Tale of the tape

I don’t know if this is true. Obviously, I hope it isn’t. And even if the employee was following orders, I’m not sure how much of an edge you can gain during the actual game.

But if it does turn out to be true, count me as one of those fans who will be disappointed, as I was with the HGH scandal. Yes, I realize how rampant cheating is in professional sports and that it was probably inevitable some of it was going on with the Patriots. But you still always hope your team is the exception, and the Pats seemed to have positioned themselves as one.

Anyway, the jury’s still out, for now. And this may just blow over–I suspect that unless there’s really clear evidence that the Pats used this information to their advantage in real-time during the game, the NFL will just let the scandal itself serve as a reprimand to the team. Still, though, it’s disheartening to have Sunday’s great win tarnished like this.

  1. From everything I’ve read, the Pats are not the only team to employ videographers on the sidelines in a bid to get an edge on the competition. They’re just the first to get caught. No doubt the Jets tipped off security to look for it. In fact, a number of teams have come out in recent days to discuss how they employ ‘countermeasures’ in their games to guard against this means of grabbing signals. Well, you only mount a counter-defensive when you have a similar offensive attack – meaning if these teams know enough to counter the spying than they probably engage in their own brand of espionage.

    That said, this isn’t as cut and dry as the mainstream media would like you to believe. The Pats don’t see signals and immediately know every nuance of a plan. It just gives them a little extra info (call it 1% advantage of what play is going to be called.) In fact, the only time the video can really come into play is at Half-Time where in the 12 minute stint in the locker room, the Pats would need to breakdown the first half tape, compare it to still photos and reports of player positions and then somehow intuit what it all means. For this to really give Bill (or any coach) an edge, he would need a week to pour over the tapes.

    And let’s not forget something. The Jets grabbed Mangina to get their own little Belichik. So now we have Kennedy-Kruschev and this is just one more game of brinksmanship. Yup, Mangina looks like the genius for tipping security but me thinks Belichik will have the last laugh.

    I just think it’s a bit naive to jump all over a team’s legacy over this little spy game. I guess the proof will be in the pudding. We know the cameras are in lockdown now so when Moss takes his roadshow home to Gillette this weekend, we’ll all know that no manner of surveillance aided that guy’s superhuman feats.

  2. Belichik already had the last laugh when his team ran the Jets into the ground. I wonder whether Mangini would have reported it if the Jets had won. (Probably…)

    I don’t feel like this tarnishes the Pats’ legacy. It’s just bummed me out. It’s given all the Pats-haters a never-ending excuse for why their team lost. And personally, the “everyone does it” excuse doesn’t work for me in any sport. I’d rather everyone just played fair. But hey, you know what they say about life.

    The good news is that the Pats will be under so much scrutiny from now on, there’s no chance of this kind of incident happening again (I hope).

  3. Big Guy left a comment on September 12, 2007 at 9:06 am

    Guess what? They will still be playing in the Superbowl next January, baring Brady blowing out his knee or breaking his arm or some other cathestrophic injury. At least you know what it feels like to be a Yankees/Barry Bonds fan. Cept without being an asshole part.

  4. I already wrote my thoughts on this on my blog, but the stupid pingback didn’t make it here.

    I’m fine with the extra scrutiny as long as it is applied to all teams. If they are going to investigate, then investigate everyone. Just because they were the first to get caught doesn’t mean they are the only ones doing it.

  5. Update: Simmons finally weighs in and I am disappointed in him… until the end. 😉

  6. That was a pretty good piece. I like King Kaufman’s comments on Salon ever better, though.

    I’m feeling better about the whole thing too. I didn’t realize the tape was confiscated in the first quarter. I agree with Simmons and Schatz that the response from the media and fans has been overblown, and that what really hurts is that this provides some real grist for the anti-Pats mill.

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