Opinion: Saints Fans Should Stop Making Excuses

I think it's safe to say the Anthony Hargrove/Remi Ayodele "give me my money" video clip from the 2009 NFC Championship game has quickly become the most talked about piece of NFL evidence in the Bounty...pay-for...thing. But it really raises more questions than it answers. Who actually says "give me my money" in the video? How can anyone prove it's a reference to a pay-for-injury program?

One thing is certain, however, everyone's got their own opinion in the matter. Most of you have already shared your opinion so I wanted to take the time to offer my own. Only I get the feeling mine is going to be a unpopular opinion. Because, believe it or not, I actually agree with NFL general counsel Jeff Pash.

[record scratch]

[crickets]

As much as I might hate to admit it, whether it was Hargrove or Ayodele who said "give me my money" isn't as important as the fact that somebody said it at all. Somebody was excited about being rewarded for Brett Favre's injury. Right here is where Pash and I concur:

What that video tape rather clearly demonstrates is two things: one, there was a program and it corroborates rather clearly that there was a program where a player could be rewarded for making a play that resulted in an injury to an opponent

[more crickets]

That's right. I know what most of you are thinking right now and I can already hear your whiny voices: we don't know the context! It can't be proven that "give me my money" is a reference to a pay-for-injury bounty pool. It might reference a potential contract bonus or it might be a random side bet that two players had between each other. Waaaaaah!

Yeah, and monkeys might fly out of my butt.

Technically that's absolutely true. We really don't know what is being referenced by whoever said "give me my money." That video is in no way direct evidence there was a pay-for-injury program. If it were the only piece of evidence available, Bountygate as we know it would have never even existed.

But it's not the only piece of evidence, and that's the problem. The PowerPoint slides and ledgers prove there was a bounty program in existence. The handwritten notes suggest money was being wagered to injure Brett Favre. Which makes the "give me my money" soundbite too fortuitous not to be a reference to a bounty pool.

If we pull our collective heads out of our collective asses for ten seconds and stop trying so hard to make excuses for this team, I think we have to admit that whoever said "give me my money" is more than likely referencing the pay-for-performance system we already know existed.

It's sure as hell a more plausible truth than any of the other lame ass, cockamamie scenarios Saints fans keep coming up with. I don't think you are even listening to yourselves. Some of you sound just plain silly.

There may not be a smoking gun, a singular piece of evidence proving without a doubt the Saints ran an pay-for-injury bounty program. But there are a few pieces of indirect evidence, and when they're put together a logical inference can be made. There's nothing wrong with making logical inferences.

Circumstantial evidence may be a hard sell in a court of law, harder than direct evidence. But I don't live in a court of law. I live in the real world, where not everything is black and white. Where judgement calls must be made and gut feelings must sometimes be relied upon. My gut is telling me money was wagered on injuring Brett Favre in the 2009 NFC Championship Game.

And this whole discipline process isn't being carried out in a U.S. court of law, either. It's taking place in the NFL's kangaroo court, where Goodell is allowed to be the judge, jury and executioner. So you can throw everything you've learned from CSI and Law & Order because those rules don't apply here.

If you're looking for fairness in this whole Boutnygate mess, just give up now. If you're looking for justice, quit wasting your time. But if you're curious about the truth, I highly suggest you stop making excuses and start thinking more logically.

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