First, let’s get a few things straight. The Patriots did not win that game because of those signals. They won that game because they’re a better team. The only thing those signals would possibly help with is down the road when we play the Jets again in…week 15, I believe…at which point the signals will most likely have changed.
Also, it is not illegal to try to capture a player’s signals on the field. Plenty of teams film Peyton Manning, trying to capture his signals. Nobody succeeds.
Now, we were apparently also caught doing this to the Packers last year.
The cameraman who was caught was in blatant Patriots gear, on the Jets sideline. It’s not like he was hidden or anything like that. Which begs a few questions.
First, how could Belichick be so stupid as to do this? Against the Jets and the Packers? Okay, I can see us going after the Chargers or the Colts trying to do this, but the Jets and the Packers? Okay, the Jets are decent, but we could beat the Packers blindfolded with all our players wearing ski-boots full of Jell-O. This is one of the great minds of football, who supposedly wants an edge, and he wastes this on the Jets and the Packers? Something doesn’t smell right. Personally, I think if this was done, it wasn’t Belichick’s idea. I just don’t buy it.
Second, the Patriots are not the only team who try to steal coach’s signals. Every single damn team in the league tries to steal coach’s signals. Face it. Yes, they do. Your favorite team. They try to do it. If they know for sure they can get away with it, oh, you bet they’re going to do it.
So why was this cameraman so blatant? Over-confidence? I don’t believe it.
Okay, so what I’m saying is, there’s something fishy here. Wasting time trying to steal signals from the Jets and the Packers is about as useful as trying to distract Tiger Woods by “thinking really negative” about him.
Did the Patriots do this? Did they try to steal signals? Maybe. If the league confirms it, I’ll believe it. And if they do, they should lose a draft pick or two. Nothing more.
Over at ESPN.com, there is an idiot salivating over this, saying that Belichick himself should be suspended for two games, barred from meetings, the coach’s room, all that, if it turns out to be true. He compares him to Barry Bonds.
Oh, for the love of God, give me a fucking break. You better believe if, say, the Browns had been caught doing it, Mr. Bryant of the above column would be a little more forgiving. The Patriots are coming under more attack than usual because they’re so damn good and a lot of people want to knock them down a peg or two.
Like I said, if confirmed, fine, we take our lumps and lose a draft pick or two. But Belichick as Barry Bonds? Gimme a break. And last time I checked, Barry still officially holds the home run title — no asterisk. And he’s playing. This kind of demagoguery is outrageous.
Now onto serious business. Like how we’re going to face the Chargers and LDT (I will not call Tomlinson LT, there is ONE LT, and his name is Lawrence Taylor).
Let’s clear this stupid tape thing out of the way and get back to the serious business of football. And of the smashing success of my two fantasy teams this week.
And let’s make one other thing clear: punishment or no punishment, the Patriots are one of the best teams in the league — arguably the best team in the NFL — and they are going to the playoffs. Barring Brady getting injured. And they don’t need tapes to help them do it, so whoever’s idea it was to tape signals — they need a good Stooge-slap. Even if it was Belichick.
But in a sport where we consistently pass on players who are caught with guns, or a league that forgives Shawn Merriman his steroid use so quickly — you want to suspend Belichick for taping some signals? Get the stick out of your ass and enjoy the spectacle of Randy Moss beating double coverage to make spectacular touchdowns.