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.