I spy, with my little eye, a Denver Bronco assistant coach cheating. Steve Scarnecchia, the video director under Head Coach Josh McDaniels was caught filming the practice of the San Francisco 49ers prior to their ensuing battle in London last month. The clip was apparently six minutes long of a 49er walkthrough. The Broncos would go on to lose the game anyways and are having one of the worst seasons in 20 years.
For those of you who believe everything ESPN tells you, you probably aren’t aware of how big of a deal the original Spygate cheating scandal was involving the New England Patriots in the mid 2000’s. Let me remind you because I sort of forgot the details myself.
That original story broke in 2007 when the Patriots were caught filming sideline signals week one against the New York Jets. Bill Bellichick was fined $500,000 and the Patriots were docked their original 2008 first round draft pick.
A couple of months later even more allegations spread that the Patriots filmed walkthroughs during their first Super Bowl win in 2002. The NFL “investigated” the matter, but came up with no conclusive evidence to incriminate the Patriots.
The NFL is the biggest business in sports. There is no way they are going to allow something like a serious cheating scandal taint their league. They saw what happened with steroids in the MLB. The congressional hearings with all of baseball’s superstars and all of the lying was so damaging to baseball’s image, that it may never return to where it once was with Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. Commissioner Bud Selig played it by the rules and in turn, hundreds of thousands of fans no longer care about America’s pastime.
Credit David Stern and the NBA paving the way for the NFL for sweeping MAJOR issues under the rug. Do you really think referee Tim Donaghy was the only official caught up in making extra money off of professional basketball? Not a chance. David Stern and Roger Goodell both now how to protect a business image for their respective leagues.
So back to Josh McDaniels, who claims he had no prior knowledge to this spying going on. He was only fined $50,000 and what’s worse is that he was on the Patriots staff when the alleged cheating (and subsequent winning) was going on. McDaniels even was quoted as saying the cheating in New England was “Practiced and coached. And was worked on.” Obviously it didn’t work this time but it seems as if this could have been going on for weeks in Denver.
I really think a main factor New England was so successful in the 2000’s had to do with Spygate. The NFL is ultra competitive and its parity is second to none in sports. Any advantage one team can get on another could add a couple extra points on the scoreboard.
So the NFL is portraying the message that cheating the integrity of the sport is the same penalty as hitting a quarterback late after a play? Roger Goodell’s hidden agenda really isn’t that hidden.
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