A recording has surfaced of former New Orleans Saints defensive coach Gregg Smith exhorting his team to hit to injure opponents on the San Francisco 49ers.
Various times I’ve heard members of the sports punditocracy questioning whether guys are really trying to hurt other players, as opposed to “taking them out of the game” (a distinction without a difference, by my lights).
But this recording—in which Smith is all but ordering players to take out an opponents ACL tendon and see how many times they can get away with bashing another guy in the head, while testing the severity of yet one more player’s concussion by bashing him in the head, too—should end the debate. This is pure blood lust. Listen to it below, and be aware that there is very strong language being used.
Over and over Smith commands players not to “apologize for the way we play.” True to his word, he seems not to be apologizing. He is the only one among those suspended so far who has not appealed his suspension.
I don’t watch hockey because too often it is just a street brawl masquerading as a team sport. If I at some point decide that is what the NFL is, too, I’m outta there.