NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the object of much ridicule and many disparaging remarks from yours truly, surprised me today by stepping up to the plate and delivering a stinging series of penalties to the Saints and selected coaches and their GM. Saints coach Sean Peyton drew a one year suspension, costing him $7.5 mill in salary. Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, the architect of the bounty program, drew an indefinite suspension, which may spell the end of his coaching career. The Saints GM drew an eight game suspension, as did an assistant coach. The team was docked half a mill and two second round picks, which was actually a lighter penalty than many expected. Goodell was clearly peeved by repeated lies and attempted coverups by the Saints. Apparently the league became suspicious during the Saints' Super Bowl run. Anyone who remembers those games, particularly the league championship game against the Favre-led Vikings, remembers the many cheap shots and dirty hits on Favre by the Saints D. For those who forgot, the NFL channel is replaying them endlessly. At the time, I was apoplectic by the Saints dirty play and blogged abot it here and on the NationalFootball Post. I assumed then that the league was deliberately looking the other way and had instructed its officcials to do the same, so as not to upset its Katrina-toSuper Bowl fairy tale. Looks like I was wrong. I still think the officals overlooked some shots that should have resulted in ejections, but I have to assume now they didn;t want to unduly influence a close game. Anyway, kudos to Goodell. He finally has stepped up and is acting like a real commissioner and not the comical, stuffed shirt figure he has so often resembled. The Saints and their staff fully deserved this, if not more. Their Super Bowl win is officially tainted. There will be suspensions of players soon. I expect cheap shot artist Darren sharper to get a big hit, as well as Jonathan Vilma and others. One thing that has surprised me is the utter cluelessness of the commentators about why hti sis important. Yes, player safety is a big factor , as is th eintegrity of the game. I would hope a far bigger factor with the league office is preventing a culture of retaliation, which could get very ugly. I faulted vikes then head coach Brad childrss for not doing exactly that. If I saw my ancient QB taking one dirty hit after another, I'm telling my defense to put Drew Brees in a body bag. To Chilly's credit I guess, he didn't. A special middle finger to Brees, who is on twitter whining about this and saying what a great guy his coach is. That would be the coach who green lighted a program to try to injur eother QBs and who then lied about it repeatedly. Too bad someone on the Vikes didn't take some paybackon this moron.