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Patrick Hruby

Atlantic Sports Roundtable: the New Orleans Saints and BountyGate

Should football fans care about BountyGate? This week's Atlantic online sports roundtable tackles -- in hard, clean and legal fashion -- the issue. A brief excerpt:

Jake Simpson: It's inconceivable to me that anyone with even half a brain could watch football—on any level from high school to the pros—and not think that it's an inherently brutal sport that demands uncivilized levels of violence. If you're really outraged by this, don't watch football.

Hampton Stevens: That's not "just part of football," Jake, and it's more than just bad business, too. It's cheating. And it's an especially cruel, stupid kind; one that can not only change the outcome of games, but destroy a player's career in an instant. Anyone who is incapable of making a moral distinction between playing a violent game to win, and playing it to deliberately injure others isn't really in a position to be calling anyone a hypocrite.

Patrick Hruby: Here's the thing about broken ribs, torn ligaments and concussed brains: Honorable intentions don't make them any less painful, severe or real. Harm is harm. Damage is damage. Both are baked into football. Sorry, Hampton, but neither is the unfortunate byproduct of the otherwise noble pursuit of touchdowns—the carnage is the inevitable, inescapable outcome of hitting, blocking and tackling as they relate to physics and human biology.

Read the full article at the Atlantic online