Is This Being Overblown? Yes.
Let me start by saying that I'm no "homer" or "fan boy" (see my post in the "Support Rodney Harrison" thread for proof of that) but I think that many people in the media, around the league and, sadly, even some on this message board are grossly over-stating the severity and effects of what the Patriots did by recording opposing team's defensive signals.
First let's clarify exactly what rule the Patriots broke here; they brought a camera on to the field. OK, yes, guilty as charged. However, I think most of us (the realistic/reasonable among us) know that stealing signals is and has been a part of the game for a long time. So what is the competitive advantage between having a lip-reader with a pair of binoculars (read http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/ins...ife_of_reilly/) watching the other team's sideline and jotting down notes and videotaping the other sideline? As I see it the only difference is the videotaping might take a little less work? Maybe?
The fact is that those who would use this incident to discredit our coaches and players and the many accomplishments they've made are jealous of those achievements and would gleefully use any opportunity to tear them down or are emotional right now and not thinking clearly.
Please, take a deep breath, step back and logically look at it this way. Had the Patriots employed a lip-reader with a pair of binoculars then they would've derived the exact same benefit that they did through videotaping and they wouldn't have been in violation of any league rule. Admittedly, they took it a step too far with the videotaping which was maybe a more convenient/logical approach in their eyes. In no way however did videotaping make Bill Belichick the great coach he is today. In no way did videotaping make Tom Brady the future hall of fame quarterback he is today. Anyone who tries to say otherwise (Florio and other media and fans) is flat out ignorant.
The Patriots will prove all of this with their play on the field and I'm fired up to watch them do it.
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