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ESPN: Belichick fined $500,000, Pats lose picks in 2008

ESPN is running this over on their mainpage with no link:

Tommasse over at Pats Pulpit has more news up regarding Belichick's potential punishment for cheating.

According to a report by Mike Lynch of WCVB-TV (Channel 5, Boston), the NFL will fine New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick $500,000 and take two first-day draft picks from the team.

Meanwhile, Don Banks and Peter King of CNNSI say the league is weighing a multiple-game suspension of Belichick and taking a single high-round draft pick.

Whatever the punishment, I feel that it will be fair. Goodell has been fair with moron players like Vick (who lied to him) and Pacman Jones (who went to a strip club after Goodell lectured him on apppropiate behavior). What I find especially infuriating is the excuse making from Patriots fans. In Tommasse's same post, he said this:
If a lower-tier team, say Detroit or Cleveland, had been caught stealing defensive signals, would the uproar be as great? Would the league's punishment be as severe?

Think about it before you decide. If Seattle, a top-tier NFC team, beat the snot out of bottom-feeding Detroit and caught one of the Lions employees with an unauthorized video camera on the sideline, would the story be so sensational?

Seriously, is that a joke? Because if it isn't that is one of the biggest cry baby excuses I've heard in some time. If Rod Marinelli or Romeo Crennel (who was likely involved in sign stealing when he coached in NE) were caught doing the same thing, they'd likely get the same treatment. Remember, New England was warned about this last year. Teams had been reporting their activities for longer thna that. New England ignored the warnings, got caught, and now here comes the pain! The issue here isn't which team did it or not.

If any team is caught doing this, they would get the same treatment, especially after they'd been warned.

The reason the story is so sensational is New England has been a very successful team for a long time, and they have been suspected for doing this kind of cheating for the same amount of time. This leads many people to believe that the success they've had (3 Super Bowls, 22-game winning streak, etc.) is a direct result of cheating. For some reason, this simple nugget goes right over the head of most Patriots fans.

So, comparing New England's punishment to a hypothetical like Detroit is a classic deflection tactic. "Oh poor us! They're punishing us because we're good. Boo. Woo." No Tommasse, they're punishing the Patriots because they cheated. Plain and simple.

I also want to take this opportunity to call the Patriots fans out for the hypocrits they are. Some haven't acted this way. Some have done the right thing: Profess disgust; Scold Belichick for being an idiot; Show legitimate shame and disgrace for the way their team has conducted themselves. Even Bill Simmons has admitted this is a black mark on the Patriots and their legacy, and there is no defense for what they've done. They deserve whatever punishment comes to them.

But there are other Patriots fans that are complete, utter hyprocrits for the very simple reason that (speaking of hypotheticals) if this were to have been charged against Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning, every single Patriot fan from hear to Quahog would have screamed bloody murder.

See! They cheated us in the AFC Championship game. That's how they came back from 16 down!

Now we know how Manning threw 49 TDs.

Dungy can't beat Belichick fair and square. So, he has to cheat.

Any Patriots fan that says they wouldn't be screaming this is a bold faced liar. Tomorrow we'll get the official word. Whatever that word is, it will likely be fair.

Update [2007-9-13 20:45:52 by BigBlueShoe]: now has it up. $500,000 fine, loss of draft picks. Fair punishment.

Update [2007-9-13 21:2:15 by BigBlueShoe]: Good point made by shake n bake in the comments: This might be the first in a series of punishments. The Patriots are also accused of intercepting radio signals. If found at fault for that, expect suspensions.