The Daily Blog 9/13

Ian Logue
September 13, 2007 at 1:59 am ET

A shorter entry today, due to the fact it’s been a long couple of days. As a matter of fact, I have to say Sunday’s game against the Jets feels like it was weeks ago.

I’ll admit it, this has been an exhausting couple of days dealing with the fallout of the saga that unfolded surrounding the sign stealing accusations. There’s been no chance to enjoy the victory as a fan and talk about how good Randy Moss and the offense looked, or how good the defense performed. Should you start talking about either one, without fail sooner or later you here the word:

“Cheaters.”

It’s a word that isn’t going to go away anytime soon. Like it or not this incident, regardless of how large or small anyone feels it may be, has become bigger than anyone could have expected. I mean let’s face it, fans can typically find common ground when it comes to their own team, but even now there is quite a divide between fans when the discussion comes to the degree of the severity or the significance of this incident.

I’ve reached the point where my opinion is this: I was a catcher in high school and always had to be aware of a team potentially figuring out what pitches I was calling. The second you see anything that makes you believe the other team is communicating that they’re aware of what’s coming, it was my job to change them up to keep them off balance. It was certainly the prerogative of the runner on base to make the attempt to figure out what I was doing, but it was also my job to be aware of anything suspicious and react.

But let me say this. If I found out that the coaches were calling in the signals to the batter from the dugout because there was a camera in center field watching my fingers to give the batter an advantage, I’d have been pretty angry. There are those who may wonder how big of an effect it would have or how big of an advantage it really would be. But think about it, all it takes is one pitch, a batter knowing a fastball was coming in, even to just get a single to get on base. So what if the guy who drove him in didn’t know the signs because I changed it up? If we lose 2-1, it would prove that it’s not how many times it gave them an edge, it’s about the one time it did make a difference. That’s what makes it wrong.

I’ll be honest, I don’t care if my coach decided to do it against our opponents. It would still aggravate me if I got beat because of a tactic that was against the rules. Your time in sports is short, and you may only get a few seasons to play. In the pros it’s sometimes just a matter of games for some players. But losing for any other reason other than being outplayed is one that most people would have a tough time dealing with.

Doing anything that is obviously illegal, while calling it a “misinterpretation of the rules”, is just wrong. I’m not going to be one who calls for Belichick’s head, or harps on this issue searching for an apology that’s never going to come. We know that Bill “is who he is”. We know that we’re not going to hear much of anything from him after the statement comes following whatever punishment the team receives. He’s obviously a proven winner, but now there will always be someone who wonders if those wins came for the wrong reason. Unfortunately he’s put the team, the organization, and its fans in a new situation of being looked down upon from every single opposing football team and their fans. They went from one of the classiest organizations in football, to one that will be scrutinized for years to come because of this.

Don’t kid yourselves. Wait until you see every road game this year. It’s going to be ugly, and good luck to Patriots fans heading off for a road game to watch their team. You’re probably going to need it.

As for the penalty, this is going to be interesting because according to all reports commissioner Roger Goodell is going to be looking to set a precedent for an incident that we really haven’t seen before, and he’s obviously getting pressure from the rest of the teams in the league to come down hard on this football team. Let’s face it, breaking the law off the field is one thing, we’ve obviously seen that in the NFL before and we’re familiar with how those incidents are handled. But breaking rules on the field for a form of cheating is something we aren’t familiar with. Yes, I’m aware that no official ruling has been made yet, but we all know one is coming. Most reports are saying that the decision may come on Friday when the Patriots are apparently supposed to present their side of the story. I guess my feeling is that it’s just really too bad that this incident has made it where that date has really become the more significant day of this week instead of the upcoming football game.

Needless to say like most fans I’ll be glad when this is no longer the main topic of discussion. And it can’t happen soon enough.

SITE NEWS: They’re Piling Up

Registrations as I said in yesterday’s entry have been restricted and require moderation approval. Fans from other teams who are obviously looking to cause trouble based on their usernames continue to come in fast and furious. I guess unless myself and the moderators decide that we need more pain and aggravation in our lives, here are a few new usernames that will be sitting and “awaiting” approval: Pats_Cheat, arrogance, and belicheat.


  • Silverghost

    In light of the fury over Bellichick’s getting caught in ‘videogate’, I’d like to make the following comments. First, (and I’m not trying to be a ‘homer’ here) where is all the furor over other teams pulling stunts to get an edge over an opposing team? My point is all teams pull whatever stunts they can get away with to gain an edge whenever and where ever possible. Its all about ‘gamesmanship’ and whatever it takes to gain an edge – and it is not restricted to the playing field. I don’t believe any of this is right, but it is common practice. I believe ultimately the issue here is that a highly regarded (hall of fame candidate potentially) coach whom is not media friendly, perceived as arrogant and a bit smug – has given the opposition (across the board) certifiable grounds to support their relative dislike and or disdain for him, and by extension – the organization. Do we not like to build up our idols for the express purpose of tearing them down (and by extension, exposing their humanity in the process)? And they’re piling on in droves. A little perspective is called for, here – from a league – and historical standpoint (Parcells was famous for pulling stunts as well, but because he was quick with a biting or humorous comment, he gets a ‘get out of jail free’ card.). What he did was wrong – no question, and I’m not an apologist for him. He should pay a stiff penalty, if the facts support the accusation. But be fair – take the opportunity to examine the entire leaque. Make the punishment fit the crime.

  • I agree totally with the above response. If we are guilty of this, then we take whatever punishment the league hands down without any further discussion.

    I also agree that there should be a league wide investigation into cheating of all types. There is no way that the patriots are the only ones guilty of trying to get an advantage over other teams. Anyone who think so, anyone who thinks thier team is “above that”, has thier head in the clouds so high there is no air for you. The NFL is a multi billion dollar business. It is all about the almighty dollar, not the pride in winning. If it wasn’t, do you think the 32 owners would still share in the profits? A league wide investigation should be the next think on the commissioners plate. He is the loudest voice when it comes to competitiveness and parity. Finish your punishment of the Patriots so the season can go on, then start looking at the league as a whole. Weed out all the cheating.

    Craig Walker

  • Doug Bures

    Can any Pats fan just take their lumps and admit the team was cheating?

  • VPI97

    Whether or not other teams try different things to “get an advantage” isn’t really the point. The main reason that the commissioner is going to come down hard on Bill and the organization isn’t necessarily just because of the attempt to “steal” defensive signals, instead it’s directly tied to the fact that there was a memo sent to all teams expressly prohibiting the use of video equipment in this manner. The apparent audacity that Belichick displayed by pulling this stunt IN THE VERY FIRST GAME after that memo is what has Goodell steamed.

  • silverghost

    ..I agree with the sentiment that we should ‘take our lumps’ and that the Pats coach ‘cheated’. No question. I’m pretty upset that he felt that he had to pull these stunts to win. I don’t like winning that way, and I always like to feel like my team ‘settles’ it on the field – from the coaches on down (which they the players did, without question – just without the coaching staff ‘honoring’ their end of the deal). I’m very dissappointed in Bellichick in the fact that he was warned strongly (along with the rest of the league) and yet chose to ignore it and continue on breaking the rules; that’s arrogant. He should take his beating, then get on with coaching. I would have liked seeing him be a bit more truly apologetic and contrite, but he is what he is (as we all can see at this point)and you can’t make him change his skin. I don’t like the fact that he didn’t acknowledge that what he did was use poor judgement, maintaining a habit of disregarding the rules, and being flat out arrogant – but rather; ‘apologized’ for a mistake in ‘interpretation of the rules’. I don’t think he was genuine. Time may change my opinion, but thats what I think at the moment. What a let down.

    One last point; I read that – logistically – its impossible to glean any real immediate advantage from the film as it was being captured on the field (coordinating the down and distance plus capturing the defense calls and getting them back to the side line in time to help is virtually impossible). Why isn’t anyone questioning this? Also, Bellichick and his partner Ernie (Arcosi I think?) are known to keep a virtual encyclopedia of nearly every play made going back decades? I suspect that Bellichick was keeping the films on file for later use, not for the moment. Just a thought to consider (again, not implying whatsoever that he’s right in what he did). I also think the players will take a lot of unecessary heat over this and it could break their pride, as they do ‘settle’ it on the field. I’d hate to imagine what they’re thinking right about now…

  • Belichick Is God

    I say every body should take their own video cameras to the game. Point them at the side lines and post the results on you tube from now on.
    This whole thing is stupid.

  • I say lets wait and see how the pats play for the season and if they are as good as they have been in the past then we will know just how much help the cheating was needed to win

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