I’ve seen a lot of Pats fans on message boards claiming that everyone is video taping, and the Pats were just unlucky enough to get caught. Apparently, they are full of it. ESPN’S Jeff Chadidha reports that such illegal activity is NOT widespread at all.
“There isn’t a team in the league that doesn’t try to steal signals [but] I haven’t heard about teams recording footage like the Patriots were,” said one longtime NFL assistant coach. “But you can bet everybody is trying to steal in some way. In fact, you can go to any NFL game and you’ll find some coach whose sole job is to look for defensive signals.”
Added one NFC personnel director: “What the Patriots did is extremely rare because it’s against the rules. It’s one of those things that if it’s not Bill Belichick involved, you wonder if the coach survives something like that. What is more normal is something like a guy sitting in a press box trying to steal signs by looking at the coaches. That’s why the home team usually has its back to the press box when they’re in their own stadium.”
Ouch. So there goes that theory. I’m trying not to get too excited that the commish might annihilate this team with some kind of super sanction, but I do get more hopeful by the minute. It seems that this whole thing was just the tip of the iceberg. I’m almost as giddy as Bill Simmons was on Monday.
I also wanted to pass along this comment by Westside Rob…
Not to belabor the point on the Cheatriots, but did you see this: “McLaren stripped of points, fined $100M in F1 spy case “www.sportsline.com/autoracing/story/10349773 Sep. 13, 2007 CBSSports.com wire reports PARIS — The McLaren team was fined $100 million and stripped of its points in the constructors’ standings Thursday in the spying scandal that has rocked the sport A.) It seems spying isn’t limited to the NFL…B.) Now there is a punishment that Goodell should look at when making his decision re: Bellicheat
That’s not a bad idea, Rob. Honestly, I’m trying to reign in my bloodlust. I’m sure to be disappointed by whatever happens, and I’m starting to feel like I’m a half step away from advocating a public hanging of the Patriots staff in the town square. Since I’m not really interested in becoming part of a lynch mob right now, I’m just going to calm down and wait for the announcement tomorrow.
Demond Sanders’ Comments: I’m all in favor of pantsing the offending coach in front of the entire sportsworld (and frankly anything else they want to do to him), but I don’t really want to see the team itself harmed (a forfeit). It would kind of ruin it if this scandal ended up affecting the Patriots’ season. Nothing should rob the Colts of their natural right to face and destroy the Pats in mortal combat come January. It’s kind of like in action movies when the good guy says, “Don’t touch him. . . he’s mine.”