Now when you think Bounty Hunting I know the first thing that comes to most peoples minds these days is the made famous by TV bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman. I on the other hand and maybe this is because of the time I grew up think of a bounty hunter way more bad ass than "Dog". That's right the one and only Boba Fett from Star Wars.
I mean come on you look at this guy and you know he is just THE MAN! You see this guy coming, heck even if you even know he's looking for you, you're turning yourself in.
Alright this post isn't about that kind of bounty hunting. This is about the bounty system that was going on in New Orleans with the Saints and possibly wide spread throughout the NFL. A system that played players in accordance to a fee schedule depending on the severity of the injury. It has been sited that in this instance if you were a defensive player for the Saints and delivered a "Knock Out" you were payed $1000 and if the player you hit was carted off you were payed $1500. Heck the year the Saints won the Super Bowl it was reported that the "pool" amount reached $50,000! Look I love the NFL. I love the big hits. Are you kidding me when Hines Ward would cross the middle of the field and Jarrett Johnson or Ed Reed leveled him, you better believe I loved the hit. When Ben would drop back and Ngata or Suggs would plant a hit in his chest or back heck yeah I loved it.
Here's the difference in my personal opinion. As a defensive player your going to hit your opponent to hurt them. You're going to make them feel it and think twice about going over the middle of the field or run the ball at you. However there's a difference between hitting someone to hurt them and hitting someone to injury them. Let's look at the fullback for a second. There's a difference between him drilling a linebacker to open a hole for your running back and that same fullback hitting an offensive lineman in the knee when he's being blocked up high by someone else. One could make the argument that if someone is playing "clean" football and in a play legally hits another player and in that hit injuries him there's nothing wrong. I agree there is nothing wrong with that. What makes that situation and what happened during that play wrong is when you tie into it a bounty system that is going to pay and encourage injuring another player. One could even argue "Yeah but he didn't hit him with the intent to injury him. It was just circumstance." Well in my opinion if he went into that game knowing if he took someone out he would get rewarded financially that turns that "unfortunate circumstance" into something worse.
Look football is all about the big hits. I get it! I love it! I don't however feel that this needs to be a part of the game. I think it promotes injuring a guy in stead of hurting a guy. I think when you have this system in place you're no longer looking to knock a guy out of a game, but crossing that line to putting a guys livelihood, health, and even life in jeopardy. I'm interested in how this whole thing is going to turn out and what else is unveiled in the process.