This "new" spygate thing is not complicated

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PatsFaninAZ, Feb 14, 2008.

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  1. PatsFaninAZ

    PatsFaninAZ In the Starting Line-Up

    Did you ever feel like you were the only one on the planet that understood something and you just can't figure out why nobody else does? Since September, there has been zero mystery about any of this. The story out of the NFL has been consistent, and there is absolutely nothing new. I remember when Goodell was on Sunday night football about the tapes, and then after, it was crystal clear what he was saying and what had happened. I must have posted here about it a dozen times -- always the same thing. Nothing has changed. Here's an example:

    Post number 48.

    Here's the deal:

    Tape gets confiscated at Jets game.

    Goodell interviews BB, who gives his "interpretation" -- I thought I could do it, but just not at games.

    Goodell says, "no," and I'm fining and punishing you for trying to circumvent the spirit of the rule. By the way, how long has this been your interpretation.

    BB says the only thing he can say: "Well, always." How can he say anything different?

    Goodell says, "ok, I need the ill gotten gains, then -- turn it all over."

    Patriots say, "ok."

    League destroys it, it's mission accomplished.

    What about this is so freaking hard to understand? That's what they said then. That's what they've said since. That's all this has ever been about for anyone reading anything about it.

    The only new news is that there were only 6 tapes.
  2. PatsFaninAZ

    PatsFaninAZ In the Starting Line-Up

    I know, bad form to reply to myself. But here's what I said on 9/20/07. Nothing has changed:

    <<I sort of got the sense from listening to what Goodell was saying during the interview that once the patriots offered their "interpretation" as the defense, he assumed they had not just come up with it for one game. It was reported (by Kraft himself, I believe) that when Belichick made his presentation, the commissioner asked a number of probing questions, and I imagine that this very issue came up and was taken into account in the imposition of the sanction.

    The reality is that once Belichick offered his "interpretation" defense, they were kind of stuck having to ride that train to the end of the track. We'll probably never know what happened during the discussion, but I doubt seriously Goodell didn't ask, "how long have you been doing it that way?" Once the patriots decided to go with their interpretation defense, I'm sure the answer was "for a while." And once Goodell asked that question, he surely decided -- legitimately and reasonably in my opinion -- that the tapes should be rounded up and taken from the patriots. Both to deprive the patriots of the tapes and to do exactly what the NFL spokesman said they were doing -- to educate the rest of the league on what was permitted.

    I also think, though, that the commissioner was not that bothered by pre-2007 misinterpretations of the rule. I think the entire reason he sent out a memo in the first place was the fact that it was a well-understood fact that people were misinterpreting the rule. I belive that's why he punished the patriots the way he did. He went to the trouble of putting out a memo, and here it was, the first game after that, and the patriots were not complying.

    I imagine that Belichick, Kraft, the team's lawyers, and everyone involved understood during the presentation to the NFL last week that candid accurate answers were absolutely required, and I'm sure they were given -- just as I'm extremely confident -- as I sit here right now that if the patriots certified they gave over all tapes, they did exactly that.

    But if you want to truly understand this story, stop listening to fans or reporters. Just read the NFL's words -- the statement, the commissioner's interview, the e-mail to Reiss, and the three Aeilo comments from last week. They really tell you every thing you need to know about what this is, and has always, been about -- and it's nothing remotely close to what's been reported.>>
  3. Disco Volante

    Disco Volante Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #12 Jersey

    Well we've always kind of assumed that, but it's never been confirmed.

    And the confirmation allows the media to start ripping into the legacy again.
  4. PatsFaninAZ

    PatsFaninAZ In the Starting Line-Up

    Actually, the whole thing has been spin. If you listened to Goodell and the league right after the "tapes" thing, they never claimed to be doing an "investigation." That was Bob Costas spin.

    But now the spin has become the truth, and so people get to say things like "cover up" or "there were more games!"
  5. MassPats38

    MassPats38 Supporter Supporter

    #87 Jersey

    I agree. It is not complicated when viewed as the league "looking into" a rule violation and ordering the team to disgorge any benefit from violating the rule.

    The violation became Spygate when

    (1) the violator was the Pats, a team that had enjoyed huge success unmatched by any other team in the salary cap era,

    (2) Goodell opted not to discuss the matter in meting out the punishment, only to say in so many words the issue was addressed,

    (3) the Pats opted not to detail the nature of the violation or exactly what the practice was that violated the rules on videotaping

    (4) the media, seizing on the fact that the Pats had been accused of a league violation, took the opportunity to find the NFL's version of Watergate, and

    (5) fans as a whole seemed to be generally uneducated on the practice of defensve signal stealing, and this lack of understanding allowed the media to present videotaping (in which the Pats were the only team accused) to signal stealing, allowing the media to implicate the Pats as a renegade in signal stealing.

    I still suspect the NFL wanted Belichick to face public acrimony by not detailing the investigative process or findings resulting in the penalty, but failed to appreciate how big a boom the issue would make in the public eye. When the media storm erupted, it was too late to reign it in and explain what was done.

    If the issue is simple, the media has made it absurdly complex and a public relations nightmare. Try to debate the semantics of 'cheating' and 'violation' in the pro- and anti-Pats camps and you see how ridiculous this issue has become.
  6. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

    #18 Jersey

    Media HATE Belichik jumps on opportunity. Opposing fans hate other dominant teams & dynasties....opposing fans jump on opportunity.

    1 + 1 = HATERS....they've made it so damn obvious!

    Eff 'em all!:D
  7. BadMoFo

    BadMoFo Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Worst part is that Specter thinks he is going to be the one to show how the taping played a role in the games. An old senator over an NFL guy.
  8. Poker

    Poker Practice Squad Player

    PF in AZ:

    Great summary (again!) and I completely agree. The only part I would add:

    -- Goodell levied the punishment at the time--$750K plus a first rounder, relatively quickly, and with a some tough-guy language and harsh criticism as it was announced. It was the largest penalty ever -- so it screams out that what the Pats did was really really heinous.

    -- Anything that comes out subsequently in which Goodell or the NFL is put in the position of defending their actions, does have them in a kind of box. If it was so horrible that you punished severely, why didn't you fully investigate, are you covering up, etc.

    -- To me, that has always been at the root of the issue--Goodell was taking a ton of heat when this broke from Pats haters in all directions, media, teams they had beaten, etc. His ACTUAL punishment was one more appropriate to a team in which their actions might have led to a competitive advantage, not just broken a rule. But in his statement, Goodell specifically said he believed the practice did not confer a competitive advantage. So his analysis, his words/actions, and his punishment were never internally consistent. I believe he caved in to the pressure from others who were screaming for more of a "death penalty" at the time on BB and this was a compromise from Goodell.

    -- In hindsight, if he had levied a punishment more consistent with his analysis, e.g. that this was a continued disregard for a rule infraction, based on a differing interpretation, and levied a small cash fine and a later-round pick, this would not have festered. Goodell would have taken a ton of heat in the immediate aftermath for being soft, but then the issue would have faded away. He made it bigger than it really was.
  9. juxtapoz15

    juxtapoz15 Supporter Supporter

    #54 Jersey

    Good summary AZ, one thing to add:

    Goodell came down on Pacman and Chris Henry regarding conduct violations, with regards to the new CBA. So if Goodell would not have come down hard on the Pats and BB, Upshaw would have been pi$$ed.
  10. bpeter17

    bpeter17 Practice Squad Player

    a few questions ...

    Do you think there were really only 6 tapes? Honestly - if they actually had a tape of the rams walkthrough they wouldn't have handed that over in a million years. Lets not kid ourselves - if there was anything really bad, they didn't hand it over.

    Do you think the NFL really wanted to do a full investigation? They wanted this to go away , so they put a big fine, did little to no investigation and prayed it would end.

    If they really wanted to find out the truth, why did they never talk to Walsh? They knew the rumor but never contacted the guy who it came from?

    i think there is a decent chance Walsh has nothing, but I don't think the pats handed over everything they had or that the NFL really wanted to get to the bottom of things....
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2008
  11. patpatriot

    patpatriot Banned

    This is the heart of the matter. Goodell was trying to prove that the same harsh rules applied to both black players and white coaches. That is where he overreached. Ever wonder why Bob Kraft has never said word "boo" after his Coach/team got crucified?

    Think about it...
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2008
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