Leftridge: Payton Pays for Pain, Football Fans Say, “Okay… and?”

So apparently, former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was paying his guys to inflict injury upon opposing players throughout his tenure with New Orleans, and quite possibly, before. 

Oh, that’s right, our sick and sadistic tale begins long ago, when Williams was head evil-defensive-guy with the Washington Redskins… that’s right. THOSE Washington Redskins. And obviously, his pay for pain program worked out in DC, right? Right?!

No. Because football is what it is. It’s a bunch of overgrown, testosterone dripping assholes who WANT to knock the ever-loving shit out of one another. They do it without provocation, without incentive; they do it because it’s PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL.

Williams joined the Saints in 2009 and immediately began inflicting ass-bashings to opposing offenses. According to court documents, things came to a head in that year’s NFC playoffs.

In the divisional round, the Saints walloped the Arizona Cardinals, 45-14. A week later, they beat the holding-out-for-a-hero Minnesota Vikings, 31-28 (you remember, the game that changed the way playoff football would be played forever). While this was going on, the Saints defensive players were being paid to injure the opposition, as specifically restricted by the NFLPA’s forbidden “bounty program.”

According to a team source, Saints LB Jonathan Vilma was offering up a cool $10K to any teammate who could knock the Wrangler out of the NFC Championship Game. You know who wasn’t flummoxed by this “horrific” plot? Brett Favre.

After hearing of the allegations, he told SI.com, “I’m not pissed. It’s football. I don’t think anything less of those guys."

You know who else wasn’t perturbed? Mister Christian himself, former Cardinals’ QB Kurt Warner. After a fan tweeted that one of the supposed “take-out” hits was clean, the soon-to-be-Hall of Famer responded like a true non-pussy. “I would have to agree with you!!!"

Why would all of these potential “victims” be acquiescing on the subject of their virtual career-threatening injuries?! Have they gone mad? Are they living in fear of possible gangland-style retaliation?I mean, we’ve all seen enough episodes of “Lockup: Raw” to know that snitches get stitches, right?

Well, maybe, but not here. That’s not the case at all.


That’s right, whether they’re coming over the middle and getting last-rites administered by Chuck Cecil (woops! outdated reference alert!) or getting a knee shot to smithereens by former Chief Bernard Pollard, it’s all a part of the game. And if Gregg Williams is paying his guys to be as aggressive as possible? God fucking bless him! That’s how you incentivize a unit of uncontrollable commandos, how you make casual participants become blood-thirsty mongrels.

A sales team ain’t a sales team without a contest to see who can move the most frozen steaks. We are a nation bursting with entrepreneurial spirit, and a desire to one-up our neighbor… fuck coveting his wife, we want his house, his daughter, and his cheap-ass speed boat dripping oil in the driveway.

And like Malcolm X, we’re willing to make that happen “by any means necessary.”

Football is no different. The nation’s most popular game embodies a microcosm of greater society at large. We are a nation built on unrealistic expectations, unwarranted promises and dreams better left unrealized. So why should we be surprised that some guy who spent a few years in junior college is willing to do anything possible to live the American dream? Simply put, we shouldn’t.

It’s football, after all, and we shouldn’t be shocked when someone is trying to hurt someone else. We shouldn’t be appalled, either. It’s nature, boiled down to its purest form, removed of modern life’s mercurial trappings, void of pretense and prospect.

The bottom line is, Gregg Williams will likely be fined. He might be suspended (and hark! Where oh where will the Rams be THEN?!!!). But the sad truth is, Gregg Williams isn’t in the wrong here. He was doing nothing more than the stuff his team wanted him to do. He was winning at all costs, living the American (football) dream.

Malcolm X would be proud.

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4 Responses to Leftridge: Payton Pays for Pain, Football Fans Say, “Okay… and?”

  1. randyraley says:

    Spot on
    Commenting from St. Louis, it’s about time this pussy franchise grew some balls.
    The Rams have been an embarrassment for some time. Too bad that about the time they correct this, they’ll be playing in LA, or London.

  2. Smartman says:

    Bingo Lefty! When you make the kind of money these guys do you gotta have some real risk to go with the reward. The NFL should just fess up and let boys be boys. Just think if each week the NFL would pull the name of a key offensive player out of a hat and offer up a one million dollar bounty for getting him whacked. If he gets whacked the guy that takes him out gets the dough. If he doesn’t get whacked he keeps the money. There would be no shortage of corporate sponsors willing to put up the dough.

    I always thought baseball would be more enjoyable if land mines were randomly placed underneath the playing surface.

  3. balbonis moleskine says:

    It turns out that he also dented the side of the team plane on the basis that it made it “look mean”.

    On a serious note, they are going to have to seriously curtail the helmet to helmet goonishness ASAP in the NFL or it will end up bankrupting the league due to lawsuits over head injuries. A player that was 25 years old during the beginning of the helmet-spear era (1975 or so) is 60 today. That’s a lot of old brains that are going to have lots of problems. Lots of expensive problems.

  4. chuck says:

    Malcom X was gay, and would be buying Jardines
    if he were alive today. I don’t think he liked sports at all according to his black biographer.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/02/books/malcolm-x-biographer-dies-on-eve-of-publication-of-redefining-work.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&sq=malcolm X&st=cse&scp=2

    I doubt he had any thunder in either hand, unless he was holding a gun.

    He did like sleeping with white guys and he definitely had that mean-mug-through-the-pit-window-at-Gates-look that I always enjoy prior to a beef and 1/2. Matter of fact, I am thinking his favorite sandwhich was a beef and 1/2.

    That said Lefty, good article. I’m surprised you didn’t mention Jack Tatum.

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