Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Patriots cheating?

Did I say, earlier today, that a) the Patriots were "violating both the spirit and the letter of the NFL rules" and b) they weren't "doing anything that every other NFL team doesn't do? " Yes, I did. And then Don Banks posted a link to an article that he wrote, back in July, in which he said, in part:
1. Pictures are worth a thousand words: The "stealing'' of signs -- both on offense and defense -- is the area that's most often cited as fertile ground for cheating. The most common practice is for a team to videotape an opponent's signal-givers on the sideline, and later marry up those indications to the game tape in order to identify tendencies or patterns.

Though no disciplinary action by the league ever resulted, the Patriots last year were reportedly the impetus of a sternly written letter from the league office to all teams, reminding them that it was illegal for an advance scout or personnel official to bring a video recording device of any kind into the press box for the purposes of taping a potential opponent's signals or play-calling gestures from the sideline.

Teams have also been chastised for having a second camera in the press box-area video box, with one camera shooting the game action and the other one being trained on the opposing team's signal-givers. On offense, that's why coaches have taken to holding their play-calling charts in front of their mouths when they're sending in the play to the quarterback via the radio headset system.

WEEI has been fulminating over this all day. I remain profoundly disinterested.

Update (9/14): I've written about this again...

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