FanDuel - WFBC

February 18, 2008

Belichick and Pioli speak out.: A Boston Globe report on Walsh's videos and his firing. Also Belichick speaks about why he taped other teams and it's prority in his preparation.

posted by gfinsf to football at 04:55 AM - 116 comments

The rule states: "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." Sounds pretty simple to me. The rule is hard to misunderstand. But, I am not going to sit and spend a few days dealing with this article again. He can profess his innocence, but he taped the other teams signals during a game and got caught. The part with "including without liimitation videotape machines" makes it a real slap in the face. How do you not know that it is illegal? Did I expect anything else from a man that says "I didn't know that was impermissible." So, I am supposed to believe him now. Hardly.

posted by Mickster at 07:49 AM on February 18

Well golly gee whiz! Belichick apologized, so doesn't that show 100% genuine remorse and regret? He would never, ever, resort to trickery to accomplish a goal! He's as honest as the day is long. I sure feel better now about the whole thing, knowing it was a simple misunderstanding and that the Patriots didn't even need the stupid tapes.

posted by whitedog65 at 08:04 AM on February 18

Sounds pretty simple to me. The rule is hard to misunderstand. Really? So just what is the "from the start to the finish of any game in which such club is a participant" clause supposed to refer to? That they're not supposed to watch videotapes at halftime? That the players aren't supposed to have heads-up video displays? That they can watch videotape between games, but they're supposed to forget what they saw and not "use" it as soon as the coin gets tossed for next Sunday's game? Why the need for this qualifying phrase, if not to indicate that use of recordings is permissible under some circumstances?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:10 AM on February 18

"I regret that any of this, or to whatever extent, it has in any way brought that into question or discussion or debate. The decision was made by the commissioner, the practice was immediately stopped, and we're not doing it." Having been brought into the public's eye, you bet he's got regrets. If he hadn't got caught, the "practice" would have continued. Since this was their "practice," it sounds like any number of Patriot wins over the years should have an asterisk beside them. Lucky for them its not a college team or they'd be living with sanctions for years, and the evidence would NOT have been destroyed. The fact that they played in the super bowl tells you it was quickly swept under the rug. It's all about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. How sickening.

posted by JayLBird at 08:24 AM on February 18

Sounds pretty simple to me. The rule is hard to misunderstand. I agree. Do you want a specific phrase against "clandestine video spying" to make the message clear? IF Belichick knew, as he says, that this was a gray area, why did he not ask for clarification? Maybe Belichick thinks all the coaches are doing this. No, some amoung us seek out those shadows to live in then when called to account, shift the blame to those who wrote the rule in good faith for honorable men and didn't think it necessary to shine the light into every possible dark corner. This IS sport, after all. And these ARE leaders of men. Why should we have to do more that say "here are some reminders of sportsmanship rules we know we are all living by, right guys?"

posted by JayLBird at 08:40 AM on February 18

I think the man is a genius. The wording of the rule is ambiguous enough to leave a loophole, and he exploited it. Probably would've got away with it too, if it werent for you kids and your dog! I dont think its sickening. I think it was swept under the rug by the league because they are the ones who wrote the rule. As i said on a previous thread, i think this assault on the patriots is nothing more than people who are jealous that it isnt their team who is on top looking for any excuse to bring them down. Packer fans, it was your chosen deity Vince Lombardi who said " if you aint cheetin', you aint tryin.'" Rams fans, your HOFer Deacon Jones once answered a question saying "of course i was trying to hurt people." and all the other teams have legends who have broken rules, and folkways of the game. im not saying that makes it right. Im only saying we all live in glass houses on this, so maybe we should really think about how much outrage we want to show.

posted by elijahin24 at 08:47 AM on February 18

I hope Belichick is telling the truth when he says he's never watched a walkthrough. But the way he's parsing on SpyGate, it's hard to take what he says as the gospel truth. So just what is the "from the start to the finish of any game in which such club is a participant" clause supposed to refer to? That they're not supposed to watch videotapes at halftime? If I tell you I'm using a videocamera, would you think I was (a) shooting a video, or (b) looking at video I had shot previously? The meaning is clearly a, and that's what the NFL rule prohibited. Belichick's interpretation -- we didn't use video during the game, we just shot video to watch later -- borders on farce. If he knew about the rule, he knew he was breaking it but did it anyway. Nobody could read that rule and think it allowed your video crew to film the opponent's defensive signals during a game.

posted by rcade at 08:47 AM on February 18

"from the start to the finish of any game in which such club is a participant" This means that you cannot tape the game that you are playing in. I figured this out and it wasn't all that hard. That is why his statement stinks!!! He was caught taping a game from the sidelines (with a video camera). He knew the rule and was caught taping the other teams signals "during the game". That is why they confiscated the tape. What part of this is confusing? I mean really, are we supposed to believe that it was only so they could use it after they played the team. That way they could study their formations to know what they did wrong???

posted by Mickster at 08:48 AM on February 18

Also, from a story when SpyGate originally broke: "The Patriots' cheating is particularly egregious because the team had previously been warned about taping the opposition's signals. Packers president Bob Harlan said the same Patriots employee caught red-handed against the Jets on Sunday was also caught taping the Packers' signals when the Patriots visited Green Bay last year, and that the NFL subsequently told the Patriots to knock it off." Belichick willfully broke the rule after being warned by the NFL to stop. He should explain that too, now that he's claiming it was all innocent disagreement over the meaning of a rule.

posted by rcade at 08:51 AM on February 18

This means that you cannot tape the game that you are playing in. So, why the "from the start to the finish" bit? And if your interpretation is correct, does it mean instead that you can videotape any game in which your team is not a participant? The "from the start to the finish of any game in which such club is a participant" seems like it's trying to create a very specific exclusion, Mickster. If they'd wanted to forbid any team from ever videotaping any other team, there are a lot simpler ways to say so.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:55 AM on February 18

Assuming there are no other rules that provide more context, the intent is to (a) keep people from cheating with electronic equipment during a game, and (b) avoid the perception that teams are cheating. If you saw a Pats staffer aiming a camera and a mike at the defensive captain during the first quarter, wouldn't you wonder whether it was being viewed and used in coaching decisions at halftime (or even immediately)?

posted by rcade at 09:00 AM on February 18

Boy you people don't know when to quit. Get off Bill's back already. You think he is the only coach that does this? Just because someone caught them, you all think so? My gosh, what do you think happens in other sports? Hell, what rules are broken WEEKLY in college sports? College football alone does things to get recruits, and keep them ON THE TEAM! Look @ Florida State, I think breathing is a prerequisite to get a sholarship there. Let it die already. Let's talk about (YAWN) Roger Clemens and his fiasco. Boy there's a shocker...

posted by aMAIZEd Mark at 09:05 AM on February 18

This seems to be another thread for everyone to loudly proclaim which side they're on. Is it ok to now bring up the fact the person who made claims about taping all sorts of other stuff turns out to (potentially, depending on who you believe) a low-level gofer who was fired for taping conversations with his employers?

posted by yerfatma at 09:11 AM on February 18

Nope, can't let it die. He's on tape, cheating. Tough way to go. He failed to consider that when he was documenting others, he was providing the rest of the world with documentation of himself. Let it die? At least you, a supporter, are acknowledging that he did it, he did it on purpose, he did it knowing it was illegal, and (as you suggest) he did he because "everybody else is doing it." Wow, now that is an adolescent argument if there ever was one. Cheating is cheating and that's why we have rules and governing bodies and sancitons and an irrate public...We still have a notion (buried deeper in some than others) that sports are supposed to a repository of the best of us.

posted by JayLBird at 09:22 AM on February 18

This means that you cannot tape the game that you are playing in. I figured this out and it wasn't all that hard. That is why his statement stinks!!! He was caught taping a game from the sidelines (with a video camera). He knew the rule and was caught taping the other teams signals "during the game". That is why they confiscated the tape. I am not so sure that BB Was so far off in his interpretation here. As long as he is telling the truth that he used the tapes in DIFFERENT games, I would think it would be ok. I don't believe the key thing to the rule is the "electronic recording devices," I think it is the whole "aid a team during the playing of a game" portion. You can tape them all you want, just don't use it to aid your team. You think he is the only coach that does this? Just because someone caught them, you all think so? My gosh, what do you think happens in other sports? Hell, what rules are broken WEEKLY in college sports? College football alone does things to get recruits, and keep them ON THE TEAM! Look @ Florida State, I think breathing is a prerequisite to get a sholarship there. Let it die already. Let's talk about (YAWN) Roger Clemens and his fiasco. Boy there's a shocker... Didn't we already cover the "other teams do it too" defense? If they are where is the proof? This thread is about Bill Belichick and the Patriots, not all of the other problems in the sports world.

posted by jojomfd1 at 09:25 AM on February 18

This seems to be another thread for everyone to loudly proclaim which side they're on. I'M OVER HEEEEEEEEERE!

posted by YukonGold at 09:46 AM on February 18

We still have a notion (buried deeper in some than others) that sports are supposed to a repository of the best of us This is a pipe dream JayLBird. Sports, high school, the military, your job, all are microchasms of our whole society. the good and the bad. How can you even think it is about the best of us when Pacman Jones is on ESPNews every day? How can you read the posts on this site and think that. It is what it is, and the more you fight it, the more you will be disappointed.

posted by elijahin24 at 09:55 AM on February 18

Wow, now that is an adolescent argument if there ever was one. Cheating is cheating and that's why we have rules and governing bodies and sancitons and an irrate public At least it's not begging the question. I'll stick with my adolescent notions of logic.

posted by yerfatma at 09:58 AM on February 18

From Belichick: "Even though I felt there was a gray area in the rule and I misinterpreted the rule, that was my mistake and we've been penalized for it. I apologize to everybody that is involved - the league, the other teams, the fans, our team, for the amount of conversation and dialogue that it's caused." So he admitted to knowing what he did was probably wrong by exploiting his perceived gray area of the rule. Sounds like someone who knew he was cheating and had an excuse to fall back on. Also, he apologizes for the "amount of conversation and dialogue that it's caused". He doesn't appear to apologize for the fact that he cheated, just that he was caught and now everyone is talking about it. Or maybe that is just my gray intereptation of his apology. If this video taping thing was a one time thing and he was fined for the offense, so be it. We can let it go. But I think most people are riled up over this because it seams he has been doing the video taping thing for a long time. If so, his punishment was extremely lenient and the NFL tried to sweep the issue under the rug. In my opinion, this tarnishes the image and reputation of the NFL commish any Patriots team coached by Belichick.

posted by danjel at 10:09 AM on February 18

rcade: Assuming there are no other rules that provide more context, the intent is to (a) keep people from cheating with electronic equipment during a game, and (b) avoid the perception that teams are cheating. If you saw a Pats staffer aiming a camera and a mike at the defensive captain during the first quarter, wouldn't you wonder whether it was being viewed and used in coaching decisions at halftime (or even immediately)? I understand what you're saying, and I agree with it -- in fact, I'd say that's what the convoluted wording of the regulation is trying to say: basically, you can't tape this game and use it in this game. I think that's what the NFL was trying to say when they created the regulation. Now, as you pointed out, you can't prove that the videotape taken during the first quarter wasn't used at halftime -- so I think that the NFL is trying to pretend that the regulation was intended to mean "no recording", plain and simple. That strikes me as a backpedal: I think if that's what was originally intended by this regulation, it would have been worded much, much more simply than it was. Since, however, there's clearly to be no more recording of any kind of teams by other teams, I wonder what everyone's going to do now -- Tivo all the games off Fox or whatever and watch that?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:11 AM on February 18

Seems that the Globe article is focused on the wrong rule, which doesn't appear to have been violated (or maybe only violated in spirit if not in a technical sense). From an article just after the punishment was announced:

NFL rules state "no video recording devices of any kind are permitted to be in use in the coaches' booth, on the field, or in the locker room during the game." They also say all video for coaching purposes must be shot from locations "enclosed on all sides with a roof overhead." That was re-emphasized in a memo sent Sept. 6 to NFL head coaches and general managers. In it, Ray Anderson, the league's executive vice president of football operations, wrote:"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."
That to me seems more clear cut in terms of what rule was violated. Not sure why the Globe article doesn't address that, unless the AP story I linked to is just wrong (which wouldn't be the first time). As an aside, this story/issue is approaching Barry Bonds levels of intelligent discourse and logic around here.

posted by holden at 10:45 AM on February 18

Packer fans, it was your chosen deity Vince Lombardi who said " if you aint cheetin', you aint tryin.'" Uhhh, Vince wasn't the one who coined this phrase. It was someone who came a bit later, and from a different sport - Lary Sorensen.

posted by cobrajet at 11:27 AM on February 18

I can't help but wonder what tune the New England fans would be singing if the Giants were the guilty party and this taping business cost them their perfect season. As soon as i read that Bill B. used the phrase "gray area", that pretty much summed it up for me.

posted by sportsblitz at 11:29 AM on February 18

NUFF CED

posted by yerfatma at 11:37 AM on February 18

You think he is the only coach that does this? Just because someone caught them, you all think so? That comment always cracks me up. It reminds me of when my grandfather used to say to me, "so if [so-n-so] jumped off a cliff I guess you'd do that too." I could really care less if Bill Bell cheated or not, but these threads are a hoot to read. Some classic comedy for sure. I do see the problem here though, since the Pat's (BB) were caught cheating and had been previously warned not to do exactly what they were doing I too would be really pissed if I were more than just a casual NFL fan. If this were a college team as mentioned before they would receive the death penalty from the NCAA. Perhaps the Pats should be made to take about 3 years off. Then see how many of their top players stick around and just who would want to join the team when the death penalty time is up. I know, totally ridiculous to suggest in the NFL ranks, but still, it would be great to watch. On preview, never mind, go with what yerfatma said!

posted by Folkways at 11:38 AM on February 18

Is it ok to now bring up the fact the person who made claims about taping all sorts of other stuff turns out to (potentially, depending on who you believe) a low-level gofer who was fired for taping conversations with his employers? Whistleblowers often are described as fired employees with a grudge. I don't know how to judge the Patriots' claims about Walsh, absent evidence to support one side or the other.

posted by rcade at 12:01 PM on February 18

That comment always cracks me up. It reminds me of when my grandfather used to say to me, "so if [so-n-so] jumped off a cliff I guess you'd do that too." Funny you should mention that. A couple summers ago I went for a week's vacation to the Madawaska Kanu Centre, where I and a whole bunch of my pals spent the week playing in the rivers of Ontario. One morning we were going to paddle a stretch of the Madawaska, putting in right below a bridge, when our instructor suggested that we all jump off the bridge as a fun way to start the day. One friend of mine declined, saying, "You know how when you were a kid, your mother always said, 'if so-and-so jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?' I guess I know the answer now." The rest of us all jumped, with no ill effects except for one guy who didn't keep his feet together, and me, who didn't figure out until it was too late why it's not good to watch the water between your feet all the way down.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:23 PM on February 18

I don't know how to judge the Patriots' claims about Walsh, absent evidence to support one side or the other. Understood. It seems strange the media isn't more interested in digging up some facts outside of press conferences.

posted by yerfatma at 12:31 PM on February 18

Whistleblowers often are described as fired employees with a grudge. Unfortunately. I acted as a WhistleBlower once. I notified our corporate office of the routine practice of inappropriate conversation (usually racially charged) that took place in a common area of our offices. I was assured anonymity. What I didn't know was the corporate HR director was close personal friends with the guilty parties. Instead of following the "no tolorence" company policy, it was swept under the rug (my claim was not investigated), and my identity was released. (Not officially, of course.) I was not fired, but I was alienated company-wide until I had no choice but to resign my position and leave the business. Up until that phone call, I was considered a "model" employee with the opportunity of success within reach. Not long after that happened, I had heard a radio interview on the subject of whistleblowing. It stated that the "whistleblower" usually ends up in a worse position than the person(s) who did the mis-deed. I wish I knew that before. My point is that the company I worked for was more willing to get rid of me, than to face some pretty serious accusations of discrimination. It's easy for me to believe that the Patriots will do everything possible to defame Walsh's character in order to divert the attention from what could be a very serious cheating/taping scandal.

posted by BoKnows at 12:31 PM on February 18

Jaybird, don't you watch major league baseball, the land of the cheaters. Or Nascar? Ever wonder why they keep changing the rules?? Hmm, Ford has an advantage one week, Chevy is posting better times. Cheating is the name of the game for most of these "professionals". I'll stick with logic, because apparrently you don't resemble any.....

posted by aMAIZEd Mark at 12:46 PM on February 18

There is no way I can believe what Bellichick says as his credibility is an absolute zero. He was told in the Green bay game in 2006 to stop the taping and he spit in the NFL’s face to show them he was above the game and could not win without an edge. The patriot’s fans comment about everybody cheats does not take away the fact that the patriots cheated and they were the ones who got caught so they must pay for the crime – that sounds like an excuse a seven year old child would use. If a Patriots fan got caught speeding and got a ticket their excuse that everybody else was speeding would not get them off – they got caught so they still have to pay. If there are other teams cheating I do hope they get caught and have to pay for their crime. It is not right for another team to get an unfair advantage and it needs to stop – it takes the fun out of the game of football.

posted by MadDog_7 at 12:53 PM on February 18

Now this is interesting.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:00 PM on February 18

Your NASCAR example is terrible, Amaized. Teams and drivers are penalized all the time for breaking the rules.

posted by rcade at 01:03 PM on February 18

If he was not clear on the rule, he should have asked the league for clarity. He knew what he was doing. It is hard to plead ignorance on this one. But this is the direction our nation is headed. What has happened to a man's word?

posted by RA at 01:33 PM on February 18

Participating in this article is probably one of the more intelligent things that Belichick and Pioli have done since the story first broke. Any amount of commentary and the appearance of candor from them is better than arrogant dismissal and silence. Watching the Globe since the Super Bowl, they've been quiet on the Spygate front, so now they've been graced with this commentary from BB and Pioli as a reward for not pursuing the story with more vigor. You don't see a lot of hard analysis of the comments by BB and Pioli in the Globe story. It was more or less an enabling forum that allowed them to spin a crafted message as they so chose. In the end, I just don't think BB thought that the taping was such a big deal. Against Mangini at his facility? No way could the Pats have thought they were getting away with something huge unbeknownst to anyone. The video guy wasn't hiding inside the center field scoreboard (figuratively speaking). He was in plain sight. The Pats had been asked to stop before and they didn't stop until they were finally made to stop. There's your gray area: what does "No" really mean? I'd be curious to see how the payment of BB's fine was handled. Love to follow the money trail on that one. There are so many ways to capture sideline signals that a handheld video rig is kind of a clumsy, low rent way of doing it when you think about it. Especially at field level, where the cam can't match the signals with the ensuing defensive set with any overhead perspective. Give me a guy with a telephoto cam in the stands any day. My main concern with the taping is whether the tapes were ever a critical part of the legendary NE "halftime adjustments". All this stuff can only get you so far. Whenever Peyton Manning comes off the field, he grabs a phone and a stack of fresh, large-format Polaroids to review the drive he just got done with. You'd think that such finely detailed diligence would have gotten him farther in the post season than it has. As weird and anti-social as Belichick's conduct can be, nothing is stranger than Goodell's conduct in handing down massive fines and closing the case in advance of having any physical evidence, then destroying the evidence once he had it. Without asking if six measly tapes were really all they had. Seems like Walsh's attorney is just being prudent in requesting protection. Maybe Walsh has no damning evidence to provide, but he might slip up in giving testimony and expose himself to the Pats' legal sharks, poised and waiting for any advantage or opening. If you have nothing to provide, let them think you do have something and get the indemnification first, then tell them you really don't have anything. Maybe this is a big story with lots more to come, or Maybe Arlen Specter is just being a typical Eagles fan: yell at the moon first, then follow the play by play.

posted by beaverboard at 01:38 PM on February 18

This seems to be another thread for everyone to loudly proclaim which side they're on. My turn. BB cheated. He was caught and given an adequate punishment. I would have preferred that he was suspended but I felt that the NFL took this seriously. What real news has there been since then? Arlen Specter: Grandstanding moron. Matt Walsh: All I've heard are rumors and conjectures. No real evidence of any kind. As far as the apology goes, there's no doubt in my mind that BB knowingly violated league rules but did you really expect him to admit that in an apology? He's not confessing to a crime in a court of law. He's doing damage control with the home town paper. I do find it interesting that he denies ever seeing a run-through. If new evidence reveals he did see the Rams run-through, there's no way to get out of that one. And to some of the Pats fans (you know who you are): Please, for the love of God, stop saying everybody does this (or its corollary, it didn't help them), you don't know that and you're just keeping the argument alive. Your HC got caught. He and the team paid a hefty price. Case closed. But, as Roger Goodell says, I reserve the right to take further action if new evidence warrants it (or something like that)

posted by cjets at 01:51 PM on February 18

WOW, This is better than the Bobby Knight thread. Like I said in the last thread cheating is cheating regardless of who gets caught or who doesn't, or if everybody else is doing it. This is not the MBL,or NASCAR, or field hockey for that matter it is the NFL and the simple matter is, if BB got caught once and was punished, and gets caught twice he should be punished again. Couldn't any team TIBO a game and get as much information out of that tape as on the spot taping. I'm very ignorant to the practice and that is a serious question. When I was playing both basketball and football in college we had a day set forth to watch tapes of the other team. Oh how much simpler the old days were.

posted by sportnut at 02:02 PM on February 18

Whistleblowers often are described as fired employees with a grudge. From what I have read, Walsh is requesting complete immunity from any prosecution, regardless of what testimony he might give. What the NFL is offering is indemnity from any lawsuits and immunity from prosecution if he tells the truth. In other words, Walsh would like to be able to go on a witness stand, make up whatever testimony he thinks will be to his advantage, and not suffer any charges of perjury. Prudently enough, the NFL says it won't do this. Mr. Walsh hints that he has some physical evidence, but he fails to specify exactly what that might be. Mr. Walsh indeed sounds like a disgruntled former employee, but one who was terminated for his own actions or job performance, and not for any reason of retaliation by the team. The Patriots aren't stupid enough to think that if there were any real evidence out there that they could somehow suppress it. It never works that way, whether you are Bill Belichick or Richard Nixon. For this reason, I tend to believe their denials and give Mr. Walsh a bit less credibility than some would.

posted by Howard_T at 02:05 PM on February 18

It was so enjoyable watching that smug grin wiped off of Bilicheats face when that Pats were spanked by the more physical Giants Defense. He had no problem going for it on 4th down in the 4th qtr, running it up on the Bills and Redskins, but he can't "Man up" and face this loss with any dignity at all. At USC, Coach Robinson would NEVER let us quit until the final gun. You'd be cut if you moved from the sideline, but this "Pro" runs for the tunnel with a second on the clock in a Super Bowl. Did they really beat the Rams? As far as I'm concerned, there is an * after all Bilicheat coached games. This guy is a disgrace, and should be fired.

posted by RamsNut at 02:15 PM on February 18

wiped off of Bilicheats face when that Pats were spanked by the more physical Giants Defense. Spanked? Last second touchdown = spanked? I have no dog in this fight, but I'm still amazed at how patriot hate clouds so many opinions.

posted by justgary at 02:17 PM on February 18

Yes, spanked. Brady spent more time on his back than in the huddle.

posted by RamsNut at 02:20 PM on February 18

And still had them in position to win. I guess he's pretty good even when 'spanked'.

posted by justgary at 02:22 PM on February 18

It was so enjoyable watching that smug grin wiped off of Bilicheats face Ah yes, Bill Belichick and his ever-present grin. Are we talking about the same Bill Belichick here? And to some of the Pats fans (you know who you are)...Your HC got caught. He and the team paid a hefty price. Case closed. Cjets, I think most of your comments are on point, and I wish this one was too. But how can it be "case closed" when ESPN et al are willing to go global with half-reported stories about would-be informants who aren't even actually informing? When the internets runneth over with schadenfreude-spouting Pats haters? As a Pats fan, I'd like nothing more than to see our coach and franchise fork over their fines, give up our draft pick and indeed move on. Sadly, it seems like there are a lot of people far from willing to let this go. And very few of them are Pats fans.

posted by Venicemenace at 02:29 PM on February 18

This guy is a disgrace, and should be fired. Yes, I'm sure that's right up there on Bob Kraft's Todo list. The real problem here is no matter what outlandish statement you make, the Patriots are going to be back next year and they will be good again and probably better than 90% of the teams in the league, which means you have to take your Schadenfreude during the off-season because all the "cheaters" comments aren't going to be very satisfying after a loss. Sucks this isn't making the Patriots a worse team. Please realize this all will play very well into the sense of inadequacy we New England fans are so famous for. Those nasty Pats fans (and I don't deny they exist; message boards all across the country show they do) are going to be even worse next year, because there's no more "Good game", no more "Hey, you guys had a great team, better luck next year" after this ugliness. Enjoy 2008-2009. It's going to be fun.

posted by yerfatma at 02:33 PM on February 18

But how can it be "case closed" when ESPN et al are willing to go global with half-reported stories about would-be informants who aren't even actually informing? When the internets runneth over with schadenfreude-spouting Pats haters? I see your point, Venicemenace. But what I am trying to say is that defending BB by saying things like "everybody does it" or "it didn't help them" are weak arguments that actually help the schadenfreude-spouting Pats hater. So why get caught up in it? BB got caught. they paid a hefty price. Case Closed. Think of as a mantra when the next stupid story on ESPN comes on (or better yet, watch less ESPN)

posted by cjets at 02:49 PM on February 18

What the NFL is offering is indemnity from any lawsuits and immunity from prosecution if he tells the truth. If he wants immunity from a criminal prosecution, that wouldn't be for the NFL to offer, right? Only the government can offer immunity from criminal prosecution. The Patriots aren't stupid enough to think that if there were any real evidence out there that they could somehow suppress it. It never works that way, whether you are Bill Belichick or Richard Nixon. Howard, it's interesting that you chose to mention Richard Nixon, a very intelligent man who chose to try and suppress evidence. It seems to me that otherwise very intelligent men can and do try and suppress evidence. I'm not saying he did suppress evidence. I'm just saying that his intelligence does not preclude the possibility of it.

posted by cjets at 02:59 PM on February 18

Jaybird, don't you watch major league baseball, the land of the cheaters. Or Nascar? Ever wonder why they keep changing the rules?? Hmm, Ford has an advantage one week, Chevy is posting better times. Cheating is the name of the game for most of these "professionals". I'll stick with logic, because apparrently you don't resemble any..... Logic? So why are we having this phony conversation about "cheating?" If it is the accepted standard of sport, how can anything be "unfair," "unsportsmanlike," or even "wrong?" What is the object of "winning?" To be the guys who cheat the best? What are all these phony admissions, denials, senate hearings, news articles if there is no "logic" to trying to keep sport clean. Are we so bored that we need THAT as an excuse to beat our gums? Such as you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. Yes I do watch sports along with millions of fans who still tell their kids to be good sports and assume we don't mean (yet, no thanks to your kind) that they should be the slickest cheats.

posted by JayLBird at 03:02 PM on February 18

We still have a notion (buried deeper in some than others) that sports are supposed to a repository of the best of us This is a pipe dream JayLBird. Sports, high school, the military, your job, all are microchasms of our whole society. the good and the bad. How can you even think it is about the best of us when Pacman Jones is on ESPNews every day? How can you read the posts on this site and think that. It is what it is, and the more you fight it, the more you will be disappointed. I think I said "buried deeper is some that others." Right now I am disappointed and so are a lot of others. One day we will all burn out on disappointment, join aMAIZEd Mark, and either watch sports to see who can bloody the other the worst with deceipt and theft OR quit.

posted by JayLBird at 03:17 PM on February 18

One day we will all burn out on disappointment All of you who believe sports to be some kind of Olympus where human motives and vices don't exist will indeed burn out on disappointment -- but you would have if you were born fifty years earlier, too.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:38 PM on February 18

In other words, Walsh would like to be able to go on a witness stand, make up whatever testimony he thinks will be to his advantage, and not suffer any charges of perjury. I'm not a lawyer, but I watched Law & Order last night. That's not how immunity deals work. Telling the truth is a condition of the deal.

posted by rcade at 03:59 PM on February 18

LBB: "Say it ain't so, Joe."

posted by rcade at 04:00 PM on February 18

I watched Law & Order last night. That's not how immunity deals work. If I remember my L&O though, there might be a question of just what he says on the stand. If it turns out he was the gofer in charge of finding fresh corpses of young white women for Belichick's notorious Maddux Nights, you can see where they might not want to give immunity on that.

posted by yerfatma at 04:03 PM on February 18

I'm not a lawyer, but I watched Law & Order last night. That only qualifies you as an expert if you watched it while staying at a Holiday Inn Express.

posted by elijahin24 at 04:46 PM on February 18

Yerfatma made the following comment “Those nasty Pats fans (and I don't deny they exist; message boards all across the country show they do)”. Yerfatma’s comment makes a lot of sense as the image of patriots fans come from these nasty idiots who get on all the message blogs and all NFL teams blogs spreading their hate and creating an image that Pats fans have no class and humility. They never have anything good to say about other NFL teams and their fans. These fans from the other NFL teams around the league have been under attack the whole season and after from these jerks. Other NFL fans did not hate the patriots until this past season when your nasty hate Pats fans started their hate campaign – in fact a lot of them “had been” pleased the patriots had won some superbowls. It would be great to hear from the Pat’s fans who are not hate mongers so fans from other NFL teams can see that there are some classy fans from the New England area. You nasty Pats fans need to clean up your act and get some humility and a life.

posted by MadDog_7 at 05:13 PM on February 18

That's not a comment, MadDog, it's a sentence fragment. It may interest you to know, by the way, that there probably isn't an NFL-team-specific blog on the internet that doesn't get trolls and haters who loudly proclaim their fandom for some other team. The other 31 teams get plenty of representation, too. A few trolls and haters do not "create an image" except in the minds of internet noobs who aren't familiar with the concept.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:57 PM on February 18

in fact a lot of them “had been” pleased the patriots had won some superbowls. Edith (to Maude): "His whole family was for Roosevelt." Archie: "That was for two terms but that was it! We didn't know the guy was going to hang onto the job like a pope!" Sure, everybody loved the Pats' story until they went from giant killers to giants (before losing to Giants), but few peole outside a team's fanbase love a dynasty. Please don't tell me you'd be a huge fan of all things Patriots if it weren't for some comments on the Internet.

posted by yerfatma at 06:52 PM on February 18

I know I'm biased, as a New England fan, but to everyone who isn't; Do you really all feel so outraged because you think it's morally wrong and disrespectful to the game? (And I'm sure there are some of you out there who do) Or are you all just ticked off because someone played the game better than you guys did and then got caught? Let's face it, everybody steals signals. Competitive sports are all about getting the advantage. Everyone would like to believe that their team doesn't "cheat" but everyone does. Teams try to get the advantage in any way they can. Some do it better than others. It's a question of getting caught, not of who's moral center is stronger.

posted by revsfan_3313 at 07:09 PM on February 18

Jaybird you sound like a typical white-collar conserative know-it-all. And you just can't grasp the simple fact, that Bill Belicheck is the king of football. The masters, master. Because he got selfish and arrogant; HE GOT CAUGHT. Do you think he is the only coach out there that does this, NO! Do I believe it is right, NO! Do I teach my two youg sons, sportsmanship and ethics? YES! It was very difficult for me to destroy the two Michael Vick footballs, I had purchased for them two years ago or so, and have them ask: Dad why is Michael Vick in trouble? Dad is Michael Vick going to jail? Dad, will Michael Vick play football again? My answer: I don't know boys, he did some bad things. It's come to the point where we all have to wonder, are any of these over-priced pampered pri-madonnas, worthy role models for our children who love sports?? I'll put myself in front before any of those bozos. Nuff Said...

posted by aMAIZEd Mark at 07:32 PM on February 18

Do you really all feel so outraged because you think it's morally wrong and disrespectful to the game? No, I didn't care when Belichick got caught in the Jets game because I'll leave that for the Jet fans to debate. However, when it affects my personal business I feel pissed and want my pound of flesh. I want it investigated and if true, Belichick punished for his misdeeds.

posted by Nakeman at 08:19 PM on February 18

aMAIZEd Mark, You are good a labels. That's fine if it helps you sort out and classify those around you, but you are right that I would like to "conserve" some long-standing values that have served us well up til now...apparently not well enough for those who always want more. Was it Rockefeller who, when asked how much would be enough, said "just a little more?" Anyway I am glad we share some values even if you despise some of us who are okay when the natural consequences of certain actions are realized by "masters of masters" (quite a label when put along-side the one you gave me) when there is not enough intrinsic satisfaction in mastery itself and they seek dominance at any price. I am glad that Pettitte and a few others still understand "embarassment." BB's fumbling rationalization doesn't quite have the same ring, does it?

posted by JayLBird at 08:50 PM on February 18

pampered pri-madonna I thought I ordered the tender tri-tip.

posted by cjets at 09:49 PM on February 18

Do you really all feel so outraged because you think it's morally wrong and disrespectful to the game? (And I'm sure there are some of you out there who do) Or are you all just ticked off because someone played the game better than you guys did and then got caught? For me, the personal crux of it is this: Belichick cheated even after he was warned by the league it was cheating. I'm more offended by the brazenness of his conduct than the act itself. Who does he think he is? To me, it's completely in line with other stunts he pulls, like the non-sportsmanlike handshake with Tony Dungy after the Colts game. Belichick's a brilliant football mind who often behaves contemptibly, and I greatly enjoyed his comeuppance this year. I don't see why Pats fans can't understand this. I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan, but it didn't stop me in the early '90s from recognizing that Jimmy Johnson was both a football genius and a huge asshole.

posted by rcade at 10:09 PM on February 18

Jimmy Johnson's job was not to be a nice guy. Niether is Bill Bellicheck's. His job is to win. He is very good at his job. He exploited a loophole in the wording of the rule. others didnt have the cajones to exploit. He got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and everyone wants his head, but the fact is, that those who didnt really are just thinking "Gosh, I sure am glad i didnt have the balls to try." The people who did are thinking, "thank God the pats are more noticeable right now. hide the tapes" My question is this, at what point can we move on from this? the same old arguments on each side are really getting old, and yes i have been a willing participant, but c'mon people, lets turn the page.

posted by elijahin24 at 12:16 AM on February 19

Does winning by cheating make some one a football genius or a genius at winning by cheating? It's one thing to lose to a better team but to lose to some one that cheated that's another deal. Also, this whole "well everyone else is doing it" is lame beyond words.

posted by budman13 at 12:33 AM on February 19

I could not have said it better myself, budman! If the call to move on, elijamin, is a call to forget about it, I do not agree. Are there any action steps that the mere fan can take to make his voice heard besides on this website? Who is in charge of "quality control" in the league office? How do we get an asterisk placed beside the Patriots' success? Can we keep Belichick out of the hall of fame? Can we present them with the FICKLE FINGER OF FATE AWARD as the Olympic opening ceremony? (some time when the whole world is watching) Does some Senate commitee need to investigate? Can we organize a boycott of sponsors of Patriot games? Super Bowl? WHAT? Or do we continue to beat our gums and have some "fan" psychoanalize us and say our thoughts are motivated by jealousy?

posted by JayLBird at 02:49 AM on February 19

After re-reading Andy Pettitte's press conference, I know we have an example of a stand up guy. Maybe its a little remorse, a little humility, a little understanding what a guy has done to "the game," that I'm looking for; a little self-appraisal, and a coming clean that is not forced out of him. Not perfection; nobody is perfect; just a little man-to-man, man-to-fan, look-em-in-the-eye honesty and contrition. Andy's true character shines through. That would be included in my definition of "sport being a repository of the best in us." Now Andy is forgiven in the eyes of many. By contrast Belichick is not forgiven and we keep hopelessly beating our gums. The same will be true of Roger. He would have to cry some awfully big tears to get me to accept an apology after all of his arrogant denials, and the things he has put his teammates and the country through to get at truth. What a contrast in character.

posted by JayLBird at 03:20 AM on February 19

Let's face it, everybody steals signals. Competitive sports are all about getting the advantage. Do you think he is the only coach out there that does this, NO! After all of the discussion we have had on this, it still baffles me that anyone can still claim that other teams do it also. Prove it then, show us where they were busted for taping another teams signals during a game or even a walk through. The rule doesn't say that you can't try to "steal" the signals, which is why the teams have more than one set of them. You just can't do so with a recording device.

posted by jojomfd1 at 03:32 AM on February 19

After re-reading Andy Pettitte's press conference, I know we have an example of a stand up guy. You mean someone who cheated, broke rules he knew were rules and then apologized? Have I got another stand-up guy for you: presenting Bill Belichick!

posted by yerfatma at 05:40 AM on February 19

After re-reading Andy Pettitte's press conference, I know we have an example of a stand up guy. Who said he did not consider what he did cheating. Did you miss that part?

posted by justgary at 07:13 AM on February 19

After all of the discussion we have had on this, it still baffles me that anyone can still claim that other teams do it also. Prove it then, show us where they were busted for taping another teams signals during a game or even a walk through. jojo, doesn't it strike you as a little bit odd that the NFL coaches have largely been silent on this burning issue? If you were a head coach, and you were squeaky clean in this regard, and you had played Bill Belichick's Patriots at some point in the past, why wouldn't you bellowing, "CHEATER!!!" and spraying spit like some of the people in this thread?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:16 AM on February 19

You can really be classless in your defense of the Patriots, LBB. If we're "spraying spit," you're kissing ass. Any NFL coach who addresses the issue publicly is helping feed the story, which is embarrassing to the league. It doesn't strike me as odd at all that we're not hearing from coaches or owners. They want this to go away as quickly as possible.

posted by rcade at 08:18 AM on February 19

Jimmy Johnson's job was not to be a nice guy. Niether is Bill Bellicheck's. His job is to win. He is very good at his job. He exploited a loophole in the wording of the rule. others didnt have the cajones to exploit. Some of us don't believe that winning is the only important thing, Elijahin. Your spirited justification for cheating -- people who do it have balls, the rest are just wimps -- could just as easily be used to defend Dave Bliss at Baylor, who encouraged his team to smear a dead player's reputation. Or Gary Barnett, who attacked the reputation of his team's female kicker after she made allegations of sexual assault. In both cases, those coaches put a permanent black stain on their accomplishments because they lost sight of what was important. Belichick did too. He didn't need to videotape signals to win. Ultimately, character counts more than wins and losses. I suspect that when Belichick's career is over, he'll come to regret the fact that he was such a hypercompetitive mope who didn't enjoy his success properly. If players can gather together at midfield after they've been knocking the hell out of each other for three hours, Belichick can greet Dungy after a huge win without the F-U-too.

posted by rcade at 08:31 AM on February 19

If you were a head coach, and you were squeaky clean in this regard, and you had played Bill Belichick's Patriots at some point in the past, why wouldn't you bellowing, "CHEATER!!!" and spraying spit like some of the people in this thread? Lack of need. Especially after $750,000 in fines and the loss of a first round pick. So, no not a bit odd. This is really old news, just with a new twist to it. Kind of like finding out how the robber actually broke into the store, just months later. Thanks for asking though. Plus, I have a hard time throwing aroung the word "Cheater" based on the interpretation of a rule. I am not even a Pats fan, but I saw what they did even after this whole "spygate" thing in week one. Do you think they were still "Cheating" then?

posted by jojomfd1 at 08:45 AM on February 19

You can really be classless in your defense of the Patriots, LBB. If we're "spraying spit," you're kissing ass. Oh, for god's sake, rcade. Did I say your name? Did I? If the shoe fits, then by God you wear it. If it doesn't, then maybe you ought to look through the thread and ask yourself if it doesn't fit some other posters. If it does, then maybe you need to stop complaining just because someone who supports a team that you hate is calling a spade a spade. And maybe you owe me an apology. I didn't call you anything, you called me "classless". That's one to nothing in your favor, and you owe me an apology.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:46 AM on February 19

Unfortunatley we live in a modern society that justifies a wrong doing if you admitt you did wrong and apologize. I think that started in our political system 3 administrations ago. We judge character today as the first person to apologize has some type of positve moral status, when in fact he still committed the deed and as guilty as he was before he confessed. By the way if you waited to destroy the MV footballs until he was busted in the NFL you about 6 years late. This guys character was questioned way before he ever entered the NFL. I agree that character SHOULD count more than wins and losses, but I realy don't think that is the case in athetics today. The game plan today is to win at any cost, and you cheat and don't get caught thats OK, and if you do get caught just be apologetic and everything will be just fine. If in fact winning with honor is a 50 year old concept than I will continue to live in the past.

posted by sportnut at 09:04 AM on February 19

Unfortunatley we live in a modern society that justifies a wrong doing if you admitt you did wrong and apologize. Would you rather the wrong do-er just deny, deny, deny? There's nothing wrong with an apology, just make sure the apology is sincere and complete. The problem is someone apologizing for as little as possible while keeping some of the offense under his/her hat.

posted by BoKnows at 09:12 AM on February 19

Unfortunatley we live in a modern society that justifies a wrong doing if you admitt you did wrong and apologize. As opposed to... what? Public hangings? Putting people in stocks in the town commons? Stoning the wrong-doer?

posted by jerseygirl at 09:21 AM on February 19

I think that started in our political system 3 administrations ago. You think people not being punished enough or not feeling ashamed of their actions is related to George Bush Sr.? Still boiling about the "Read my lips, 'No new taxes'" thing?

posted by yerfatma at 10:32 AM on February 19

And maybe you owe me an apology. I didn't call you anything, you called me "classless". That's one to nothing in your favor, and you owe me an apology. Maybe, but I don't think so. I get tired of the stunt where somebody portrays the other side in a discussion as unhinged. The fact you did it here, whether or not it was aimed at me in particular, was a classless shot and I called it one. Does that mean I think you are classless in general? Not at all.

posted by rcade at 10:34 AM on February 19

Prove it then, show us where they were busted for taping another teams signals during a game or even a walk through. "We know that (stealing signs) became an area of concentration for a lot of teams . . . I think that crossed the line of ethics; to have teams videotaping me on the sideline, then learning our plays." Sam Wyche, 1994. "There are other clubs that do and are really good at it. There are even two or three teams that videotape the other team's signals and study them ... I don't know if it's legal, but I'm pretty sure it's not kosher." Jimmy Johnson, 1997. More details at the Projo Pats Blog.

posted by yerfatma at 10:40 AM on February 19

As opposed to... what? Public hangings? Putting people in stocks in the town commons? Stoning the wrong-doer? Ah the good ol' days.

posted by Folkways at 11:16 AM on February 19

That's better, Yerfatma, but it would be nice to see a name or a team associated with the practice. So far the only named signal-taper is Belichick. Surely a former coach could throw some other former coaches under the bus, now that it's such a big issue. Maybe Jimmy himself could explain what he meant back in '97.

posted by rcade at 11:45 AM on February 19

I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan, but it didn't stop me in the early '90s from recognizing that Jimmy Johnson was both a football genius and a huge asshole. Also being a Cowboys fan, I also saw that about him too. Great coach though.

posted by BornIcon at 12:22 PM on February 19

I was just trying to make the point that verbal accountability really means nothing if there is not some sort of penalty that goes with the apology. I know there were actions taken by the league the first time. jerseygirl, I'm talking realative to sports, and that would be another fine of maybe 1.5MM, banned for a certain time period from the NFL,MLB,NCAA etc, etc..... I don't really have a dog in this fight, I could care less what is done with BB(PROBABLY NOTHING). I'm a Colts fan and honesty is about the last thing we as Colts fans have to worry about. I just think it is to easy to cheat and apologize and do it again. Where does the line get drawn, 1 apology ,10 apologies, maybe 20 apologies. Maybe excuses is a better word ,like I was not aware of the rule. Didn't BB get fined and the Pats lost a draft pick for 1 specific incident, and hasn't there been some more incidents brought to light since then. Maybe this will fall into the 10 apology catagory. In general I just question modern day accountability period.

posted by sportnut at 01:06 PM on February 19

I get tired of the stunt where somebody portrays the other side in a discussion as unhinged. The fact you did it here, whether or not it was aimed at me in particular, was a classless shot and I called it one. That's a load of dishonest crap. I didn't portray "the other side", I said "some people". Your problem, rcade, is that you want it both ways. You want to be free to make sweeping statements about groups in general, yet have everyone understand that you're only talking about some members of those groups...but when someone else offers a qualified statement that explicitly does not refer to an entire group, you want to rip 'em a new asshole because, according to you, they were talking about "the other side". I call bullshit.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:15 PM on February 19

O.k, the Pats didn’t get spanked Justgary. I was being a smart ass, but pro sports is becoming a sham. That’s a shame, because I love sports. I played at SC for coach Robinson. I was far from a star, but I played. We were taught a respect for the game, and to NEVER quit. For 60 minutes, the opponent is your mortal enemy. At the final gun, man up, and show some respect for the man across the line, because next time you face him, he’ll remember if you were dancing on his colors at the 50 yard line their house like the Pats did in San Diego. I’m a Rams fan, I hate the Chargers, but hey, show some class! My problem with Bilichek is he lacks that respect. Let me tell you, if ANY member of our team ever left a sideline with a tick on the clock, you would be cut...end of story. The thought of bailing early would never enter your mind. You come as a team, and you leave proud as a team, win or lose until the final gun! Bilichek had no problem showing up the Bills and Redskins. Fourth down, up by 45, 4th qtr., he goes for it. Whatever. But that is a small part of a bigger problem, again, respect. You win and lose with dignity, of which this man has none. He will not be fired; Kraft is not an idiot. The Pats great team, they hardly need to "cheat." But the question is raised, is Bilichek a great coach, or a cheat? Realistically, the man can coach, but that question shouldn't even be on the table. I do know that I have never seen someone leave a sideline early in my life, nor have I seen a coach involved in so much bullshit. I'm glad the Bilichek lost. I think he disgraced the game, and continues to do so as long as he continues to bring into question its integrity.

posted by RamsNut at 02:17 PM on February 19

when someone else offers a qualified statement that explicitly does not refer to an entire group Come on, you've got complete rose-colored glasses when it comes to your teams, and I'm saying that as a Pats fan (which is fine, because I'm guilty of the same thing). While there are certainly some rabid Pats haters in here, acting as though they were the relevant issue and not the Patriots' possible cheating is disingenuous.

posted by yerfatma at 02:22 PM on February 19

"is" a participant... depends on what the definition of "is" is...

posted by sanfran at 03:07 PM on February 19

You want to be free to make sweeping statements about groups in general, yet have everyone understand that you're only talking about some members of those groups... Who's talking about groups? I was talking about your remark. I guess I should have described it as "uncharitable" rather than "classless," but if you can dish it out, you should be able to take it.

posted by rcade at 04:46 PM on February 19

I'm a Colts fan and honesty is about the last thing we as Colts fans have to worry about. Well, ever since your team owner uprooted the team in the middle of the night and screwed an entire city. If there's a more sanctimonious team than the Pats, it's the Colts. Just because Tony Dungy is a Christian, doesn't mean he can walk on water, then turn said water into wine. LBB, you should just avoid any threads about the Patriots. When you find yourself demanding an apology on a sports board, you've taken things a bit too seriously, as you always do when discussing the Pats. When even your fellow NE fans are giving you the stinkeye, it's time to take your ball and go home.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:57 PM on February 19

Come on, you've got complete rose-colored glasses I love my rose colored glasses, makes the day look brighter. Also have some blue, yellow, and green glasses that I wear depending on my mood. OK I way off topic here so I will attempt to bring it back into line. It's just that this thread is so compelling to a fan who has no dog in this hunt. If it is found that any other teams are guilty of the same rules violations as the Pats I still think the NFL should take a hiatus for a couple of years until they can straight this crap out and bring back some since of credibility to the league.

posted by Folkways at 05:17 PM on February 19

"We know that (stealing signs) became an area of concentration for a lot of teams . . . I think that crossed the line of ethics; to have teams videotaping me on the sideline, then learning our plays." Sam Wyche, 1994. "There are other clubs that do and are really good at it. There are even two or three teams that videotape the other team's signals and study them ... I don't know if it's legal, but I'm pretty sure it's not kosher." Jimmy Johnson, 1997. Thanks for the examples. However these are just allegations, and not proven, with another coach that doesn't know that rule too boot. Plus they were also done under a different commish. As far as what this Matt Walsh has to say, is it really going to make that big of a difference? We are just going to end up with a big he said/he said situation. If Walsh says he taped the SB walkthrough, and Belichick denies ever seeing it prior to, during or after the game. This problem is no more "solved" then it is at this point. Plus, being from philly, senator Sphinctor could probably careless about the SB against the Rams. Where does it all end?

posted by jojomfd1 at 05:35 PM on February 19

If you were a head coach, and you were squeaky clean in this regard, and you had played Bill Belichick's Patriots at some point in the past, why wouldn't you bellowing, "CHEATER!!!" and spraying spit like some of the people in this thread? First off I wonder how many posters from these threads on this subject are "squeaky clean" NFL head coaches. Secondly as I pointed out before with the penalty lobbied against Belichick and the Pats, what good is jumping up and down and hollering Cheaters!, Cheaters! going to do for you? Other then make you look like an ass, and paint a target on your asses when you do have to play them. Spray spit all you want, but don't forget, you are one of the biggest complainers on here about having facts to back stuff up with, and having substance/quality to commenting/posting. Don't fall off the fence, you may get hurt when you land.

posted by jojomfd1 at 05:51 PM on February 19

I was gone all day, and when i came home, i thaught to myself: "self, i wonder how big a mountain the spofi group is making out of this mild rise in elevation." Then i saw this: Your spirited justification for cheating...could just as easily be used to defend Dave Bliss at Baylor, who encouraged his team to smear a dead player's reputation. Or Gary Barnett, who attacked the reputation of his team's female kicker after she made allegations of sexual assault. In both cases Wow! Ok, so first off, im not saying its ok. Im saying it isnt as big a deal as it is being made into here. Second, and much more importantly, how in the hell can you possibly put taping your opponent on the sideline during a game, in a par with smearing the reputation of a dead kid, or attacking the reputation of a girl who claimed to have been sexually assaulted? Whats next? Do you think this "justification" can be used to defend OJ Simpson for murder or Mike Tyson for rape? Everybody take a step back and think about what we are talking about. This is the football equivilant of looking off of the test of the smart kid who sat next to you in high school algebra, not bringing a gun onto a college campus. What they did was wrong. Im not denying that, (though i do admit i could have been more clear on that point in my last post, but if you read all my posts id say you can probably see that) but lets try to temper our urge to go way over the top. We have varrying degrees of guilt in our culture. BB is guilty. He is not as guilty as this group seems to think he is. Everybody take a breath

posted by elijahin24 at 12:08 AM on February 20

I'm a Colts fan and honesty is about the last thing we as Colts fans have to worry about. by sportnut Not putting it on the same scale, but wasn't it Indy that was accused of piping crowd noise into their stadium to perhaps disrupt the offensive signals of a team? That seems to be real time tampering (cheating).

posted by gfinsf at 06:07 AM on February 20

elijahin, I am not familiar with the "smearing the reputation of a dead kid" or "a girl who claimed to have been sexually assaulted" (the girl in Colorado?) But as far a OJ goes, he had the best defense money could buy (and I personally think he did it). And as for Mike Tyson, I was 19 in 1972 and I knew better than to go to a man's hotel room in the wee hours of the morning. He took advantage, no doubt, but I find it hard to believe that the girl was soooo naive to think they were going to his room "for coffee". But that is just me. Is this being blown out of proportion? Yes, definitely! IMO I think a lot of it has to do with lack of sincerity and remorse on Belichick's part. His latest apology/denial sounds like it was written by a really skilled spin doctor. I really don't think he is that verbose in public. gfinsf, teams that played at the Kingdome and Mile High Statium and would complain about the noise, also "the Black Hole" in the end zone of where ever the Raiders play. I would like to think that the offensive line of any team are on their toes enough that they adjust without audible signals, in most cases.

posted by steelergirl at 07:02 AM on February 20

What they did was wrong. Im not denying that When you said that he "exploited a loophole" that other people didn't have the "cajones" to exploit, you were complimenting Belichick for doing it. That's what I was responding to by mentioning Bliss and Barnett, because that's where the only-winning-matters philosophy leads.

posted by rcade at 07:46 AM on February 20

steelergirl, I agree completely with your examples of different stadiums where "fans" make it difficult, but in Indy it was reported and somewhat confirmed by audio tapes of the broadcast and workers from the stadium that noise was pumped in through the speaker system. http://www.nowpublic.com/sports/colts-suspected-quieting-patriots-fake-noiseCBS has said it was their fault, end of case for you/all? Or maybe the Commish burned the tapes of that too? Just very strange how that went away so quickly without a question. against the Pats.

posted by gfinsf at 08:25 AM on February 20

Rcade, if you have a friend who is a cop, ask him or her if he thinks any criminals have cajones. If your friend is anything like mine, he will tell you that some are just stupid, lazy pricks, but some who commit elaborate crimes, or who really take big risks that would bear big rewards if they didnt get caught, absolutely have cajones. My friend told me that they are the ones he hates the most, because he thinks that if they had only put their tallents, and willingness to take those risks to a positive use, they could do a lot of good. That said, they are criminals, and he busts their asses when he can.

posted by elijahin24 at 08:38 AM on February 20

OK, Elijahin, I'll grant you that. Gfinsf: The repeated echo during the CBS broadcast of the Colts/Pats game was not heard by anyone in the stadium. Don't you think that if piped-in crowd noise skipped like a broken record during a game fans all over the stadium would have reported it on blogs and elsewhere? It was a broadcast glitch heard only by TV viewers.

posted by rcade at 09:06 AM on February 20

rcade, gfinsf could be referring to when the Colts had been accused of piping in noise previously by the Steelers.

posted by yerfatma at 10:18 AM on February 20

His link to NowPublic is about the Colts/Pats game. I've thought before that the sound at Colts games sounds suspicious on TV because it doesn't always sound reactive to events on the field, but I figure it's just paranoia. Domes have weird acoustic properties.

posted by rcade at 10:40 AM on February 20

Also have some blue, yellow, and green glasses that I wear depending on my mood. I just eat a handful of LSD and let the colors surprise me.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:55 AM on February 20

I just eat a handful of LSD and let the colors surprise me. I gotta start hanging out at your place. Dinner sounds fabulous!

posted by The_Black_Hand at 02:42 PM on February 20

In other words, Walsh would like to be able to go on a witness stand, make up whatever testimony he thinks will be to his advantage, and not suffer any charges of perjury. Prudently enough, the NFL says it won't do this. Just a little blurb on the immunity issue to explain why Walsh would not want that clause requiring him to tell the truth as a condition of immunity even if he was planning on telling the truth and nothing but the truth. Walsh's testimony will violate a confidentiality agreement. He will only be protected from a suit if he is telling the truth. Therefore, the Pats could allege that something he said wasn't the truth, and file suit against him for violating confidentiality anyway. Walsh ends up spending years and years and thousands and thousands of dollars defending himself. No one has offered him immunity from perjury charges if he were to lie under oath.

posted by bperk at 03:49 PM on February 20

Therefore, the Pats could allege that something he said wasn't the truth, and file suit against him for violating confidentiality anyway. ...which is what an indemnification agreement would protect him against. If the NFL were to agree to pay off any judgement that was awarded the Patriots, then Walsh would have no fear of a lawsuit. In reality, all the NFL has to do is to force the Patriots to forego any such lawsuit. If New England doesn't agree, the league could make up some very heavy sanctions against them. This would not be a very profitable idea on the part of the NFL, but it is possible. The Patriots and the NFL could probably initiate a suit right now against Walsh, but don't want to put themselves in the position of claimant. This would place the burden of proof upon them to show that Walsh is making all of this up. If Walsh turns around and tries to sue the NFL or New England, then the burden of proof is upon him to show that he really does have something on the Pats. I believe this would be true of a Senate investigation as well. That is, it would be a "he said - she said" situation until some hard evidence is shown. So what we have here is a good, old-fashioned Mexican standoff. Don't bet on either side budging anytime soon.

posted by Howard_T at 05:24 PM on February 20

I liked to look past the allegations for a minute and propose what Walsh is saying is gospel. What are the consequences going to be from fans and other teams. Lawsuits are coming out of the woodwork over this mess. Fans are demanding money returned, players are sueing and I hate to see what the television networks are going to do at a later date. This could seriously hurt the NFL and possibly bankrupt the Patriots, if complicity is proven. This kettle of fish is going to smell to high heaven if somebody doesn't admit responsibility (including the commissioner for not telling the public about previous taping) and apologize for this mess, and I mean straight away. Think the public will forgive and forget, if they are not lied to and treated like idiots. See many dark clouds down the road for pro football if someone doesn't come forward pretty soon.

posted by Nakeman at 05:38 PM on February 20

I gotta start hanging out at your place. Dinner sounds fabulous I'll second that!

posted by jojomfd1 at 08:19 AM on February 21

From the St. Louis Perspective.

posted by BoKnows at 08:46 AM on February 21

I liked to look past the allegations for a minute and propose what Walsh is saying is gospel. If we're opening the discussion to non-fact based lines of thought, we could be here a while.

posted by yerfatma at 09:30 AM on February 21

Isnt that what we've been doing on this and every thread like it?

posted by elijahin24 at 10:00 AM on February 21

Isn't that what we've been doing on this and every thread like it? Could be but I'll never admit to having any knowledge of it.

posted by Folkways at 11:39 AM on February 21

well said

posted by elijahin24 at 01:01 PM on February 21

I apologize, not really on topic but I have to ask. Does anyone else think the Pats would have won if they still had Corey Dillon?

posted by tselson at 09:17 PM on February 21

The story grows more legs in tomorrow's New York Times. They've got an unnamed former Patriot talking to the paper and a denial by executives that signal taping was common in the league. "I don't want the outside perception to be, 'Boy, there are all these teams and they’re all doing all these things,' " said Rich McKay, the Falcons’ president and a member of the competition committee. "Because it's not true." Making matters worse, the Patriots offensive line had concerns that Tom Brady was having a romantic relationship with lobbyist Vicki Iseman.

posted by rcade at 11:22 PM on February 21

I would have to say that allegation about Brady/Iseman is blatantly false. Everyone knows money (even tho tom has a lot of it) and POWER win out over good looks any day, just ask Cindy. tselson, winning with Dillon, that would be hard to say. While he is/was? a good player, you can't hang all your hopes on one individual. IMHO.

posted by steelergirl at 08:21 AM on February 22

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