Inside the question of whether gratuitous mayhem is a strategic element of pro football is a question of a different kind. It involves former Saints standout Steve Gleason and a filmmaker, Sean Pamphilon, who's making a documentary about Gleason's struggle with ALS.
Perhaps Mickey Loomis, Sean Payton, Greg Williams and the rest of the Saints' coaching staff are modern day equivalents of rebellious elders. Maybe they are not. Either way, Goodell understands this and his punishments are designed to make sure that this will never happen again.
Whether or not Payton deserves his year long suspension, Saints fans have every right to be upset. I'm talking about the tax money they've paid over the last decade just to keep the team in town.
The real reason that Goodell lowered the full weight of the NFL hammer is unbelievable arrogance. And that's where this scandal resonates with American culture.
Nevermind the salary cap, and violations of the NFL constitution, cash incentives for purposely injuring opponents is simply and utterly despicable.
Severe punishments, while certainly justifiable in this case, may further perpetuate football's inner culture of secrecy and in turn, seem counterintuitive.
The discipline handed out to the New Orleans Saints for their systematic program of "bounties" paid to players for injuring opponents from 2009-2011 ranks as one of the most influential stories of the year in football.
Call the bounty program that sought to hurt, maim, destroy and purposely injure high-powered football players what it is: criminal. This is organized crime at its worse -- nothing less.
NFL fans and commentators are up in arms amid revelations that acclaimed coach Gregg Williams encouraged his defenders to injure opponents, for which they'd collect bounties. Here's a rundown of what some commentators are saying about the scandal.
It has taken me a few days to digest what happened over the weekend. 49ers beating the Saints? With that offense? Wow. That was amazing. And Tom Bra...
With a few seconds left in the game, in goes the kicking team to attempt a 63-yard field goal. The fans around us wave their arms in disgust. "How on earth is he going to make this one?!" Not my Dad though. Dad stood up and saw what was happening, then quickly grabbed us.
The Lions needed everything to go right for them to win in the Superdome. By the time they hit the locker room at the half, their chances to put some doubt in the foregone conclusion was already missed.
Kids kill themselves because of the sentiment that Vilma tweeted. They struggle to fit into society's definition of a man. I guess they should just "shut up" and "get over it"; they're all just being "hypersensitive," too.
Don't write the Packers into the Super Bowl just yet. Just as Green Bay has finally shown some chinks in its armor in December, its primary challengers for NFC supremacy are looking more and more formidable.
Marques Colston, the ever-humble NFL anomaly, inspired his business manager and personal friend to write a book that he hopes will inspire sportsmanship and compassion in an age of bullying and showboating run amok.
I'm not worried about Drew Brees. He'll have these kinds of games but he always finds a way to keep us in them. The same thing can not be said for our defense.