FanDuel - WFBC

September 12, 2007

Patriots Caught Taping Jets Defensive Signals, May Lose Draft Picks: ESPN is reporting with some confidence that the Patriots have been found guilty of videotaping the Jets' defensive signals during Sunday's game. Commissioner Goodell, who never misses an opportunity to make an example of a transgressor, is said to be ready to strip the Patriots of draft picks as punishment, although the team will first be allowed to present a defense at a closed hearing. What repercussions might this cheating incident have on the Patriots and the league as a whole?

posted by Venicemenace to football at 07:19 AM - 136 comments

It should go further than that, Belicheck should be suspended. If HGH for erectile dysfunction get you 5 this should get you at least 6. And chants of cheater should follow the team where ever they play (and I was a pats fan too).

posted by mick at 08:33 AM on September 12

On top of fining the Patriots for cheating, the league should fine the Patriots for allowing Belichik to wear that tacky ass sweatshirt on the sideline. This is suppose to be the primer league, to showcase your best, and he looks like that? It's a total slap in the face to coaches like Lombardi, Landry, and Brown. If you allow your coach to represent your team looking like that, I'm sure you'll look the other way when he cheats too. I guess that's what happens when you start your head coaching career in Cleveland.

posted by MGDADDYO at 08:35 AM on September 12

Yeah, that makes sense, especially the part about the NFL being a primer league. For NFL Europe, I suppose.

posted by yerfatma at 08:40 AM on September 12

I feel "GOD" ell should make the punishment as severe as he can. As a way to cheat, this takes the cake. Think about it. As you call in your play to the QB, you could also tell him the coverage he is going to see and what blitz is coming, if that is not a punishable offense nothing is. This is far worse than stealing signs in baseball. Take their 1st round draft pick. That is right along "GOD"ell thinking and will make a point to the rest of the league. Makes me question is Belichak is the coaching genius he always gets credit for or just a damn good cheater.

posted by Debo270 at 08:41 AM on September 12

There is no more NFL Europe.

posted by Debo270 at 08:42 AM on September 12

The punishment seems weak compared to the offense.

posted by drezdn at 08:47 AM on September 12

Draft Picks? I wasn't sure what kind of punishment would be handed down when I first heard about it, but I thought Goodell might forfeit the Patriots victory over the Jets.

posted by apoch at 08:56 AM on September 12

I think forfeit of the game is the best deterrent. Lose homefield advantage due to this and you'll think twice about trying it again. As for draft picks, I guess it depends which one. Losing a 4th wouldn't be that big of a deal. A 2nd, probably would be. Let's not forget this isn't a first offense, the same guy was accused of doing the same against greenbay last year. It makes you wonder how deep this really goes..I mean if they're doing this against teams that they far outclass, talent-wise, imagine what they're trying to get against the Colts or Chargers?

posted by bdaddy at 09:14 AM on September 12

Removing draft picks isn't enough. They can still be active in free agency. More effective, if money is the weapon, is to require Kraft to reduce his next year's cap by $20M, and pay it to the league for distirbution to teams affected by the Patriot's cheating. The teams receiving the money should be able to increase their cap next year by the amount received. However, I'd prefer the following: Let's start with a multiple game suspension for Belichick, and any other involved coaches, for the defensive signals stealing. If it's true that they have modified the audio equipment to enable the stealing of offensive calls as well, suspend Belichik, and any other involved coaches, for the remainder of the season. Next, award the W to the Jets. And after that, the NFL needs to immediately remove all employees of the Patriots from Gillette stadium so that they may send in a team of inspectors to search for any other illegal equipment. Lastly, the NFL needs to review all of the past game films since the beginning of the Patriot's Superbowl runs to seach for evidence of illegal activities. If evidence is spotted, the subject game wins need to be reversed and tainted titles need to be removed. The Patriots are no longer entitled to a presumption of innocence. These actions should provide an effective deterrent to future illegal activities for everyone in the league.

posted by Toad8572 at 09:30 AM on September 12

Toad, Then we all wake up. While "GOD"ell is nuts, he is not going to change 5 years of NFL history. That would Be insane. He will fine and suspend, but he wont mess with the caps or past records.

posted by Debo270 at 09:34 AM on September 12

Do you really think only the Patriots are doing this? I bet if you confiscated most teams cameras you would find they all do it. I think it is basically jealousy on Eric Mangini's part. He just can beat the Patriots. If you are going to check one teams cameras then check all teams camera. People just hate a dynasty.

posted by AirJordan337 at 09:39 AM on September 12

On top of fining the Patriots for cheating, the league should fine the Patriots for allowing Belichik to wear that tacky ass sweatshirt on the sideline. This is suppose to be the primer league, to showcase your best, and he looks like that? Yes, it's the primer league, all right. That's why the rest of the coaches all wear suits on the sidelines.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:39 AM on September 12

By the way, as you can tell, I'm a New England fan.

posted by AirJordan337 at 09:40 AM on September 12

Debo, While agree that you're probably right about the past records, by letting the past wins stand, the NFL has defacto rewarded cheating. When everything is settled, BB and crowd can rightly say "it was worth it". I also am not in favor of reducing the cap; it hurts the players on the team who most likely knew nothing of the scheme. I doubt BB & Co. would trust them to keep this quite; players move around.

posted by Toad8572 at 09:40 AM on September 12

Why is this such a big deal of a crime? Teams have been stealing signs and signals for years. True, it is against the rules, but if you don't want sign stealing, give the defensive captain a radio. The bit about owners not wanting to pay is crap. They'll pay millions for a second rate player. They can pay a couple hundred thou for a wireless setup.

posted by Midwest Steve at 09:41 AM on September 12

Actually, my first thought as punishment was to force Belichick to go on "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy" and make him wear whatever they determined best, instead of looking like he plans to ask to wash my windows at a bus stop. I don't think it's the act of sign stealing that's such a big deal, but rather that they were using video to do so. If you can pick up defensive signals from across the field or by reading the defense during the play, more power to you. But if you're taping the game and having someone sit and sort through the video to glean that information, I think you've stepped over the line. I think a second-round pick next year and a suspension of three games for Belichick would suffice. And why is it no one can spell "Belichick" properly?

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:48 AM on September 12

I would think the first thing the NFL should do is have NE forfeit the game they cheated to win. The next thing should be to kick everyone out of the league that was involved. That may seem harsh to some but think about how much thought and effort was put into cheating like this. A whole group of people had to participate w/o anyone having enough ethics to say "Hey, isn't this cheating?"

posted by Familyman at 09:51 AM on September 12

While many of you have an answer to this problem we are all forgetting something important. After an offseason of Vick, Tank, and Pacman, the NFL does not need more scandle. This will be delt with quickly and quietly and will cost draft pick and money. The league does not want or need something else all over sportscenter making it look bad. This will go away by weeks end and never be spoken of again.

posted by Debo270 at 10:05 AM on September 12

A whole group of people had to participate w/o anyone having enough ethics to say "Hey, isn't this cheating?" It's not some camera man's responsibility to maintain the integrity of the league. If his bosses tell him to tape the sidelines, he tapes the sidelines. It will be interesting if Goodell is going to be as harsh on teams as he is on the players. It has to be a top pick or it is useless. Second day picks don't make the Patriots team anyway. I have never heard of a forfeit in the NFL, and I doubt it will happen now. As to Belichick's attire, I saw a commercial on the NFL Network and it shows Belichick going on to the field with his sweatshirt inside out. His complete embrace of the sloppy look is growing on me.

posted by bperk at 10:07 AM on September 12

And why is it no one can spell "Belichick" properly? I'm more worried that no one can spell premier!

posted by FSCCA6 at 10:28 AM on September 12

Do you really think only the Patriots are doing this? I bet if you confiscated most teams cameras you would find they all do it. Do you have even the slightest proof of that? Of course not, the Pat's are the only team accused of this, and they have been accused on several occassions. Low ball move however you look at it. In sports, there will always be someone trying to figure out (steal) the other team's signals. That's why players cover their mouths, teams change up signals weekly, or use several decoys to try and confuse the other teams. Where the line was crossed was with the video taping of it. I hope they do suspend the coach, as he obviously knew about it. Second would be loss of a 1st round pick. Anything else is not enough.

posted by dviking at 10:37 AM on September 12

I'll bet this has more than one team scrambling to clean up their own house. My opinion would be a substantial fine, Lose of a 1st round pick, and B/B suspended for 4 games It's not some camera man's responsibility to maintain the integrity of the league. If his bosses tell him to tape the sidelines, he tapes the sidelines. It will be interesting if Goodell is going to be as harsh on teams as he is on the players. It has to be a top pick or it is useless. Second day picks don't make the Patriots team anyway. I have never heard of a forfeit in the NFL, and I doubt it will happen now. . I agree with this. If the cameraman objected, he probably would have received his last paycheck as he was walking out the door. And I don't think a forfeiture of the game would be neither likely nor feasible. The players and the fans never did anything wrong. But the owner and the coaches that knew of the preceedings should be fined severely. And a suspension of B/B. But as in all cases, we should wait until all the facts come out and I'm sure there will be an investigation into other teams as well.

posted by skeet0311 at 10:38 AM on September 12

Not only have the Patriots been accused of this before (and received and "sternly worded" letter from the league office to stop) but Manigini used to coach under Belichick. It stands to reason that he would have intimate knowledge of the sideline activities and would therefore know what to look for. If it seems that Mangini "just can't beat the Patriots" then maybe it's because they are stealing his defensive calls. In my opinion, and I am not a fan of any team the Patriots have throttled in the past (save the Texans-who everyone throttled), these actions call into question everything about the Patriots from Belichick being a coaching genius to the nations love affair with Tom Brady. It really is amazing what a 6th round pick at QB can accomplish when he knows what play the defense will be running.

posted by ksb122 at 10:55 AM on September 12

To add to my last comment... A loss of the Patriot's take of the revenue for that day should be taken away and donated to the retirement fund of the players and used for medical benefits for those that have sustained long term injuries.

posted by skeet0311 at 10:55 AM on September 12

I guess that's what happens when you start your head coaching career in Cleveland. Yeah, like Paul Brown. What a freakin' dipshit that guy turned out to be. The Patriots cheating is nothing new. We Dolphin fans have known about it for years.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 11:27 AM on September 12

I still don't see what the problem is. Teams all know that the other team is going to try to steal their signs. That's why they might have three people on the sidelines motioning the play, so that the other team has to guess which one is real. That's why the signs change in baseball when a player reaches second base. As was said earlier: That's why players cover their mouths, teams change up signals weekly, or use several decoys to try and confuse the other teams. It's expected. It may be against the rules, but every team knows that the other team will try it anyway. Otherwise, there would be no need to try to disguise the signals. New England's crime is that they got caught. And, NO, I am not a New England fan at all.

posted by graymatters at 11:36 AM on September 12

Geeze, yall sound like bitter baseball fans whining about steroid use. So a few guys got togeather and (as far as I have read) Bent the rules a lil' bit. Where in the NFL bylaws does it say no filming the game? If my telephoto lens is longer than yours dont whine about it, go buy better shit. Im no Pat's fan but if BB and Boys got away with this for a few years it makes the rest of the league look foolish for just now figuring it out.

posted by Folkways at 11:38 AM on September 12

Well, I'm a Patriots fan, and I'm hella disappointed about the fact that they've been cheating. While this doesn't turn me off to the team completely, it does sort of poison the pride I've taken in their accomplishments. I mean, if you don't have a good team, you can't win even with stolen signals, but it sure helps. Belichick has really let us fans down. Assuming that they have, in fact, been found guilty, I agree that at least a suspension is in order.

posted by Joey Michaels at 11:41 AM on September 12

It has to be a top pick or it is useless. Like this one, this one, or this one?

posted by brainofdtrain at 11:41 AM on September 12

I still don't see what the problem is. Teams all know that the other team is going to try to steal their signs. Of course other teams are trying to steal signals. But they aren't allowed to use cameras to do so. What your saying is like comparing using steroids to lifting weights. Why is everybody so mad at the east german swim team, I mean everyone is trying to get stronger?

posted by Steel_Town at 11:52 AM on September 12

Do you really think only the Patriots are doing this? Kind of using the logic of a ten year old there, aren't you? Why am I getting picked on when everybody's doing it? This is SOOOOO unfair! I hate you! It seems like the Pats have been caught redhanded. Sure, the influence over the outcome of games can be debated, as should the severity of the punishment, based on said influence. But to make the assertion that other teams cheat like this without any evidence really sounds like a spoiled child trying to weasel out of punishment by acting like his actions are the norm. Take your medicine, Belichick, Pats team, and Pats fans.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:54 AM on September 12

As a Pats fan, I'm completely disappointed. A punishment makes sense. Other than that, everyone coming out of the woodwork to work out your dislike of the Pats, please turn down the hyperbole. A random collection of facts: The Pats did this. They've done it before, including at least two prior incidents (GB and Detroit) with teams they wouldn't see again for 5 years. Teams change their defensive signals weekly. It sounds like most other teams try to steal signs as well, but they don't tape it (which is the only offense here). Supposedly the best way to do it is with three people, one watching each of the signal providers on the other team's sideline. As an example of other teams, the Dolphins bought a tape of a Pats practice last year. The interesting question to me is what the hell benefit this could be? Where in the NFL bylaws does it say no filming the game? In the book. It specifically states who can tape and where. There's even something about team employees having to tape from under a structure with a roof (but not the coaches' booth). There is no more NFL Europe. And the NFL isn't a "primer" league. Work it through. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

posted by yerfatma at 12:04 PM on September 12

Oh so that how the Patriots created a dynasty! I am kind of up in the air about this. Originally when teams called their plays the quarterback or the defensive captains did it in the huddle. Now coaches do it from the sideline. Some do it with signals some do it via radio directly to the players helmets. To me it seems football is always evolving and maybe teams should invest in a secure way to send in their signals. Especially since there is so much camera and film coverage of games. Lets face it, figuring out what the other team intends to do is part of football. Trying to learn another teams signals is like, studying film to figure out their formations, or trying to read what they do in certain situations, or whatever. If the league has a problem with film or in particular filming signals then they should have created a specific rule. Ask any player what the fine is for loosing his playbook. It's pretty serious, because football has always recognized that if the other team gets a hold of your playbook you're screwed. What if I suspect another team of stealing my signals? I would purposely send them incorrect signals and really screw with them, or just have my QB call the plays and have a coach sending bogus signals from the sideline. I think the league should just say teams beware and let the teams figure it out. Protecting your plays and strategies should be the teams responsibility. The league already has too many stupid rules. If you allow another team to learn you signals shame on you. The minute you figure out they are filming your coaches, it should open up the opportunity to really fool them. Jeez lets do away with game films and really make the teams react on the field. NOT. The mere fact that teams use methods to disguise their signals tells me they are aware that the other teams want to steal them. I cannot believe only the Patriots were smart enough to try. The league is full of it in this case. I mean mommy their trying to steal our signals......well duh...

posted by Atheist at 12:20 PM on September 12

Can I be the ignorant one and say I didn't know until this post that this wasn't allowed? I mean, you watch a game, and between the dozens of cameras on the field for both the broadcasters and the teams for later analysis, the numerous people in the upstairs booth with headphones, the radio's in the QB's helmet... the idea that you can't videotape certain things that you could otherwise see with your naked eye in an already heavily videotaped game? That is kind of weird. Hell, whenever the coaches speak into their mics, they always hold up their clipboard for that reason- even the normal TV cameras can rely information that would be useful to the team. Football is a strategic game, and has adapted with the technology available; why is this even against the rules? That said, it is against the current rules, so yeah it's still cheating of a sort and should still be punished but not to the insane degree Toad is suggesting. It in no way invalidates the success of the Patriots this decade even one iota.

posted by hincandenza at 12:30 PM on September 12

HAl, Bullshit, you dont think knowing what defense or pass coverage a team is running helps. It is one thing to watch and steal signs. It is another to film signals then with video match those signals to the defense run and KNOW what is coming. YOu cheat, you get caught you pay. IT IS A RULE IN THE NFL RULEBOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are not making up why it is wrong. ITS IN THE RULES

posted by Debo270 at 12:35 PM on September 12

Interesting thought....forfeit of the game in question would be a great way to emphasize the unprofessional and downright rotten behavior shown by the patriots if the allegations are true!

posted by budanld at 12:37 PM on September 12

yerfatma: As an example of other teams, the Dolphins bought a tape of a Pats practice last year.
See, that's why this seems penny-ante; what exactly is the no-filming rule meant to address? Seems like if someone taped a practice and sold that to the Dolphins, then Dolphins fans have no real claim to the moral high-ground. It's the same "Well, of course they'll try to get intel wherever possible". Is this rule a violation not of any spirit or letter of anti-cheating rules, but rather of filming rules that are an outgrowth of the NFL's historically tight fist on game broadcasting rights? Effectively, the real rule is that every camera has to be accounted for; this is the same league that will actually not broadcast games in a local market if the stadium itself didn't sell out. If that's the context, this really does seem like a tempest in a teapot.
Atheist: I think the league should just say teams beware and let the teams figure it out. Protecting your plays and strategies should be the teams responsibility. The league already has too many stupid rules. If you allow another team to learn you signals shame on you. The minute you figure out they are filming your coaches, it should open up the opportunity to really fool them.
I completely agree with this. In the war of the gridiron, the information that a team is successfully stealing your signals is a god-send: you can nab a touchdown or two simply by setting them up with the wrong signal, leading to horribly blown coverage. It's almost like the NFL is expecting a Microsoft-like "security through obscurity" approach. For the billions of dollars the NFL earns each year, use encrypted radio and the like. Heck, give some tech college student from MIT two season tickets and a year's supply of Pabst, and he'll whip up the helmet devices for your whole team in two weekends. =)
Debo270: Bullshit, you dont think knowing what defense or pass coverage a team is running helps. It is one thing to watch and steal signs. It is another to film signals then with video match those signals to the defense run and KNOW what is coming.
Wait... what exactly is the difference? In the first case, you're watching, looking for signs, and adapting your plays from what you saw with your naked eye. In the other, you're using a videotape to do the same thing. That's like saying it would be against the rules to videotape a pitcher's stance and tics before every pitch, to see if he's tipping his pitches. Which... it isn't against the rules. If the teams hired someone with a photographic memory to watch without a camera, would that be cheating, then?

posted by hincandenza at 12:42 PM on September 12

Take away New Englands franchise and have them move the team to Montana. That way everyone in Mont. could go to the game and they could all fit in one stadium.

posted by skeet0311 at 12:43 PM on September 12

If the teams hired someone with a photographic memory to watch without a camera, would that be cheating, then? No because it ISNT IN THE RULES

posted by Debo270 at 12:51 PM on September 12

Wait... what exactly is the difference? In the first case, you're watching, looking for signs, and adapting your plays from what you saw with your naked eye. In the other, you're using a videotape to do the same thing. the difference is in difficulty. In the former, you get 30 different signals and then a play. It's hard to associate what signal matched the play unless your Rainman. Now think of the converse where there is already snapshots of every single play before snap and after snap that the players review during the game. Now imagine sitting at halftime and being able to look at those snapshots and say "OK, these are the signals, here is the play. Let me find that same play and see what the signals were. Hmm, these 2 have this in common...." It wouldn't take too long to "crack" any secret codes in that case. You wouldn't have that opportunity with the naked eye. Besides, the fact is Goodall sternly warned all NFL teams about this exact practice during the summer break. The Pats were caught red-handed ignoring that warning. The hammer should be brought down on them the same way it's brought against the players for ignoring the conduct rule. Rumor is it's going to be a 3rd round pick, which isn't stiff enough IMO.

posted by bdaddy at 12:57 PM on September 12

Thank you BDADDY for making my point clearer. YOU DA MAN

posted by Debo270 at 12:59 PM on September 12

Burn them! Burn them! I'm sanguine about this, but that's because I think sports that rely upon sooper-seekrit signs all the time turn coaching into puppetry. Either disguise them yourself or exploit the other side's attempts to read them.

posted by etagloh at 01:06 PM on September 12

Im lost Debo, I still havent been able to find a rule that says person A can not film person B useing basicly sign language. If it is a rule then why do teams use three or four people flashin' signs when only one of them is the correct sign and the others are decoys?

posted by Folkways at 01:08 PM on September 12

It wouldn't take too long to "crack" any secret codes in that case. You wouldn't have that opportunity with the naked eye. Some would disagree: "When Marty Schottenheimer coached the Cleveland Browns in the late 1980s, he routinely sent a scout to watch the signals opposing teams used to relay messages from coaches to players. When the scout returned, Schottenheimer's staff would watch the game film and match the signals to the plays that followed."

posted by Venicemenace at 01:11 PM on September 12

The rule has to do with who is and is not allowed to video tape and what you are and are not allowed to video tape. I am not the rule keeper. I have not looked at the NFL rulebook and if that is what you are doing right now, i want your job or you have to much free time. You cant do what they did, the league has warned them in the past, they did it AGAIN, they got caught, AGAIN, THE END. what else you lookin for

posted by Debo270 at 01:13 PM on September 12

It has to be a top pick or it is useless. Anyone remember Todd Blackledge or Percy Snow?

posted by hawkguy at 01:18 PM on September 12

#1: I think Hal and Atheist are absolutely right. It's a terrible and highly unnecessary rule. #2: Even if the rule is as bad as the unnecessarily low speed limit on the road in front of my apartment building, you should expect reasonable punishment if you break it. #3: In this age of video technology, if you can't record the actions of a single person without getting caught you deserve everything you have coming to you. That breaks down to some combination of cheap, stupid and lazy. Your average sleazy voyeur on the street is better than that. #4: When you find out the Raiders have been doing exactly the same thing (but hiring better qualified dirt bags), will you give the Patriots their trophies back? This smells so much like another sports scandal it makes me wonder if you shouldn't just become immediately suspicious of anyone with the initials BB. (Non-disclaimer: I don't have a horse in this fight. I don't care all that much about the Patriots -- I basically root against them because their fan base by and large also roots for another team I don't like at all, but I don't have my heart in it. I do have a warm spot for dynasties and I've liked the way the Pats have constructed theirs.)

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 01:20 PM on September 12

As much as I dislike the Pats and Bill Belichick, I have always admired the way he could tear an opponent's defense apart. I am disappointed to learn of this, especially against the Jets. And there is not even the playoffs to worry about yet! As punishment, Goodell should make him wear Reebok Mickey Mouse pajamas on the sidelines.

posted by steelergirl at 01:21 PM on September 12

Thank you debo. I don't get all of the excuses I keep reading. It doesn't matter if you think everyone should be allowed to steal signals by any means necessary. They were warned not to do it again and they did. Its cheating they got a pass the first time and now they are going to pay the piper. There are a number of ways you can try to pick of the other teams signals, but sending your own cameraman over to film the opposing teams coaches is not one of them. It is illegal, the league has said so (so don't go reading the rules folks it's already been said) and now Pats have tainted their dynasty a little.

posted by Steel_Town at 01:26 PM on September 12

Steeler girl, Pajamas would be an improvement to his usual I-live-under-a-bridge attire. You see, homeless people usually don't own pajamas.

posted by Steel_Town at 01:29 PM on September 12

Let me find that same play and see what the signals were. Hmm, these 2 have this in common...." It wouldn't take too long to "crack" any secret codes in that case. You wouldn't have that opportunity with the naked eye. Given the general reaction from ex-coaches (I'm thinking specifically of Parcells on ESPN and a couple others) is that everyone tries, it doesn't make a difference and you're an idiot if you don't plan for this, how are we getting reactions like "Bullshit, you dont think knowing what defense or pass coverage a team is running helps. It is one thing to watch and steal signs. It is another to film signals then with video match those signals to the defense run and KNOW what is coming." Where has anyone said the Pats knew what was coming or this made a difference? Complain all you want about low-class, but let's give up on the idea this makes a difference in the outcome. Which of the stolen signs allowed a 108 yard kick return? Which one made it so the Jets only hurried Brady once? Which one caused the Jets line to fold like Superman on laundry day? They were warned not to do it again and they did. Its cheating they got a pass the first time and now they are going to pay the piper. Citation, please. They had done it in the past but none of those teams brought the NFL in, so the Pats were never warned. There's a rule in the rule book and they broke it. Stop making stuff up to back your position.

posted by yerfatma at 01:29 PM on September 12

They were warned in green bay last year. So you stop making stuff up

posted by Debo270 at 01:33 PM on September 12

IF it doesnt make a difference why is everyone doing it?? bored? yerfatma, your agrument make NO SENSE

posted by Debo270 at 01:35 PM on September 12

I'm also a Pats fan, and I'll see you guys at the Superbowl when no one remembers this. Didn't Shawn Merriman almost win defensive player of the year? I'm sure LT doesn't remember what happened earlier in that season either.

posted by kire at 01:45 PM on September 12

Just like no one rembered steroid allegations from several years ago when Bonds broke the HR record.

posted by Steel_Town at 01:49 PM on September 12

You know in boxing the ref always warns each fighter to protect themselves at all times. You know a low blow is illegal yet they still happen and the penalty is a warning from the ref. After repeated offenses the ref may take away a point. Big deal, in the end a fighter takes responsibility for protecting himself, and punishing the offender. Well my advice to NFL teams is to protect themselves at all times and not rely on the NFL to enforce something like this evenly or consistantly. Right or wrong, you better find a way to disguise and protect your signals and playcalling or some other team will find a way to get the upper hand. In the end all football games come down to the team that blocks and tackles better. Lets face it as some one pointed out. Just because you know in advance a team is going to try to return a kick for a touchdown doesn't necessarily mean you are going to stop them. You don't need to steal signals to know Payton Manning is going to pass to the open receiver as the play develops. To me this is just an indication of how sports are going. Everything in sports is becoming more about the rules and requlations, then about playing the game. Eventually lawyers and legislators will determine the outcome of sporting events more than athletes will. It's becoming depressing. Every victory or record is tainted. Whats the use. I say lets get back to the gladiators. No rules, no regulations, just go at it until there is only one survivor. He wins no if ands or buts.

posted by Atheist at 02:00 PM on September 12

He got a standing O, didn't he? And how is cheating to break the all time HR record relevant to breaking a video taping rule in the first game of the season?

posted by kire at 02:09 PM on September 12

This is in a sport where the offense calls in the plays through a headset, why is that? Maybe, just maybe because they figured out that the plays were being stolen from the otherside, oh and now they cover their mouth as they call the play through the headset, I wonder if that is so that the person listening can hear them better or if it is because they think maybe someone is able to read lips. Given all that, all this has to be done in 25 seconds or less. Every sport is always trying to figure out what the other side is doing, how much does it affect the game who knows - but I am willing to bet it does not change it as much as a dumbass ref blowing the whistle in the end zone at the end of a game and making a call that even his mother knew was wrong and if that was not bad enough he called another call that even my mother knew was wrong! Like the Pats or hate the Pats this is not that big of deal!

posted by mpjcrosby at 02:10 PM on September 12

They were warned in green bay last year. So you stop making stuff up You want to provide a link to back that up? I have no problem being wrong, but the media here in New England keeps parroting a line about how GB never said anything because they didn't want to sound like sore losers. The Boston Herald had the story back then and never ran in because they couldn't get confirmation. yerfatma, your agrument make NO SENSE What's my argument? I didn't think I was making one beyond: "It sucks that they did it, but to try to use this to undermine what they've achieved is a non-starter." This is in a sport where the offense calls in the plays through a headset, why is that? I think it was Peter King that suggested the one change he thinks will come from this is a defensive equivalent of the QB helmet radio.

posted by yerfatma at 02:15 PM on September 12

Whether it's a good rule or a bad rule, it doesn't appear much in doubt that the Pats broke it and had a prior warning not to do it. On those grounds alone, they deserve the hit they will take from the league. From what people are saying about Belichick and his character all over the place today, I think we're going to quickly hear about other examples of him bending or breaking rules to get an advantage. The Pats success has spread a lot of former Belichick understudies around the league, any of whom could spill. It will be interesting to see the Unacoacher deal with that adversity.

posted by rcade at 02:15 PM on September 12

This is in a sport where the offense calls in the plays through a headset, why is that? Maybe, just maybe because they figured out that the plays were being stolen from the otherside, oh and now they cover their mouth as they call the play through the headset, I wonder if that is so that the person listening can hear them better or if it is because they think maybe someone is able to read lips. Given all that, all this has to be done in 25 seconds or less. Every sport is always trying to figure out what the other side is doing, how much does it affect the game who knows - but I am willing to bet it does not change it as much as a dumbass ref blowing the whistle in the end zone at the end of a game and making a call that even his mother knew was wrong and if that was not bad enough he called another call that even my mother knew was wrong! Like the Pats or hate the Pats this is not that big of deal!

posted by mpjcrosby at 02:19 PM on September 12

Perhaps there is some doubt about the prior warning: The Milwaukee media is reporting that they didn't accuse the Pats of stealing signals when a cameraman for the Pats was escorted out. They just kicked him out for being unauthorized and regarded the incident as "strange," according to a team spokesman.

posted by rcade at 02:19 PM on September 12

Your right Kire, no one remembers the steroid allegations against Bonds and no one feels his HR record is tainted. Athiest, Why enforce any rules then? Just let each team protect itself. Hell, if someone punches your quarterback in balls after the play just give him a warning, its the O-lines job to protect him at all times right? Once again, if knowing the opponents plays doesn't help why is everyone trying to do it? And Again... it is against the rules to use a recording device on the field. There are a number of ways you can try to steal signals but a camera is not one of them. Face it. They cheated and they got caught. there is no justification.

posted by Steel_Town at 02:22 PM on September 12

I think the Pats would have beat the Jets with or without cheating, but ham-fisted cheating colors the whole perception of that game, it colors the perception of their success, and it colors the perception of Belichick as a coach. Ultimately, it doesn't matter if it made the slightest bit of difference in the outcome of the game. What matters is that it even opens up the debate we're having today. There may not be an * in the record books next to Belichick's name or the Patriots' early 21st century achievements, but every time the Patriots are discussed now, somebody is going to bring up "ZOMG CHEATING" and they will be justified in doing so. It is very disappointing and the "every team is doing it" argument doesn't hold a lot of water with me. I know this is naive and fanboyish to say, but the Patriots are supposed to be better than that.

posted by Joey Michaels at 02:32 PM on September 12

I never said there was a justification. I am saying it's not as big a deal as people here are making it out to be. Forfit the game, re-evaluate the last five years, etc.... Give them the punishment, most likely draft picks, and move on. People are acting like the patriots are going to go 1-15 now that they don't have their precious video tapes. It's a small blip on the season and it will be forgoten about by the end. And I was giving an unintelligent response to your unintelligent comparison. Sorry that was lost on you.

posted by kire at 02:33 PM on September 12

The Boston Herald, citing sources, reported that it's the fourth time in the past year that the Patriots have been caught illegally stealing signals from an opponent Sorry, this off of a current Yahoo article. Which of the stolen signs allowed a 108 yard kick return? Which one made it so the Jets only hurried Brady once? yerfatma, obviously the kickoff return is just blown coverage, but your other comment goes straight to the heart of this discussion. If Brady knows that a blitz is coming, he audibles to a quick out or a run. If he knows the Jets are playing the run on 2nd and 5 he goes to the pass. Knowing the defensive set up is a clear advantage to an experienced QB.

posted by dviking at 02:50 PM on September 12

Once again kire you are right. I compared one the greatest dynasties of all time getting caught cheating to one of the greatest HR hitters of all time getting caught cheating. How on earth did I connect the two. Thank goodness itelligent people like you are here to point out that the two are totally different. I'm sorry that crazy analogy got lost on you. One thing you are right about is that this won't make them a terrible team. But it does make you question a few close games. How many superbowls were one by 3 points or less?

posted by Steel_Town at 03:03 PM on September 12

Where has anyone said the Pats knew what was coming or this made a difference? Complain all you want about low-class, but let's give up on the idea this makes a difference in the outcome. Which of the stolen signs allowed a 108 yard kick return? Which one made it so the Jets only hurried Brady once? Which one caused the Jets line to fold like Superman on laundry day? So if it wouldn't make a difference, why on earth would they break the rules to do it? Of COURSE it would make a difference! You telling me that a offense that knows a defense is going to blitz from the right side with the CB and LB, that then has an opportunity to shift blocking assignments to cover that blitz, and identify PRE-SNAP which WR is that is going to have single coverage wouldn't make a difference? I don't understand your logic there. The example I just gave may be the very reason why "the jets only hurried Brady once".

posted by bdaddy at 03:18 PM on September 12

People are acting like the patriots are going to go 1-15 now that they don't have their precious video tapes. It's a small blip on the season and it will be forgoten about by the end. who's acting like that? Most of us just want them to be punished for blatantly violating the rules. And most of us think a 3rd round pick isn't sufficient punishment for that.

posted by bdaddy at 03:20 PM on September 12

Boston Globe editorial: "New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick apologized today to ''everyone who has been affected, most of all ownership, staff, and players.'' He did not mention fans, which is unfortunate, because they too have been embarrassed by the team's violation of league rules against taping...Until now, the region could believe that it was the superior choice of players, training, and game plans that has made the team the closest thing to a dynasty the league has seen in years. It is dispiriting to learn that rule-breaking might have been part of the winning formula... [T]he fact that the camera was confiscated in the first quarter and the Pats still dominated in the rest of the game showed how unnecessary the rule-breaking was. From a standpoint of both ethics and smart gamesmanship, the taping was a blunder."

posted by Venicemenace at 03:27 PM on September 12

From what people are saying about Belichick and his character all over the place today, I think we're going to quickly hear about other examples of him bending or breaking rules to get an advantage. The Pats success has spread a lot of former Belichick understudies around the league, any of whom could spill. And none of whom would ever, ever, in a million years ever try to "bend or break rules to get an advantage". The only people who will consider this violation -- whatever violation it actually turns out to be; that part is still not completely established and may never be public, although the torches-and-pitchforks contingent in this thread seems to have forgotten that, not that they ever knew -- to be indicative of some kind of major character flaw, are melonheads. Alternately, they're just finding out that "bending or breaking the rules to get an advantage" happens in competitive sports, the NFL's gonna be chock-full of heavily tarnished idols by Week 2 game day, and Belichick will have plenty of company.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:37 PM on September 12

Never underestimate the power of homerism. I'm a huge Patriots fan, but even I know they deserve some kind of punishment, though hardly the draconian measures some suggest above... I do think it's interesting (with reference to the link embedded in this comment) that Alabama and Michigan are almost evenly split, markedly more so than other (ostensibly impartial) states. I guess they're full of football fans who can get behind the idea of winning at all costs!

posted by Venicemenace at 03:38 PM on September 12

Most of us just want them to be punished for blatantly violating the rules. And most of us think a 3rd round pick isn't sufficient punishment for that. Can you give a cite on that "most"? What do "most" people in this thread want, and where have they said so?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:38 PM on September 12

I accuse Tom Brady of being a robot. Ya' know, like a super android with a winning smile or something. And I also think that Bruschi and Seau are clones of their former diminished selves and that their heads reside in Belichick's office on a shelf. In addition, I think that Belchaclick is a magic troll that can read other peoples thoughts and has no need to record defenses. Get out of my head, Banacheck!!! (This cold medicine is awesome!!!)

posted by THX-1138 at 03:52 PM on September 12

Never underestimate the power of homerism. I am proud of my blue state. What do "most" people in this thread want, Free tickets to a game. And free beer. I'll stand by that. [T]he fact that the camera was confiscated in the first quarter and the Pats still dominated in the rest of the game showed how unnecessary the rule-breaking was. That's a pretty strong presumption that there was no contingency plan, or second camera, or that they hadn't already gathered sufficient material. The article mentions that the owners are looking at additional expense for a radio system for the defense. I don't understand that. If they already have a radio system for the offense, how expensive is it to just add a receiver or two (that is "radio receiver" of course -- adding a regular receiver would cost them five yards and a loss of down, I believe). I don't see why they can't use the same transmission setup for both sides.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 04:05 PM on September 12

(This cold medicine is awesome!!!) Even better if you mix it with beer.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:05 PM on September 12

While the argument that it should all be fair game does have merit, I think it's a good example of holding athletes to a higher standard than coaches. This isn't Spy Club. It really does seem, though, that it is the kind of thing that ought to be preventable. Stick a headset in a couple defensive captains' ears (because defenders sub more than quarterbacks) and call it a day.

posted by chmurray at 04:13 PM on September 12

Can you give a cite on that "most"? What do "most" people in this thread want, and where have they said so? he said "People are acting like the patriots are going to go 1-15 now that they don't have their precious video tapes." For those of us he was criticizing (who think the Pats should be punished), MOST do not feel that way. MOST of us that think they should be punished feel that way because they broke the rules and don't think it suddenly makes the Patriots suck. I don't think it's a leap to think that MOST of us pro-punishment guys don't feel this means the Pats will go 1-15 now, although I could take a poll if it would make you feel better.

posted by bdaddy at 04:19 PM on September 12

he said "People are acting like the patriots are going to go 1-15 now that they don't have their precious video tapes." For those of us he was criticizing (who think the Pats should be punished), MOST do not feel that way. Whoa up there. In the line immediately before the one you quoted, kire said, "Give them the punishment, most likely draft picks, and move on. " [emphasis mine] So, how exactly is your disagreement with kire rooted in your belief that the Pats should be punished? MOST of us that think they should be punished feel that way because they broke the rules and don't think it suddenly makes the Patriots suck. Whoa up again. If I resort to a purely subjective MOST, as you're doing, rather than count actual comments in this thread, I'd say that not a few of those howling for blood are asking for previous results to be wiped out. That would indicate to me that your MOST feel that these results were based on this alleged cheating, and to someone who thinks that way, hey, why not 1-15? I don't think it's a leap to think that MOST of us pro-punishment guys don't feel this means the Pats will go 1-15 now, although I could take a poll if it would make you feel better. It would make me feel a little better if you'd just say what you think, rather than what MOST think. There's nothing wrong with one's own opinion, but when in addition someone claims the support of the masses, it wakes the skeptic in me.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:38 PM on September 12

What if Bill says he's sorry and the Patriots won't do it again? Pinky Promise! Would that help?

posted by tommytrump at 04:54 PM on September 12

Belichick, from an NFL.com article linked somewhere above: "Any questions about the Chargers?" he pleaded in his standard other-things-to-do monotone. "Want to talk about the football game? If not, I think that statement pretty much covers it." No, there aren't any other questions, you douchebag. You cheated, you were caught and now we're all going to ask you questions about it. Your statement says absolutely fucking nothing, other than your "interpretation of the rules," which was what was asked about -- and you walked out of the press conference. So here, I'll ask it again -- how exactly did you interpret the rules to think you could have a video camera trained on the other team's defensive coaches? Just clear that up for us, Bill, and we'll be happy to going back to spreading the love about your mystique.

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:15 PM on September 12

Here is a thought, maybe the idea of taping was so that they could review it, watch game film to evaluate the schemes and see if they could pick something up in a future game maybe not at all intended for the present game. But then again Bill is a genius and I am sure he has figured out a way to get the taped information deciphered before the play is called relayed to Sir Tom after the play has been called and before the mics are turned off - unless of course Bill can talk to Sir Tom up until the snap of the ball - is that legal, maybe Sir Tom has a hidden speaker or another player WITHOUT the GREEN dot has one imbedded and they can converse all the way up until the snap of the ball, we could always check with homeland security to make sure.

posted by mpjcrosby at 05:18 PM on September 12

So here, I'll ask it again -- how exactly did you interpret the rules to think you could have a video camera trained on the other team's defensive coaches? Yeah, Belichick. Especially since you can read minds. Damned telekinetic yard gnome. Even better if you mix it with beer. I'm tastin' colors, man. BLAST OFF!!

posted by THX-1138 at 06:04 PM on September 12

yerfatma, obviously the kickoff return is just blown coverage, but your other comment goes straight to the heart of this discussion. If Brady knows that a blitz is coming, he audibles to a quick out or a run Ok, but what I'm talking about isn't that. The game is the NFL Network's game of the week. If you get a chance, take a peek. Sims and Nantz spent the game marvelling over the time Brady had to throw. One or two of the completions to Moss came after he finally broke free of coverage after 2-3 seconds of terrific coverage by the Jets. The ineffectiveness of the Jets' 3 and 4 man rushes weren't the result of knowing which play was coming; assuming they did, I'm sure it didn't hurt, but it didn't lead to the complete line domination the Pats showed.

posted by yerfatma at 06:14 PM on September 12

This is so crazy, fine them and move on! How many other teams are doing this? And no I'm not a Pat's fan. They still are one of but a few teams that are the best of the NFL, PERIOD!!!!!

posted by robi8259 at 06:18 PM on September 12

Why are you yelling at me, Robi? What did I do to deserve this?

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:37 PM on September 12

I think the Pats would have beat the Jets with or without cheating, but ham-fisted cheating colors the whole perception of that game, it colors the perception of their success, and it colors the perception of Belichick as a coach. Well said. And I say that as a Jets fan. The better team won. But cheating is still cheating. It's in the rule book and it's unambiguous. Sims and Nantz spent the game marvelling over the time Brady had to throw. One or two of the completions to Moss came after he finally broke free of coverage after 2-3 seconds of terrific coverage by the Jets. The ineffectiveness of the Jets' 3 and 4 man rushes weren't the result of knowing which play was coming; assuming they did, I'm sure it didn't hurt, but it didn't lead to the complete line domination the Pats showed. Again, as Jet fan, I am not going to argue about the ineffectiveness of our D-Line. Mangini is trying to fit a round hole in a square peg. But I have to disagree with your argument. Defensive schemes, especially those devised by BB and his ex-protege, are extremely complex. What if, on the Moss TD for example, BB knew that the Jets were playing a soft zone looking to defense the short pass and they'd only be rushing 3 men? Then he and Brady know that they'll have time to wait for Moss to break free in the end zone. And they also know that he'll have a linebacker guarding him with safety help. So they take advantage of it. I don't think this taints what the Pats have done in the past. I do think it taints this one game. Even if the better team won.

posted by cjets at 06:37 PM on September 12

Debo270, it's not a question of whether they broke the rules: we both agree they did. The question is, if you put aside "burn them! burn them!" hyperbole, what is the point of the rule, and how serious an infraction is it in terms of the integrity of the sport and the games played? If they've particularly been warned before, the punishment should be meaningful simply to drive the point home- but obviously not to a "forfeit games/players" way. Hence, the draft picks or monetary fines: they are enough for the owners to stop this behavior because they don't want to pay out money for every game they play. My thoughts, as an obviously very casual football fan, is that the sport's too technological already to act like this particular use of technology and information gathering is somehow beyond the pale, or breaks new into totally new territory. As Venicemenace noted, it's been a long time practice of any and every team to get the information they can get to gain an edge; even using existing game tape to analyze patterns, or watching team practices, or sharing scouting information between teams, all fall into this category. In short: Yes, they broke the rule, and yes the organization should be penalized in a way that will discouraging them from wanting to do this again (i.e., if they pay a fine and lose draft picks every time they break this rule, they'll quickly have no cash and no draft picks) No, this doesn't invalidate any of the Patriots' accomplishments, and no this should not result in changing the outcome of already-played or future games (via benching of key players, etc).

posted by hincandenza at 06:48 PM on September 12

But I have to disagree with your argument. Defensive schemes, especially those devised by BB and his ex-protege, are extremely complex. What if, on the Moss TD for example, BB knew that the Jets were playing a soft zone looking to defense the short pass and they'd only be rushing 3 men? In the abstract, I agree with what you're saying, but everything I've heard suggests teams change the signals on a game-by-game basis and the signal schemes are hard to break (first off, you need to know which of x people flashing signs is the one flashing the proper ones). It's not like baseball where there are only so many signs to look for, steal, hit and run, sacrifice, etc. If the Pats could even figure out the general shell or whatever, that's definitely an unfair advantage. I just wonder how likely it is. Success, or lack thereof, doesn't enter into whether what they did is wrong, I'm just here as a homer trying to keep the dogs away from the Pats record. As for the Moss play, no signal breaking is going to lead you to throw to a guy who you know is going to be triple-covered. He just outran his coverage and Brady had too much time in the pocket.

posted by yerfatma at 07:12 PM on September 12

If the Pats could even figure out the general shell or whatever, that's definitely an unfair advantage. I just wonder how likely it is. But wasn't Belichick the one that broke the German Enigma code in 1939?

posted by irunfromclones at 07:22 PM on September 12

but everything I've heard suggests teams change the signals on a game-by-game basis and the signal schemes are hard to break (first off, you need to know which of x people flashing signs is the one flashing the proper ones). What I have heard is that they took the "illegal" video tape in at halftime, broke it down and used it against the Jets in the second half. Speculation, to be sure, but that does suggest that the Pats were able to use the signals to their benefit. As for the Moss play, no signal breaking is going to lead you to throw to a guy who you know is going to be triple-covered. He just outran his coverage and Brady had too much time in the pocket. His primary coverage was a linebacker chasing him down the field. What if the Pats knew that a linebacker would be the primary coverage on Moss? The "triple coverage" was two safeties coming over to the play, way too late. Nantz said that Brady stood "like a statue" during that play. He knew he was going to Moss the whole time. And that could suggest that they knew the defense the whole time. Soft pass rush and an overmatched defender on Moss. Again, speculation. But that's what cheating does to a win. Taints it and allows for this kind of speculation.

posted by cjets at 07:46 PM on September 12

Sir, I refuse to let you bring a taint into the discussion. I may not be the ideal person to police the decorum around here, but I feel a perineum must be established.

posted by yerfatma at 07:53 PM on September 12

If the Pats could even figure out the general shell or whatever, that's definitely an unfair advantage. I just wonder how likely it is. If the Pats didn't think it would help them in some way, why would they bother violating the rules to make the tape?

posted by bperk at 07:54 PM on September 12

Sir, I refuse to let you bring a taint into the discussion. I may not be the ideal person to police the decorum around here, but I feel a perineum must be established. If you insist. The cheating perineums the win.

posted by cjets at 08:05 PM on September 12

If the Pats didn't think it would help them in some way, why would they bother violating the rules to make the tape? They wouldn't, no doubt. I just don't get how it works. If this kind of thing goes on, someone must know how it works. Why hasn't ESPN camped Pedro Gomez in front of that person's house? (Maybe they have; I can't be arsed to watch Sportscenter anymore because they, and all the sports talk venues, have a vested interest in the "ZOMG! END OF THE WORLD IS NIGH!" type coverage)

posted by yerfatma at 08:28 PM on September 12

So have your defensive captain wear a wristband (like a QB's). Have the plays with corresponding numbers. Flash the numbers from the sideline, check the wristband, get the play. Have a couple wristbands for each game, and no one will be able to get your plays no matter how many cameras they have. A TV news station here in Philly is wondering if maybe the Eagles (or as they put it, "we") were robbed in the Super Bowl. God, we're so desperate for a winner. Aside from a silly rule being broken, the only thing really wrong with this is the Patriots being dumb enough to (allegedly) get caught. Seriously, you could have a guy in the stands use a cell phone. Punishment: They should have to play a year in the CFL.

posted by SummersEve at 10:14 PM on September 12

Punishment: They should have to play a year in the CFL. They'll have to get a lot of players to rework their contracts. This year the salary cap in the Canadian Football League is $4.05 Million per team.

posted by tommytrump at 10:24 PM on September 12

Page 2 on Camgate.

posted by Joey Michaels at 10:29 PM on September 12

OK, now that I've come down off the meds I have a legitimate idea. There's this: Punishment: They should have to play a year in the CFL. Or my idea would be to force Belichick to use Art Shell's offensive scheme from last year. OK, maybe not legitimate. But it's an idea. OK, not an idea really. More of a joke. And not a funny one.

posted by THX-1138 at 11:22 PM on September 12

Compared to the Broncos salary cap violations from 1996-98? Belichick is way too smart to do this without a reason. It was too blatant. Maybe it's worth a couple of third round picks to instill further paranoia into opponents. It must be near impossible to keep up with all the packages in place as is & now D's have a little extra to worry about. You gotta think someone is trying to steal the audio communications from coach to QB as well. Whatever it takes to win right. These owners didn't make all there money playing by the rules. My conspiracy/trading places mindset still believes that Lowe's had something to do with the Vick case proceeding so rapidly.

posted by catfish at 12:13 AM on September 13

Sir, I refuse to let you bring a taint into the discussion. I may not be the ideal person to police the decorum around here, but I feel a perineum must be established. Nice line, I've been trying to work perineum into a thread for several months, it never seemed right. In a side note, on Wikepedia some guy actually posted a picture of his perineum...grooming was in order...going to have to monitor the kid's use of that site!

posted by dviking at 12:53 AM on September 13

If this didn't involve a New York based team would the story be this big?

posted by Newbie Walker at 01:35 AM on September 13

More than geography, I think it's more about the Pats being successful to the point of being dynastic. Lots of people, myself included, look for any reason to hate on the winners, especially when they're so consistent. As a proud fan of some of the most hapless teams in sport, it does feel good on a certain level to point a finger at the top-notch organizations and scream foul play. So says the id. The ego says to throw the book at 'em.

posted by tahoemoj at 01:56 AM on September 13

I've been trying to work perineum into a thread for several months You just sort of back up to the monitor like a kitty and rub.

posted by yerfatma at 06:04 AM on September 13

Open season on Pats' crimes: Del Rio blames them for bad Christmas, malfunctioning microphone. Paul Spicer is the second person (Terrell Davis was the first) to suggest the Pats be banned from the playoffs. Good luck with that.

posted by yerfatma at 06:19 AM on September 13

Newbie Walker: If this didn't involve a New York based team would the story be this big? God damn! No wonder I've been feeling so disoriented this week! bperk: If the Pats didn't think it would help them in some way, why would they bother violating the rules to make the tape? One opinion I've read, from a couple of people who are scratching their heads and saying, "Why?" is that at this point, Belichick & Co. are hard-wired information geeks. They try to accumulate information whenever possible, more or less reflexively, and figure out if it'll do some good later.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:34 AM on September 13

I've been trying to work perineum into a thread for several months That taint funny (now working grundel into a thread would be pure magic.)

posted by HATER 187 at 08:07 AM on September 13

One opinion I've read, from a couple of people who are scratching their heads and saying, "Why?" is that at this point, Belichick & Co. are hard-wired information geeks. They try to accumulate information whenever possible, more or less reflexively, and figure out if it'll do some good later. So, this is the first and only time they have ever done it, and they were just giving it a try? And, the incident in GB with the same guy caught with a videotape was just a coincidence or a lie? And, Belichick's "interpretation" of this rule that allowed such taping was just devised this off-season and tried out for the very first time on the Jets? I It seems much more likely that the Jets are aware of the Patriots strategies because they used to be there, and decided to tattle. It just makes no sense to see an operation as effective and successful as the Patriots and decide that they just waste everyone's time collecting information that serves no useful purpose for them.

posted by bperk at 08:54 AM on September 13

There are a few inconsistencies in this whole thing that bother me. First, many seem to think that the use of the tape helped NE during the Jets game. As far as I can determine, nobody viewed the tape on the sidelines. Reports say that the tape was confiscated while the cameraman was on his way to the Patriots' locker room at half time. So when was the tape viewed? Second, at Green Bay the cameraman was banished from the sidelines before the game. Where was the advantage? Third, as Simmons points out in his column, most seem to have forgotten the transgressions of several other coaches and players over the years. True enough, "...We have the attention span of tsetse flies...". True enough that NE violated a videotaping rule. The question is, "exactly what were they trying to do?" Possibly, Belichick and company were gathering information to use at a later, more important, time. Of course, as has been pointed out, most, if not all, teams change their signals from week to week. Thus, such videotaped information would be of little use in a game subsequent to that in which it was obtained. Coaches must know that attempts are constantly being made to break signals by one method or another. One would think they could be more clever at disguising their signals. In baseball, what does a catcher do with a runner on second base? He uses a series of signs, and which sign is in effect might change with every pitch. I'm sure a clever coach could come up with something similar. In many previous threads dealing with players having committed some crime, the sentiment among many has been to "let the courts decide, then we can comment". I would suggest that we do the same here. Let's see what the Commissioner determines, and then we can argue over the adequacy of the punishment. From reading many of the comments in this thread, I have the feeling that the Patriots have become the Yankees of the NFL. It doesn't matter what they do, they are hated for their success.

posted by Howard_T at 10:24 AM on September 13

So, this is the first and only time they have ever done it, and they were just giving it a try? No, I don't see where lbb or anyone else suggested that. But again, why (and this is not a rhetorical question) would they bother doing this to Detroit and Green Bay, teams they only see once every five years? Belichick apparently still has notebooks filled with tendencies from his co-ordinator days with the Giants. If we could love Nomar's OCD, why not Billy B?

posted by yerfatma at 10:25 AM on September 13

They are videotaping and have done so in past seasons, but are still just accumulating information and haven't figured out if it is at all helpful? That doesn't make any sense either. The Pats could have someone on staff review the tape during half-time and use that information in the second half. Collecting information is good. Breaking league rules to collect information is bad.

posted by bperk at 10:47 AM on September 13

They are videotaping and have done so in past seasons, but are still just accumulating information and haven't figured out if it is at all helpful? That doesn't make any sense either. Well, see, that's what I was trying to say, and what yerfatma said better than I did. You're looking for a reason that makes sense. I'm suggesting that there may not be one, and your response to that is, "...but that doesn't make sense." Well...right. It doesn't. But it may nevertheless turn out to be the explanation.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:02 AM on September 13

I would definitely believe that it needn't make sense if we were talking about the Cards or the Lions, but the Patriots have proven that know what they are doing.

posted by bperk at 11:05 AM on September 13

Jury's in. [Belichick] was fined the NFL maximum of $500,000 Thursday and the Patriots were ordered to pay $250,000 for stealing an opponent's defensive signals. Commissioner Roger Goodell also ordered the team to give up next year's first-round draft choice if it reaches the playoffs and second- and third-round picks if it doesn't. The Patriots' collective nose is bleeding. They got tagged.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 09:58 PM on September 13

That's a pretty hefty penalty for something that was likely only to be helpful if NE got itself into a real tight spot in a "must win" game. Losing a first-round pick (let's face it, barring disaster, the Pats are a lock for the playoffs), even one that was likely to be 25 or lower, is steep, and I'm sure that Robert Kraft is not happy about parting with 250K. As for BB's wallet, I'm not sure it hurts too much, but 500K buys a lot of hoodies.

posted by Howard_T at 10:34 PM on September 13

let's face it, barring disaster, the Pats are a lock for the playoffs By "disaster," might you mean "can't steal the opponents' signals anymore?"

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 10:55 PM on September 13

Hah, Belichick, you pre-cognizant troll! Betcha didn't see that coming!

posted by THX-1138 at 11:05 PM on September 13

I for one am satisfied with the fines. Certainly ought to be enough of a deterent to stop any further abuses. Kraft can cough up 250K without a problem. But to BB, parting with half a mil, losing a 1st round pick, and coming out of this looking like an idiot, has to be like a kick to the grundel that he didn't see coming.

posted by dviking at 11:44 PM on September 13

I can see this being a long-term black eye for Belichick, given what it's going to cost his team, not to mention the recent slew of press conferences where he looked like a cranky, arrogant shit. He may be a cranky, arrogant shit all the time at his press conferences, but most of us don't see the wall-to-wall coverage you get from regional cable or the NFL Network. Unless, of course, you get caught cheating. Then every word that comes out of your cranky, arrogant mouth is splashed all over TV, sports radio, and the newspaper.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:12 AM on September 14

The Pats still have a first round pick, so this isn't a huge deal. I have no idea how much Belichick makes, but it must be substantially more than the $3million/year he made in 2000. The only thing that really matters for a coach is winning. People will stop talking about this quickly, and we will once again be inundated with commentary about how classy an organization the Patriots are.

posted by bperk at 06:00 AM on September 14

The Pats still have a first round pick, so this isn't a huge deal. That's the thing that really torques me off. The fines are nothing, and unless Myra Kraft is completely nuts, the $500k to Belichick seems like the kind of thing an owner would be happy to pay. As a Pats fan, I'm pissed we get dinged for a stupid act. On the other hand, if you're going to be a hard-ass and prove you're not Kraft's butt boy: 1. Don't make the penalty conditional 2. Take away the ability to draft in the first round entirely, not just one pick The thing that really gets to me is this feels like it was 95% media hype that made it such a big thing and now the media's really happy because they can debate "Fair/ Unfair" about this for weeks and use it as a story from now until next April.

posted by yerfatma at 06:25 AM on September 14

Potentially losing a first round draft pick is huge, considering the fact that the NFL has never taken a pick before as punishment against a team. I'm surprised the punishment was that high.

posted by rcade at 07:34 AM on September 14

The thing that really gets to me is this feels like it was 95% media hype that made it such a big thing and now the media's really happy because they can debate "Fair/ Unfair" about this for weeks and use it as a story from now until next April. Unless, of course, some individual/organization obliges them with an even more rancid dead horse. I wouldn't bet against it.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:08 AM on September 14

NFL fines Belichick, strips Patriots of draft pick Bill Belichick was fined the NFL maximum of $500,000 and the Patriots were ordered to pay $250,000. "The commissioner also ordered the team to give up next year's first-round draft choice if it reaches the playoffs and second- and third-round picks if it doesn't. If the Patriots lose their first-rounder next season they still will have a first-round pick, obtained from San Francisco in the deal that brought Moss from Oakland."

posted by scully at 08:49 AM on September 14

Damn media. They got Mike Vick and now they got Belichick. Who's next? Is no one safe? The horrors. The horrors.

posted by SummersEve at 01:00 PM on September 14

See what I mean? How are you even comparing the two?

posted by yerfatma at 01:12 PM on September 14

For fuck's sake, let's get everybody who's ever been punished ever and team them up with everybody who ever tried to win something but lost and have them all bitch about how life's unfair. Goodell needs to hire my mom to just pick up the phone and say, "Life's not fair" and hang up. BTW, I apologize for being completely humorless about this and over-moderating the thread. I have a lot of ire and a fair amount of beer.

posted by yerfatma at 02:22 PM on September 14

The comment was made with a tongue planted in a cheek... But now that we are on equal footing, me with fair amounts of adult beverage comfortably stowed in my liver, please allow me to respond. I am not comparing the acts of the two. I am comparing the reaction of the public that support one of the two by pointing the finger at the nasty media.

posted by SummersEve at 01:58 AM on September 15

I suppose, but we're inundated with a local media who fixate on any success and try to explain to fans why everyone who succeeds is just as bad as the people who failed. And then stuff like this:

One smiling, beat reporter sat with his laptop open with a picture of Richard Nixon in the background facing toward the podium where Belichick was speaking, according to a locker room spy.
That's not doing the job of the media, that's something personal and if you can't divorce yourself from the personal enough to do a job, get out. I can't wait for the generation of baby boomers who saw All the President's Men (but then realized sports were easier to cover) retire. Who could put up with this crap all day?

posted by yerfatma at 10:07 AM on September 15

At least Pats fans can be assured that Belichick is completely focused on the upcoming game.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 10:39 AM on September 15

I can't wait for the generation of baby boomers who saw All the President's Men (but then realized sports were easier to cover) retire. Cheers to that. "Starring Hal Holbrook as Eric Mangini."

posted by SummersEve at 12:52 AM on September 16

I can't believe that even a billionaire lets a $250,000 loss roll off his back. Is Robert Kraft the kind of man who looks at Belichik and thinks (first) "You cost me $250,000." If so this is the beginning of the end for their employer employee relationship.

posted by Newbie Walker at 02:01 AM on September 16

Yeah, right. The team's sold out the stadium for years, they're the second most valuable franchise, etc. He's definitely pissed about $250k.

posted by yerfatma at 08:00 AM on September 16

That's so last week.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:40 PM on September 17

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