Upon hearing that Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was paying cash bonuses for injuries inflicted on the opposition, who amongst us didn’t wonder if the same sort of thing was happening north of the border? Not me, for starters. In fact, unless I’m trying to wonder where Tim Tebow will be playing football in two years, I rarely find myself thinking of the CFL, so it’s very helpful of TSN to take the matter up.
Player bounties are making headlines in the NFL but former CFL defensive tackle Adriano Belli says the practice is also commonplace in Canada.
“Players put up bounties all the time,” said Belli, a 10-year CFL veteran who retired last May.
“We all got per diem when we travelled, you’d get a couple of hundred bucks or even more depending on your contract for spending money on road trips.
“I’ve seen guys before the game put $100 a pop into a pot and go into the locker-room and say, ‘OK, first sack or the first guy to knock the quarterback out of the game gets the pot.’ That’s fairly normal.”
“My goal was to get their quarterback out of the game,” said the 34-year-old Toronto native, dubbed “The Kissing Bandit” for penchant for giving people a peck on the cheek. “I didn’t want to injure him so he couldn’t play anymore but certainly hurt him so he couldn’t play anymore against us in that particular game.”
“I’m not a hateful guy, I never wanted to injury somebody. We’re all professional athletes and have to make a living and I love quarterbacks, I think they’re so cute in their little uniforms. However, my job was to get them out of the game.”