NFL

New England Patriots, Bill Belichick Should Lose One Game As A Result of Latest Findings

9/12/07 in NFL   |   CriticalFanatic   |   respect

Football is a game won by communication. Sure, the best players usually win, but the team that game plans better and communicates on the field more effectively will usually win. The sport is an evolution of military war where nearly all battles were won by the "team" who had the communication edge.

It might not totally relate, but pretend to understand the correlation. Had Lord Cardigan's army had advance spies examining the battlefield of Balaclava during the Crimean War, they would have never ridden into the valley of death and there would be no Charge of the Light Brigade. Noble were the five hundred, but more importantly they were the least informed. Instead the British were totally destroyed that day. If the Patriots knew every single defensive rush on Sunday, you better believe they were going to whip the Jets. Was I the only one suspicious of the absurdly good protection on Sunday?

There are rules of war, and rules of the National Football League. The latter explicitly state you cannot record footage of a team's defensive signals. That's a rather serious integrity breach of the league. Whether it helped them win Sunday or helps them win the second game against New York, what cannot be debated is that it helps them win. If you don't think knowing a defense's signals is an unfair advantage, you don't understand football. This cannot be tolerated.

What's worse, this is hardly the first smoke surrounding Bill Belichick's Patriots.

From Pro Football Talk comes some smoke that the Patriots have actually wired defensive players to understand offensive communication.

The situation regarding the New England Patriots and the allegations/proof that they have stolen defensive signals is unofficially getting weirder.


The signal stealing flap is relevant only to defensive signals, since all offensive calls are made by radio. But we're now aware of suspicions/rumors regarding efforts by the Pats to get a leg up as to opposing offenses.


Specifically, we're told that it's believed that, during the 2006 season, the Patriots were putting microphones on defensive linemen in order to capture the offensive line calls and the quarterback audibles.


Then, the audio and the video of the game would be matched up, and the defensive players would be given the code at halftime.

On top of this, the Boston Herald is saying this is actually the 4th suspected instance of recording signals from an opponent and that Belichick has a reputation around the league of bending (read: breaking) the rules.

Stealing signals through video or audio espionage is against the rules, as it should be. Knowing what blitz is coming or what pass protection is called can win you a football game even if it's the Oakland Raiders lined up against the Pats. This is worse than a single player taking steroids. Worse than a player being arrested to marijuana possession. If Roger Goodell is serious about maintaining the integrity of the NFL, he'll dock the Patriots a game.

We'll see what the Pats have to say in their defense, but with the current information available, just taking away a draft pick isn't going to change the behavior of a coach who has clearly been getting away with this for a while.
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9/17/07   |   Poli_   |   93 respect

I don't understand how private or coded these signals are if they can be visibly seen by anyone at the game. Suposedly it's ok to memorize them (if you're a gifted photographic memory person) just not tape them...Players should be forced to learn Navajo or Korean or Chinese...cryptologists could have a new vocation...encoding calls to confuse the opposition. More geeks (well I watch anyways) would watch football if the Raiders did all there calls in "Klingon" or "Elvish". Imagine 54...36...P'Tak!!! 

9/14/07   |   MrNFL   |   175 respect

Pat wrote:
I love your screen name. Not terribly original, but it's oh-so-clever.

LOL, Sounds like you've got a fan Pat.

9/14/07   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

wrote:
I bet the tape was just of Mangina scratching himself or something.... hahaha am i right am i right? Now seriously I think the NFL should take this 500k from the tight pockets of Belichick and start a series of TV broadcasts to inform our kids that cheat is wrong, and then say this message is paid for by "the fine on Bill Belicheck for him cheating". That would really strike the message home!

I love your screen name. Not terribly original, but it's oh-so-clever.

9/14/07   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

"Bellichick's 2007 Salary: $6.4 Million plus Bonuses & Incentives"

So you don't think that 500K was a big enough fine for him? You don't think that about 8% of his base salary was enough? For an average citizen making 50K per year, that would be about 4 grand. I realize he still has millions, but that's a pretty large chunk.

And it has yet to be determined WHAT was on the tape and how it was being used. It's possible that Goodell determined that it wasn't as helpful/harmful as some people are speculating.

NOTE: I'm not even disagreeing with the fine. I certainly think the team should have been fined FAR more. But the fine against Belichick himself is appropriate, in my opinion. But I would have also liked to have seen a suspension.

Players cheat, they get suspended. Wade Wilson "cheated", he got suspended. It should be the same for Belichick.

9/14/07   |   OneEyedPony

Let's see...
NE Patriots net value:  $1.25 BILLION
Multi-Billionaire KRAFT family
Bellichick's 2007 Salary: $6.4 Million plus Bonuses & Incentives

These FINES are nothing to the PATS organization as a whole! Maybe to the common fan, it seems like a lot, but it's nothing to them and rest assure, they'll find many different ways to make the money back or write it off. They should of fined the PATS $100 million like they did to Mercedes-McClaren for cheating in yesterday's court decision. That would set an example to the PATS and every other NFL team in conspiring to cheat in the future, but there's way too much MONEY involved in the NFL today.

GOODELL & the NFL want to keep this closed and shut and out of the courts as well as curb any lawsuits globally. Additionally, they totally want to keep this away from the political situations that can/may arise. Ironic, that this is the opposite of all the lawsuits and Political involvement in sports and  generally everywhere in the US.

Use or distribution of NFL game Video of ANY kind without the express WRITTEN consent of the NFL, and both teams involved is a Felony with punishment up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Now the Radio interference and illegal use of "other unauthorized channel" radio frequencies are against  NFL, local stadium rules, and respective state and federal FCC Laws. This HAS BEEN REPORTED TO THE NFL BY MULTIPLE TEAMS that played the NE Patriots. These can be Felony crimes but most are reduced to mistermeanors. That's why it requires a FCC license to transmit ANY TYPE RF, let alone to use it JAMM other radio frequencies or listen in on Rf conversations. Remember, this is also a complaint from previous teams that played the PATS.

There's the possibility of a slew of state & federal violations, let alone NFL violations. As an example, making to the wildcard playoff game alone will add millions of dollars in revenue, go to a divisional game and conference championship games can add 10's of millions of dollars to your team. Super Bowl, 100's of MILLION$ of dollars for a team.
Again, $500K & 250K are nothing to a multi billion dollar organization... this isn't much of an incentive to stop cheating. Increase the fines/penalties or get the government involved and a team will think twice about cheating.

A prefect example is the previous AFC championship game... The COLTS banned all video cameras, except the Network TV cameras at the game against the PATS inside the RCA dome in Indianapolis, because of the PATS known cheating.   So in the previous 5 years, there has been multiple complaints against the PATS for cheating, etc.  There can be lawsuits filed by teams that complained against the NFL for not taking action sooner. But since this is such a Major controversial situation, the NFL has contacted all the teams with "Classified requests & instructions" Wiretapping is a very Broad covered law and varies from state to state... I'm not here go into the paragraphs of the law, but if you're interested, your public libraries or internet are a good start. Did the Pats violate wiretapping laws? If there is recorded evidence under their methods and procedures you betcha, they violated the legal system.  Additionally, since all this is premeditated, confiscation of all emails, mobile phone longs, etc... respective PATS can be charged with Conspiracy charges. There are BILLIONS of dollars in NFL sports betting around the world, which can result in thousands of lawsuits for a numerous amount of reasons.  Look at the continuance of Grand Jurys and Legal ramifications involvement of a baseball player that has "PREVIOUSLY" used steroids and/or HGHs. But other NFL teams may be cheating the same way and this would open PANDORA's BOX and tarnish the NFL and it revenue for years!

It did  take an Ex-PAT coach (Mangini) to know exactly how the PATS cheating system works and reveal it to the NFL. This is why the NY JETS used consultants and their own internal security firm to collect the data/evidence.

If you like some additional stats on the money involved,:

Lets use the Patriots as an example:

Gillette Stadium standard seat season occupancy:  550,048
Average Fan Index (money of ticket and food)       $125 (conservative)

standard seat revenue 8 home games:   $66+ MILLION

This doesn't include: 2000 luxury suite seats
                                 $50 standing room only tickets
                                 Merchandise sales at the stadium

cost range for a Luxury suite for the reg season; $85K-$325K each

80 Luxury Suites

14,000 parking spaces: $25 = $350K per game = $2.8 million reg season
does not include VIP parking fees
stadium naming rights: $200 million dollars (Procter & Gamble) GILLETTE
TV rights = MILLIONS
Video rights = MILLIONS
Concessions = MILLIONS
Merchandise = MILLIONS
The BIG PATS Money goes ON and ON, (100's of millions per season) so we don't want to kill the revenue, and especially the tax dollars the PATS organization brings to the state & Feds with too harsh of penalties now *sign

For the PATS fans, I understand your emotional attachment/support of your team... but before any Bias'd, Childish, Ignorant, or unexperience/uneducated rebuttals...  please think before typing.

9/14/07   |   sue14625

lets get the punishment in the right place-the coaches fines and suspension seemlike good ideas but they need to be stiff enough to send a message that cheating is wrong

9/13/07   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

OneEyedPony wrote:
I am totally disgusted with BelliChek's "COVERUP" penalties. This was potential local and Federal Wiretapping fraud. There has been numerous reported violations by the PATs report by other teams.  This was also premeditated planned coercion and conspiracy between, coaches, assistants, private surveillance people, and players!  There should be subpoenas for phone calls and emails (both internal & External-private)   Those fines are CHUMP CHANGE and most likely BILLIONAIRE GILLETTE will throw Bellicheck a fat bonus at the end of the season.  This is nothing to the ULTRA RICH and POWERFUL. Knowing how cheap the rich are... they'll up the prices on parking and concession stands to pay for the fines by the fans.

All to keep this out of court and to avoid a MAJOR BLACK EYE for the NFL. Imagine the Lawsuits from GAMBLING and Vegas of bets place for the Super Bowl winner, etc!  The change in outcomes of the SUPER BOWLS?  Did the EAGLES WIN then?  This was all an internal conspiracy to keep it quiet and settle it quick!  Imagine... Vick loses over $100 Million Dollars and years of playing and prison... F1 racing fines Mercedes McClaren $100 MILLION for cheating.   This is a TOTAL BS Smokescreen by GOODELL & the NFL!
(Edited by Pat)

Who is "Billionaire Gillette"?

And please explain where you're getting the wiretapping fraud claims from? This is NOT a federal issue at all.

I hate when ignorant people make things up, just so they have another reason to be mad at someone of whom they are indescribably jealous.

9/13/07   |   OneEyedPony

I am totally disgusted with BelliChek's "COVERUP" penalties. This was potential local and Federal Wiretapping fraud. There has been numerous reported violations by the PATs report by other teams.  This was also premeditated planned coercion and conspiracy between, coaches, assistants, private surveillance people, and players!  There should be subpoenas for phone calls and emails (both internal & External-private)   Those fines are CHUMP CHANGE and most likely BILLIONAIRE GILLETTE will throw Bellicheck a fat bonus at the end of the season.  This is nothing to the ULTRA RICH and POWERFUL. Knowing how cheap the rich are... they'll up the prices on parking and concession stands to pay for the fines by the fans.

All to keep this out of court and to avoid a MAJOR BLACK EYE for the NFL. Imagine the Lawsuits from GAMBLING and Vegas of bets place for the Super Bowl winner, etc!  The change in outcomes of the SUPER BOWLS?  Did the EAGLES WIN then?  This was all an internal conspiracy to keep it quiet and settle it quick!  Imagine... Vick loses over $100 Million Dollars and years of playing and prison... F1 racing fines Mercedes McClaren $100 MILLION for cheating.   This is a TOTAL BS Smokescreen by GOODELL & the NFL!

9/13/07   |   Nick S

Gazzo wrote:
Umm yea ace but the players are the ones using the stolen information. Whether they knew it or not. Stop being a damn homer. You know if the Jets did this and you were on the other side, you would be flipping out.
(Edited by Nick S)

EDIT: I am not going to start anymore fights, so think what you want of me I don't care.

9/13/07   |   sportsnut27

The fact of the matter is they still did it. Did it help them to a win? Maybe it did, maybe it didn't.  The only people that can definitively answer that question is the Pats coaches themselves and they aren't talking. What was it our parents used to always tell us as kids? Tell the truth and the consequences will be a little lighter. IMO, they should make the Pats forfeit the game to the jets. They can't take a 1st or 2nd rounder because of the players union. So the highest they can take is a 3rd rounder. Big deal, a 3rd round pick. Or a couple of other picks along with it. That just gives them more money to get free agents. Take the game there's no way they can get that back.

9/13/07   |   Scott   |   51981 respect

In the past 7 or 8 years, the legacy of the Patriots dynasty has always been about being a smart, well prepared football team.  That legacy is definitely going to be looked at differently right now but like Pat says, it shouldnt take away from there accomplishments on the field.  You still have to execute on the field, despite if you know what's coming.  Stealing signs could've gave the Patriots an advantage, but I dont see it being the reason why they've been successful.  That said, I think Bill Belichick's reputation of being a genius will definitely take a hit.  Belichick's always come across to me as a smug guy who thinks he's smarter and better then everyone...including the NFL.  We've heard reports about trying to sabotage his former assistants in there attempts to become head coaches and now we have these accusations that his coaching staffs have been cheating for years....quite possibly as early as '01 or '02.  Goodell should come down hard on this, because IMO it is as bad as athletes taking HGH or anabolic steriods.  Rodney Harrison was just suspended 4 games for admitting to taking the substance in the past, so why shouldnt his coach receive the same treatment.  My perception of the Patriots has changed, they arent considered the most well prepared or smartest team anymore, they're just considered on the sneakiest teams

9/12/07   |   Gazzo   |   18 respect

Nick S wrote:
To say the players cheated is stupid. The head coach and the other coaches are the ones who cheated. Its not like Tom Brady is telling the coaches to steal the other teams signs. The coaches the the players what is coming and the players execute and if a player finds out they are cheating they aren't going to go out telling everyone because they will get cut or suspended by the team. The fact is the coaches cheated, the players didn't.

Umm yea ace but the players are the ones using the stolen information. Whether they knew it or not. Stop being a damn homer. You know if the Jets did this and you were on the other side, you would be flipping out.

9/12/07   |   Nick S

Gazzo wrote:
No but the pass protection does, and he WOULD have a better idea of what route for Moss to run, and where to throw the ball for maximum gain.

I'm not trying to take anything away from the Pats. They are a talented group of players, and probably would have won that game anyway. But they blatantly cheated, and could possibly have sent the Jets season down the toilet.

To say the players cheated is stupid. The head coach and the other coaches are the ones who cheated. Its not like Tom Brady is telling the coaches to steal the other teams signs. The coaches the the players what is coming and the players execute and if a player finds out they are cheating they aren't going to go out telling everyone because they will get cut or suspended by the team. The fact is the coaches cheated, the players didn't.

9/12/07   |   Gazzo   |   18 respect

Pat wrote:
But the Patriots still executed better than the Jets. Stealing plays doesn't automatically give Tom Brady superhuman abilities to throw a perfect pass to Randy Moss, who outran triple coverage. That doesn't happen JUST from knowing what's coming.
(Edited by Gazzo)

No but the pass protection does, and he WOULD have a better idea of what route for Moss to run, and where to throw the ball for maximum gain.

I'm not trying to take anything away from the Pats. They are a talented group of players, and probably would have won that game anyway. But they blatantly cheated, and could possibly have sent the Jets season down the toilet.

9/12/07   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

Gazzo wrote:
Dude they stole signals from their opponent, that pretty much assured they were going to win the game! IMO they should get alot more than just a lost draft pick or two. And I'm not even a Jets fan!

But the Patriots still executed better than the Jets. Stealing plays doesn't automatically give Tom Brady superhuman abilities to throw a perfect pass to Randy Moss, who outran triple coverage. That doesn't happen JUST from knowing what's coming.

9/12/07   |   Gazzo   |   18 respect

Pat wrote:
The suspension I agree with. But losing picks? First rounders? I think it's rather excessive to nail a team that hard for the next couple years. This isn't the NCAA.

Dude they stole signals from their opponent, that pretty much assured they were going to win the game! IMO they should get alot more than just a lost draft pick or two. And I'm not even a Jets fan!

9/12/07   |   Gazzo   |   18 respect

Chief_aka_James wrote:
While I liked the blog CF, I simply do not agree with Goodell docking this game. I do agree it is going against the rules, and it is not right; I just think the proper punishment is to suspend Belichick. People made the comparison to this being an edge over those taking HGH and steroids...but what happens to them?

They are suspended for 4 games.

I understand that this is said for the "whole" team, but what is going to be said for now on? Are they going to take away the 3 super bowls, any win that Bill Belichick, as a head coach, has ever earned? Going to this season alone doesn't seem to make as much sense if they are going to just take this game off. If you're going to investigate, go the whole 10 yards.

The suspension should be said for Belichick. Suspend him for 4 games or more, whichever you think is more "fair" in reference to the game, but don't give the game to a team that did not prove they were the victor at any point in the game.

What about the poor Jets? Screw Bellichek and the rest of his team. Make the game a tie for both teams.

9/12/07   |   Tbone42

I like these ideas too:

http://thesportshernia.typepad.com/blog/2007/09/how-should-good.html

9/12/07   |   kantwistaye   |   4211 respect

Pat wrote:
The suspension I agree with. But losing picks? First rounders? I think it's rather excessive to nail a team that hard for the next couple years. This isn't the NCAA.

I think its the only way to really get to the team... the Patriots are a strong enough franchise to keep going without Belichik for four weeks.  I'd suspend him basically to publically embarass him (not necessarily him, but any coach who did this).  The draft picks are what really punish the team. 

9/12/07   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

kantwistaye wrote:
Last night I said I'd take away a first and third, now I say take away both 1st round picks plus a second round pick and suspend Belichik for 4 games.  I'd also make sure that the whole league knows that the next team to get caught loses their next whole draft and their head coach gets banned from the league for life.  In terms of integrity of the game, which is the league's primary concern, this is 1,000 times worse than PacMan Jones or Michael Vick.

The suspension I agree with. But losing picks? First rounders? I think it's rather excessive to nail a team that hard for the next couple years. This isn't the NCAA.

9/12/07   |   kantwistaye   |   4211 respect

Last night I said I'd take away a first and third, now I say take away both 1st round picks plus a second round pick and suspend Belichik for 4 games.  I'd also make sure that the whole league knows that the next team to get caught loses their next whole draft and their head coach gets banned from the league for life.  In terms of integrity of the game, which is the league's primary concern, this is 1,000 times worse than PacMan Jones or Michael Vick.

9/12/07   |   hummus   |   320 respect

wow. this is weird.

9/12/07   |   MrNFL   |   175 respect

You know, this is the first time I've ever actually seen cheating being comdemned in the NFL, considering no one really cares if the players use roids...anyhow.

 

There definetly is a lot of different ways to punish them.  Even if they had an edge, they still flattened the Jets pretty good, so I'm not so sure on the give a way a game deal.  Obviously, taking away later round picks would be useless, but considering they have two 1st rounders (They got one in I believe the trade to get Joe Staley by the 49ers) taking away those would be a pretty harsh penalty.  Of course, the other option IMO is to suspended the hoodie, but even then, that'd only do so much, especially if the other coaches were in on the stuff.

 

Either way, this is a terrible start to the NFL season, Everything was going so well for the NFL, now, one of their annually toughest teams is potentially cheating?  That raises concerns about the credibility of the last few years, and that's terrible for the league.

9/12/07   |   Chief_aka_James   |   3292 respect

CriticalFanatic wrote:
Ok, I agree can agree with that as a fair ruling. Taking away draft picks just seems to have NO correlation. Bill Belichick wouldn't even care.

I thought the idea of taking away draft picks would be a dumb punishment as well. Either stick with the information you have now; and suspend the man/staff for games, or, go with a full-blown investigation on the guy/team and take the further action. That can either be taking away this victory, and if you find some real hard evidence, then taking away those rings might be the first thing he truly does care about. If you find enough info as well, firing Bill is not out of the question.

9/12/07   |   CriticalFanatic

Chief_aka_James wrote:
While I liked the blog CF, I simply do not agree with Goodell docking this game. I do agree it is going against the rules, and it is not right; I just think the proper punishment is to suspend Belichick. People made the comparison to this being an edge over those taking HGH and steroids...but what happens to them?

They are suspended for 4 games.

I understand that this is said for the "whole" team, but what is going to be said for now on? Are they going to take away the 3 super bowls, any win that Bill Belichick, as a head coach, has ever earned? Going to this season alone doesn't seem to make as much sense if they are going to just take this game off. If you're going to investigate, go the whole 10 yards.

The suspension should be said for Belichick. Suspend him for 4 games or more, whichever you think is more "fair" in reference to the game, but don't give the game to a team that did not prove they were the victor at any point in the game.

Ok, I agree can agree with that as a fair ruling. Taking away draft picks just seems to have NO correlation. Bill Belichick wouldn't even care.

9/12/07   |   Chief_aka_James   |   3292 respect

(Edited by Chief_aka_James)

While I liked the blog CF, I simply do not agree with Goodell docking this game. I do agree it is going against the rules, and it is not right; I just think the proper punishment is to suspend Belichick. People made the comparison to this being an edge over those taking HGH and steroids...but what happens to them?

They are suspended for 4 games.

I understand that this is said for the "whole" team, but what is going to be said for now on? Are they going to take away the 3 super bowls, any win that Bill Belichick, as a head coach, has ever earned? Going to this season alone doesn't seem to make as much sense if they are going to just take this game off. If you're going to investigate, go the whole 10 yards.

The suspension should be said for Belichick. Suspend him for 4 games or more, whichever you think is more "fair" in reference to the game, but don't give the game to a team that did not prove they were the victor at any point in the game.