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Vikings Had Bounty System for Packers

Are bounties a thing of the past? Maybe, maybe not. We doubt the Green Bay Packers with the milquetoast duo of Mike McCarthy and Dom Capers would ever entertain such a system, but of course the Minnesota Vikings would.

At least under one of their former regimes. This comes from the Gunslinger book about Brett Favre that has been making the rounds. The Vikings, under Brad Childress (Chilly!) and Leslie Frazier, had themselves a bounty system for the rest of the NFC North. This particular anecdote focuses on the Packers, of course.

On September 8, 2008, a year before Brett Favre would join the organization, the Minnesota Vikings traveled to Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers. Aside from being Aaron Rodgers’s debut as a starter, the game was noteworthy for its physicality and aggressiveness. In the first half alone, the teams combined for 12 penalties for 86 yards. It was a sloppy, messy, nasty affair, and in the days and weeks following the Packers’ 24–19 win, Minnesota’s coaches stewed. After watching the tape, they were convinced that Nick Barnett, Green Bay’s outstanding linebacker, had gone out of his way to injure Adrian Peterson, the Vikings halfback.

The rival franchises played again nine weeks later, and three days before kickoff a Minnesota coach stood up in a team meeting, mentioned Barnett by name, and said, “I will give $500 to anyone who takes this motherfucker out of the game.”

This was hardly a shocking move in the Vikings’ locker room, where piles of money were regularly collected—then distributed as rewards—for injuring opposing stars. “It was part of the culture,” said Artis Hicks, a Minnesota offensive lineman. “I had coaches start a pot and all the veterans put in an extra $100, $200, and if you hurt someone special, you get the money. There was a bottom line, and I think we all bought in: you’re there to win, and if taking out the other team’s best player helps you win, hey, it’s nothing personal. Just business.”

Although the Barnett affair occurred in 2008, Hicks insists the Vikings were no different a year later, when Brett Favre was quarterback. He recalled no one on the team complaining, nobody arguing with the approach. “This isn’t a game or culture for the fainthearted,” Hicks said. “You bleed, you suffer, you sacrifice, and if need be, you try and knock people out. It’s the NFL.”

That’s a small part of the excerpt printed by Deadspin. The majority of it deals with that 2009 Vikings team that Favre took to the NFC Championship and that game against the New Orleans Saints.

I would go ahead and call the Vikings a bunch of scumbags, but the fact that they were targeting Nick Barnett is just fine with me. I do take issue with the author calling him an “outstanding linebacker.”

Nick Barnett can eat a sack of dicks.

Here’s a guy who got so butt hurt because we criticized him back in the day that he blocked us on Twitter. Way to be a man.

He also famously said how Buffalo Bills fans were better than Green Bay Packers fans after he signed with the Bills.

And finally, we’ll never forget 4th and 26. You had one fucking job…

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Mordecai Jones

Mordecai is a writer living in Los Angeles. He primarily writes screenplays, but also does crap like this because GREEN BAY PACKERS, baby!

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19 Comments

  1. Kato October 25, 2016

    It is easy to hate on the Vikings, but this isn’t that big of a deal. Allegedly the 96 packers had a similar scheme. I just think it’s funny the saints executed this against the Vikings when they were doing this. I would not be surprised if every team in the nfl had a similar system in place

  2. Chad Lundberg October 25, 2016

    I take no issue with what Nick Barnett said about the Green Bay Packers. He was trying to appeal to the current fan base that he was playing for but also wanted to compliment Green Bay in the process. Very hard to do. He did the best he could and complimenting both Green Bay and Bills fans. This is just a butthurt article in my opinion.

  3. Howard October 25, 2016

    It is a huge part of football to impose your will on your opponent. Injuries happen. I will admit in the 2009 playoffs the Saints took some cheap shots (for the time period) at Warner and Favre. Glad Saints beat the Vikings.

    It shows how soft football has become. In the mid to late 1900’s it was common place to take out your opponent for the game, and in many instances their careers. There were very few rules to stop the carnage, it was just part of the game. It is a miracle QBs survived a full season. Large piles of money for the league, owners, and the players have made the game a softer and gentler place.

    1. PF4L October 25, 2016

      Does anyone remember when Peppers tried taking out Rodgers?

      1. Howard October 25, 2016

        Peppers had some hard hits on Rodgers. Not sure which one? I do remember Peppers wrapping up, and driving Rodgers into the ground late at least once. The Bears when urlacher was on the team were somewhat friendly with Rodgers. I don’t think Peppers was up with the being friendly stuff. I thought Mcshay tried to take Rodgers out the final regular season game after Rodgers came back from the collarbone break.

        1. PF4L October 26, 2016

          1. Howard October 26, 2016

            That’s the one. Video is very clear. Thanks

          2. Shawn October 26, 2016

            In the Total View for that game, I pretty much bluntly called that a “career shot” by Peppers, who clearly tried to end Rodgers’ career right there. I was BALLISTIC at the time. I was probably equally enraged with Rod Marinelli’s hysterics on the sideline right after his player tried to end another player’s career. A-HOLE.
            On the other hand, I also pointed out that there was a timeout on the field shortly after that play, and Peppers, during the TO, went over and talked with Rodgers. Peppers was also one of the first guys to congratulate Rodgers after the final knee to end it. So, obviously, Rodgers was cool with Peppers.
            Who knows, if that whole chain of events doesn’t happen, it’s possible Peppers never comes here.

          3. PF4L October 27, 2016

            Was clearly blatant, with bad intentions, proof being…..

            When you look at the hit, you’ll notice that Peppers keeps both hands and arms outside of Rodgers, until Rodgers receives the full impact of the hit, then and only then, does he let his hands wrap around Rodgers.

            As far as Peppers approaching Rodgers, it wasn’t until after Peppers was arguing about the call with the refs. He’s denying responsibility, so what Peppers said to Rodgers was window dressing. BTW…Peppers got fined, i think like 10k.

            Lets also not forget, wasn’t this the season where Favre told some Bear players to get the Packers?

  4. Mike October 26, 2016

    What are we talking bout here??? penis Logo Vikings have always been scumbags, jealous they could NEVER EVER reach PACKERS level. That total FILTH to the west PURE BOTTOM-FEEDERS, just like The Buffalo BILLS, 2 scumbag franchises that should be in Canadian Football league. or Arena League. BILLS fans good????? WTF, put pipe down Barnett. That LANDFILL Buffalo sucks at everything

  5. Joseph October 26, 2016

    I think you need to at least make a decent showing against the VIkings before you claim such dominance over them. Been a while, hasn’t it?
    Barnett was a cheapshot artist, and he was targeted for that.
    GB has had the benefit of TWO HOF quarterbacks in a row.
    WIth that, New England would have like twelve superbowls by now. The new Favre book shows me that both these guys are just complete assholes, and that the GB front office would go to great lengths to hide that fact.
    I cant imagine working your whole life to get to the NFL, and getting drafted to backup you idol and upon meeting him being completely disrespectful and feeling superior, and putting ANY importance on your Wonderlic score, which is not used in any other field and laughed at as largely useless by psychiatric professionals. Aaron Rodgers is an asshole, and now he’s regressing. The end might get ugly. he may ask to be traded.

    1. PF4L October 26, 2016

      Or…the queens offer the Packers Xavier Rhodes and 4 1st round picks for Rodgers, to fix the shit pile they call an offense.

    2. Mike October 26, 2016

      13 Titles to what ZERO !!!!! That’s decent enough for me.

    3. PF4L October 27, 2016

      The wonderlic score means nothing?

      Is that why most of the players who get involved with the law have single digit wonderlic scores?

  6. Tucson Packer October 26, 2016

    Something about class, blah blah and LOOK AT MY NUMBERED LIST!

    1) Something about how this is typical of the Packers and, for the most part, their entire fan base” blah blah

    2) Something about how MY team could never do that, blah blah

    3)Something about how I and my never achieving the end-goal team are holier than thou, blah.

    -Killer
    *felling good now about trolling another teams site with my disillusion rantings, it’s basically the one reason I live.

    1. Empacador October 26, 2016

      Wait, wait, wait. You forgot one. 4) Clay Mathews blah blah blah PEDs blah blah blah.

  7. Deepsky October 26, 2016

    Goodell should look into this. The Saints had to give up a couple picks in the draft because of bountygate.

    Probably won’t though as the Vikings are the biggest threat to the Packers and he Goodell hates the Packers.

    1. Abe Frohman October 26, 2016

      Perhaps you don’t penalize the organization because it’s completely different people since then, but you do have to penalize the owner.

  8. Killer October 31, 2016

    No. They did not….:

    “Earlier this week, we mentioned the story about former Minnesota Vikings’ offensive lineman Artis Hicks telling author Jeff Pearlman that the 2009 Vikings had a “bounty” program in place. According to Pearlman, who had included the tidbit in his biography of Brett Favre, Hicks told him that Vikings coaches had organized a program that paid players for injuring opposing players.

    However, in an interview with Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Hicks now claims that he said no such thing and that Pearlman had misinterpreted his comments.

    “No, I never told him any specifics,” Hicks said. “I never named names, I never said … Only thing I told him as far as specifics was I had been part of a meeting where players were amongst ourselves as part of a unit. We kind of felt like the last time we played the team, they kind of did some dirty things to our running back or quarterback. When we played them again later in the year it was, ‘Hey, when you get a chance to get this guy, dinner is on me.’ That was as detailed as I got. Again, it was never any specifics on what team I was with or anything like that.”

    . . .

    “Coaches didn’t know about things like that,” Hicks said. “A lot of it happens within the locker room. If there was a game and you were with your guys and you felt a guy dove at your knees or tried to hurt you, next time you played them, coaches don’t have to get involved in that. Players take it on themselves.

    After Hicks’ remarks went public, numerous people that would have been connected with such a thing were quick to deny anything of the sort. They included current Vikings’ defensive end Brian Robison, former Vikings’ linebacker Ben Leber, and even former head coach Brad Childress. Hicks told Krammer that Childress is someone he had the utmost respect for and that he did everything “by the book” when he was the Vikings’ head coach.

    Hicks went so far as to say that he didn’t even tell Pearlman which team he was with when these meetings occurred, so it’s entirely possible that these things didn’t even happen when Hicks was with the Vikings. He also played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, and Washington Redskins over the course of his NFL career.

    So, as we said in the post earlier this week, if the Vikings did have something like that going on, it was simply amongst the players themselves. It certainly doesn’t appear that it’s anything that was signed off on by a member of the coaching staff, the head coach himself, or the general manager like what we saw from the cheating Saints. I guess if anyone was getting their hopes up about that sort of thing, Hicks’ new revelations should be enough to get them to relax a little bit.”

    So, as Aaron might tell you: “R-E-L-A-X”