Babe Laufenberg, CBS 11 Sports Director

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – While the New Orleans Saints were handing out money for “cart offs and knockouts,” it was the commissioner who threw the ultimate haymaker.  And good for him.  And shame on the Saints.

I have said all along that this was a no-brainer that the punishment meted out  would be the most severe in NFL history, and anyone who didn’t believe that were either not paying attention or just plain ignorant.

As I stated in a previous blog, the NFL has the potential of having billions of dollars of court cases lined up for the head trauma that the sport inflicts and the NFL’s denial that there was a correlation between the blows to the head and early onset Alzheimers and a myriad of other debilitating consequences to the brain.  Their denials were not only silly and disingenuous, they flew in the face of all medical and clinical  evidence.

To Roger Goodell’s credit, he has made player safety his number one on field priority.

Most disturbing is the complete lack of respect that Sean Payton and Gregg Williams showed for the game and their profession.  They got a little cocky.  Actually, got way too cocky. That somehow if you win a Super Bowl, the rules no longer apply to you.  Well, turns out they do.

Usually, just about the time that you believe you are above the law, the law hauls you into reality.  “I fought the law, and the law won.”  And it is a shame, because it will forever tarnish the way the Saints are perceived, and will forever taint their brilliant Super Bowl run, as it should.

Unlike college athletics, where the slimy John Calipari’s of the world are insulated by success….( He is the only coach in NCAA history to have two Final Four runs vacated by the NCAA, U Mass in 1996 and Memphis in 2008) the NFL told Payton etc., al, that the commissioner’s office will have more backbone than university presidents.  There are no greener pastures for Payton and Williams and Saints GM Mickey Loomis to move on to.  And that is how it should be.

Thank you, Roger Goodell, for trying to restore some integrity to the sport and business of the NFL.

The Saints may not have had respect for the profession that made them wealthy beyond anything they could have imagined, but they will have a little down time to think about it now.

Note: Follow Babe Laufenberg on Twitter @cbs11Babe

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