Charter Member of the Sub-Media

September 13, 2007

Bill Belichick Penalized for Cheating ¬ę Kansas City Chiefs ¬Ľ

I saw the news first at David/Zombyboy's...
The hard facts:

The NFL has fined New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and the team a total of $750,000 for videotaping an opponentís signals. The team also has been told to forfeit draft choices.

The Pats were caught videotaping the New York Jetsí defensive signals during last Sundayís 38-14 win at the Meadowlands.

CBS 2 HD has learned Belichick was hit with a $500,000 fine by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The team will have to hand over $250,000.

The Patriots will also have to forfeit at least one draft pick in 2008, but that will depend on how they finish this season. If they make the playoffs, they will lose a first-round pick. If they donít make the postseason, they will give up their second-and third-round picks.

David's take:

I donít have a strong opinion about the appropriateness of the fines and penalties--I have no idea how serious or how important the spying was to any of the Patriotsí victories. The funniest part of the whole scandal is that, irritating as he is, Belichick really is a brilliant coach and the Patriots have had phenomenal talent for years. I doubt they needed to cheat to win.

My feelings are complicated. At least, it is hard for me to draw the line where cheating begins, and strategy/skill ends.

Meaning, having a 2nd string QB that can read lips doesn't seem like cheating, but using technology to do so clearly is...to me.

Sort of like, working out with a personal trainer isn't cheating, but taking steroids is.

So here the Patriots, supposedly so good, so talented that they don't need to cheat. Here is Belichick, supposedly so brilliant he doesn't need to cheat.

Oh? Well, if Belichick is so brilliant, why did he stink so badly when he coached the Browns?

Dan Reeves called in to ESPN and answered questions. He was very dismissive and it bothered me. It was like his whole attitude was, "Aw, shucks, it probably didn't make any difference."

Oh? Then why were Bill and the Patriots doing it?

Dan said that the only possible advantage it might bring is that if you can read the defense's play calls, you can call it in to the QB while he is in the huddle, or breaking the huddle and at the line of scrimmage. Dan's point was that there wasn't much time for a team to do much with that call.

Well, if your QB can audible a WR into the hole left by a blitzing LB, you look pretty freaking brilliant, don't you?

But that's just the gameday advantage.

Tom Brady is known for being an extremely intelligent QB, always making the right decision with the ball. How do defenses beat great QBs? By confusing them, by disguising coverages. If you videotape an opposing defense's calls, then you can know exactly what play was called, and compare it to what the defense showed before the snap. Voila! Disguised coverages aren't so disguised anymore.

It's similar to just looking at game film...but goes just that bit too far. It's cheating.

They should lose all their draft picks for a year. The actions were completely unacceptable.

But what do I know? I'm so naive I think it is wrong for a playoff game to be delayed because the visiting team's O-line has a slippery substance smeared all over their jerseys.

Posted by Nathan at 08:34 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

As a Bills fan, I was just as tempted to jump on the anti-Patriots bandwagon. However, I realized that my motive would of been just as everyone elses. The Patriots are just too good and everyone else is frustrated. Envy breeds resentment and now everyone wants to see the Patriots suffer. Well, if they only win by cheating, we'll see this week just how good the Chargers are. Let's face it, the Patriots are good and everyone wants a reason to hate them.
Do we see astericks next to the 4 Super Bowl victories by the Steelers in the 1970 when both Mike Webster and Jon Kolb were the epitomie of steroid use. Chuck Knoll wasn't stupid, he knew why their arms were growing by the week, but knew that it helped him win.

Posted by: steve at September 14, 2007 04:25 AM

Location, Location, Location

It is amazing how poor readers still like to write. If you were to educate yourself, you'd know that the NFL permits video taping (filming, polaroids, use of binoculars) by the teams to glean information about each other. Read all about it, it's in the rule book. There are restrictions as to where you can be when you do the recording, and a Patriots employee was in a non-authorized location on Sunday. That's the entire issue here: an employee's location. Every team studies every other team every week. Did you really not know this?

Posted by: Tom Hayes at September 14, 2007 06:28 AM

Tom,
The difference between a legal hit and a 15-yd penalty is a 1-mm line at the sideline. The difference between a legal hit and a late hit is something like 1/10th of a second.

It doesn't matter if filming of game action is allowed, it isn't allowed to try to steal signals. For someone who claims to be so intelligent, you write worse than I read: you neglected to include the object of the filming, polaroids, and binoculars, and that is ALL The difference.

If it is no big deal, why is the NFL punishing Bill and the Patriots so hard?

If it makes no difference, why did Bill and the Patriots risk so much to do it?

I haven't read the rule book, I admit. I do think cheating is bad.

Posted by: Nathan at September 14, 2007 10:50 AM