As I offer up my final word, I only 'wish' it was my final word on the subject, but it won't be.
'Bounty gate' has taken on a life of its own here in our city. We haven't even begun to know how hard NFL comissioner, Roger Goodell, is going to come down on the team. There will likely be suspensions, fines and other sanctions such as the loss of draft picks. Whatever the repercussions, they will be bad enough for every other team in the NFL to look within themselves and say," gee, we don't need this kind of trouble."
Goodell is going about changing the entire culture of the league. I don't know if he 'can' do it, or even if he 'should' do it, but that's what he means to accomplish. Unfortunately, it starts right here with the Saints.
What I do know from my experience is that this group of players are good guys. There's not, for example, a bone within Jonathan Vilma's body that says he wants to injure another player or end another guy's career. J.V. is the quarterback of the defense, and I think his will permeates throughout the entire unit.
They want to play hard, and they want to win. I think, by and large, the Saints do it the right way. For whatever they have done wrong, they will pay the price, and I believe they'll do so with repentance and sincerity. Also, the team will move forward, playing hard and wanting to win.
When the word comes down, it will be the end of a dark chapter in Saints' history, but it will not be the end of the world. I don't know about you, but I look forward to the upcoming season. I believe that all of this will give the team a hunger for excellence like it's it's never had before.
That's my final word.