Thursday, September 20, 2007

Patriots cheating, #12887 - Beating a dead horse

I am a big Peter King fan. One of the things that I look forward to every week is his Monday Morning Quarterback column. But I think that he (as well as most of the national media) have overstated the impact and "nefariousness" of the Patriots playing candid camera. A piece written yesterday includes the statement that:
It's widely believed that New England has stolen signals in this manner for years, but officials from various clubs acknowledge that the Pats are not the only team that does it. Last week's revelation doesn't mean the New England dynasty is a fraud, but it does take some shine off those three Super Bowl wins.

In the first place, of course New England has "stolen signals" in this manner for years. It should be obvious to the meannest intelligence that recording the defensive signal-calling has been standard operating procedure. It's part of their game-day activity. They've got video of all of the opposing coaches signals for the last 8 years - at least.

But leaving that alone for a minute, how can say simultaneously that "the Pats are not the only team that does it" and "it does take some shine off those three Super Bowl wins?" If they are breaking a rule which others are also breaking, and doing it to assist in an activity - "stealing" signals - that EVERYBODY else does, how does that taint the Super Bowl wins even a little bit? And if it does, how tainted are they, exactly? Are they more or less tainted than the Super Bowls that San Francisco and Denver won by cheating on the salary cap (which no one ever talks about as being tainted)? Are they more or less tainted than the Super Bowls of any teams (late 70s Steelers) who may have had players using illegal performance-enhancing drugs?

The Patriots won those Super Bowls. They earned them. To paraphrase their coach, they did business the way business was being done.

Period. End of discussion.

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