Tuesday, September 11, 2007

NFL: New England Patriots Stole Signals

I used to have a tremendous amount of respect for Bill Belichick, head coach for the NE Pats.

Yes, his team sent my team home in the playoffs a couple of times. Yes, he is arrogant and yes, he was a poor sport at the end of the AFC Championship, last year when the Colts eliminated them. But by all appearances at the time, it looked like he worked his magic it by outcoaching the opposition. It looked like this man was truly a football genius and he knew his football as good as any.

Well, today it was announced by the NFL that they were stealing signals and taping formations in Sunday's game against the NT Jets, which is a clearly a rules violation. This casts a formidable shadow on the titles they have won, to say the least. The question now becomes, how long has this been going on?

If the league has any guts, they will come down hard on this man and the team. They should lose draft picks and should be fined, heavily. But more than anything, it shows a lack of integrity that will forever tarnish those three rings that he has.

Sorry, but I cannot respect a cheater. I know it goes on, I know that many have done it and didn't get caught. But for me, once I have seen a cheater exposed, that's it. Maybe he should retire from football and run for Ted Kennedy or John Kerry's seat in the Senate, because that's the level this sinks to.

We'll see how they play, now that their little spying operation has been exposed.


A.C. McCloud said...

Makes us old Browns fans feel a little better.. I know that's kind of shallow but we don't have much else these days!

I think it's becoming a more accepted element of our society, LA. Ethics and morals are not as prevalent as they once were and the shame over getting caught is disappearing.

LASunsett said...


//Ethics and morals are not as prevalent as they once were and the shame over getting caught is disappearing.//

I will be very interested to hear what the Pats have to say, they get to provide their side of the story Friday, according to the article. Sounds like they've been caught red-handed.

The sad thing is this. It's the one thing that many of of use as an escape from the stuff that gets pulled in the real world. After all, by and large, this is still just a ball game.

Greg said...

Oh, please. It does not cast a shadow on their championships, and it had nothing to do with the Pats wiping the field with the Jets last Sunday. The tape was confiscated in the first quarter - what's the Jets' excuse for the remaining 3? The only excuse is that they aren't as good.

Yeah, it's a rule violation. It's like trying to steal signs in baseball. You aren't supposed to do it, but everyone does. And good teams work hard to counter that. Big deal.

Also, can someone explain to me how a video camera could be used to instantly transmit the stolen signal to the booth, which would then transmit it to the players, who would then instantly transform their play to counter? Sounds far fetched. It could only be used when the stealing team is on offense, b/c the QB has a speaker in his helmet. And the camera man has to have some way of transmitting the images to the booth. Not sure how that is accomplished. Then the coordinator has to be able to instantly translate the signal and know exactly what to tell his QB.

I don't know, I saw Brady toss a pass to Moss in triple coverage, and the lousy Jets couldn't do a thing about it. Obviously, that had nothing to do with stealing signals. One, it took place in the 4th quarter; and two, the Jets had the right coverage but still couldn't stop the play.

What I see is a minor infraction that is being blown out of proportion b/c of one simple thing: jealousy. People have been trying to diminish the Pats' accomplishments for 7 years now.

And I'm completely unbiased. :)

LASunsett said...


(Fatherly tone, speaking like Master Po to his beloved Grasshopper)

Now, Grasshopper. I know this has probably disappointed you greatly. I know how it can be to find out that your heroes have broken the rules, gone the way of dirty politicians, and are not pure and wholesome like you once thought. Please understand that it happens.

What we must do is process this in a proper fashion. Let's look at this from a principled perspective here, see what has transpired, and line it up with our value system, to see where it stands in the greater scope of things. Shall we?

Yes. Football teams have stolen signals, forever. They do it every time the ball is snapped. QBs look at the defense and listen, to the things that are yelled out by the defense. Then they make their adjustments. The coaches also look across the field and they see what is being signaled, hoping to call something that will counter the play that has been called. That's one of the beautiful intricacies that many of our European friends, do not see in this great game.

But, do not go the opponent's side of the field, record the other team's hand signals and formations, so the tapes can bee looked at halftime. I would imagine that the Pats aren't the only team to have done this, but the NFL has warned them once before and they ignored it.

Now, please understand that I am far from saying the titles should be stripped or anything drastic like that. I will not contest that NE has been the dominant team over the last several years. But, I think it's fair to call their wins into question now. No, it doesn't change who won the game and never will. They're the champs for those years (and always will be).

The big reason that I have lost respect for Bill and Co. is twofold.

1)How peeved Bill and Tom Brady acted (like spoiled little brats), because they didn't win the game. Tom wouldn't even shake Peyton's hand, despite the fact that Peyton always gave his regards after they had lost to them. Bilichick was an ass at the press conference. (I know, separate issue. But I still think it's valid.)

2) They didn't need to. At least that's what many of us non-Pat fans that respected (in a football sense) that organization, thought. And if they didn't need to, why did they do it anyway?

You are right. It had no bearing on the Jets game. But it has been going on and they have been suspected of it for a long time, according to the reports. For me, personally, it earns an asterisk by their names, similar to (but not exactly like) Bobby Bonds.

I know they couldn't care any less about my respect. Some peopl may be infuriated by all of this, but in the greater scope of things, I still think it's just a ball game and am not that worried about it (As, long as my taxes don't go up anymore, i am pretty easy to please).

I just wanted to get a rise out of you. I thought we were in a rut around here. Rumors were at one time spreading that we are yes-men or amen corners for each other (because fundamentally agree on a variety of things, most of the time). Instead of bashing people for their beliefs, we choose to take the arguments on. (Not a popular concept in the blogosphere.)

But be that as it may, the point I'd really like to make:

Grasshopper, I cannot imagine Lombardi, Landry, Noll, and the other greats of my time using an unfair advantage, because they really didn't have to. I watched the Super Bowl I (before it was called the SB). That was smash mouth football at its best. And there is no way any teams today, can compare with those teams, coached by those men, on the field.

They didn't have the technology to do it, even if they'd wanted to.

But the bottom line? Why have a rule, if you are not going to enforce it?

If other teams are doing it, it'll stop now. Because they will now know that the league is serious. If it needs to be changed so that all teams can do it, so be it. I am a purist and won't like it, but there's not much I can say, if it happens.

But, where do you draw the line? What's the next step? Each team having their own blimp, to study formations from on high? How about satellites to spy on what the coach has on his clipboard?


Greg said...

Ok, dad - you're right on a couple points. It's disappointing for one thing. For most Pats fans, it's very disappointing. It gives everyone who has wanted to tear down our team the perfect excuse. I feel bad for the players, and I think it was appropriate for Belichick to apologize to them.

Also, the Pats should be fined harshly for it.

But let's not compare this to Bonds jacking himself up on steroids.

My only problem is how far out of proportion this has been blown. I think you are also right when you suggest this has more to do with Belichick rubbing people the wrong way than it does with any perceived competitive advantage. Reporters everywhere are grinning behind their computer keyboards b/c Belichick has treated them with utter contempt for years. Opposing players and coaches are grinning too, and they are salivating at the prospect of gaining an advantage themselves, by advocating for Belichick to be suspended or for draft picks to be taken away or for games to be forfeited.

As much as the affair demonstrates the Pats aren't as "classy" as their fans have always thought, it also demonstrates how jealous the rest of the league is of the Patriots.

P.S. - go Pats. I hope they wipe the field with those Chargers. Want to talk about a classless bunch of cry-babies....

LASunsett said...


//But let's not compare this to Bonds jacking himself up on steroids.//

I said: but not exactly.

//As much as the affair demonstrates the Pats aren't as "classy" as their fans have always thought, it also demonstrates how jealous the rest of the league is of the Patriots.//

I watched Tedy Bruschi hug Peyton after the Pats loss in the AFC Chanpionship game. I could almost hear what he was saying to him: "This is your time, you deserve it, now go and get it." Doesn't get any classier than that.

Nobody came after Manning any harder than he did, no one wanted to win another ring more than he did. But considering that this man is lucky to be playing right now, I suspect his outlook on life is he's just happy to be playing. Belichick and Brady could learn much from the great Tedy Bruschi.

As for the SD Chargers, there is no team in LA anymore and Al Davis has run my Raiders into the ground, so all I have left from California is the Chargers. (I hate the 49ers, always have, since I was a boy)

So I hope SD can win. But, I admit it's not likely.

Wade Phillips may not be a rigid control freak a la Schottenheimer, but he's no match for Belichick. Marty had to go, but I wish they'd been able to secure a better replacement.

LASunsett said...

BTW Greg,

What is your e-mail? Would you mind giving it to me? I will delete it after I have it, so you do not attract unnecessary and unwanted e-mails.

Greg said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LASunsett said...

Just the same, I have deleted it. You are married and wild women may want to help you get a death sentence. I couldn't live with myself if that ever happened.

It's for your own good. ;)

Greg said...

Yes, excellent point as usual.