Sen. Dick Durbin is setting up a Judiciary Committee hearing about bounties in the NFL and other major sports in the wake of news that New Orleans Saints players received extra cash for hits that hurt particular opponents.
The assistant Senate majority leader, an Illinois Democrat, says he wants to examine whether federal law should make such bounty systems a crime.
Durbin’s announcement Thursday comes a day after the NFL took a harsh stand on bounties, suspending Saints head coach Sean Payton for all of next season, and indefinitely banning their former defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams.
Durbin calls the Saints’ bounties a “disturbing practice.” He plans to ask representatives of the NFL, Major League Baseball, NBA, NHL and NCAA to testify at the hearing.
Since news of the NFL bounty investigation broke in early March, many close to the league have said the practice of “pay for pain” is widespread, and not limited to the Saints.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s stiff punishment was meant not only to address the team’s misconduct, but to send a message to the entire league. It was the harshest package of penalties ever handed out by the NFL.
Where was Durbin a few months ago when Sam Hurd, then of his hometown Chicago Bears, was caught dealing coke to players all over the NFL?
Oh, yeah. Nowhere.
There are a couple of key rules you can take to the bank where politics is concerned, and both of them are at work today.
First, Chicago politicians are the worst scum on the planet – and that doesn’t just apply to Democrats. We had Denny Hastert as the Speaker of the House prior to Nancy Pelosi, and outside of Pelosi Hastert was the worst we’ve ever had. Remember how sympathetic Hastert was immediately after Hurricane Katrina while he was busy destroying the GOP majority in the House of Representatives. “Bulldoze the place,” was his answer.
Throw the cabal currently running the country on top of the pile, and there you are.
And the second rule is that you won’t find anything of worth – ever – from a Senate Democrat. After all, there has been no budget out of the Senate in three years, and we can’t even project our economy past 2027 because the economic models show fiscal armageddon at that point.
But Durbin, who is the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, wants to have an investigation of the Saints’ bounty program. Because that’s of vital interest to the American people.
Oh, he says he’ll be bringing in all these other sports for a trip under the microscope, but that’s just to grandstand and keep himself from looking like he’s taking a specific poke at the Saints and thus looking like a buffoon with nothing better to do than talk about football.
Which is exactly what he is, but of course he’d rather not advertise that fact.
So don’t have the hearing, right? That’s what you’re thinking. Except Durbin can’t help himself, because as a committed lefty there is no part of American life he shouldn’t be sticking his fingers in. And as an unserious dope who’s in way over his head as one of the 100 most important legislators in America, it’s a lot easier to talk about football than to figure out real problems.
The NFL crushed the Saints for Gregg Williams’ bounty program, and Gregg Williams – who got exactly what he deserved, by the way – is finished in coaching. “Suspended indefinitely” means he’s done, period.
That’s it. End of story. We may hate it down here and we may think what happened to Sean Payton was completely overboard. But there’s no question the league policed itself.
A Senate investigation led by a bunch of microphone-fellating morons like Dick Durbin isn’t going to improve on what Roger Goodell did this week. Even Durbin knows that, but he doesn’t care – he’d rather have a bunch of athletes and coaches up to Capitol Hill and play J. Edgar Hoover with them than to actually do the job the intellectually-challenged voters of Illinois tried to send him to Washington to do.
But it’s OK. The NFL might survive past 2027, but it’s a pretty good bet Dick Durbin’s political career – and the whole federal government, for that matter – will be gone by then at the rate he and his Senate buddies are going.