The Battle of Inches: Coach Sean Payton and Saints Bounty-Gate Scandal

Al Pacino’s infamous “Inches” speech from Any Given Sunday rings loud in today’s world of sports. Payton’s decision to knowingly allow his team to run a bounty program on opposing quarterbacks calls into question his leadership.  Yes, I do place some blame on Defensive coach Greg Williams as the mastermind and enforcer of this program, but at the end of the day, the BUCK STOPS with the head coach. The person with final approval is who deserves principal blame.  I’m not mad at the idiot in the meeting who raises his hands and says we should have Mike Tyson perform his rap song at the homecoming concert this year. It’s the SGA President who’s second’s that motion and allows this foolish idea to actually happen that everyone should blame. Leaaaaaa-deeeeer-SHIP!

See, Payton believed that this program was going to make his DBs play harder, nastier, giving them an edge, inches to be exact – inches to get to victory. The problem here is that Sean Payton was sending a hidden message in allowing this program to proceed: that message “It’s ok. It’s ok to steal this inch from my opponent.

Really!! And it’s not just Sean Payton we see scrapping for extra inches. There are others out there who tried to gain an illegal or immoral advantage. In every instance, the coach or CEO will have an asterisk next to his name when the history books are written. Bill Belichick and Spygate, asterisk. Paterno and the Sundusky scandal, asterisk. He didn’t want to lose what he considered to be a “good coach.” Jim, the “great coach with the high moral compass”, at Ohio State not reporting player violations because he didn’t want his players to sit, asterisk. Bonds, Sosa, McGuire all not only tried to get inches, but yards with their steroid use, asterisk. Wall St. CEO’s allowing their companies to sell bad mortgages to home buyers who couldn’t afford it then turning around and selling the mortgages as package to overseas investors. Guess who needed a bailout and have low approval numbers among the general public, asterisk.

In every case where coaches and corporate CEO’s have tried to gain an advantage and lost, they’ve tainted their image, but perhaps more important, they’ve tainted their legacy. Their miscalculation will result in history always remembering them with a BUT and an asterisk next to his name. Call me old fashion, but I still think you can win the right way. It’s like Ray Lewis says in this video “We get one chance in life to do whatever you gonna do. To lay your foundation and make whatever mark your’re gonna make. Whatever legacy you’re going to leave…  because I’m pissed off for greatness. If you ain’t pissed off with greatness, you’re ok with being mediocre.”

You’re settling for mediocrity if you try to gain an inch the wrong way. Why taint your legacy and reputation, what you stood for, scratched and clawed for years to get, for just a few inches.

– Eatdrnkslpsprtz Guest Blogger Troy Perry (@troyperry07)

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