Bears legend Gale Sayers sounds off on Saints bounty scandal

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Bears legend Gale Sayers sounds off on Saints bounty scandal

Bears legend and Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers was having a good conversation with Comcast SportsNets David Kaplan on Wednesday for a future episode in Inside Look, when the talk brushed up against the bounty related suspensions for New Orleans Saints coaches and players.

Sayers could barely control his fury:

Those fools should never get a chance to play or coach in the game again. Never! Sayers raged. How can you do that? I have never had anyone say, Im going to break your arm.

They should never go out and play this game again, go out and coach this game again.

Kap mentioned that there are those who believe the offenders should go to jail for what they did.

Damn right they should, Sayers declared, voice trembling. Yes, they should.

I dont know about the jail time. But having watched this game for some time, including when Gale was playing with the king of on-field fury, Dick Butkus, if the NFL caves on the suspensions, shame on Roger Goodell and the discipline administrators.

Football is a violent game. Adding to its violence with an intent to injure is so far beyond stupid that, as Gale did, you sputter trying to find words for it.

Sean Payton knew, condoned, covered up and lied about the program on his watch. He is lucky to have just a one-year suspension. Jonathan Vilma got off with an eight-game ban.

It matters not even a little bit that this is hardly the first time or place a bounty system was in place. That excuses nothing.

A flu epidemic doesnt mean you stop trying to stamp out the disease just because its everywhere. And players who can see no further than the end of a play and in any way rationalize intentional injury to someone are a disease.

One commentator suggested that players Vilma, Anthony Hargrove and Scott Fujita had to do what their coaches like Gregg Williams were directing.

Bull. Fujita and Vilma were not going to lose starting jobs if they didnt go along with the program. Williams was stupid in more than a few ways but there is absolutely no way a coach benches best players because they dont injure people.

The players were being incented to injure. They were not being penalized for not injuring.

And anybody who has dealt with an idiot for a supervisor knows what you do in those situations: You say, Gotcha, boss and then go out and do it the way you know it should be done.

Good call, Gale.

Be sure to watch the video above.

62 Days To Kickoff: North Chicago

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62 Days To Kickoff: North Chicago

CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O'Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Jul. 31, we'll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: North Chicago

Head coach: Addonte Adams

Assistant Coaches: Jamal Patterson OC Wilton Hill Joshua Franklin Orlando Kilpatrick

How they fared in 2016: 3-6 (2-5 Northern Lake County conference), failed to qualify for the 2016 IHSA state playoffs.

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 25 – @ Waukegan

Sept. 1 – vs Robeson

Sept. 8 – @ Round Lake

Sept. 15 - vs Grayslake North

Sept. 22 - @ Grant

Sept. 29 – vs Wauconda

Oct. 6 - vs Grayslake Central

Oct. 13 - @ Antioch

Oct. 20 - vs Lakes

Biggest storyline: Can the Warhawks get back to winning and into the state playoff field in 2017?

Names to watch this season:  Senior LB Garrett Turner Senior WR/DB Ishaun Walker Senior QB/ATH Dyshaun Gates

Biggest holes to fill: The Warhawks return a ton of starters from a season ago, however just one starter is back on the offensive line in senior OC Joseph Gaiden.

EDGY's Early Take: It's been a while since the Warhawks have been a threat in either the conference or in the state playoffs, yet that could change in 2017. North Chicago went young last season and gained a ton of playing experience in 2016. If head coach Addonte Adams can get his Warhawks to buy into his program, this has the potential of becoming a team to watch this fall. 

It’s a business, but Blackhawks still feel sting of emotional deals

It’s a business, but Blackhawks still feel sting of emotional deals

Coach Joel Quenneville stood in the United Center hallway, summing up what had been a difficult Friday.

“Very emotional deals,” he said on Saturday morning, as Day 2 of the NHL Draft commenced. “A lot to process there.”

Indeed, the Blackhawks had a busy and difficult day on Friday, trading defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to Arizona and swapping Artemi Panarin and Brandon Saad in a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Quenneville was seen by media leaving a coaches meeting in between the Hjalmarsson and Panarin/Saad trades on Friday morning and he wasn’t at the Blackhawks’ table on Friday, unusual for the opening night of the draft. But he said his absence wasn’t about the trades.

“Not at all,” he said.

Still, as Quenneville said, big moves are a lot to process, even for a team that’s done its share of shedding players since the 2010 offseason. General manager Stan Bowman said Friday was filled with, “high emotions… when you make some difficult decisions.” Jonathan Toews said on Friday night that, “everyone’s kind of shocked” by recent events, including Marian Hossa’s loss. Toews added he was wary of saying the team was better today, out of respect for departed players.

“It’s hard to sit there and say that without sounding like you’re being disrespectful to two teammates you care for and know were huge parts of the team,” he said.

We talk about the business side of hockey all the time. You make the tough decisions and then you move forward. But there’s a human element to all of this that’s easy to forget. Players, especially those who are with an organization for a long time as Hjalmarsson was, make their impact on and off the ice. Teammates and coaches are spending endless amounts of time together, and those bonds, coupled with what they all go through during regular seasons and Stanley-Cup runs, endure. Saying goodbye is difficult.

For Quenneville, seeing Hjalmarsson leave was very difficult.

“Well, certainly Hammer, he’s one of those heart-and-soul guys and was instrumental in winning some championships for us. You feel for him and what he meant to his team and his teammates and fans here and the city of Chicago. He’s one of those guys that you have an appreciation to watch and see how he competes and knowing what he fights through to stay on the ice in a lot of games. He’s a heart-and-souler. Those guys are hard to see go,” Quenneville said. “Bread Man wasn’t here long enough to really get that consistency over term. But Hammer really did give a lot to the organization. And we are very appreciative of the Bread Man, because he could wow us and entertain us and a great kid, as well.”

Still, there’s the positive side. Quenneville and Toews are thrilled to have Saad back in the fold. Toews and Saad had great chemistry, the first time around and Quenneville said he’ll put those two together to start the season – “I know that [Patrick Kane] finds a way to make it happen, no matter who’s playing at center or on his left. It really adds a one-two punch that hopefully we get consistency and predictability in that area,” Quenneville said.

Saad should also help fill at least some of the void left from Hossa.

It’s another offseason during which the Blackhawks are feeling the losses, professionally as well as personally. You process, you deal with the sting and then you proceed. That’s the business.

“As a coach, we’re in the short-term business, we’re thinking about now,” Quenneville said. “So we’re going to do everything we can to better ourselves right now and looking to win today. And that’s our challenge and that’s what we look at.”