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The rule accodring to Reiss

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Section103, Sep 14, 2007.

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  1. Section103

    Section103 Practice Squad Player

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    #95 Jersey

    According to Mike Reiss of the Globe, this is the exact rule that the Pats allegedly broke:

    "Any use by any club at any time, from the start to the finish of any game in which such club is a participant, of any communications or information-gathering equipment, other than Polaroid-type cameras or field telephones, shall be prohibited, including without limitation videotape machines, telephone tapping, or bugging devices, or any other form of electronic devices that might aid a team during the playing of a game."

    They did not use it during the playing of the game. The memo that went out did not specify 'during the playing of the game' yet should it have been reasonably assumed by the Pats that the memo was extending beyond the rule. The league memos do not amend the rules, there are committees and votes and official reviews in the off-season for rules changes, this was not one of them. The memo does not change that. This camera practice was not hidden, the guy was in plain view and he was out there less than a week after the memo. Is it arrogance or an honest belief that their interpretation was correct?
     
  2. PF1996

    PF1996 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    There is NOTHING that is "open to interpretation" about this rule. The rule says "might aid a team during the playing of a game". The tape doesn't HAVE to be used, videotaping in and of itself is NOT ALLOWED from the "start to finish of a game". Listen, Belichick was a dumbass because of "arrogance" or whatever other reason, and the Pats are now paying the price for his stupidity. Every other coach but the "genius" found a way to legally steal signs. Absolutely amazing.
     
  3. Vern

    Vern Practice Squad Player

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    You pretty much nailed it. The rule is there so the league doesn't have to check or worry about whether or how the tape is being used. They don't want the expense or hassle. They have similar rules about cell phones on the sidelines, and you can get nailed even if you're just talking to mom.

    Where it matters, is to the Hines Wards and McNabbs and others of the world, who are saying they lost games because of it. That's where they've been exposed as idiots for not manning up to the real reasons they lost.
     
  4. BlitzFritz

    BlitzFritz Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    It say during the playing of "a game" not during the playing of "the game that is being videotaped". I think Bill was being silly to think he could debate the interpretation. And in any case, he could have asked for an interpretation at the beginning of the season.

    This really sucks. Isnt a first round pick equal to over half the total value of a typical draft?
     
  5. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Before everyone starts throwing around words like arrogance, pay attention to this:

    "that might aid a team during the playing of a game"

    That is the crux of the interpretation rule.. the tape was not to be used for this game but for future analysis and to add to their volumnous library.

    The Video Tech, Matt Estrella, has been with the pats for 4 years, he knows Manjudas, Daboll and a lot of the coaches and players and vice versa.. it makes no sense for BB to have done this, this part of the rule is imo vague.. if he wanted to do it, he could have done it about 40 other ways besides having Estrella on the sidelines in plain view with a video camera on his shoulder.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2007
  6. Section103

    Section103 Practice Squad Player

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    The understanding is the point. You are correct, as, in my excitement, I obviously did not read the statement clearly to see that it said 'a' game as opposed to THE game. The statement itself references a game in which they are playing and ends with 'A' game. It is reasonable to make that interpretation based on the context of the overall statement. But yes based on the literal statement of the rule my original interpretation is wrong.
     
  7. TomPatriot

    TomPatriot PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This interpretation leads to the absurd conclusion that a team cannot videotape its own games.

    "Any use by any club at any time, from the start to the finish of any game in which such club is a participant, of any communications or information-gathering equipment, other than Polaroid-type cameras or field telephones, shall be prohibited, including without limitation videotape machines, telephone tapping, or bugging devices, or any other form of electronic devices that might aid a team during the playing of a game."

    The bolded part of the rule is an ejusdem generis clause, or catch-all phrase, designed to make sure any type of electronic device is included. To provide the interpretation the NFL now wants - "a game" - there should be a comma after the word "devices." Otherwise, "that might aid a team during a game" only refers to the types of electronic devices and NOT which game it is used in.

    I can see why there would be confusion. This rule should be re-drafted if they don't want a team to videotape its own games for use in preparation for other games.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2007
  8. h0c2000

    h0c2000 Rookie

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    What is a Polaroid-type camera? Does it imply film? Polaroid produced an instant develop movie camera, Polavision. Is Polavision allowed but videotape isn't? Are digital cameras allowed? Are live feeds from the networks allowed in the booth? The rule is poorly worded which leaves it open to interpretation. If the NFL really wanted the rule to work. The NFL should control and supply all equipment for use during game day. Any other equipment would not be allowed.
     
  9. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    First, I'm not defending Belichick because we all know that he knew the intent of the rule and broke it. Penalty dererved.

    However I can see the interpretation issue. By saying "might aid" the Commissioner would say the tape "might aid" because we could be aided had we looked at it. But Belichick could say that if they never even open up the tape during the game how might it aid them ?

    So I can see the interpretation of the commissioner saying that the tape has the potential to help them but Belichick saying that "might aid" is invalid as it's never looked at during a game how "might it aid" them.

    Yes, I'm parsing "might" :D
     
  10. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    A "polaroid-type" camera is a single shot instant picture type camera.

    My guess is that digital cameras with video functions would not be allowed.

    The Coaches booth already has live network feeds that the team can print stills from.

    To my knowledge, the NFL does control the equipment in the booths and the headsets that coaches wear. The TV Networks control the cameras.

    However, I agree with you beyond that.
     
  11. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Let's be clear, you are wrong, but you are putting forth what I am sure Belichick would argue was his "interpretation" of the rule, given that the memo did not have the status of an owners' or competiition committee vote. He was trying to split the thinnest of hairs with the sharpest of Jesuitical knives, but the judge with the final vote decided against him.

    To my mind, this is a disingenuous interpretation given the clear intent of the memo and Belichick should have known better than to blatantly challenge it on Mangini's turf.

    However, in fairness to BB, in dozens of court rooms in Boston and Manhattan today, lawyers are making even more far-fetched attempts to parse the law on behalf of their clients. Bill Belichick, however, should stick to his day job and not try out for the HLS faculty anytime soon.
     
  12. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress In the Starting Line-Up

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    I am sure whatever BB was doing complied with common practices around the league. This is a show trial orchestrated by envious competitors to humiliate our team. Anyone who buys this legal fine print in place of "common practice" is buying the horse$hite the colts and jets are selling. Right now they're laughing, and putting their own video cameras in cold storage for a few weeks. And stuffing Goodell's head with a little more straw, preparing him for his next close-up.
     
  13. tdw777

    tdw777 Practice Squad Player

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    depends on what your definition of "is" is
     
  14. Bobs My Uncle

    Bobs My Uncle PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So teams can no longer videotape their own games?

    Does the league do it for them and supply them the game film to study from?

    All I have to say is if the league uses UPS to courier the film to the teams then the games from here on out outta be interesting to watch to say the least :rolleyes:
     
  15. Funktopus

    Funktopus On the Game Day Roster

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    If the NFL changes the wording of this rule to clarify it's meaning, we should get our 1st back.
     
  16. Bobs My Uncle

    Bobs My Uncle PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    and Goodell should be tossed out for incompetancy, if not for not showing equality to the teams he's mandated to treat equally.
     
  17. rabthepat

    rabthepat 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I know plenty of lawyers, including the Attorney General of the U.S., that would interpret it the way Bill did. But Goodell went after the intent.
     
  18. Funktopus

    Funktopus On the Game Day Roster

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    What's troubling now is that i've been reading that Goodell has exonerated that Pats of using the tape to "aid a team during the playing of a game". Does that mean the Jets game? or does the "a" refer to ANY game?

    if it's ANY game, they should SAY "ANY game", such as "aid a team during the playing of any game".

    The NFL needs to clarify the rule and by doing so they exonerate the Pats by admintting their rule was unclear
     
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