My Thoughts on Spygate
I'm about tired of reading about spygate, how the Pats are evil, how they've tainted the NFL as a whole, how Bill Belichick is a lousy, good for nothing, heartless S.O.B., and how everyone that's involved with the Patriots are classless, from the owner, to the coaching staff, to the players down to the personnel that do the team laundry and classless certainly includes the pathetic lying (and probably cheating) fans themselves.
The Pats cheated, point blank, end of discussion....now let's spend more than 6 months beating them up for it (along with beating the list of aforementioned folks, too).
First off, the Pats did not cheat. Yes, I said it, they did not cheat. Ok, so I can't prove that. So, you prove it - prove that the Pats did in fact "cheat".....you can't, and neither can Commissioner Goodell or the NFL's competition committee, or a Senator from PA.
I know what you're thinking, and the answer is NO. The Pats were not fined for cheating. They were fined for violating the following rule: "Videotaping of any type, including but not limited to taping of an opponent's offensive or defensive signals, is prohibited on the sidelines, in the coaches' booth, in the locker room, or at any other locations accessible to club staff members during the game.", which was put out in a memo before the '07 season started.
Had the camera operator been in a booth enclosed on 3 sides with a roof overhead out of view of the coaches, spygate would never have been started. Instead, Belichick admits that he told the camera man to stand in plain view, adorned with Pats Staff badges and film the defensive signals....in plain view...let me say that again, in plain view. Why did I say that three times? Do you honestly think that a head coach would put a camera in the hands of an employee and tell them to go over and video tape the opposing teams defensive coach if he didn't think it was OK? Of course not, and if you said yes that Belichick would do that then you're fooling yourself. Coaches have complained for years about cheating, and I mean years. HERE's an article that takes a story out of a 1967 magazine (sport) that talks about cheating in the NFL. Don't think that's enough? I came across this article HERE on Bleacher Report. It's got 5 valid points where the NFL has jumped in and punished teams for "cheating", yet, none of them were as stiff as the punishment that was handed down to the Patriots and their staff. Still not enough? Well, how about when John Madden said stealing signs is nothing new.
The Pats were bad mouthed so much this year simply because they were on fire. They were, arguably, the best team that the NFL has seen in some 35 (or more) years. The 2007 season they went 18-1 which includes a perfect (UNDEFEATED) season, with the only loss being in the Super Bowl. Don't think that the Pats are (arguably) the best team ever? Here's some of the records that the Patriots (and/or Patriot players) broke in ONLY 2007 season:
Set the record for most wins in a regular season
Tom Brady set the single-season record for most touchdowns in a season with 50
Randy Moss broke the record for most touchdown receptions in a season with 23
Highest scoring team ever in a regular season, scoring 589 points
Tom Brady connected with Randy Moss for more touchdowns this season than any other quarterback has to any other receiver in any single season, ever. With 23 touchdowns, they shattered the previous high of 18 held by Dan Marino / Mark Clayton and Brett Favre / Sterling Sharpe.
The Patriots also set a record for most touchdowns scored in a season with 75, breaking Miami's record of 70
Randy Moss became the first receiver in history to get 100 yards in his first 3 games with a new team, then in week 4 with the Pats Moss had 102 yards
Ellis Hobbs returned the opening kickoff of the second half 108 yards for a touchdown setting the NFL record for longest kickoff return.
21 different players scored a touchdown for the Patriots, tying the record also held by the 1987 Rams and the 2000 Broncos.
If you care to dispute these records, you'll have to prove I'm wrong. Yes, I accidently closed the FireFox window I had the links open in.
Enough about the team-what about that loser of a coach Belichick? Here's something that I posted earlier on TSB:
Despite the "Spygate" scandal, BBwas still named NFL 2007 Associated Press Coach of the Year. He's also been named and/or awarded AFC Coach of the Year (Committee of 101), Coach of the Year (Pro Football Writers of America/Pro Football Weekly), Coach of the Year (Dr. Z's All-Pros_), NFL Coach of the Year (FieldTurf), NFL Coach of the Year (Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News), NFL Coach of the Week for Week 17 (NFL.com), NFL Coach of the Year (USA TODAY), The Bill Walsh Award (USA TODAY), Earle 'Greasy' Neale Award: Pro Coach of the Year (Maxwell Football Club) and NFL Coach of the Week for Week 6 (NFL.com). That was just this past year. He's coached his team to 16-0 regular season, 18-1 including the playoffs, helping his team set records, brake records, all while dealing with Spygate, his personal life and the personal lives of his players. I'd say that's pretty special.
With that said, most, if not all teams love their head coaches, specially the ones that help to create dynasties and win 3 Superbowls in 4 years along with 4 AFC titles in 7 years, and making it to the playoffs 6 out of 7 years, and managed to coach successful seasons with winning records from 2001-2007 (all from 2000 to present day).
With all that said, I'm probably missing a few records someplace, but I'm sure that by now you get the idea.
What about those cocky, trash talking players? Hmmmm...I won't deny that there's a TON of smack talk going on in the NFL. I will say that the Pats did, IMHO, the least amount of it. You won't find a Pats player from 2007 saying how they guarantee a victory over an opposing team or talk smack about an opposing team even when an opposing team talked smack about them (Steelers and Chargers). It wasn't Pats fans whom booed a 14 year old girl due to the jersey she was wearing(Note that Robert Kraft, in a show of "class", honored the teen by having her watch the coin toss at center fieldby making her guest captain of the Patriots for the game).
Oh behold! The spygate scandall continues to grow because the "powers that be" deem it so! Nope, wrong there, too. The NFL's competition committee said "It was a thorough, fair process with lots of integrity. We were satisfied with what was done." As of this post, we're still waiting on Matt Walsh to strike a deal with the NFL so that he can show his tapes to the world. To whatever evidence he's got, I'll have to hear Belichick or Kraft on the tapes saying "Ya, go tape that other team, it's ok, it's worth the risk to get caught!"
The point of this post was NOT to bash any other team (sorry to those fans of the teams I did bring up), nor was it to justify the Patriots actions, or the actions of it's employees (including head coach).
The point of this post WAS to shed light on the subject of spygate, bringing up points that the average Joe might not know...to show that the Pats fans aren't classless, nor are the players or staff (I'd like to think the same of all the NFL's teams). That the Pats didn't get fined for what they were video taping, but how they were video taping it. I'd also like to note that Goodell stated that the taping in the Jets game was not a factor in the outcome of the game, and that nothing had been presented that showed that the Pats were using the tapes for in game use or halftime adjustments. Goodell also mentioned that he didn't think that spygate tainted the Pats accomplishments for the 07 season.
The reason why the tapes and notes were destroyed (the tapes and the notes that the Pats gave to the commish) was because Goodell didn't want them leaked out into the public where other teams could get hold of them and use them against the Jets. "We thought we had locked it up, and it got out five days later," Goodell said. "That was one of my concerns."
Here's how I'm looking at the whole spygate thing: We were caught doing something wrong even though we thought it was OK. We were punished, we paid our dues and we moved on. It's been 6 months (SIX MONTHS!!!) and people still carry on about it, saying such things as "they're classless", "they should have their Lombardi trophies taken away", "they're all cheaters", and blah blah blah. I've been a Pats fan since I was a fetus. I was a fan when they were wining one and 2 games a season. I was a fan when they won 3 Super Bowls in 4 years. I was a fan in the 2007 season when they went 18-1 and lost in a crushing upset to the NY Giants. I'll be a fan through out the entire spygate scandal. When all the smoke clears, I'll still be a fan of the New England Patriots. Chances are that I'll die a Pats fan.
The Patriots should be proud of what they've done this season. I know I am.
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