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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Mike Ditka: Saints bounty penalties were too harsh, ‘Sean Payton is a good guy’

Mike Ditka doesn’t approve of bounties in a game that’s already violent enough, but he thinks the Saints were penalized too harshly by commissioner Roger Goodell.

“I think it’s way too harsh, I really do. I think you have to look at the whole situation,” Ditka told “The Jorge Sedano Show” on 790 The Ticket in Miami. “But I don’t know who knew what, when they knew it, or anything like that.”

Ditka freely admits he’s judging the penalties though he’s not completely informed on the matter. Is it possible that he’s influenced by personal biases? Sure seems like it.

“Sean Payton is a good guy,” he told Sedano. “He’s a good guy. He didn’t tell somebody to go out there and maim somebody. And neither did Mickey Loomis. They had a little bounty system with the defense, and that’s where it was.

“I think the suspension is way too severe. I think a fine, a loss of a draft pick or two draft picks or something would have been just as sufficient. But I do understand what the commissioner is saying,” said Ditka.

Ditka says he saw his players targeted by opposing defenses when he was coaching the Bears. Though he wouldn’t name the team, he says one squad had towels hanging down from their belts with numbers and names of the people they were targeting. He says the players were getting bonuses for that, and he can’t understand why players would do such a thing.

“It’s kind of crazy why people would try to hurt each other in a game where it’s so easy to get hurt just playing the game. Why would you go out and intentionally try and hurt somebody? It makes no sense to me.”

Though I agree with his last comment, I disagree with his assessment of the punishments. If Ditka believes it’s wrong for players to target each other for monetary bonuses, then he should support penalties that get everyone’s attention to send the message that you better not do it. Maybe he’s just trying to get on Sean Payton’s good side so he can become New Orleans’ interim coach.



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