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NY Times article on Belichick cheating

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The NY times has finally come out and written an article on the potential scandal sending waves through the NFL. One of the interesting points of the article, and a point lost to PFT's Mike Florio, is the Times is calling these latest revelations "New Claims of Cheating," which is exactly what they ware. Some people, like Florio, seem to think this is incorrect:

But this really isn't "new." It has been established that Pats coach Bill Belichick began the practice when he joined the team in 2000.  Belichick contends that he interpreted the rules to permit the practice.

So that's it.  Those are the "new cheating charges."

Ah yes, but back in September 2007, when "Spygate" broke and Commissioner Goodell handed down his punishment, it was assumed by the media and fans that Belichick was punished for taping only the Jets season opener. No one knew (though many suspected) that Belichick had been doing this since 2000.

Goodell knew, but did not share that information with fans until Arlen Specter MADE HIM.

Therefore, since none of us knew Billy Boy was doing this since the Bill Clinton Administration, these are indeed "new" allegations. And I guarantee that if fans and media knew back in September the Belichick was doing this since 2000, they would have screamed bloody murder that Bill got off with only a fine and a lost pick.

Everyone would have screamed for suspension, and rightly so.

So, I applaud the Times for doing what many aren't: These allegations are new. They might not be new to Roger Goodell, but they are to us because Goodell hid them from us. We (the fans) didn't know about them until a US Senator forced the NFL Commissioner to tell us. And while people in the NFL, like the Competition Committee, are happily satisfied with the punishment and want to "move on," the people who pay to watch this league are not.

If Belichick cheated from Sept. 2000-Sept. 2007, the punishment he and the Patriots received from Commissioner Goodell was so Mickey Mouse it isn't even funny.

The other thing to come out of the Times article is how moronic the argument is that taping doesn't affect the game, a position shared by the Rooneys in Pittsburgh. Folks, when people say this, they are simply carrying water for someone. Of course it helps! Mike Martz, current OC of the 49ers and one-time HC of the St. Louis Rams, and Lovie Smith (current HC of the Bears and one-time DC for the Rams) said this about illegal taping:

[Martz] took exception to the theory that the Patriots could not have gleaned much information from taping the walkthrough. He said indeed they could, but added that was not the point.

"For somebody to say that, it's kind of disgusting," Martz said. "The whole point is if they really cheated. To say he took some steroids and it did help or it didn't help, that's never the point. The point is, to all these high school coaches and high school kids and college kids, that if they did cheat, that's the point."

Martz said he assumed the walkthrough report was false. A similar sentiment was voiced by Chicago Bears Coach Lovie Smith, the Rams' defensive coordinator that season.

"It's just hard for me to fathom anyone would do anything like that," Smith said. "I'm sure, if there's something to it, No. 1, it will come out later. Time has a way of taking care of all things."

Martz was asked if he wanted the N.F.L. to continue investigating the walkthrough. "Of course," he said. "I was involved in that. I was responsible for a lot of people in that game."

So, if I hear one more damn time an excuse from someone saying "Well, I want to hear football people tell me this is a competitive advantage," I'm going to beat them over the head with these quotes... and then with a baseball bat.