Thursday, March 22, 2012

Good To Be Right, Better To Be Good

For the second time in a month, we're diverging from our usual discussion of politics during the workweek to focus on events happening in the NFL - but if you're a political fan, don't worry. There's something in this for you, too.

If you're a fan of professional football, or football in general, it's likely that by now you've heard that eventual Hall-of-Fame quarterback Payton Manning is joining the Denver Broncos, after the Indianapolis Colts let him out of his contract earlier this year. For Broncos fans that we know, this led to a temporary crisis, as Tim Tebow was already on the team, and was expected to be the Broncos quarterback this fall.

Tebow - who became a focus of popular culture last year, not just for his on-field football performance, but also for his religious stance - is too good a player to relegate to second tier status. It's also too expensive for Denver to keep both Tebow and Manning.

So as of last night, the Broncos traded Tebow to the New York Jets. That trade could make a big difference to the Jets this next year, and Jets fans are already excited about their new QB. It's a feeling that New Orleans Saints fans won't be having for at least the next few years.

As we commented near the beginning of March, we thought that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would do exactly what he began doing yesterday, when he laid out the first of many punishments for the 'BountyGate" scandal.

To start with, Goodell suspended the Saints head coach, Sean Payton, without pay, for the entire 2012 season, effective immediately. Goodell also banned Saints general manager Mickey Loomis for the first eight games of the regular season. Neither of these actions has ever been taken by ANY NFL commissioner in the history of the sport. The Commissioner's punishments didn't stop there.

The man at the heart of the scandal, coach Gregg Williams, was banned indefinitely from the NFL. Since Williams had already moved to the St. Louis  Rams, the Rams also have to suffer for "BountyGate". But that's not all. Goodell also fined the Saints half a million dollars - and took away their second round draft picks for 2012 and 2013.  For those of you that don't know pro football, losing those draft picks means the Saints will have to pay more to acquire players that other teams didn't really want for the next two years. In other words, their team will be worse, and will cost them more, every day, as their players age and get hurt.

Goodell punished the Saints more severely than any other team in the history of the NFL - and he's nowhere near done. Punishments for players and lower level coaches are expected to come down soon, and could be equally as harsh.

As we told you when we first covered "BountyGate," winning is NOT the only thing - and this is why.

If people think they can cheat and get away with it, they're wrong. Cheating always catches up to the cheater in the end.

While Tim Tebow's on-field prayers can seem to ring false to some, there are many in the NFL who say Tebow really is someone who appreciates his faith, and tries to live it fully every day. As big a star as Payton Manning is, and as much as some Husker fans still hold a grudge against him from his college days, many pros have said that Manning - like Tebow - is an honestly good person who also chooses to do the ethical thing, and nearly always shuns unethical behavior.

There is a reward for doing things the right way. Even if that path is hard and doesn't always take you where you want to go, as fast as you wish you could get there, in the end, we believe it's the best way to live. Sometimes, you may feel like the powers that be are just moving you around, shuffling you from place to place.

Even if that's true right now, we hope that you'll do the right thing, even when no one else is looking. Trust us - it's worth it in the end.

No comments:

Post a Comment