Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"Jets, spies and videotape"

(Got that title from ESPN's sports minute)

So the Patriots are cheaters. That revelation ought to be as stunning as the use of HGH. If Bill Belichik is to be considered the greatest football coach ever (some argue best coach of any sport ever), cheating can't be on the resume. I think Clayton and Golic and other commentators are too quick to say that the Patriots Superbowl wins are not related to the videotaping of defensive signals. Those games were won by about 3 points each time. If they have an edge (know what's coming defensively), doesn't that give an advantage that might help them win? The videotaping isn't so that they can admire another team's smooth and silky hands. They want the signals to know how to set up plays against the defense. If Belichik built their system around decoding defensive signals of other teams, then we can't know how Belichik coaches without that verboten help.

The Patriots have been the franchise to admire. They've been above reproach in every way. The Pats - a dynasty. And now? What do we say now? Cheating taints the whole franchise. Belichik - a coach's son. Shame on him. Eric Mangini (Jets coach) tells the NFL that this practice went on even when he coached for Belichik.

Does this cheating taint the NFL or only the Patriots?

We'll see how it turns out. Disappointing. Wrong. I hope Goodell slaps them hard. I'm hoping he fines them a first round draft pick.

Edited to add. I've thought more about this. I think the punishment should be:

Jets 1-0
Pats 0-1

That would send a real message right now.


Ampersand said...

This is a tough blow to Belichik admirers.

I'm guessing that trying to steal signals is nothing new in the sport, but is usually done the old fashioned way. I'm not necessarily saying that this is ok, and we could have another whole discussion about that, but violating explicit league rules by videotaping signals is a blight on the Patriots franchise.

I'm sad.

Rainy Conversation said...

Since the gladiator days, opponents have been sizing up the competition, so this does not surprise me or bother me. I just thought the Patriots would be a little more undercover while doing so.

Susanne B. said...

The Patriots are playing our Chargers this weekend - I'm sure the controversy "will be much talked of," to quote Mary in P&P.

Go San Diego! :)