Stealing Signals is Legal - but using video camera is not (?!)

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by JoeSixPat, Sep 11, 2007.

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  1. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Pro Bowl Player

    I'm sure someone else has raised this, but I kindof think its important to have a thread title that makes the distinction.

    From what I've taken in on this issue over the last day, its not against the rules to have someone on the sidelines reading opposing team signals and sending hand signals - or maybe even phoning them in for that matter.

    There is a rule prohibiting the use of video.

    And apparently THAT's a rule that just went into effect this season.

    All of this puts the allegations in a different light - as everyone's saying that the Patriots cheated by stealing signals when stealing signals is apparently legal.. someone can legally be on the sidelines sending along their interpretation of the calls.

    The video aspect of it suggests that they don't want analysis of the signals - though its believed the signals themselves are often changed anyways.

    Any confirmation or clarification that others can give here would be appreciated - but if true, this seems like its paints the entire situation in an entirely different light.
  2. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

    The rule is against the use of "recording devices" being one of them. Actually it would be a bigger deal to have a hugely powerful/sensitive listening device to pick up private conversations on the sideline or in the coaches booth. You could pick up conversations on injuries, strategy, post-game meal decisions, all kinds of good stuff.

    The rule is about preventing a team from gaining an unfair advantage.
    Having a video tape of something that can be legally seen during the game is of no immediate use and limited long-term use.
    Having an audio tape of conversations on the sidelines could immediately be put into use to gain advantage during a game. "My arm is tightening up don't call any deep passes for the rest of the game"
  3. BadMoFo

    BadMoFo Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    September 11, 2007
    Rules in focus
    By Mike Reiss, Globe Staff
    The Patriots are under investigation by the NFL on allegations they illegally tried to decipher the Jets' signals with video equipment. Here are two key areas within the NFL's video tape policy as it relates to coaching video:

    Page 105 of the league's Game Operations manual says: "No video recording devices of any kind are permitted to be in use in the coaches' booth, on the field, or in the locker room during the game." It later says: "All video shooting locations must be enclosed on all sides with a roof overhead."

    Ray Anderson, the league's head of football operations, sent a memo to head coaches and GMs last September 6 that said: "Video taping of any type, including but not limited to taping of an opponent's offensive or defensive signals, is prohibited on the sidelines, in the coaches' booth, in the locker room, or at any other locations accessible to club staff members during the game."
  4. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    I wonder if this is about preventing an over-enthusiastic rookie from punching a 'signal-stealing' cameraman's lights out? 'cause I just don't see the difference between taping this stuff(illegal) and writing down what you see(legal.)
  5. upstater1

    upstater1 Pro Bowl Player

    Nowhere in that rule does it say you can't use videotape to decipher (steal) your opponent's signals and use them in a game. The Phins did it to the Patriots last year and the NFL was ok with that.

    So only videotaping is illegal. Not using the videotape to steal signals.

    It might not make sense to you and me (that is, if you like things that are logical) but if a coach or player somehow accidentally comes upon a videotape of the opposition's signals, then it's OK to use them.

    It seems to me that this rule is aimed at cameramen and video production assistants. It has nothing to do with coaches at all, since coaches are allowed to take video tapes and steal signals. But cameramen are not allowed to film.

    Way to go NFL.
  6. 363839

    363839 Supporter Supporter

    Are you suggesting league wide collusion? Congressional investigations, etc..?
  7. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Pro Bowl Player

    OK - thanks for the clarification everyone... but the bottom line is, having a guy on the sidelines with a cellphone calling in each defensive signal to his team's coaches is legal, as strange as that may be

    What he can't do is record that - though what additional strategic advantage that provides I don't know

    If stealing signals were against the rules and the Patriots did it I'd feel pretty bad - but seeing as that's within the rules of the game I guess its OK, as odd as that is

    Recording it doesn't strike me as quite as big a deal - so even if the Pats were doing that I'm not really all that appalled.

    It's a strange set of rules they have in the NFL though - that's for sure.
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