Maybe I am jumping the gun here, but I see a real problem for the league in videogate, Goodell's punishment, and (now) Billick's allegations about the Jets. Coaches and front offices are under extreme pressure to win games. If they don't win games, they don't stay in their jobs. Unless they can find some nefarious reason for why they lost, and let the ensuing coverage distract the fans and media from their failures. The NFL was a culture of secrecy before. We never heard a whiff of videotaping signals or stealing scouting reports before. Any allegations of ref. fixing or tampering were ignored as improbable conspiracy theories by hurt fans. But this past week makes anything possible now, and we are seeing the culture of secrecy turn into a culture of tattle-taling or even lying to save one's skin and settle old scores. I think only the most naive of fans envisioned the NFL as a league devoid of crime, cheating, and other shenanigans. The NFL is very controlling of how it is viewed by fans and the media. We saw how they railroaded the "Playmakers" series on ESPN. How many people remember such a frenzy when Leonard Little, one of the League's stars, killed a person, and then only received an eight game suspension? The problem now is that the league is airing out it's own dirty laundry, Goodell is all too happy to be Judge Dredd, and it could cause a nightmare scenario. John Fox is on the hot seat in Carolina, and now, when he is being held to perform well this year, all of a sudden allegations are made that the Super Bowl win that would have given him a lifetime position in Carolina has been stolen by the Patriots when they broke into Bank of America Stadium and recorded practices. McNabb has a young highly drafted QB behind him, and now his ring was unfairly taken from him. The allegations against Mangini about illiegal play will not be the last against Mangini or other teams' coaches and front offices. The league is full of petty, insecure people. I can EASILY see frequent allegations of chicanery being made after contentious losses. And why not? This league and the media that covers it have created an atmosphere not unlike McCarthyism: wild speculations levied against respected league people are automatically assumed to be true. Look at who is saying these things. Jerome Bettis was accused of rape and has freely admitted to faking an injury to defraud his beloved Steelers. He is a liar. Yet weight is given to comments he makes about the Patriots knowing their offensive (not defensive) playcalling. The league is PLAGUED with tampering. Every year there are whispers and supposed allegations, but nothing has materialized. I think we can all agrere that the videotaping of signals was a minor thing. It didn't affect the outcome of the game in which it was done, and whether you want to call it cheating or not, almost any information it could impart could be obtained by careful study of gamefilm (tendencies, trends in playcalling). Roger Goodell has set a precedent in fining teams and individuals who knowingly violate rules to gain a competitive advantage. What is he going to do, fine everyoen half a mil and take everybody's first round picks? Mr. Tough Guy has set a standard, and he has to live by it. If Billick's allegationsa are true, the ramifications could have been huge. The Ravens were penalized 11 to 2 because of it and the Jets could have tied or won that game if they had a whiff of talent. Those penalty yards could have easily swayed the game. I know this is long, but I have one final point. The NFL's (or maybe more accurately NFL team leaders) may have set football on a course to become futbol. This willy-nilly charging of cheating is something that has haunted soccer for years. Brazil blames France for food poisoning, Italian soccer has become obsessed with evaluating refs and has become less a game of skill, then of flopping and getting the other team penalized for trumped up fouls and cheating. It seems like every manager blames a loss on some dirty trick the opposing manager pulled. As much as I want to see Mangini and the other idiots pay, I hope that my beloved sport doesn't go from being a game of strength and smarts to a game of blame and he said she said.