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Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Patrick Sun, Aug 12, 2007.
This seems like a grade school excuse though. "But the other kids did it".
Yes, it would be like saying other people were speeding or shoplifting. It's no excuse.
I have this feeling on stealing signals. If a player on the field can figure out say, what a QB Audible means, then kudos to him. That's part of the game. If a batter can read the tells of a pitcher, and gets a sense of what pitch is coming, I don't have a problem with that. BUT, if an organization uses artificial means of any sort to allow for that, it's wrong. If the Pats players had figured out the playcalling system, they deserved it. But in this case, a camera was trained on assistant coaches to read the plays going in. This required something the players couldn't intuit on their own, some form of extra-game advantage that required organizational support. And THAT is wrong. The Pats will apparently lose multiple picks in various ways. (ie, they may "lose" their first round pick to have it replaced with a later round, etc.)
Maybe I missed it, what did the Jets do to prompt this, did they force the Pats to cheat? So far I've not read or heard anything that the Jets saw the cheating and complained. I keep reading this is not the Pats first infraction, but not what the earlier ones were. This would be interesting to know, what got NFL security interested in the first place? Maybe this explains Belichick's poor behavior after the playoff loss to the Colts, "all that cheating gone to waste." Great, now LT has opened his big mouth to complain that the Pats think "if they're not cheating, they're not trying." How old do you have to be before you realize that providing incentive to your next opponent is not a good idea?
I believe it was Jets security who notified NFL security, who had their own suspicions based on the past incidents and that's why they acted. If the Jets security didn't approach NFL security then this particular incident might not have come to light. I'll see if I can find the link to back this up. I've read a lot in the last day... Oh, and of course no one forced the Patriots to do this. I wasn't trying to imply that. This is all on the coaching staff. A few comments: 1. I'm not defending them. I'm quite disappointed as a Patriots fan. I believe I've been quite clear that I think they're in the wrong and deserve to be punished. 2. I lurk in these NFL threads all year long and I've learned a lot about the league in general from many of your posts. You all know your football. That said, I hope no one is seriously thinking that the success of the Patriots over the past 6 years is based on cheating. You don't post back to back 14-2 seasons and win 3 Super Bowls that way. You don't hold the high power Colts to 3 points one week, score 41 points against the stingy Steelers defense the next and beat the NFC best Eagles with some stolen signals, if there were any stolen then. Maybe those teams were better at protecting their signals than the Jets were. No one knows or will know. 3. What is really going to annoy me is if the Chargers win Sunday the Patriots haters (not here) will immediately say 'see, now that they can't cheat they get beat.' That kind of stupidity belongs over on ESPN Conversation.
One source, but I read others: http://www.nypost.com/seven/09112007...e_spy_game.htm
Shane, in regards to Russell, I was not smiling, just aware that it happened. Oh, and what did he get about 31 million in guaranteed money? Essentially what the team was offering him in the first place? So maybe this holdout wasn't all the team's doing (didn't say it wasn't partially their fault) but perhaps it was partly because the agency was more concerned about looking good for future potential #1's than for getting the best deal for JaMarcus Russell. As for the Patriots, this is pretty much the perfect storm of the worst timing possible. People are going to question the team's success now and honestly, I can't say that I blame them. I'm not saying I agree just that I don't blame people for doing it. I mean the logical question is, why does the most successful franchise of the decade need to be doing this in the first place? That's where the whole "well, everyone else does it" excuse isn't going to do them any good, since if they were already the best before they resorted to it, why give in? So you can't stop the which fueled which question, did the success prompt the cheating or did the cheating prompt the success. This wouldn't have been as huge of a scandal if one of the bottom feeders from the past few seasons had been caught. We'd all be in this thread saying things like: "So the Browns got caught stealing signals? What did they do erase the tape?" No, New England and the Colts are the worst of possible teams to have gotten caught. It was also bad timing due to outside factors like Tim Donaghy, Barry Bonds, and other NFL problems like multiple arrests per week and a federal dog fighting investigation. The trust level the consumer has toward sports has taken a real beating this year, and it is getting to the point where conspiracy theories aren't just taking root in the fringe segments of fan bases. Hell, Tim Donaghy in particular gave every NBA fan a reason to wonder, and gave the conspiracy theorists surrounding that league more amunition. You can't eliminate cheating of this nature, and you certainly can never eliminate the perception of cheating. What you can do though is reenforce the perception that cheaters will pay when caught. The radios aren't without problems of their own. Teams have cried in the past that other teams had either pirated their signals or jammed their signals in the helmets. Its not an outcry you hear often, but if you double the opportunity to do it then you double the theoretical gain by doing it and double the insentive for doing it. I think Goodell needs to come down super-hard with the sledge hammer on the Patriots even to the point where non-Patriot fans are wondering if it is accessive. Do it to restore the public confidence that the punishment for getting caught cheating should be enough to remove the potential gain of cheating. Stripping draft picks doesn't cut it in my view. Stripping late round picks doesn't do much because the further down in the draft the slimmer the odds become of a guy even making the team. If you strip #1's for a number of years like the NBA did to the Timberwolves a few years ago, given the inflated salaries all you could be doing is allowing the Patriots to use the saved cap space to sign new free agents or resign current talent. The NFL isn't a draft for success league. Drafting is part of it, but free agency and that process is a much larger part. I don't just define free agency as bringing in guys from other teams to fill needs, but it also includes making the right decisions on whether to keep pending free agents, let them go and at what cost. You draft for depth and to hope that those late-round picks develop in to something in the future. Teams don't just assume they're going to find Tom Brady in the sixth round. What needs to happen? I don't know and I'm glad I don't have to figure it out, but it needs to be harsh. I'm going to be writing an article for my website that sort of deals with the public confidence issue in sports and why it seems to fall by the day and why even in a case like this, the public rushed to convict. I don't personally think the Patriots or any other team would gain that much from doing what they did, but sometimes perception is reality and that's why it is the perception the NFL has to fight more than the actual act.
Regarding Belichick and the Pats: Jim, I agree with you. I don't think they won because of stolen signals. They probably didn't even do it at the SB (imagine the scandal). But if they are doing that now, what else have they done in the past? With Belichick's attitude, demeanor and history, it fits a pattern that reflects very badly on the team's success. It tarnishes their dynasty a little bit...and in this game, every little bit matters. As someone pointed out earlier, what would one or two Reche Caldwell catches mean in 2006? (Answer: the same as some PI calls against Pats DBs in the playoffs a few years back...changed the game - EVERY LITTLE BIT MATTERS, WIN AND LOSE). Considering players are suspending for cheating, shouldn't a coach be subjected to the same rigor? Beyond draft picks, shouldn't Belichick be disallowed from coaching duties for a few weeks? That would establish a precedent that even the players would notice. And I agree that teams try and get every advantage they can, but it's a strawman to say every team does it. PROVE IT. Right now, there is only evidence to support one team doing it. Like Casey says, if it were a mediocre or bad team, no one would care. But it's a team well known for excellent coaching and close wins. So it's a big deal in the media. I'm making more out of it here than it deserves...I know that. But I am just playing Devils Advocate. All it does is cement my 90's Cowboys as the greatest dynasty EVER! You think winning a SB with Troy Brown on defense is tough?? Try winning a SB with Barry Switzer on the sidelines and no head coach?!?! Best. Ever.
The Jets knew something was up, because didn't they have the assistant coaches holding up big towels to shield the coach calling the plays? I thought the Pats might defend themselves by saying it was all a decoy -- that they just wanted to get in the Jets' heads. But if that were the case, they would have not used any videotape and just made it appear they were recording. That there is actual footage is clearly a smoking gun. And I agree with earlier posters in being amazed at the audactiy of putting someone on the sidelines in plain view. With today's technology, you'd think there would be a way to have someone hidden somewhere else in the stadium. (Not to condone the act of spying, of course.) Clayton made a good point about draft picks not being much of a punishment...the Pats are so good, only two players in this year's draft even made the team.
That was suggested this morning on ESPN's Mike & Mike show as a possible punishment. The consensus was this would be a better punishment than just losing a couple of 2nd day draft picks.
A short suspension seems to be the right thing to do, as much as I hate to admit it. It's in line with Goodell's hardline stance on issues that impact the league's image and would definitely send the message to everyone to not do it. Well, to at least keep it more covert. If the league were serious about keeping signals from being stolen ever they wouldn't allow binoculars in the booth. Coaches can steal signals from there as well, albeit it doesn't allow them to keep a record of what was seen.
Taking the victory away from the Pats is the best deterrent. Picks, suspensions or fines do nothing. However it tends to say that you are trying to diminish what they did. You aren't doing it intentionally but it comes across that way. In other news, David Boston was released by the Bucs after a DUI. Here I thought David Boston was retired...
While on the surface that sounds fine, do the Jets really deserve a win from that game? They were beaten soundly by New England. What if they get into the playoffs due to that one win? That wouldn't be fair to the team they beat out (assuming that team was not the Pats),
How about levying a fine? Not just in the thousands, but in the millions, enough to be painful.
I don't think a several million dollar fine would be a deterrent. I'd bet many teams would trade money for wins. Losing a victory like the NCAA has been known to do would be a deterrent. Draft picks don't mean that much. The Pats didn't hardly keep any of theirs this time around. I saw Kornheiser was saying on PTI how the Pats might sit out their coach for a week in order to send a message as self policing sort of what NCAA programs do in order to lessen their punishment.
I was thinking in terms of money available to sign/pay players, enough to affect on-field talent. By the way, Belichick's "apology" hardly sounded like one at all.
Think of it like this, every team tampers with perspective free agents. But if the Redskins flew a player to town, let him tour team headquarters and talked contract before the free agency period started, they'd be punished bad. Every team talks to players/agents before the start of free agency, but not every team would bring a player to headquarters before they were allowed. Every team tries to steal defensive signals, but thus far the Patriots are the only team to get caught using an electronic means to do so. That's the whole beef, as someone said earlier if a player or coach or team employee was able to figure out the other team's code just by paying close attention that's part of the game. Video taping for that specific purpose to gain an edge is not. Plus, this isn't New England's first infraction, last year the Green Bay Packers reported suspicion of this to the league quietly but didn't want an issue raised because they lost the game 35-0 and didn't want it to come across as making excuses. That's an overlooked aspect of the whole situation.
No, it would show that the NFL is serious about cleaning up its act. That's good PR.
The 'fins are terrible, and the Pats are champions. The same reason when Joey Bench on the Cards dogfighting is less of a news story than Michael Vick doing it. It doesn't help that there is a lot of built up bad blood towards Belichick throughout the league, and a definite pattern of going to the line and possibly crossing it. Because Belichick apparently has a real history of it???
By the way, it was said already and Chuck agreed with it, this wasn't just any team that got caught. This was a team that was considered by many to be the eventual NFL Champion. A team so loaded maybe nobody could stop them. Yet a team so loaded still felt compelled to cheat. That to me says they were arogant enough to think they weren't going to get caught. What other reasons could there be? If you listed the teams from 1-32 in terms of which one getting caught would do the most damage to the league, New England is easily #1 and at worst #2 behind only the defending champions. Like We could play a game in this thread as to what the comments would be if our favorite teams had gotten caught. Here's a list of likely HTF comments if other teams had gotten caught, feel free to add your own. Cleveland - Yeah, and a lot of good it did them. Kansas City - They must've left the lense on the camera. Arizona - Bill Bidwell paid for a video camera? Dallas - TO insisted the camera was supposed to be on him at all times but the guy got nervous when TO said I need the tape to love me some me. San Diego - Shawn Merriman says it isn't cheating. Oakland - Of course they cheated, if they didn't cheat it wouldn't be Oakland. Detroit - Matt Millen said tape over all known footage of Barry Sanders. Green bay - What else are you gonna do in Green Bay? Minnesota - must erase incriminating boat footage...must erase incriminating boat footage...must erase incriminating boat footage. Chicago - If you watched all the footage of Rex Grossman you'd want to video tape something else and quick. Buffalo - Scott Norwood gave us the tape. Atlanta - Mike Vick needs something to watch in prison. NY Giants - Better they tape defensive signals than more footage of players getting hurt. Cincinnati - Hey, the guy's only doing photography as part of his work release program. Miami - We wanted to take footage of the fans but they kept giving Ted Ginn the middle finger. Tampa - We've got 6 QB's, gotta keep them busy. Philadelphia - We needed some video to match all the audio we have of fans booing. Washington - Then they gave the camera a $10 million signing bonus. Denver- We got tired of circumventing the salary cap. You get the idea, but for the teams with the most success over the past few seasons the question remains why they of all teams needed to cheat.