Super Bowl 2012: Are the New York Giants and New England Patriots Dirty Teams?

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Super Bowl 2012: Are the New York Giants and New England Patriots Dirty Teams?
Donald Miralle/Getty Images
The 2008 Battle Was Epic, seemingly pitting the "good" G-men vs. the cheating team everyone wanted to hate. But are this year's contestants much different after all?

In one corner of the ring: Convenient scoreboard mishaps, Spygate allegations and punishment of lost draft picks. 

In the other: Faking injuries on no-huddle drives and openly admitting targeting a player with multiple concussions while calling other teams (like the Falcons) dirty.

Some fans and even former players say football is meant to be played through hell-and-high-water, within the whistle and beyond.  And as a Green Bay Packers fan, I'll admit we had a dirty player in Charles Martin (and possibly Chuck Cecil though many argue those were good, clean hits by Cecil in that era) when he infamously body-slammed Jim McMahon in a brutal, way-after-the-play fashion.

Others seem to equate the NFL with warfare, even giving credit to teams that have the attitude of "win at any cost."  They attribute questionable, below-the-belt and even all-out spying as simply demonstrating a greater desire to win.  The other excuse is "well, every team is probably cheating to get an edge so why punish one over the other?"

And still others, including former players and coaches, talk about a line that can get crossed. 

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