Remoras, Predators, New Orleans Saints and Sinners: A Return To GWIME

Share |

Last week, The Classical allowed me to publish a strikingly untimely article about the Gregg Williams era of defensive ineptitude in New Orleans, which I dubbed the “Gregg Williams Ineffective Mayhem Experiment.” Over the last few days, that article became uncomfortably timely, as the NFL announced that the Saints defense had, with the knowledge (if not outright encouragement) of the coaching staff and executive suite, been awarding bounties for hard hits, with the biggest rewards going to hits that knocked opponents out of the game.

It would be expected in a case like this to see quick and furious denials that any such shenanigans were a part of the Saints defense. Darren Sharper, for example, went on ESPN and said “We play physical football. To say we put bounties on knocking guys out of the game was just ridiculous.” Gregg Williams, architect of the GWIME, took a different tack: “I want to express my sincere regret and apology to the NFL, Mr. Benson, and the New Orleans Saints fans for my participation in the 'pay for performance' program while I was with the Saints. It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it.”

In other words, causing long-term damage at the expense of short term goals like, say, tackling was actually how the defensive scheme was intended to work. And with that confession, my postmortem instantly (and improbably) flipped from irony to wisdom. In Darren Sharper’s defense, not all of the Saints were in on the scheme, so maybe he didn’t know about it. Anyone who watched the games can attest that he certainly didn’t seem to be making any extra effort to hit anyone.

Two GWIME features I highlighted seem especially and inextricably related to a team with a bounty-driven scheme: frequent personal fouls and terrible tackling. The DBs all had the same tackling style—dive high at the receiver, shoulder first. “Form tackling” or “wrapping up the ballcarrier” might prevent extra yards, but they also wouldn’t get you paid. The Saints were flagged and fined for all manner of nonsense: late hits, head shots and cheap shots, too. The bounties weren’t big enough to cover the fines, but that hardly seems the point. The fines are peanuts anyway; bounties are for pride. Bounties were designed more to motivate than anything else, even if they reportedly reached $50,000 during the Saints 2009 postseason run. And, in that regard, they worked.

If this sounds like I’m worked up and moralizing, rest assured that I mostly don’t care. I still see the confetti raining down around Baylen Brees with the same joy as I ever did. I root for a game with violence in its DNA, and the marginal discomfort from this is small primarily because I always assumed this went on in every locker room. Gregg Williams openly spoke of telling his players to deliver “Remember Me” hits on the quarterbacks during the 2009 playoff run and the general response was “yup, that’s football.” And this couldn’t have been news to insiders, since apparently Gregg Williams did the same thing when he was with the Redskins and Bills.

Even today, where you stand depends on where you sit. Roman Harper speared Earl Bennett in week two, and Bennett missed five weeks. On news of the bounty, Bennett replied “Smh!.” Harper, meanwhile, is retweeting the haters.

Adam Schefter thinks that the penalties for this will be harsher than the ones the Patriots absorbed after Spygate. John Clayton thinks that the Saints will forfeit multiple draft picks, including next year's first rounder. Pat Kirwan thinks the victims will be lining up to sue. Kirwan is sort of crazy, but Schefter and Clayton are invariably right. As much as I think this is SOP among the lunatics that play defense in the NFL—sociopathy is essentially the entire job description—the gentleman’s agreement that violence be bound by rules seems to demand harsh punishment. And it will certainly come, and soon.

The punishment couldn’t come at a worse time for the Saints. The recently franchise-tagged Drew Brees’ latest contract demand apparently included Lake Ponchartrain and billing above Wendell Pierce on Treme; Carl Nicks is asking for “whatever Drew gets plus a dollar”; and Marques Colston hasn’t said a word but also hasn’t signed a deal. On the other hand, the Saints locked up their fourth-string safety and a long snapper. It looks less and less likely that the offense will survive intact, and those not-yet-forfeited draft picks suggest the team will be lucky to get immediate help from the 2012 draft.

I thought the GWIME was a remora on the offense—hitching a ride on the majestic apex predator of the Brees-powered offense, eating shit and generally being annoying but harmless. It turns out that a more accurate comparison would've been to Ommatokoita elongata, a parasite that burrows into the eyes of the Greenland shark, eating the vitreous jelly and slowly causing blindness. The shark survives despite the loss of its eyes, and the Saints may well survive, too. But the predator is blind.

Original illustration by David Rappoccio.

Share |

Comments

Jesse Grillo wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated.

Watch Here
I must say that a succesful family owned business in this day and age is a very refreshing sight ! As well as this is a very refreshing site.

http://2trieu.com
Such bathrooms can still be enhanced by providing better finishes such as sanitary fittings of a higher quality, apart from its layout, noted Mr Francis Koh, group chief executive of Koh Brothers Group.

agen domino99 wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated.

Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article.
How to work from home

framaroot apk download
Thanks for a wonderful share. Your article has proved your hard work and experience you have got in this field. Brilliant .i love it reading.

dewa sakong wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated.

Grammarly Discount Code
A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post.

Thanks for giving me this information. Keep posting. Ready to escape insomnia’s vicious circle and reboot your brain for sound sleep.
Watch Game of Thrones S07E01 online for free

برج خنک کن
Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

http://www.dspacecloud.org/aircraft-detailers/ wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated.

Great tips and very easy to understand. This will definitely be very useful for me when I get a chance to start my blog.
song writer

Got some appealing information and would like to give it a try. Applaud your work and keep sharing your information.
Jewels Saga

I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.
cervical chiropractor dublin ca

This content is written very well. Your use of formatting when making your points makes your observations very clear and easy to understand. Thank you.
Super Singh movie torrent

You have done a great job. I will definitely dig it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site.
bet awards 2017

Your blog provided us with valuable to work with. Each & every tips of your post are awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging..
Click Here To Download Apk

I visited your site & after visiting i found that it is very informational for everyone you have done really a great job thank you.
Ramadan Mubarak Images 2017

You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up.
status4u

How to lace Vans
Excellent read, Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.

Harsh Chauhan
You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work.

mens italian leather bags wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated.

Hello ! I just wish to give enormous thumbs up for the nice info you’ve got right here on this post. I will probably be coming back to your weblog for more soon what to text your ex girlfriend to get her back.
Tubelight Songs

designer handbags uk sale Great post i must say and thanks for the information. Education is definitely a sticky subject. However, is still among the leading topics of our time. I appreciate your post and look forward to more.

دانلود فیلم سلام بمبئی
Your blog provided us with valuable to work with. Each & every tips of your post are awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging..

click here
Got some appealing information and would like to give it a try. Applaud your work and keep sharing your information.

happy father's day in chinese
Your blog provided us with valuable to work with. Each & every tips of your post are awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging..

https://spottingscopereviews.joomla.com
I must say that a succesful family owned business in this day and age is a very refreshing sight ! As well as this is a very refreshing site.

Kentucky Derby 2017Website
I feel really happy to have seen your webpage and look forward to so many more entertaining times reading here. Thanks once more for all the details.

italian women shoes Great post i must say and thanks for the information. Education is definitely a sticky subject. However, is still among the leading topics of our time. I appreciate your post and look forward to more.

press release distribution
Your blog provided us with valuable to work with. Each & every tips of your post are awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging..

Highly Recommendable
I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.

I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.
Masters Golf

A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post.
The Masters 2017

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.
Moleek Skincare

I couldn't find any knowledge on this matter prior to.Also operate a site and if you are ever interested in doing some.
website link

It appears as though spent lots of time and effort in your blog. I’ve saved it and i’m searching toward reading through new articles.
read the full info here

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.
Jamu Susuk Dara

Thanks for sharing this interesting blog with us.My pleasure to being here on your blog..I wanna come beck here for new post from your site.
WrestleMania
I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.

Thanks for sharing this interesting blog with us.My pleasure to being here on your blog..I wanna come beck here for new post from your site.
Final Four 2017

WrestleMania 2017
We believe that everyone deserves a chance at moving ahead with their lives. In our Mitigation services we strive to provide the Court with your history For our other court appointed services, our goal is to help provide the most up to date and relevant interventions.

A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. Semenax Malaysia

I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.
anzac day photos

I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.
anzac day photos

The article has actually peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for brand new information.
SBI Clerk Online Application form

خرید اینترنتی لباس
You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work.

This content is written very well. Your use of formatting when making your points makes your observations very clear and easy to understand. Thank you.
hindu puja items

I really like the dear information you offer in your articles. I’m able to bookmark your site and show the kids check out up here generally. Im fairly positive theyre likely to be informed a great deal of new stuff here than anyone else!
Happy Holi

Premium Minecraft Accounts Generator
I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.

Premium Minecraft Accounts Generator
I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.