Thus far, most of the talk on the "Bounty" scandal has focused on our own team and, specifically, the 2009 NFC Championship Game. We know that Brett Favre was targeted, and we also know that Kurt Warner had been targeted the week before by the New Orleans Saints defense.
Well, now it turns out that the Saints had another target as well. . .one that will probably have some folks singing a different tune about the whole situation than they had been previously.
Citing an internal NFL memo sent to all 32 teams about the bounty scandal, CBSSports.com reported that Ornstein on at least four occasions pledged rewards of $5,000 to $10,000 to the Saints' bounty pool from 2009 to 2011.
Among the 18,000 documents league investigators examined is an email from Ornstein to Saints' coaches last season in which he pledged money for a knockout blow to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers before the NFL kickoff game, according to a source familiar with the situation.
(Hat tip to ESPN's Kevin Seifert for the link to that article.)
Favre and Warner being targeted is one thing. . .but I'm sure now that it has come to light that the OMG GREATEST QUARTERBACK EVER had a bulls-eye on him, too, the attitude that some folks have shown towards this incident will change.
Who is this Ornstein fellow, you might ask? Well, he's Mike Ornstein, a guy that's worked for a couple of different NFL teams over the years. Oh, and this may or may not be important, but he's also a two-time convicted felon. . .once for mail fraud, and once for trying to scalp Super Bowl tickets and sell fake "game-worn" jerseys.
The article says that one source insists that Ornstein sent that e-mail, and similar ones, "in jest." Because if anyone can be believed in such a matter, it's a two-time convicted fraudster.
It just keeps getting worse for New Orleans. . .in terms of corruption, they're rapidly gaining on the 1919 Chicago White Sox, a team that threw a World Series at the behest of gambling interests. Of course, the 1919 White Sox didn't try to hurt anybody. . .they were just greedy. So, in some aspects, this is probably worse.
It could be worse, I guess. . .after all, it could be our team about to get hammered by the National Football League for this sort of conduct. However, the important thing to remember is that it isn't, and that any "scandal" that people want to dredge up from the past about this team absolutely pales in comparison to this.
Welcome to the "Bounty" scandal, Green Bay. We hope your stay is a pleasant one.