clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Fran Tarkenton Says Bounties Are Not Part Of Football

New, comments

Fran Tarkenton is probably more qualified to speak about what the "old school" NFL was like than anyone. He made 9 pro bowls over the 60s and 70s and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 1986.

So it was interesting to hear his reaction to those people who are defending the Saints' bounty program by saying "this is just what happens in the NFL." According to Tarkenton, it really isn't.

"I think that the facts, when they first came out, I took a strong position. I was outraged by it. The players I talked to from my generation are outraged about it. We didn't play with bounties. Dick Butkus didn't have bounties on anybody, or there wouldn't have been anybody to play because he would've killed them all. This is nonsense."

"Now I hear these ex-jocks, modern ex-jocks, back then "ah, this is the way it is in football, this is just the way things are," and now I'm hearing some of the same stuff from the ESPN jocks doing that. The American people should be outraged. This is not the way it is. That's not what the foundation of football was about... That's where it started. That would trickle throughout the league. That would trickle down to college, down to high school football. The American public should be outraged at this, and I know Roger Goodell is outraged because if this spreads, this sport is dead."

His full interview is worth a read. Not only does he think Gregg Williams should never be allowed to coach in the NFL again, he thinks there should be lawsuits over this against those involved. He also rejects the notion that the current NFL is being "sissified."