Last night, a story broke in the NFL in which bounties seem to be paid to New Orleans Saints defensive players for “knockout” hits. The substance of the story is nothing new. Over the past 20 or 30 years, there have been rumors that players have been paid for extra big hits. During the Buddy Ryan era, while he was with the Philadelphia Eagles, there were rumors that bounties were paid in order to knock out key Dallas Cowboys players. In Dallas, one particular game has been dubbed the Bounty Bowl. Yet, the allegations out of New Orleans are somewhat different. This is not only because the New Orleans Saints have suddenly, over the last four or five years, gone from a struggling franchise to an elite team but it’s also because the New Orleans Saints finally won the Super Bowl. The NFL beleives that it has proof with accounts specifically for bounties. Look, the NFL is a violent game. We all know the statistics of the average NFL player and how short-lived his playing days are. Yet, I think that we expect that players are not to go out and intentionally try to hurt each other. The league has clearly taken steps to try to decrease concussions and other injuries, but these new allegations suggest to me that the NFL needs to go much further. Players like James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers who continually seem to be involved in big hits and helmet to helmet contact need to receive gargantuan fines and prolonged suspensions. Look for the NFL commissioner to come down extremely harshly on players and coaches that are found to be involved in these bounties. The NFL is a multibillion dollar business. The NFL commissioner will protect the NFL brand.
For some reason, conservatives have looked at Barack Obama’s interview in the Atlantic Monthly with surprise. The President is talking about foreign policy and specifically talking about the fact that Iran must not have a nuclear weapon. There are a few things in American politics that are clear. One of them is our position towards Iran. Letting Iran get a nuclear weapon is simply unacceptable. It cannot happen. All the nightmare scenarios begin to come your head as soon as you think of Iran with a nuclear weapon. Therefore, as president, you have to do everything in your power to prevent that from happening. This is not about ideology. It is about American security and the security of our friends in the Middle East and around the world. I would encourage everybody to read this article. From a tactical standpoint, Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon. From a political standpoint, the president cannot be seen as weak. He cannot and will not allow any Republican to get to the right of him on this issue. This is the only thoughtful position that he could take.
What stories are you following today?