New England Patriots: Why Can't Spygate Just End, Forever?

Tony Santorsa@@TonySantorsaSenior Writer IIMarch 8, 2011

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 14:  Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots watches the second quarter of the game against the Buffalo Bills on September 14, 2009 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Monday the United States Supreme Court rejected the review of the lawsuit presented by a New York Jets' fan Carl Meyer. 

Meyer, a Jets season ticket holder, filed a lawsuit against the New England Patriots following the discovery of "spygate" after the two team's season opening game in 2007. 

Why is this still going on? Enough is enough.

As many New England Patriots fans, and reasonably thinking football fans would agree that the spygate scandal has been blown out of proportion—to the point that it's just stupid. 

Everyone single fan of the NFL is aware of how the Patriots were caught videoing taping the Jets sideline in '07 to "scout" the opposing team's hand signals.

But, how much good that get them? New England did complete an undefeated season, going 16-0, after their "scouting" actions were brought to attention to the league. 

New England Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick did break an NFL rule—I'm not saying he didn't. 

From the NFL's Constitution and Bylaws (Article 9): "Any use by any club at any time, from the start to the finish of any game in which such club is a participant, of any communications or information-gathering equipment, other than Polaroid-type cameras or field telephones, shall be prohibited, including without limitation videotape machines, telephone tapping, or bugging devices, or any other form of electronic devices that might aid a team during the playing of a game."

Where in the rule does it say the Patriots video taped other team's hand signals and used them at half-time? Belichick and the Patriots were penalized for their video-taping procedures—not what was on the tape. 

Let's be realistic here: Does anyone think it's possible to decode the other team's hand signals during the four quarters of the game and then be able to adjust according to that gained knowledge? No way. 

In my opinion, a common "Patriot-hater's" response to that statement would be: "Well, Belichick would use that knowledge for the team's next game against that team."

You really think team's keep the same hand signals for the entire season? I don't think so, and if they do, then that's just silly. 

Allow me to get even deeper into this: Do you really think it's possible to quickly interpret the opposing team's defense signals, decode them and then present that knowledge to the team's offensive coordinator in under the 40-second game clock?

Sounds pretty far-fetched to me.

It's extremely disturbing that Belichick's, or to some, "Belicheat's", legacy with New England is tainted, along with the team's dynasty.

Multiple coaches have came out and mentioned that the Patriots' behavior is not out of the ordinary in the NFL; including two-time Super Bowl winning coach Jimmy Johnson.

In an interview with Johnson on WFAN New York prior to Super Bowl XLII, Johnson had these comments to say:

"Eighteen years ago, a scout for the Chiefs told me what they did, and he said what you need to do is just take your camera and you go and zoom in on the signal caller and that way you can sync it up. The problem is that if they’re not on the press box side you can’t do it from the press box, you have to do it from the sideline. This was 18 years ago."

Like Johnson said, "this was 18 years ago." Imagine how many times it's happened since then?

"He [Belichick] was wrong for doing it for the simple reason that the league knew this was going on not just in New England, but around the league."

Why can't fans wrap their head around that statement from Johnson? Several other teams performed the same procedures. 

Johnson then went on to admit that he did perform similar actions that New England did, and he even described where his camera man was: 

"My guy was up with my camera crew in the press box. So you’d just put an extra camera up with your camera crew in the press box who zoomed in on the signal callers. That’s the best way to do it, but you can’t always do that because the press box camera crew might be on the same side as the opposing team. If they’re on the same side as the opposing team that’s when you need to do it from the sideline."

With those beautiful statements Johnson made, how can anyone not believe those has been happening in the NFL for quite sometime?

Before we get any further, allow me to shoot down any rumors regarding Matt Walsh and how he claimed he video taped the St. Louis Rams practice for New England prior to Super Bowl XXXVI—no tapes were found, and Walsh's claims are ridiculous.

Meyer isn't the first man to bring this case to court; Senator Arlen Specter did. 

Any guesses what state Senator Specter represents? Pennsylvania, home of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Right off the bat, he smells like a disgruntled fan on his knees of defeat of New England.  

Spygate needs to end, because it's really getting old. 

Fans, whether or not you're a Pats' fan or not, face the facts: The New England Patriots are a NFL dynasty and a successful franchise.

Get over it.

NOTE: This article was first seen at PatriotsPlus.net.

Be sure to follow Tony Santorsa on Twitter @   TonySantorsa.


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