Yahoo Sports- The NFL announced Monday that it had fined the team $350,000, stripped away a draft pick and suspended team president Rich McKay from the league's powerful Competition Committee for at least three months after the Falcons conceded pumping artificial crowd noise into the Georgia Dome.
For owner Arthur Blank, the whole episode has been a huge embarrassment on top of firing long-time coach Mike Smith after last season and dealing with criticism over a pricey seat-licensing plan to help fund the team's new stadium.
''What took place was wrong and nowhere near the standards by which we run our business,'' Blank said in a statement. ''Anytime there are actions that compromise the integrity of the NFL or threaten the culture of our franchise, as this issue did, they will be dealt with swiftly and strongly.''
Ha! What a sad sac of losers. Hey Arthur, you can't even cheat right! Can't even make up for your lack of noise made on the field with natural noise off of it? Hey, Falcons fans, quiet down, you're on offense. Oh wait, that's right, your only fans are battery operated. They can't make the conscious decision to be quiet because radios don't make voluntary decisions.
Think this punishment is too light? I agree, taking a draft pick from the Falcons is actually not at all to their detriment. That's just one less personnel mistake for them to make. Hell, the only good draft pick the Falcons have in the last ten years is Julio Jones, and they had to sacrifice the rest of that year's draft picks, and subsequently a viable defense, to get him.
You might think that as a Saints fan I would be clamoring for a stiffer punishment, given the ridiculous amount of persecution they faced following BountyGate. Well, you would be sorely mistaken. You know why the Saints faced such harsh penalties? It's because the year they were accused of stretching the bounds of the rule book was the same year they won the SuperBowl. It's one thing to be penalized for successful gamesmanship. Giving the Falcons, a team that was so downright awful despite their transgressions, a harsher penalty would be bullying. It would be like giving a blind man no handicap on the golf course. It would be like racing an 8 year old without giving him a head start. It would be like calling the fat kid in dodgeball out for stepping over the line. Just let him continue to play, he's not going to end up hurting anyone but himself.
They say if you aren't cheating, you aren't trying. Meanwhile, the Falcons can't even execute that. They are cheating and they aren't trying. The NFL giving them a metaphorical slap on the wrist is the same thing as a teacher taking away a visible cheat sheet and letting the student continue to take the test. Why have them face supplemental punishment when you know they are going to fail anyway. The Falcons stink. They will always stink. Their fans stink. They will always stink. I mean, pumping artificial noise into a Dome? That's just downright pathetic. May God have mercy on their soul. If they weren't so synonymous with failure I would think this news would be crippling to the reputation of the fan base and the organization. Nope. Business as usual. They have bigger things on their plate...like continuing to formulate the argument that Matt Ryan is somehow an elite quarterback.