I work in an industry that overreacts to everything. As soon as a great football game ends, half of the media will ask if it was the greatest game of all-time. When something happens that requires punishment in the NFL, some media personality will have to go above and beyond everyone else.
For a perfect example, look no further than Colin Cowherd’s comments from a few years ago concerning Mike Vick. Caught up in the emotion of being on-air and wanting to garner attention for saying something so ludicrous, Cowherd put Mike Vick’s crimes against dogs on the same level as pedophilia.
At the time most of the media and listeners didn’t object to these reckless remarks, due to being caught up in the moment as well. I just prayed that Cowherd didn’t have (human) kids. I wonder now how the public would react today, if Cowherd compared Vick’s crimes as being on par with Sandusky’s.
Those wanting Gregg Williams to suffer a lifetime ban from the NFL are probably the same ones that enjoy Jerry Springer and Cowherd’s rating grabbing takes.
When the news came out that Williams paid money for players to injure their opponents, I was outraged. I expected a swift, devastating punishment to be issued. Gregg was suspended for a full season and the only life he’s known for the last 20+ years in the NFL. He’s become an outcast. It’ll be a challenge for him to find work and he’s cursed to wear a scarlet letter for the remainder of his professional career. His punishment fits the crime.
Recently, Williams has come out and said that he will coach again. To my surprise, this has become national news. My question is, why wouldn’t he coach again? When you look at every player/coach that’s wronged the NFL or society, they’ve been allowed to return to their occupation. Looking back at some of the NFL’s players and coaches that have created crimes or other issues, they have all been allowed to serve their penalties and then return to the game. NFL fans and even the media that cover the league tend to have short -term memories. Let’s take a look back at some of the employees of the league.
Bill Belichick was allowed to cheat the integrity of the game for almost a full decade. He earned a franchise their only championships (3) during that time. He was never suspended, but did have to pay a fine. The same media that calls for a lifetime ban of Williams, still considers Belichick as one of the greatest coaches of all-time.
Donte’ Stallworth & Leonard Little made decisions that cost people their lives. We aren’t talking about dogs or tearing ACLs. We are talking about conscious decisions that NFL employees made that cost families to lose loved ones. They both were allowed to finish out their careers.
Mike Vick created heinous crimes against defenseless animals. I don’t want my previous comments to seem as if what he did wasn’t horrific. They were horrible crimes and he served his time, but after the prison sentence ran out, he was allowed to return to his occupation.
Aqib Talib has punched a cab driver, fought a teammate at the rookie symposium, cut one teammate’s face while attempting to hit another teammate with his helmet, and shot at an individual. He attempted to murder someone, but his name is spoken with less contempt than Williams.
Pacman Jones had numerous run-ins. One of the most serious accusations was one that stemmed from a strip club dispute that broke out in gunfire. The group of men that were being shot at said that Jones hired individuals to kill them.
Ray Lewis was accused of being in a party that stabbed and killed two men. While he was never found guilty of the murders he did pay civil fees to the families of the deceased. Lewis was despised by the same media and fans that now praise him as one of the best to ever play the game.
Albert Haynesworth & Ndamukong Suh may be two examples of individual players who are guilty of actions that parallel what Gregg Williams was paying his players to do. Haynesworth and Suh both stomped on players and each had multiple actions that led opponents to slap the label of “dirty” player on them. Regardless of which side of the fence you fall on, both situations of hurting players for extra money or just anger are despicable and extremely similar.
What Gregg Williams did in New Orleans and is accused of doing in multiple cities is unforgivable, but punishable. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be reinstated after his one year off, as he should be. The NFL message has been sent and received loud and clear. There will be no more bounties and it’s the last thing the NFL would ever have to fear coming from a Williams’ led defense after he’s allowed back into the league. Honestly, what reasonable argument could be made to prevent Williams’ reinstatement from a league that has allowed back cheaters, attempted murderers, and killers of man and animal?
Jayson Braddock is an NFL Scout / NFL Writer & On-Air Personality. Jayson is also a football insider for the Dylan Gwinn show on 790 AM in Houston, TX - Listeners NOT in the Houston metropolitan area can hear Jayson on iheart radio or sports790.com. You can also catch Jayson on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew every Thursday at 10:30am ET. You may email Jayson directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JaysonBraddock