From Watergate to Weinergate: 40 Years of Infamous 'Gates'

By Lauren Vicary and Kirsten Salyer - 2012-06-14T20:34:33Z

Photograph by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

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Who knew that some memorable hits on the gridiron were not just the result of athleticism and inspiration, but also cash incentives? About two dozen New Orleans Saints players, led by then-defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, earned extra cash for inflicting injuries: $1,500 for a "knockout," in which the opponent couldn't return to the game, and $1,000 for a "cart-off," in which an opposing player had to be carried off the field. When news of the thuggish deals broke, four players were suspended for their involvement. The payments, which violated the National Football League's rule prohibiting non-contract bonuses, also raised questions about the NFL's commitment to player safety.