I have been greatly disturbed by the incident earlier this week, and have been struggling to understand my feelings and sort out the reactions of others, fans and foes alike, being expressed on this web site and in the media. I think I have made some progress. I canâ€™t speak for everybody, but I am a dyed in the wool Patriot fan. I first started rooting for them when I was 10 years old, back in 1960 when they became the first post-war professional football team in New England. Years passed, I grew up and got older, and for various reasons my interest in the Patriots intensified. I was proud of my team; yet, there was always that feeling of inferiority when speaking with fans of other teams â€“ 49ers fans, Broncos fans, Steelers fans, Dolphins fans, even Jets fans. For those teams had won Super Bowls. Sure, our team had come close a couple of times â€“ in 1985 they became the first team to win 3 road games to reach the big game, only to be crushed by the Bears. After that, the news broke that several key players on our Super Bowl team had been busted for cocaine use. We reached the final game again in 1996, but this time it was our head coach, our latest hope for glory, who embarrassed us by allowing news to leak out (via his Globe buddy Will McDonough) that he was leaving the team right after the Super Bowl because he was unhappy with the owner. These incidents were not the only embarrassments in our history â€“ far from it. We can all name many, such as consecutive 1-15 and 2-14 seasons in the early 90s, the Lisa Olsen affaire and Victor Kiamâ€™s reaction to it, Irving Fyarâ€™s halftime exploits, etc. We were truly one of the sorriest franchises in the NFL for our first four decades of existence, being a source of embarrassment far more often than a source of pride. And every time it seemed like that was about to change, Cruel Fate seemed to reach in and set things back to the way they always were and the way they always would be. Or at least that was how it seemed. Finally, in 2001 things began to change. We won a Super Bowl, although many claimed it was tainted by (a) luck and (b) the tuck rule call. But after winning 3 in 4 years by 2004, no one could laugh at us anymore. We had become the model for how to run a professional sports franchise, and furthermore, it was said, we had won the right way â€“ by bringing in smart, team-oriented, dedicated players. Finally, we Pats fans could talk to fans of any other team with pride. Finally, we were the ones everyone envied. No longer was it embarrassing to even admit you were a Patriots fan to fans of other teams. But now, suddenly, it seems Cruel Fate has not changed her mind at all, she has only been setting us up again for an even crueler reversal of fortune. With this incident, once again we are embarrassed, and worse, it now appears that even our glory may have been gained not by virtue but by vice. I understand the reactions of many of us. Many of us, me included, have been denying the seriousness of this offense (see my sig). Of course we are, because to admit how bad it was is to acknowledge that our one source of pride as Pats fans may be illegitimate. But the damage has been done. Now all the doubters have the weapons they need. Always they will be able to dismiss our successes by saying we cheated. No matter how incidental and trivial the effect of any information gained by the videos may have been, the perception will always be there that it may have made the difference. So we defend BB and thank him for bringing us so much success â€“ but whether we agree or not, their will always be those who doubt that our success was honestly come by and that in and of itself diminishes it the joy it brought us. Bill Belichick, the man who gave us reason to be proud, has now robbed us of it and embarrassed us once again. Sure, I still want him to be our coach and I will still support him, but I will always wonder, "Why, Bill, did you have to do this to us, your long-suffering fans, to your team, and most of all to yourself?"