Cold Comfort: NFL Admits the Saints Played Dirty

Five days out from the Vikings‘ stunning overtime loss to the Saints in the NFC Championship game, the fallout is continuing to fall, and a lot of it is coming down on the NFC Champs.

A couple days ago, NFL V.P. of officiating Mike Pereira said the referees made a mistake not calling a penalty on Bobby McCray for hitting Brett Favre low on the play where Favre was injured while throwing an interception to Jonathan Vilma.  Had McCray been hit with a flag there, the Vikings may very well have driven the ball down and scored, though they would’ve had to do it without Favre, who remained sprawled on the trainers’ table until the next offensive series.

Today, the NFL officially punished McCray for that hit and another unnecessary roughness penalty against Favre, fining the defensive end $20,000.

The interesting thing about that is, the play McCray was flagged for was much cleaner than the one for which he wasn’t.  But that’s all water under the bridge now, right Purple Nation?

Um, yeah.  Maybe not.

Oh, and incidentally, McCray was not the only Saints player to receiver a fine for rough play against the Vikings.  In addition to the financial penalty levied against McCray, Jonathan Casillas and Anthony Hargrove also took $5,000 hits to their pocket books, Casillas for blasting Darius Reynaud after a fair catch signal and Hargrove for yet another hit against Favre.

Hargrove’s hit on Favre was, by the way, also clean.

Judging by Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams‘ comments about wanting to put a hurting on Peyton Manning, several more New Orleans defensive players can anticipate disciplinary action from the league about two weeks from today.  And I’m sure they’d all willingly cough up the coin in exchange for a championship.

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Tags: Anthony Hargrove Bobby Mccray Brett Favre Darius Reynaud Gregg Williams Jonathan Casillas Jonathan Vilma Mike Pereira Minnesota Vikings New Orleans Saints Peyton Manning

  • lee


  • WDN

    who dat!

  • Conspiracy

    Have you ever wondered how during a game all slow motion video review indicate something so evedently clear but the refs completely otherwise decide different? I think the league needs a new rule for teams to chellenge bad officiating. Both Colts and Saints point blank walked away with murder Sunday.

  • S

    I’m glad the nfl got to choose a winner (saints) again during the NFC championship. not a vikes fan, but after this game I won’t be watching the NFL anymore, the favoritism is too blatent.

  • Mark

    No doubt the Saints owners will pay for those fines. That’s how they made it to the Super Bowl, so those players should be rewarded.

    A new rule could be: no fine, just miss the next game if you commit a personal foul.

  • Bo

    Too bad the Saints NFC Championship win will always have an asterisk and they’ll forever be known as a “dirty” team. Here’s hoping they won’t have a chance for a Super Bowl title and Manning doesn’t get carted off on a stretcher.

  • Mike

    Cold comfort is right. Too little (penalties), too late (with too little fines). No sacks yet 17 late hits on Favre, many illegal. At least one low and another drove him into the ground. Yet the refs didn’t appear until the Saints needed bogus calls for their winning drive in overtime.

    Where were the refs when the dirty Saints were trying, of their admission, to injure Brett Favre and force him out of the game? The Saints may have ended Favre’s career after sending Warner into retirement with a cheap shot, and still have the audacity to threaten to injure Peyton Manning even if he drops to the ground.

    Did you hear the Saints will have a parade win or lose? Who would want to celebrate after a Super Bowl loss? Expect the Saints to win the Super Bowl.

    The US government wants to help rebuild New Orleans with a Super Bowl by telling the refs to allow the Saints defense to take cheap shots on quarterbacks. This Super Bowl will become the greatest conspiracy in history and by their support, the city of New Orleans will become the Sodom of the South. Expect more hurricanes!

  • neil

    I can only hope that the Colts hear about the AINTs going after Manning, and give them a taste of their own medicine. You know what they say about karma. I hope the dirty ass AINTs also know what comes around goes around. They do NOT deserve to be in this game The Vikings do. Regardless of the fumbles we played way better than the lowly dirty cheating saints. It kinda makes a guy wonder if Goodall being there had something to do with the crappy calls by the refs in this game. He has had it in for us since last year, which by the way was during the playoffs. That dude needs to not only punish players for late hits and other things like the saints get away with, but the refs also. Mabey if the refs knew that a heafty fine and a 1 game suspension was coming after bad officiating they would think twice about making a call that totally destroys a teams hopes and dreams and the many many fans hopes and dreams. Mabey a rule of having a coach from each team reviews a call so that not only one man is deciding a call that can change what a team has worked soo hard for. SOMETHING needs to be done about this. having a guy go on television after the fact and say they were wrong about calls is B.S.

  • Gary Fontenot

    WHO DAT!

    Saints going to DAH bowl.

  • Larry

    Call the NFL and complain 212 450 2000, they’ll take the call, ask for officiating. The officials and the Saints ruined this game. The NFL lost alot of credibility this week and their going to keep losing more. They better come up with something and Goodell better apologize to, perhaps the biggest revenue guy the sport has ever had, Brett Favre. And it wouldn’t be a bad idea, if stricter rules were made to keep these QBs playing and at their optimum. Everybody gains from that. In fact Goodell should tell Favre they’re goin to make new rules for next year! That’s action – are you up to it Goodell?!

  • Mike

    Chilly says he reads our blogs. Maybe he will call the NFL. Kurt Warner had to retire because football is causing concussions and eventually punch drunk syndrone. The Saints have clearly taken violent hits to a new level by intentionally cheap-shotting QBs after the football has left their hand – even admitting they will hit a QB who goes to the ground! Even rubber man Favre could not last but a few games if every team did what the Saints did. Moreover the Aints even admit they don’t care about penalties and fines. If the Saints win the Super Bowl as I expect and the NFL doesn’t take action, the NFL will move toward a league of third string caliber QBs and something worse than ultimate fighting.

  • Mike

    The Saints aren’t even as dirty as their fans.’s John Holler reports today that Vikings long snapper Cullen Loeffler says Brett Favre was heckled after he was injured by an illegal cheap shot: “They were cheering and saying they hoped his leg was broken and he’d never walk again.”

    Loeffler said what he saw and heard was the worst he has ever seen from fans and hopes to never see it again. “Some of things they said to Brett was way out of line and really pathetic.”

    He said Favre’s heard some awful things in the past – it comes with the territory in the NFL – but he was shocked with what he heard. I would hate to think that his last memory of playing in the NFL would be hearing the stuff he heard.

    In addition, even Viking fans who traveled to the Big Easy last weekend found drunk 20-somethings walking alongside them repeating “Who Dat?” over and over and over again.

    New Orleans, the Sodom of the South, will soon be washed into the ocean as righteous retribution.

  • Huh?

    So admitting it should of been a penalty means it’s dirty? And them other two fines was not dirty plays if you watched the game. Biased Viking fans…

  • vikingincalifornia

    Do anyone one know if I can get refund back on the money I contributed to the hurricane katrina fund … New Orleans can go to hell …

  • Vikes fan forever

    I second that vikingincalifornia! We can only hope that the colts give the saints exactly what they deserve! The “dirty” plays against Favre and the rudeness of their fans should be an embarrasment to them! When asked “who dat” “THUGS” comes to mind! GOOOO COLTS!

  • woody

    When the vikings were running up the score on the cowboys the week before all their fans were saying “quit crying if you don’t want them scoring then stop them” Well if they don’t want their quarterback hit maybe they should protect him a little better next time. Grow up.

  • Mike

    NFL Live’s Trey Wingo, Tom Jackson and Chris Mortenson were just saying the NFL admits they made a mistake by not protecting Brett Favre during the Saints game (especially since it has been the NFL’s goal to protect quarterbacks). They were astonished the Saints would say they were going to do the same to Peyton Manning that they did to Brett Favre. They said the NFL would be watching the Saints more closely in the Super Bowl.

    Mark Schlereth (like Woody in comment 17) was the sole dissenter saying the Saints would never get to Manning before he released the ball. Not too bright Schlereth since Favre got hit 17 times AFTER he released the ball and there were no sacks when he had the ball. Come on Schlereth, how do keep protecting a QB even after he has released the ball? The Saints even claim they want to hit Manning if he falls to the ground! What are you going to do, lay on top of him? Schlereth must have brain damage from concussions and punch drunk syndrome.

  • woody

    “Saints even claim they want to hit Manning if he falls to the ground” Where exactly did you read that?

  • Fitch

    I’m very wound up about 2010 Superbowl. We have got a great shootout. I’ll pick dem NO Saints in a high scoring game.

  • Jeff

    For 1) There was no “huddle” yet and players on both sides were still coming and going, go and review it !
    2) The Refs. were showing favoritism throughout the game, they however were throwing flags against the Vikings only at the most critical of times.
    3) The Saints Offensive line were holding the Viking’s pass rushers and tackling them blatantly to protect Dew Breese.
    4) the Vikings led the game in none calls because they didnt dare to make a penalty, so they didn’t, yet, they were flagged for stupid calls that were none reviewable by the Refs who, were more than likely persuaded by the Commissioner Roger Goodell.
    5) What was Goodell doing at the game to begin with, why wasn’t he at the Colts vs Jets game instead.
    A) Maybe Goodell wanted to make sure that his promise to Punish Teams as a whole if they do not adhere to his disiplinary efforts. After all, the

  • Jeff


    After all, Goodell wanted to punish the Williams, so don’t anybody give into his philosophy and the NFL’S Oficiating crews excuses, its a day late and a dollar short.
    B) What they did was criminal and with criminal intent. The Refs turned a blind eye, and surely showed favoritism.
    C) Late hits to QB’s were not supposed to happen in a game like this and are not supposed to happen to begin with, we all seen on national television how that happened to Brett Favre, you know the hit he took to his knee’s, that was something that was intentional and a direct order from the Defensive Coordinator himself.
    D) So fines were handed out, what about the flags? E) They call it “mistakes”.

    6) Wouldn’t anybody in their right mind agree the NFL has now become a questionable game, or better term for it “rigged”?

    To end this nonesense, we can all take it for what it is and what it was and for what we all seen, the games a mess and has become dirty and it starts with the Commissioner and his direct orders and influence to and unto the Ref’s to persuade them to win the game for the Saints. And yeah, I say it for the way I seen it, the Game was rigged, however the Refs made it look very good. The thing is,…. we can expect more of it in the future because they got away with once already, and in a game where millions of people witnessed it.

  • Mike

    Woody, I personally saw Darren Sharper say on ESPN that they want to hit Manning even if he falls to the ground.

  • Vikes fan forever

    Darren Sharper also said that they were excited to be a part of Kurt Warners retirement as well as possibly Favre and said maybe they could do the same thing to Manning. He laughed about it and said the quarterback needs to be hit hard enough to feel how the other players feel at the end of each game. Really? I wonder if they will feel the same way if it is their precious quarterback taking those kind of late hits? It’s really pathetic that they and their fans would hope for someone to get hurt to the extent of not being able to walk just to win the game. I guess that tells you a little about them. I hope they get completely creamed at the game because THAT is exactly what they deserve.

  • Who Dat

    You know, if he didn’t want to get hit maybe he should have thrown the ball a little quicker. Maybe not fake the bootleg. The late toughdown pass against Dallas was dirty. What comes around goes around. If you push us we will push back harder. Maybe the Vikes should practice ball security. The Colts delivered a few cheap shots to the Saints in 2007. Now it is taim to come back around. Kill them all and let God sort them out.

  • ricksinvest

    Wah Wah!!!

    Maybe your offensive line can try protecting him. I didn’t see any tears shed for Romo the prior week.

  • Mike

    It is ridiculous to compare the Vikings sacking Romo and running up the score to the late and illegal shots to Favre by the Saints. The clean Vikes didn’t get penalized and fined for what they did but the dirty Saints did. The NFL really needs to clean up the Saints cheap shots with even stiffer penalties and fines.

  • Mike

    The Madden NFL 10 game picks a 35-31 Saints victory over the Colts in the Super Bowl. They also correctly picked this year’s winners of the AFC and NFC title games and five of the past six Super Bowls.

    I also pick the Saints because the refs have been told by Obama to let them win with dirty play to help them rebuild the city.

  • Matt in Indy

    I can’t believe that the Colts got hit with a personal foul for what I consider a “questionable” late hit that was barely a foul, and the Saints get away with all sorts of dirty play, especially after the whistle, and don’t get called for a personal foul until the very end of the game. They can have the Superbowl, that team (as a whole) has no class, they are a bunch of thugs, and I have no respect for them at all. What a bunch of losers.

  • Mike

    Just like I said all week including the comment 28 above four days ago, the dirty Saints were wired to win with help from the refs by the US government who wanted to help them rebuild the city after Hurricane Katrina, especially since Obama’s bailout failed.