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Fran Tarkenton outraged to learn of 'bounty' practices

If you thought grizzled NFL old-timers would be more forgiving about Gregg Williams and the New Orleans Saints' "bounty" scandal, think again.

Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton said he was "outraged" to learn of Williams' practices and that he has spoken to other former players from his generation who feel the same way.

"We didn’t play with bounties," Tarkenton, 72, told WMVP-AM in Chicago (via SportsRadioInterviews.com). "Dick Butkus didn’t have bounties on anybody, or there wouldn’t have been anybody to play because he would’ve killed them all."

Always outspoken, Tarkenton spoke out against Williams last month in an opinion piece published in The Wall Street Journal.

"Now I hear these ex-jocks, modern ex-jocks, back then, 'Ah, this is the way it is in football, this is just the way things are,' and now I’m hearing some of the same stuff from the ESPN jocks doing that," he said. "The American people should be outraged. This is not the way it is. That’s not what the foundation of football was about."

As you might imagine, Tarkenton -- who played 18 seasons for the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants before retiring in 1978 -- doesn't believe Williams should ever sniff an NFL field again.

"He has done this at Tennessee, he did it in Buffalo, he did it with the Washington Redskins, he's done it here," Tarkenton said. "I got a YouTube video of when Peyton Manning's neck got hurt the first time because he had a bounty on him by Gregg Williams where someone hit him low and another guy hit him around the head and twisted his neck. It was unbelievable.

"That's where it started. That would trickle throughout the league. That would trickle down to college, down to high school football. The American public should be outraged at this, and I know Roger Goodell is outraged because if this spreads, this sport is dead.”

Fire, please meet brimstone. We recommend you listen to the interview, which includes Tarkenton at one point singling out "gangster rap" as a factor in shifting player attitudes.

Let's leave Coolio out of this, people.

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