It's going to be pretty hard for Gregg Williams to argue that he was doing anything other than exhorting his players to try to injure the Saints opponents following the revelation of this little gem of an audiotape.
I understand that part of football is hitting people hard enough to hurt them. But when you start talking about aiming for specific body parts as part of your game strategy, then you are going too far, at least for me, and probably for the NFL.
And what the heck was the Saints coach thinking? He allows a guy with an audio recording device into the locker room while the speeches are being made, and doesn't think to tone it down a little?
UPDATE: And the NFLPA is taking this seriously, now--its hired a DC white shoe firm for the players accused of participating in the bounty system. Interestingly, the lawyer identified is a white collar crime guy--I would have gone with a traditional labor lawyer with a ton of experience in collective bargaining relationships. That's where this thing has to be litigated.
UPDATE #2: In what has to be the most unsurprising sports story of the year, Goodell decided he did not make a mistake when he suspended the New Orleans coaches, and also fined the club.
UPDATE #3: And in what has to be an even more unsurprising story, the union is actually trying to block the NFL from disciplining the players who put down money for their teammates to go out and injure other union members. Conflict of interest, anyone?
UPDATE #4: And the other shoe drops and squashes the seasons of four players. There will be appeals, of course, but I'm wondering exactly what the union plans--federal courts are loathe to involve themselves in labor disputes where the parties have set an agreed on dispute resolution procedure. Claims by the guys who were injured, on the other hand, are an entirely different matter.
UPDATE #5: First round int the appeals process goes to the NFL.