When the Gregg Williams locker room audio tapes were released, filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, who made the recording, was widely discredited as an attention seeking, struggling film producer in search of his big break. Pamphilon was given access to the New Orleans locker room by former Saints special teams standout, Steve Gleason. Gleason and Pamphilon were in the process of creating a football documentary. The audio (and video, which has not been seen by the public) were going to aid them in their production.
Pamphilon released the tapes through Yahoo!Sports’ Mike Silver on Friday, April 5th. The details surrounding the release remained murky until last night, when Pamphilon posted his side of the story (titled When You Kill the Head, the Body Doesn’t Die) on his website. Deadspin.com has all of the details covered.
In the essay, Pamphilon writes that linebacker Scott Fujita—one of the players suspended by the NFL in punishment for the Saints’ bounty program, but who now plays for the Browns—was actively involved in the decision to release the audio. Pamphilon offers a tick-tock of his version of events leading up to April 5, the day the tape went public. The gist is that Fujita had been an intermediary between the production team, Gleason, quarterback and player rep Drew Brees, and the NFL Players Association.
Scott Fujita was suspended for the first 3 games of the 2012 season for allegedly doling out bounty payments to teammates. While Fujita has claimed that he only paid teammates for big plays (interceptions, sacks, etc) and never to injure an opponent, even those payments are open for scrutiny since they are against league rules. Fujita has stated that the Bounty allegations are not true, however, he has already admitted to breaking the rules, thereby justifying his suspension.
Looking back, it can be said that the ridicule Pamphilon was submitted to after releasing the tapes was completely unwarranted. An accused player, along with the team’s NFLPA representative AND the NFLPA itself played a substantial role in the lead up to its release. Head over to Deadspin and read through the story for yourself.
Deadspin – Who Gave the Greenlight to Release the Saints’ Bounty Tape? ‡ Pamphilon – When You Kill the Head, the Body Doesn’t Die