Gregg Williams: The New Tonya Harding

When you’re hot, you’re hot, and nothing is hotter than NFL controversy and scandal. The old motto that even “bad news is good news” has rang true for the NFL since Roger Goodell took over as Commissioner/Billionaire Puppet in 2006. If you want to stay in the news in the off season, you have to do something newsworthy, or at the very least, hold onto something newsworthy until after the season and then release the information just before the Super Bowl. Newsworthy isn’t necessarily charity and good times – it’s court cases, backstabbing, domestic violence and irritated press conferences with reporters asking inane questions. Enter Deflategate, and right before that it was Bountygate. The NFL has opened all the gates letting in the stink and none stinks more than the hypocrisy surrounding Gregg Williams.

If you need to get caught up to speed, Gregg Williams put out bounties on players for other teams while he was the defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints. What was described as “complex and aggressive” in scheme was really code for trying to take players out of a game for money. He specifically watched injury reports and then coached his players to prey on those particular issues with players for the added bonus of extra cash. He explained that this is the only way to “get respect” in the NFL. And it turns out, he was right.

The league has a history of being bullies.

NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith

After being investigated and busted for a program that incentivized hurting other players as part of his defense, he was suspended by Roger Goodell “indefinitely.” Goodell has emphasized two things as commissioner: player safety and protecting the shield. Suspending Williams indefinitely after his infraction was a no-brainer, it both protected the shield from the hypocrisy that “no one cares about player safety” and actually protected players. We were made to believe that Williams would most likely never coach again. How could he? If someone you work with was caught sabotaging your work and your fellow employees’ work, you would expect them to be fired and to never return. But this isn’t real life, it’s the NFL.

Williams’ suspension was almost one year long. He went ALMOST a whole year without pay, although that fact is debatable considering parting contract negotiations. He was reinstated into the league and went right back to being a defensive coordinator having “learned his lesson.”

Most criminals who learn their lessons have to complete sentences, community service projects, and classes. Gregg Williams took an extended vacation to come back to more money. How the NFL allows this is beyond what any of our country’s laws would allow. Billionaire NFL owners don’t have to live by those rules, and Roger Goodell doesn’t have to either, because of the 32 strings attached, making him dance and sing with a $44 million smile on his face, even if he contradicts himself and sounds like a dote.

There’s no bigger fan of Gregg than Gregg himself

Scott Fujita

Williams sneaking back into the NFL and taking control of a defense again is not unheard of. Sports gives people second chances, life can give people second chances, and sometimes we all deserve a second chance. Williams will take hold of a Browns defense that needs a serious overhaul, as does the entire team. Apparently flashing a ring you won almost ten years ago is enough to get you hired again and again, considering that since winning his only ring with a stacked Saints team in 2009, Williams’ record as a D coordinator is just a hair over .500. Of course, just a hair over .500 has kept Jeff Fisher employed for almost two decades in the NFL, so apparently it’s just that difficult to find someone better suited for the job.

He was big on that. Hits on the quarterback, affecting the way the ball is thrown.

Matt Bowen

In the real world, the world most of us live in, paying to have someone killed is a crime as bad as killing them yourself. At the very least, depending on the state, you might get charged with conspiracy, or solicitation, or as an accomplice to murder. No one died as the result of Gregg Williams negligence as a leader, but players were injured; players that play for an opposing team but are in the same union. If a player’s season was cut short because of Williams’ program, and their team faltered because of it, isn’t that suspending the ability for a whole team to advance, leaving them with the inability to activate bonuses? I’m not sure, but we could probably ask Brett Favre.

Gregg Williams was not pinpointed by many former players on other teams such as the Redskins and Titans for having this type of program there, although a few rumbles have been brought up that he did. My guess is that the players who deny this probably got paid from partaking in it and wouldn’t want to implicate themselves in such egregious behavior. Who can blame them? What if someday you end up on the same team? Do you still want to hurt that same player? It would be Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan all over again. America was stunned by that, but apparently in the NFL that’s OK. That’s why Gregg Williams is Tonya Harding and all his players are Jeff Gillooly, and Brett Favre is Nancy Kerrigan.

You can crush other players dreams, crush their bones, crush their spirit, and crush their future in the NFL, just DO NOT take any air out of any footballs.