Before we even knew about the bounties, I was already a little sick of the Saints. They seem to be everyone's second favorite team. And only lately. These people weren't saying "who dat" when Jeff Blake was slinging passes for the Saints. It's only since Drew Brees arrived and the Saints became good.
And now everyone feels bad for the "harsh" and "severe" punishments the NFL doled out. If a punishment isn't harsh or isn't severe, is it even a punishment? What's the point of an unharsh punishment?
The Saints broke the rules. Repeatedly. They violated the salary cap, they encouraged players to inflict injury, and when they were being investigated by the NFL, they continued to break the rules. These are not actions that merit sympathy.
Goodell is ruthless, but that's what his position entails. He isn't supposed to be just, or moral, or understanding, or sympathetic. He's supposed to be harsh, even tyrannical at times.
And the simple fact is, after yesterday, NO team in the NFL is going to tolerate these types of bounty payments anymore. Goodell's punishment of Sean Payton turned the other 31 coaches into 31 junior commissioners who will ensure that their teams do not engage in this type of behavior. This was a league-wide problem on Wednesday morning. By Wednesday night, the problem was solved.