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PORTSIDE  April 2012, Week 1

PORTSIDE April 2012, Week 1

Subject:

The United States of Football -- The Bounty Audio

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Fri, 6 Apr 2012 22:37:46 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (905 lines)

[Hear a four minute clip of Saints' defensive coach Greg
Williams putting a bounty on the head -- literally to go
after the head -- of opposing players: 'Kill the head
and the body will die ... Knock the fuck out of him ...
Go get that motherfucker on the sidelines ... It's a
great game. It's a production business.'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhnn9kbqQUA#!

For the complete uncut 12 minute recording, click on
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/19899434/Williams%20Audio_All.m4a
-- moderator]

The United States of Football

Tru Dat

by Sean Pamphilon
http://theusof.com/2012/04/tru-dat-gregg-williams-saints-audio-bountygate-pay-for-pain/

On January 13th, 2012, I was in a San Francisco hotel
with one of my dear friends, Steve Gleason. He was a
long-time New Orleans Saints special teams ace,
(2000-2007). He was a yoga loving, long-haired,
counter-culture fan favorite, who became a New Orleans
icon. He married a local girl, made the city his off-
season home, lived in modest places and mingled freely
with the every man.

He became a local legend September 25th, 2006, after his
punt block on the first series back, re-opening the
Super Dome, after Hurricane Katrina.

As one of the locals in attendance described to me, "It
was the biggest beer spill in history."

Seriously, a man blocking a punt in a football game
actually kickstarted an entire region and gave a morale
boost that transcended sport.

[To listen to the uncut audio from the January 13th
meeting click here
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/19899434/Williams%20Audio_All.m4a ]

I met Steve a year ago through a mutual friend, whom he
had battled with on the football field. I had just
learned Steve had been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's
disease).

I had spent the previous year working on a film called,
"The United States of Football" and spoke to Steve about
being part of the documentary. On the second day we
met, in March 2011, I was hooked on the energy that is
Steve Gleason and we decided to do a film about he and
his wife Michel, as they "stare(d) into the eye of the
tiger," and face his diagnosis with a dignity and
uncommon grace.

Steve and I are co-directing his film and also creating
a video library (legacy time capsule) for his children
(Michel gave birth to their first child, Rivers, in
October).

Words simply cannot define they way they approach their
lives. They are beautiful people.

                         ****

On this January 13th Saturday night before the playoff
game with the San Francisco 49ers, I was filming for a
few documentary projects I have been working on for the
past two years. Steve is a small part of my USOF film
because two of the main people profiled (NFLPA Executive
Committee members Sean Morey and Scott Fujita) fought
hard for him to ensure he wouldn't get screwed by the
disability system for former NFL players. Of which, a
former player told me "you have to be paralyzed for them
to give you disability."

It's a system so flawed that the NFL was called on the
carpet in front of congress in 2009. At the time
congresswoman Linda Sanchez (interviewed in the USOF)
spoke of the NFL being like the tobacco industry, with
absolutely no moral compass. Who is responsible for
taking care of these men, she wondered.

A main character in the USOF film, Kyle Turley, was also
inspired by Steve Gleason's diagnosis. Turley wrote a
beautifully sad song, "Fortune and Pain," which is a
tribute to the many men who played tackle football and
are now suffering it's effects. Kyle states with
dejection in his voice and heart that if the league
would only do right by men who were "hurt on the job,"
these men would gladly sacrifice their bodies if they
didn't feel discarded and used on the back end. If the
maladies that manifest after their five-year post-
retirement insurance runs out, they are screwed. Kyle
was diagnosed as CTE symptomatic (Chronic Traumatic
Encephalopathy), which eventually leads to a downward
spiral. CTE usually doesn't reach it's full bloom until
a players early 40's.

For most players, this is many years after they retire
and their insurance has run out.

Recently, I interviewed Dave Pear, a former All-Pro and
Super Bowl Champion, who has fought for his disability
for 30 years. He made about 600k in his six-year career
and claims to have spent approximately that same amount
on medical bills since he retired. When we sat down for
our interview he splayed on the counter a handful of
long screws and bolts that had previously been
surgically implanted in his body.

"That's the reality of football for me," Dave Pear said
as he stood for half of our interview because the pain
was too much from the chairs we sat in.

                         ***

On this January 13th night, before this playoff game
against the 49ers, as per usual, Steve and I had access
to all things Saints. Drew Brees showed up outside the
team hotel before dinner, greeted Steve with a hug,
glanced at me and said, "Hey Sean."

The best part about following this team all year is that
I wasn't looked at as one of them, the media.
Familiarity and standing next to Steve Gleason, afforded
me a level of trust.

Less than 36 hours before kickoff, I had decided to go
back home to the Bay Area where I grew up and sit two
feet behind the bench, on the sideline of an NFL playoff
game. I had been on the sidelines working for
approximately 15 games over the years (many at
Candlestick Park), so I knew how to "act like I've been
there before."  Still, it was an unbelievably beautiful
day. T-shirt weather in January!

I would have been just as happy watching the game in HD
on my couch, but I was stoked to be with Steve watching
a game and talking a little football. I'd speculate
about a play and he would point out things I never
considered, before they would happen. I used to cut hi-
lites at ESPN, but Steve understands the subtle detail
and nuance of football as if it were a language in which
he is fluent. I've been a religious NFL fan for 35
years, but when players say `you don't know unless you
played,' you should know they are telling the truth on
many levels. We don't have their football brains and we
never felt their football aches and pains.

On this January 13th night I would get an education I
was shocked by and truly wanted no part of. It has
forever changed the way I will watch football. But the
fact is, I will still watch, each and every Sunday,
Monday and now Thursday because I am committed to it in
a way that has outlasted any of my personal
relationships.

I gave up gluten. I gave up sugar. I gave up caffeine.

I gave up cigarettes!

But I simply cannot give up football.

                         ***

Earlier in the season, I was with Steve Gleason behind
the bench, two yards away from Drew Brees, as he threw
for four touchdowns and ran for one, against the
eventual Super Bowl Champion, New York Giants. Before
that Monday Night Football game I told Steve that Drew
was going to throw for five Td's and the Saints would
win by 20. As we were walking out of the SuperDome,
Steve looked at me with a wide smile and shining eyes,
"Only won by 18, Fly," he remarked. He nicknamed me
"Fly" because of my ability to silently blend into the
scenery when shooting our film. I have never been
considered "sneaky," but when you document intimate
moments with a camera you should think of yourself as
wallpaper, not a sound system.

Within seconds of Steve's jab, Saints rookie running
back Mark Ingram took one to the house from 35 with just
over a minute left and the Saints won by 25. "Well
done, Fly," Steve-O remarked as we left the Superdome.

Being around this team was hella fun and never felt like
like working.

After one of Brees' big plays, Saints defensive
coordinator Gregg Williams looked right in Steve's and
my direction and said, "I've been around a lot of shitty
quarterbacks. Our guy is pretty good!"  Williams said
this with an emphasis that honestly made me laugh out
loud.

To date, that is my favorite behind the curtain moment
of my entire Saints experience.

My favorite moment overall was very public. On
September 25th, 2011, 73,000 people in their seats got
to witness Steve do the "Who Dat" chant on the five-
year-anniversary of his blocked punt re-opening the
Super Dome. My 13-year-old son Alix and I were but a
few feet away-cameras rolling-documenting the moment,
working together. It was the most meaningful moment of
my 20-year career. I had been out of town shooting
three different football documentaries and spent nearly
half my time on the road, for months. The opportunity
to give my kid that once-in-a-lifetime moment was
incredible.  I let him cut school and we both wore
Steve's #37 jersey's. As we passed by the Saints logo
in the middle of the field, the hair on my arms and legs
were electric. I had three layers of goosebumps and
when I looked at my wide-eyed son, his camera so steady
and focused, my eyes welled up with pride.

Two days later, Drew Brees would sign a personalized
ball for my boy ("Alix, Welcome to Team Gleason.Drew").
The only other time I had a player offer any form of
memorabilia to my boy was Ricky Williams giving him a
helmet and game ball. I didn't do this because I'm a
jock sniff. I did it because I wanted my son to feel
connected to the projects that kept me away so often.

                         ***

For me, being around the Saints was intoxicating. I had
been in locker rooms and team facilities throughout my
career in sports television. But often times as a media
member you were treated like an intruder vs. a welcomed
guest. Being in their locker room felt comfortable and
familiar. Walking down the hall at the team facility
and chatting up Jonathan Vilma, was casually cool. I
told him I lived in Brooklyn for 13 years and was a
temporary Jet fan. I lamented the trade, but wished
"JV" -as Steve called him-well. Vilma couldn't have
been classier. Great smile, awesome energy, legit eye
contact. "This is the type of dude you root for," was
my immediate impression after literally a conversation
of less two-minutes. I'd been around him as an observer
when he was dealing with other people and he was the
same guy as when my camera was fixed on him. Solid
dude.

If Jonathan Vilma ever paid a man $10,000 to hurt
another man, I need a cancelled check or a verified cash
payment by two witnesses. When I studied journalism at
Boston University they taught us that we needed two
impeccable sources if we were going to make public
anything that could ruin a man's reputation and put a
tag of  "criminal" or "thug" next to his name.

If the Jonathan Vilma I met did what whoever leaked this
crap says he did, you could cut his jersey in tiny
pieces, put it in a cereal bowl and feed it to me
slowly, while selling it on pay-per-view. Call it
intuition, if you will. But until I see proof that he
did this, I rest secure in the fact that this man was
raised correctly and doesn't roll that way.

If I am wrong, put the milk in the bowl and throw
Fireman Ed's high school jock strap and replica 42 Jets
jersey in, mix it well and give me a big spoon.

If I am right, spread that jersey around and give it to
every media member who smeared his name without a shred
of proof (beyond leaked information from 280 Park
Avenue). For whatever reason, if people are famous or
make money in this country, we revel in their failure
and assume the worst of their character. Somehow it
makes us feel better. We celebrate and promote the
stupid and vilify those most willing to piss on the
paradigm.

And the standards of journalism I was taught, makes me
feel twice my middle age, from another world, in a
distant time.

                         ***

On this January 13th,-as we had done earlier in the
season,-I met up with Steve Gleason at the Saints hotel
the night before the game. Once again, I had exclusive
access to some of the most compelling material I have
been privileged to shoot. A true expansive look behind
the curtain. The main meeting of the evening was led by
the incomparable Joe Vitt. Vitt is the assistant head
coach and the linebackers coach. In addition, he is the
most fired up and tunnel vision focused motherfucker I
have ever met in football. He swears like a sailor, so
I'm sure this description would make him smile. Each
time I saw him at these games or meetings, he took
special time to come over and connect with Steve, but
also with every member of Steve's crew-Fly's included.

Joe Vitt is an old-school football lifer and
unbelievably charismatic. But when Steve Gleason would
show up, Joe sincerely paused and put football on the
back burner. He is an unrivaled storyteller, a genuine
man and you would love him as an honored guest at your
dinner table.

In the interest of full disclosure on the night of
September 24th when Joe Vitt gave his speech he asked
that the camera's be turned off. I got the first two
off within ten seconds. And the third, which was on top
of his projector, I nervously had to reach around him to
it turn off.

Gregg Williams never asked for such courtesy.

I've been shooting three documentaries over the past two
years and any time a subject asked me to turn my camera
off, it was off before they finished their next
sentence. That's the way I roll.

Earlier in the season, Vitt introduced Steve before an
inspirational speech Gleason gave to the team, which no
doubt, forever impacted anyone who was tuned in and
paying attention. The next day, the Saints came from 11
down in the fourth quarter-against the Houston Texans-
and won on the 5th years anniversary of the Superdome
re-opening after Hurricane Katrina.

The night after the Texans game, Saints general manager
Mickey Loomis and coach Sean Payton presented Steve
Gleason with a Super Bowl ring for the 2009 team, even
though he played his last down of football in 2007.
Another Saints icon, running back Deuce McCallister was
afforded the same honor.

Deuce and Gleason; two of the guys who helped shape the
foundation, but didn't get to taste the champagne.

On this trip, Steve-O and I stayed up with a group of
his friends into the wee hours.  We all laughed so hard
our ribs hurt. It was a great visit. We told stories
into the evening, talked about the next days game and
made predictions about the outcome.

Mine wouldn't be so on the mark this time.

                         ***

Playing it cool, aside, I did look forward to this game
because you can hear a football game on television, but
you can't really feel football through your plasma
screen-even with the microphones on the field or inside
players shoulder pads. And when I went to Saints games
with Steve, I could feel the crowd and palpable energy
and flavor of the SuperDome. But this game was at
Candlestick Park.

In the early 90's I was on the sideline for a 49er game
and Cowboys wide receiver Alvin Harper caught a 20 yard
out pass pattern, near the sideline. As he caught the
ball he got jacked by a 49er defensive back. I could
hear the pads collide like two collapsing bumpers in a
high speed car wreck. I could feel the vibration of the
ground, as they careened out of bounds, landing just a
few feet away. I could hear their grunting and the
release of air from Harper's body. I could hear the
exultation of the defender.

In that moment I could feel the way football really
sounds and I loved it.

I couldn't give care less if Harper got hurt. I was in
my mid-20`s and was entertained.

It was also my first season in my fantasy football
league. Ten years later, I still hadn't won a
championship. By this time, I would be rooting for
players to get knocked out of games early, if the team I
was playing that day was starting said player. I didn't
want them to blow out their knees or anything serious.
But a forearm and getting knocked unconscious?  Didn't
bother me at all because they would play the next week
against someone else's fantasy team. Or they would go
on injured reserve and I figured they'd get paid anyway.
I had no idea about the significance of head trauma and
neither did the players. I'm not saying they wouldn't
have played anyway. But if a single person understood
the gravity of this issue and didn't share it, they
should be thrown in jail.

Like most football fans I didn't care if these guys got
hurt because "they make all that money and they know
what they got themselves into."

I didn't know that the NFL has split contracts and many
players lose a lot of their salary if they don't make it
through the season. Still, as a 25 year-old New Yorker,
struggling to pay my rent, I honestly wouldn't have
cared. I just didn't know any better.

                         ***

But 17 years later, on this disturbing January 13th
night I couldn't help but care.

Was it because I am 42 and no longer got hard-ons
watching gladiators landing "kill shots?"

Was it because I don't go to games with a painted face
and scream obscenities at underperforming players in
front of young children?  Or because I haven't paid-for-
autographed Fathead's of my favorite ballers to stick on
the wall in my home office?

Or was it because I have friends I love dearly who
played the game and got their "bell rung" so many times
that I fear they won't remember their children's faces
by the time their kids have kids?

Yep, I'm pretty sure the last one was the reason I
wasn't smiling.

You see, I was sitting next to Steve Gleason in the back
of the room as Gregg Williams screamed `fuck' and
`fuckin' countless times when instructing his men to
hurt other men. Williams wasn't considering the fact
that many of those men have children and all of those
men are somebody's son.

"We make no apologies for the way we play the game,"
Williams said in a tone which suggested that he actually
had the balls to put on a uniform and do the very things
he was ordering his players to do, much less be on the
receiving end of the blows he was ordering up.

I don't have those balls.

You don't have those balls.

And Gregg Williams most definitely does not have those
balls.

It's a cowards play to send someone off to do your
malicious bidding. I'm sure many of his players would
have told him this if they weren't scared to lose their
jobs or look like bitches in front of their teammates.
Or if they weren't 25 and couldn't possibly have a fully
developed perspective on life.

"This is a production business," Williams said
emphatically when he began his speech. He repeated that
mantra again and again, during the balance of his
impassioned, profanity laced diatribe.

Nearly two months before this story broke, I was sitting
in a room with a full-frontal picture of the way
"Bounty-Gate" really looked and sounded. Reading about
it in the paper or hearing talking heads drone on about
it-incessantly for the past several weeks-gives you no
idea of the way it really goes down.

And it's comical that so many mainstream journalists
kept asking players if it's like this on their teams?

Seriously?

Who's going to honestly answer a dumb fucking question
like that?

This is the same media who will tell you James Harrison
is the second coming of Darth Vader, when this is the
way he's been taught the game his whole life. Instead
the talking heads sit around blowing smoke, insisting
they know what's in Harrison's head when he's playing
the game of football. Look at the replays of Harrison's
three fine-able hits against Cleveland Browns players,
closely.

Watch the Colt McCoy hit and understand that Harrison
could have put him six feet under if he put all his 6
feet 270 pounds into McCoy. Fact is, when a
professional football player wants to hurt you and he
has a clean shot, he runs right through your ass.check
the tape. Harrison didn't run through anyone on the
hits he was fined for.

I asked McCoy's teammate Scott Fujita, himself a
linebacker, if Harrison's hit on McCoy was illegal or
"dirty."

"No and No. Bang-bang play. Colt became a ball carrier
and threw it at the last minute."

After Harrison's "Black Sunday" hits when he said he
considered retiring, Fujita pointed out that the league
was selling pictures of the hits on their website. Did
they kick any of that back to James to help pay for the
fine?

That would be a sarcastic, rhetorical question on my
part. Hell no, they didn't.

The second question we should consider is simple. Why
is it that offensive players (especially running backs)
dip their heads all the time without financial
consequence?  Isn't a defender supposed to match that
pad level or gain leverage and go lower?  If they don't,
they take a helmet to the balls or sternum, get lit up
and have their peers laugh their asses off a few days
later in the film session.

In the era of the NFL's attention to health and safety,
has any offensive player been publicly shamed or league
indicted and fined for initiating contact with the crown
of his helmet?

Why is that?  Perhaps because the media fosters a world
of `good guys' and `bad guys` and we're all too
distracted or self-absorbed to do thoughtful research.

                         ***

Former Saints All-Pro, the outspoken Kyle Turley would
liken what Gregg Williams did to dog fighting with the
players being the canines. If you were in the room, as
I was, it was clear who was the puppet master as he
passed out money for forced turnovers and big plays. He
did not reward anyone that night for perpetrated
violence. But he did point to beneath his chin when
bringing up 49ers quarterback Alix Smith and in a
chilling tone, paused and said, "First one's on me."  At
that moment he rubbed his fingers together in a way that
cannot be mistaken.

He was ordering his players to maim in as many ways
possible. Plain and simple.

He was the only one in the room willing to go into his
pocket to reward it.

Anyone who blames the players for this behavior is
clearly missing the point. Just as in sexual harassment
cases, it's the person with the power, influence and-
most importantly-control, who dictates the behavior.
Yes, the players could have said, `no', but Americans
play "follow the leader" and these men have families to
feed and many dudes willing to come off the street to
sacrifice their body for team and do it for less. The
fact is the majority of men who play in the NFL are paid
league minimum, with non-guaranteed contracts. How do
these-mostly 20-something-year-old-men make a stand in
this situation fraught with enormous peer pressure?

How does one take a stand against a coach who so clearly
controls their destiny?

And did they ever consider the possibility that maybe
their names were being called out in the other team's
locker room?  Perhaps their heads were on the block, as
well?

On this night of January 13th, the Saints defensive
coordinator's message was delivered loud, clear and with
specific meaning.

"This is a production business.This is how you get
respect in this league."

                         ***

This defensive meeting was right after the team meeting.
I shot part of the team meeting, but it wasn't going to
be a scene in Steve's film because he wasn't speaking
and what we filmed from earlier in the season, couldn't
possibly be topped.

On September 24th, 2011, the night before the 5th
anniversary of the Dome reopening, Steve Gleason stood
before the 2011 Saints-most of whom were never his
teammates-and put his heart on display.

"We all have fear, right," he told the assembled team.
There was a pause, "Right," Steve reiterated with his
lip quivering, nodding his head, looking around into as
many eyes as he could. The energy of the room shifted
with the teams tacit acknowledgement that they too are
men of flesh, bone and blood. They too, are not immune
to the realities of hand to hand combat. The meaner,
tougher-and sometimes dirtier they are-the more they are
valued. In this sense, football truly is counter to the
best interests of our culture.

Conversely, it's the very reason we love it.

In his San Francisco speech, Gregg Williams specifically
was calling out players with concussion histories and
telling the men in his employ to "attack the head."

Again and again, Gregg Williams implored his team to,
"Break their will."

"You break their will, you break their skill."

But then it became something else. He started talking
about 49er receiver and return man, Kyle Williams. He
specifically mentioned his concussions and to go after
the guy. FYI, this is the same 49ers player who the
following week would famously fumble twice in the NFC
Championship game. In the paper, Giants players were
quoted as saying they specifically went after the lithe
Williams because of his concussion history.

Essentially, Gregg Williams is not entirely unique.
He's just the one who was arrogant enough to continue
when he was told to stop and eventually, he got popped
for it. In his apology statement he said, "we knew it
was wrong."

If he knew it was wrong, why did he keep telling his
players not to apologize for the way he instructed them
to play the game?

But on January 13th what caught my eye and ear was how
open this dialog was. The idea of purposely maiming
men, targeting their heads, when information has been
out there for a couple years now about the long-term
affects of brain trauma. Sadly, many of the players
choose not to educate themselves about the toll the game
really takes on them. If you really know what you are
doing to yourself, would you keep doing it?  There's a
difference between career suicide and the journey of
slow suicide, many players embark on when they stay in
this game at the highest level for too long.

One of my closest friends-who played professional
football for a decade, has been post-concussed for the
past two years and had to retire because of the affects
of head trauma. When he couldn't go anymore, he didn't
get sympathy. In fact a few of his teammates claimed he
"knew too much," which had left him scared and unable to
play with the reckless abandon, which defined his career
and kept him employed.

The truly scary thing is that a tragic number of players
keep their brains in the sand as they race down the
field with the heads on a swivel. It's been about a
decade since Dr. Bennet Omalu discovered Chronic
Traumatic Encephalopathy in the brain of former Steelers
center and Hall of Famer, Mike Webster. It's been less
than a year since Dave Duerson blew a hole in his chest,
preserving his brain, so people in our culture would see
the light. It reminded me of the monk who protested the
Vietnam War by lighting himself on fire.

Only this time, Duerson's death is already forgotten by
many. He made the mistake of killing himself during the
player lockout. All fans could focus on-at that time-
was getting the gladiators back on the field to
entertain them. Duerson made his money. He knew the
risks.

Screw him.

Actually, Dave Duerson didn't know the true risks
because no one told him. Hence the reason why hundreds
of former NFL players are currently suing the league.

Dave Duerson knew he had CTE and his brain matter
confirmed it.

Anyone who plays football in the modern era has no
excuse for refusing to educate themselves on this issue.

Any parent who has a young tackle football playing child
with an underdeveloped brain is committing apathetic
child abuse, if they do not educate themselves on this
issue.

And some coaches-who send the best of the best out to
slaughter-should feel deep shame when they choose
greenbacks and game jerseys over the flesh of a man who
has a family to go home to.

What is a traumatic brain injury?  What is CTE?

Read up, son!

                         ***

Did Gregg Williams ever consider on that January 13th
night that a former player who played balls out- kicking
fear's ass on a weekly basis-was sitting, slumped in a
wheelchair within earshot?  Does he know that it's a
statistical likelihood that Steve Gleason's ALS was as a
result of head trauma from crashing into other football
players at high speeds, since he was in the 8th grade?
Gleason emphatically states he could have gotten ALS if
he were an architect. The odds say that's about eight
times less likely than if he played football.

Did Gregg Williams ever see the eyes of these men whose
heads he was calling for after they got their lights
blown out as their limp bodies hit the turf?

Has he seen wives nurse their broken husbands, who hid
their injuries as a badge of honor and for their career
survival?

I have held their hands and rubbed their backs as they
cried, talking about losing their "best friend."

Has Gregg Williams seen the damage done to men who can't
remember the names of faces of those who love them?  The
one's whose life and savings are sapped up in medical
bills because the league fights tooth and nail to deny
disability claims?

Could he not see Steve Gleason that night because Steve-
O was in the back of the room?

Or did he not see the man in the wheelchair because he
simply wasn't looking?

                         ***

In the interest of full disclosure:  If this story
hadn't broken and been made public, I would not have
shared this it. I would not have compromised my
personal relationships and risked damaging Steve
Gleason's relationship with the Saints. I would have
crafted these words and sentiments for another forum,
perhaps years down the road.

If it weren't for the fact I feel deeply that parents of
children playing football MUST pay attention to the
influence of men who will sacrifice their kids for W's,
I would not have written this.

If it weren't for the fact that a man of  conviction and
conscience, Scott Fujita has been publicly attached to
this scandal on the day he brought his newborn daughter
home from the hospital, I would not have written these
truths. FYI, his name was leaked directly from the NFL
offices to three HUGE sports journalists, one of which
broke the "scoop."

I'm not calling them out by name because nobody pays me
to be an asshole.

To date, there has been no evidence Scott Fujita ever
paid a man money to hurt another man. The fact that
he's willing to admit paying for turnovers (fumbles,
int's, etc.) is cause for possible suspension.
Seriously?  If you met him, you would know he wouldn't
sacrifice his well-earned reputation of social activism
and authentic charity work, while reveling in the
destruction of another human being.

But every time his children google him, this stain
(regardless of whether it is retracted) will follow him
and he will have to explain that daddy really isn't one
of the bad guys.

In releasing this material, I have severely strained my
relations with Michel and Steve Gleason, whom I
sincerely love. They had no part in this material
becoming public and I may have to find another producer
to finish our film project. This was a film which made
me have to learn to shoot my camera while crying. This
is a film that guitarist Mike McCready from my favorite
band, Pearl Jam has committed to doing the music for.
No joke. It's that deep. It's that powerful. It's
that big of an opportunity potentially lost.

Some will call me releasing this audio for fame or money
grab. True haters will call it exploitation.

People of character and conscience call it was it is;
tru.

..and so it goes in The United States of Football.

Post-script notes:

Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis have admitted to being
complicit simply because they did not put a stop to it.
There's no denying it happened on their watch while they
were in the building. But on January 13th-in a room far
down the hall-they were nowhere to be seen. And I've
had two player sources directly tell me that Gregg
Williams would often boast of having a "fuck you
clause," in his contract. This gave him total control
of the defensive side of the ball. I guess the analogy
would be like when Buddy Ryan was the defensive head
coach of the Chicago Bears.

I haven't seen this contract, but if Williams wants to
refute his players claims, then he should make his
contract public. After all, we all know how much money
the players make because the media cannot help but
remind you.

And man-crush aside, #9 was nowhere in sight when all
this went down. But on January 14th, I expected him to
take me one step closer to Disneyland.

The Saints failed to break the 49ers will and in the
waning moments, Karma in the form of Vernon Davis,
kicked the shit out of  Gregg Williams' game plan. His
will was knocked out by the 49ers skill.

Williams insisted in that meeting, "We don't apologize
for the way we play football."

But then it became public and that's exactly what he
did. And he threw his defense and the Saints franchise
under the bus, in order to break his fall.

                         ***

In the interest of full disclosure:
The only reason why I beeped out the audio for the names
of the Saints players is because they were getting paid
for performance bonuses, $200 for turnovers was the
biggest haul I heard. This is a LONG-held league wide
practice and in the mind of any reasonable person
without an ax to grind, in no way should it be mentioned
in the same sentence as a "Bounty."

PERIOD. End of Story.

-Sean Pamphilon
April 4th, 2012



Run Ricky Run was part of ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary
series which won a Peabody and an IDA award. It was the
only film in the series which appeared in real time.
The United States of Football has followed the same
format.

Since July of 2010 ESPN has held a "first look option."
No deal has been finalized.

The United States Of Football

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Director Sean Pamphilon Talks About Ricky Williams
Documentary "Run Ricky Run" 
http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2010-04-22/news/director-sean-pamphilon-talks-about-ricky-williams-documentary-run-ricky-run/

Effects of head trauma scaring Turley 
Mike Silver's article about Kyle Turley
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ms-thegameface091809

NFL Meeting Irks Wives of Ill Retirees 
Eleanor Perfetto NY Times article
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/13/sports/football/13disability.html

Uncut Greg Williams Audio 
This is the full 12 minute recording
http://theusof.com/2012/04/tru-dat-gregg-williams-saints-audio-bountygate-pay-for-pain/

Wives United by Husbands' Post-NFL Trauma 
Article about Sylvia Mackey and Eleanor Perfetto
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A03E6D81131F937A25750C0A9619C8B63&pagewanted=all



To set up a screening of this film please contact Adam
Leibner at NS Bienstock. You may also email us at [log in to unmask]

SP Philms is an independent film company specializing in
sports documentaries. Director Sean Pamphilon, with his
fresh first-person style of journalism, is able to get
to the essence of each subject and their story in a way
that few others are able to do. This is why our film,
The United States of Football, is setting the trend on
this issue and our film-making setting the standard in
journalistic documentary.

Sean Pamphilon is an award-winning filmmaker ("playing
with RAGE") and Emmy winning documentary producer (HBO's
boxing series "Legendary Nights") with nearly twenty
years of production experience in sports television.

___________________________________________

Portside aims to provide material of interest to people
on the left that will help them to interpret the world
and to change it.

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