule particularly rankles his critics.
What irks some players more than fines is the doubt about whether Goodell is genuine about player safety. Though McNair is a big fan -- "The players don't realize how much Roger has done for them; we're the ones who pushed to increase the pension and raised $100 million for concussion research," he said -- the players see a commissioner who has promoted the idea of an 18-game season and come off as far less compassionate behind the scenes.

"A lot of players don't believe he has their best interests at heart," Feely said. "If he did, he wouldn't have 200-plus workmen's compensation complaints caught up in the appeals process. He wouldn't be dismissing disability claims right off the bat. There are so many things that happen behind the scenes that fans don't know about that make players distrust him."

Feely also believes Goodell could improve his relationship with the players with one simple move, saying, "He could create an independent appeals [process], because whether it's just or not the players see the current process as unfair." The players have coveted such checks and balances for years, but Goodell counters by saying he's not directly involved in on-field punishments. A retired player (vice president of football operations Merton Hanks) decides the penalty, two former coaches (Ted Cottrell and Hall of Fame offensive tackle Art Shell) handle appeals and the NFLPA reviews the league's fine policy during training camp every year. "At the end of the day, the players may not like it," said league executive vice president of operations Ray Anderson. "But it works."

Goodell's lieutenants believe the policy is working because, as Hanks said, "You can see the change on film. It would be one thing if we were asking players to do something they can't, but we're not."

The backlash Goodell has faced, however, remains very real. When he toured training camps before the 2010 season, a move designed to answer questions about CBA negotiations, he was met with so much vitriol that he didn't see all 32 teams. One such meeting in Indianapolis was cut short after former Colts center Jeff Saturday determined his teammates were becoming too caustic in attacking Goodell.

When asked about those visits, Goodell said, "I didn't see them as acrimonious. I didn't expect to go into any of those locker rooms and have agreement. I went to find out what was right and wrong."

Said Winston: "You can't have it both ways. You can't say you want to help the players when, as the lockout showed, you're really a mouthpiece for the owners. As players, everything is really black and white for us. And during the lockout, we learned that even if he wants to be neutral in some ways, it's clear that he's not."

Still, Goodell remains committed to connecting with players. That was apparent even as he was booed during the first and second day of this year's draft (fans also booed him last year at the event, largely because of the ongoing lockout). Every first-round pick who walked on stage after being selected beamed and embraced him in a massive bro-hug.

Some players roll their eyes when they see Goodell doing such things, believing those same rookies will someday be complaining about a fine from Goodell's office. Others see a commissioner gaining ground in his attempt to strengthen his relationship with the people who play the game.

"I don't know how you can do this job and not be controversial," Goodell said. "I'm trying to run this organization, and that means you have to make some tough decisions. Some people aren't going to be happy with that. But ultimately, I'm going to do what's best for this game long term."

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/7881228/players-nfl-commissioner-roger-goodell-toughest-critics

Stu Pidasso
05-07-2012, 11:21 PM
#5 on my bucket list: Walk up to GODdell, and stick my thumb in his eye.

tony hipchest
05-07-2012, 11:51 PM
much to the dismay of plenty a steelerfans, it is pretty evident that tomlin or rooney havent told james to stop tweeting or facebooking about the good ol commish... lol (james got some pretty funny friends out there)-

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1193742&l=d585d8656f&id=100000664238348

Hawaii 5-0
05-08-2012, 01:26 PM
Steelers Have Complete ‘Told You So’ Moment In Bountygate

May 7th, 2012 by CraigSteelers

http://nicepickcowher.com/files/2012/05/told-you-so-meter1.jpeg

‘Don’t stick your finger in the light socket, Johnny, you’re going to electrocute yourself……. I told you so.’

‘You’re going to get stung if you poke that hornets nest, Jimmy……. I told you so.’

‘You drive too fast around that curve, and this car is going to go right off that cliff….. I told y….’

These statements are pretty easy to define as cause and effect scenarios. They are also followed by that dreaded ‘I told you so’ that usually some schmuck, who thinks he’s smarter than you, decides it’s the best time to point out the obvious outcome of the situation when you are in your most dire straights. Usually it follows with a punch in the neck to that jag – but he’s only a jag because he was right. With regards to the Steelers and this whole Bountygate thing, they can collectively fold their arms in front of their chest and tell the rest of the NFLPA, ‘We told you so.’

A year ago, the NFL, NFLPA and fans across the world were entrenched in a lockout that lasted four and a half months. Does anyone really remember what even the sticking points were during this whole process? It’s hard to forget that this was mainly about revenue sharing between owners and players, but it is easy to forget some of the minor details that resulted from both sides coming to terms to a new CBA. One that tends to fall under the radar, even in a year when punishments were far from sparse, is that the Commissioner, Rodger Goodell, has unilateral control over doling out punishments to players.

The Steelers, as a unified team of athletes and members of the NFLPA, were the only players to refuse ratification of what became the new CBA. Their sticking point? There was no way in hell that they were going to agree to give Rodger Goodell the power to be judge, jury and executioner. Most of the media and fans other than Steeler Nation all saw this as the Steelers just grandstanding and whining because some of their defensive players had a history of illegal hits and other offenses. Far from it. Could it be that the brilliant management tendencies of the front office trickled its way down to the Steelers’ locker room? Because after the revelation of Bountygate and the fallout that has corresponded, that sure seems what actually took place back in late July 2011.

Appeals by all four Saints players were filed last week. The NFLPA, on Thursday, filed two grievances against the NFL and the Commish. Those grievances challenge the imposition of suspensions on the four players guilty of participating in the Saints’ bounty program by Commissioner Roger Goodell, and, more specifically, argue that Goodell should not be the person who presides over the appeals. I haven’t seen the exact language of the CBA, so perhaps the players have a leg to stand on in their grievance. The NFLPA knows that Goodell is going to stay cemented in his decision, so any appeal towards the punishments handed down is practically fruitless.

Especially, since Saints coach Sean Peyton was denied appeal .01 seconds after he filed his. Ok, it wasn’t that quick, but an appeals process usually takes a few days of litigation. Peyton was practically denied in 24 hours. It doesn’t bode well for the players, and now they are wallowing in a situation that stems from all the way back to the dog days of summer in 2011.

It reminds me of a classic Homer’ism – ‘Well it seemed like a good idea at the time.’

Indeed, giving Goodell the power to hand out punishments and preside over all proceedings involving them seemed like a very light handed thing to give up when the NFLPA was looking to get more $$$ with a larger slice of the revenue pie. Just don’t do anything illegal, and you’ll be fine. That’s all well and good, until you get caught.

Yeah yeah, I know – where’s the evidence? Well the NFL isn’t entirely full of morons. There’s no way they would impose such huge penalties without some shred of evidence that isn’t concrete. The players didn’t come out to defend their honor until only after the punishments came out. Strange. And, their whole ‘side’ smells somewhat fishy. Now we’ve learned that Anthony Hargrove was told by Saints coaches to lie about the existence of the programs. So, it’s hard to believe anybody who was involved. Bottom line – a bunch of players got wrapped up and caught in a shady deal, they’re being punished for it, and now they don’t like that one man can have that much power. Boo freakin’ hoo.

The NFLPA had their opportunity to keep the Commish out of the spanking department altogether – or at the very least denied unilateral power – and they blew it.

The Steelers were the only players to see the writing on the walls with a condition such as that and decided ‘thanks but no thanks.’ Unfortunately for the NFLPA, the Steelers didn’t count as a majority. I seriously doubt the NFLPA is going to win their grievances. If it’s within the contract, T.S. friends. On top of all of that, it will set a huge precedence with what Goodell can and can’t do. A full time ban (potential), two full season suspensions, and a handful of other multi-game suspensions…. what’s next?

‘You shouldn’t agree to allow the Commissioner of the NFL to have unilateral power over discipline…. we told you so.’ ~ Sincerely, The Pittsburgh Steelers

http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/05/07/steelers-have-complete-told-you-so-moment-in-bountygate/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter