Ledger-gate? Ok. Let’s look at the Carolina game.

2 Jun

Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Damione Lewis (92) battles New Orleans Saints tackle Jermon Bushrod in an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Jan. 3, 2010. Carolina won 23-10. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

As you probably already know, Jason Cole is reporting that the league has a copy of a ledger in which the Saints defense recorded their bounty payouts game-by-game.  Pretty amazing evidence if it does exist.  An unnamed source has it.  We can’t see it.  And names haven’t been released, although some games have been identified by sources who aren’t sure exactly what game we’re referring to here, anyway.

It just keeps getting more ridiculous, doesn’t it?

The Who Dat Social Club has broken down the recorded injuries to offensive players in 2009, the year the ledger was supposed to have been maintained.  Not exactly convincing evidence there, folks.

Notably, sources known only to Jason Cole initially told him that three 1,000-dollar payouts were recorded for the Bills game that year.  Stories changed quickly as Florio debunked that idea – showing that of the four Bills players who left the game, three were defensive.

The story changed: now we’re told that the Panthers game on November 8, 2009 was the big three-payout event. Problem? Only one player was injured, a linebacker.

But, not to worry, the Angry Who Dat has nothing better to do with his Saturday morning than dig out a copy of the Panthers game (I still have the 2009 season on DVD) and see what transpired.

I looked for anything, whether injury or not, that could be seen as a payable occurrence. I’ll be honest; part of me expected to see three brutal headshots during the course of the game that would bring the whole conspiracy theory to its knees.  Alas, that didn’t happen.  Disclaimer: I fast-forwarded through most offensive series, so if Drew Brees was out there throwing himself at linebackers’ heads, I probably missed it.  I paid attention to special teams and defensive plays.

Notably, Scott Fujita was inactive that day.

Late in the first quarter, Chris Gamble (CB #20) stumbles off the field after being shaken up.  Yes, he’s a defensive player, but it’s significant because he leaves the game.

2nd quarter, 12:00 remaining

Boy, is this a tough first half to watch.  The Saints looked bad.  Here was the first break: a fumble by the Panthers, recovered by Tracy Porter.  Payout?  Maybe so.

Saints are already threatening. Guess who’s back? Chris Gamble. Absolutely used Marques Colston on the route, picked off Drew Brees, and returned it down the sideline for about 20 yards or so.  This, obviously, negates the significance of the only injury so far.

2nd quarter, 10:10 remaining

Darren Sharper pursues Steve Smith out of bounds, dives at his knees while clearly out of bounds, and draws a 15-yard personal foul.  Smith isn’t hurt – he pops right up, gets in several Saints’ faces, and nearly draws his own penalty.  It was clearly a bad hit – but accomplished nothing except a loss of 15 yards of field position.

2nd quarter, 6:02 remaining

Sharper again.  He puts a wicked (clean) hit on DeAngelo Williams, shaking him up and sending him out of the game temporarily.  Williams would return.  Greer had his legs, and was going to bring him down.  Sharper lowered his shoulder, and planted a clean hit on Williams’s chest.  Pretty nice lick.

3rd quarter, 13:08 remaining

Casillas pounds a kick returner along the sideline.  A good, clean hit.  It appeared that the returner was a little shaken up, but no “cart-off”

3rd quarter, 3:30 remaining

Shanle decleats Steve Smith on a potential touchdown (a third down at that), and the ball falls incomplete.  Another entirely clean hit, and Smith trots off the field.  It’s a key play – momentum is swinging here – and I could imagine this being a rewardable play.

4th quarter, 3:34 remaining

LB Thomas Davis is shown on the sidelines being carted off.  I could not find the play in which he was injured.  It does not appear to have happened on the kickoff prior (a touchback) or on the Saints’ extra point. It must have been while the Saints offense was on the field the previous drive.  (UPDATE: Thanks to @ReidG75, I found it.  The guy was backpedaling with nobody around, and stumbled, then just fell. Weird, freaky injury.)

4th quarter, 2:44 remaining

4th down at midfield for the Panthers, resulting in a sack/fumble of Jake Delhomme by Will Smith.  The Panthers recover, resulting in a turnover on downs.

4th quarter, 2:00 remaining

The Saints have taken over and are trying to put the game away.  The Panthers are on their own goal line after a Saints punt, and D. Williams fumbles into the endzone. It’s recovered by Anthony Hargrove for a touchdown.

That’s it.  IF the ledger is real, and IF it details 3 1,000-dollar payouts in the Carolina game, it’s clear that they weren’t for cart-offs or knockouts or whatever else you want to call them.  There were “payable” big plays, but nothing as sinister as the league would have you believe.  Again, we find ourselves having to stress the distinction between pay-for-performance bonuses, which are illegal, and pay-for-injury bounties, which are reprehensible if real.

Maybe we’ll eventually get to see the ledger for ourselves.  Don’t hold your breath.

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10 Responses to “Ledger-gate? Ok. Let’s look at the Carolina game.”

  1. JasonS June 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    It takes so long for this stuff to come forth, then the stories change.
    That is exactly what I would expect if the “evidence” were manufactured or doctored.

    • JasonS June 2, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

      Another thing.
      Who on the coaching staff in NOLA would be so foolish as to leave such a paper trail?
      If they truly were so foolish, they deserve what comes to them.
      I don’t think they left such an obvious trail, though.

  2. Cat June 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    Wasn’t there two Carolina games that season?

    • The Angry Who Dat June 2, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

      Yes. Cole’s sources specifically named the game in October as the one in which three bonuses were handed out. The second Panthers game was week 17, when after losing to Dallas and Tampa, yet clinching the 1 seed, the Saints rested many starters and lost to go 13-3.

      • Anonymous June 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

        The October game was the Giants, it says the Carolina game was in November.

        • The Angry Who Dat June 2, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

          (fires up DVD player again)

          Yes, November 8, 2009. My apologies. I assure you, however, that I watched the correct game :)

  3. WhoDatInMo June 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    Even the Giants game in Oct didn’t result in more than one injury. Giants right tackle Kareem McKenzie left with a groin injury in the second quarter. Ironically Saints LB Scott Fujita went out with a left calf injury in the first half. Im not sure if annonomous is implying that this happened during the Giants game if so thought I would offer this little tid bit of info. I hope the truth comes out in every way shape & form. Hopefully Vilma’s lawsuit will bring more facts to the table for the fans to read. Even if the facts hurt…I want to see them as does the rest of the Who Dat Nation.

    • granzombi June 4, 2012 at 6:38 am #

      Exactly, even if the facts hurt. We can deal with it if we get a chance to really know the truth. This death by a 1000 cuts of rumor and innuendo is absurd.


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