Today is a big day for all of you supersticious people out there. 12-12-12. Some people will be getting married today in hopes that it brings about good luck and fortunes. Others may just try and stay inside because something bad might happen. If you are inside, it better be because you are reading "the stack." Let's see what's in "the stack" for today, Wednesday, December 12:
Saints players get bounty penalty overturned
The New Orleans Saints had reason to celebrate yesterday as former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue vacated the suspensions to Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove and Scott Fujita. That means all of these players can play right away. Fujita is facing a potential career ending injury so he might not play again, but the rest can. Former commissioner Tagliabue said that while the players acted in conduct detrimental to the league, that the league was too harsh in their penalties handed down to the players and that the penalty should have just been to the organization.
In a way, the NFL wins because the ruling handed down by Tagliabue says that they were right in the facts that they gathered that the Saints were engaging themselves in activities that were good for the NFL. But this is a much bigger loss because the league looks very foolish having the suspensions of all four players revoked. They were perhaps a little over-zealous in their accusations of the players and should have just laid a penalty down on the organization as a whole. This saga that has dragged on for a year now ends (we hope) with the league having to backtrack after putting a fullcourt press on earlier that these players indeed participated and could have stopped the bounty program. They really botched this one up.
Is this the end of the bounty program talk? Unfortunately not. Everyone will be talking about it for the next week and it should go away, but there will be the defamation lawsuits against the league by Vilma and Smith and maybe the other two. If anything should happen to the Saints as in head coach Sean Payton leaves, you better believe owner Tom Benson will slap a lawsuit on the NFL as fast as he can. This is going to cost the league a pretty penny.
At least though, a conclusion has been reached and we can finally get on with our lives. A light is at the end of the tunnel.
A couple other things to pass along before we go...
The NHL and NHLPA will meet today with mediators in an attempt to reach a new CBA and end the lockout. It will take a miracle for this season not to be canceled and I don't know how much they'll get done today.
The A-10 is looking to raid the Big East for basketball schools to get to a 21-team conference. Many of these schools would be the basketball only schoools, but should this gain a lot of traction and something happens, we'll definitely see the demise of the Big East and a big power conference in the A-10. The catholic schools (Marquette, DePaul, Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's and Villanova) are the ones being mentioned. Please stop with re-alignment or just get the damn thing done.
Coming up Thursday: TNF preview and other top stories in sports