Calling all HGL fans! This weekly column is your one stop shop to get in the know about everything going on around the league. From injury updates to news off the field, your football knowledge will surely grow week after week. Don’t believe me? Put your knowledge to the test with friends and that certain someone. You’ll surely be able to hold your own and then some in the conversation.
1. Bounty-like Program Existed in 1996 NFL Season
The National Football League Players Association submitted papers in federal court on Thursday stating that the NFL allowed a 1996 incentive program for big hits. The program was funded by former Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Reggie White. The program, which is very similar to the Saints bounty scandal included White paying $500 for big plays and hits. White was never reprimanded for his, “stash-for-cash” program. The report also states that other teams within the league participated in similar programs.
The New Orleans Saints have been under fire before the season even started, for allegedly promoting a bounty program. NFL
commissioner Roger Goodell suspended former Saints linebacker Scott Fujita for offering his teammates rewards for big plays in the 2009 season. The NFLPA believes Goodell’s decision to suspend Fujita violates the league’s labor agreement.
“The fact that the NFL has a different agenda today than it did in 1996 cannot change the unequivocal language of the NFL Constitution & Bylaws, which has never prohibited this type of behavior,” the union wrote in its legal briefs. “The commissioner’s attempt to nonetheless suspend and scapegoat Mr. Fujita for conduct — incentivizing undisputed, legitimate plays — never before punished or prohibited by the NFL not only violates the ‘essence of the (collective bargaining) agreement’ but further demonstrates the commissioner’s evident partiality.”
The four players involved in the trial have filed an appeal asking that Goodell removes himself from the proceedings because he cannot be impartial. U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan will make the decision on whether or not to throw out Goodell’s disciplinary rulings.
*Developing: Goodell notified the NFLPA and has taken himself out of the hearing. Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has been appointed as the hearing officer in hopes to bring a fair conclusion to the bounty trial.
2. NFL Coach Son’s Autopsy Released
A coroner releasedon Thursday that Eagles head coach Andy Reid’s son Garrett Reid died from an accidental heroin overdose. Coroner Zachary Lysek of Northampton County said toxicology tests confirmed that there was heroin in Garett Reid’s system.
Investigators say they found a used syringe and a spoon in his room. Later on, a gym bag filled with unopened syringes and needles were found.
“We are confident today that Mr. Reid’s death was the result of a self-injected lethal dose of heroin,” District Attorney John Morganelli said at a news conference in Easton.
Reid was found dead in room on August 5 at Lehigh University in Bethlehem. He was a recovering drug addict who had battled his drug addictions for eight years. Reid was 29-years-old. In a statement released through the Eagles, the Reid family said they’ll miss Garrett’s smile, laugh, and energy.
“These results sadly confirmed what we had expected all along,” the family’s statement said. “We understood that Garrett’s long-standing battle with addiction was going to be difficult. He will, however, always have our family’s love and respect for the courage he showed in trying to overcome it. In the end, we take comfort in our faith and know that he’s in a better place.”
Investigators are now focusing on finding out who Reid’s supplier was. Investigators will be looking at Reid’s phone records to see who he was having contact with in the days leading to his death.
3. Teammate Says Ray Lewis Will Return
The Baltimore Ravens suffered a devastating loss earlier this week. Future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis has been placed on the Injury Reserve with a triceps injury with the, “designated to return” tag. 37-year-old Lewis is in his 17 NFL season all of which he has played with the Ravens. Before this season started, there were talks of the pro bowler retiring. He has not been quiet about wanting to watch his son’s college football games at the University of Miami, and it could be time for him to bow out gracefully. Alas, Lewis did come back this year, hungry for another Super Bowl ring. That goal has been sidelined with his season-ending injury, but teammate defensive tackle Haloti Ngata believes we haven’t seen the last of Ray Lewis in a Ravens jersey.
“I believe and Ray believes that he’ll be back,” Ngata told NFL Network’s Melissa Stark. “And just knowing him, just talking to him a day ago, just saying ‘I’ll be back, don’t worry’ and just once he said that I already knew that I had faith that he’ll come back and tell me where to go and push me around.”
Lewis has not made any public statements on whether or not he will return next season. It goes without saying that many believe that the heart and soul of the Ravens will return next year. An injury cannot dictate when Lewis will retire. He’ll do it on his own terms.
4. Tebow Trademarks Tebowing
New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow has officially trademarked Tebowing. Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com reported that the qb won a legal issue with two fans who wanted to own the term. The process of Tebowing includes one dropping down to one knee, and holding a clenched fist to your forehead. Paperwork was filed back in April and Tebow was awarded the trademark on October 9th. Tebowing gained popularity last season when Tebow was with the Denver Broncos. Tebow says that he has no intentions of using the term for financial gain, and doesn’t understand the popularity.
“I know it was something that was cool for me in the past, but it’s not something I do as Tebowing,’ ” Tebow told Cimini. “It’s something I do that’s prayer for me and then it got hyped up as Tebowing. So I think (it’s) just to control how it’s used as well. Make sure it’s used in the right way.”
Tebow added that any money he makes off of Tebowing will go to his charity.
5. Injury Tracker