Thursday, September 13, 2007

Once a Cheater Always a Cheater

I am so disappointed about the Patriots' spying scandal. I had read a book about Bill Belichek that had greatly increased my respect for him, but this stealing signs issue has shattered that. I suppose the drive to win is so great that people are willing to do anything to make it happen. Belichek strikes me as one of the most competitive people around who would not be above cheating. I am glad they got caught. And I hope that Roger Goddell suspends Belichek in addition to taking draft picks away. What do you think?


A said...

Before I say what I think, I'm curious for more info from you. I suppose it is obvious from your post, but I'm curious if everyone would really consider intercepting signs as cheating. I'm not trying to parse the word or equivocate, I'm really curious. And, I don't know the specifics of what really happened and what lengths they went to, just that a camera was involved.
I guess where I'm going is this. In baseball, they go to great lengths to camoflauge the signs sent in to the players by virtually doing the chicken dance. I suppose if someone figured out the code, it is fair game.
Could there be any sense that if signals are being sent in, and despite the opposing team's best efforts to code them or hide them, someone could de-code the message, that it would be part of the game? Or, is it just "understood" by everyone in the business that such behavior is cheating and there's no wiggle room.
Kind of like Euchre in Shaffer dorm, cheating was expected, but you still weren't supposed to get caught. Just wondering what the real "ground rules" are. Seriously.

Robb said...

They placed a cameraman on the opposing team's sidelines so that they could send the play immediately to the coaches in the booth who would then relay the information to the players on the field who would know before the snap of the ball what play the opposition was running.

That is against league rules. And they had been caught doing it before. And they had been told by the Commissioner to stop. But they kept doing it.

Do the Patriots = Barry Bonds?

A said...

Yeah, that pretty much counts as cheating.

Anonymous said...

Belichek broke an NFL rule. Do you believe that all rule violations are cheating? I think not. One of Belichek's strengths is his attention to detail. I'm sure he collects all signals, and then studies them at a later time to try and get some kind of edge. That is his job as a coach. The NFL does not not frown on that practice. The NFL does not want folks to video tape signals during a game. Other methods for obtaining signals are acceptable.

Comments by "Rob" do not make sense. Did you see the tape. There are 4 Jets coaches standing on the sidelines giving signs (comlex arm waving). Three of the coaches are decoys, one is giving the real signals. Do you really believe that in 30 seconds, a cameraman can figure out which coach is giving the real signal, decode that signal, send it to the patriots sideline, call a play, substitute in the appropriate personal and then snap the ball in time? Please!!! Why bother to videotape? If there is someone that can decode the signal in 30 seconds (let alone all that other stuff), then Uncle Sam could use their skills to help with our national defense.

Two final notes:
1. The tape was confiscated 8 minutes after the start of the game. No impact to the game

2. If I was Mangini and knew that the Patriots were taping me, I would have used the opportunity to send in all phoney signals and I would have found another way to communicate with the players.