A hateful P.S. to my last post: the Patriots offensive line: reason to rejoice...or cheating?
No sooner do I finish catching up with the game and writing up my rapturous post about how great the offensive line was, than I happen to read the comment on Jamie's game review below. And then was immediately a-Googling.
The Patriots may have crossed the line between gamesmanship and cheating Sunday in their win over the Jets. And apparently it isn't the first time the Patriots have taken part in such high-tech and illegal espionage.The NFL confirmed it is looking into an incident that arose during the game when a Patriots employee was confronted by the Jets and league security while filming on the Jets' sideline at Giants Stadium. The camera and its contents were confiscated and, according to a report, placed in a sealed box and forwarded to the league. It is believed the cameraman was recording hand signals used by coaches to relay defensive plays onto the field, a violation of NFL rules.The Patriots racked up 431 yards in a 38-14 win. Tom Brady and Randy Moss picked away at the Jets' coverages and the offensive linemen were able to pick up the Jets' blitzes as if they knew what was coming. Maybe they did.
My immediate reaction was: First Rodney Harrison, and now this. I've always feared in my heart of hearts that something like this would happen--that things would surface that would pick away at the pedestal I've put the Patriots on as a fan. First Rodney Harrison, the public spokesperson for the Patriots Way, falls from grace. Now this.
I did find one comment on another blog that at least helped me keep alive one tiny flicker of ridiculous optimism that this might turn out to be bogus:
The Patriots allegedly stole signals during the Detroit and Green Bay games last year. Teams' opponents are set by the league through 2009. The Patriots don't play either the Lions or the Packers until at least 2010. The signals will be worthless by then (even if Matt Millen is still GM in Detroit). Why would you steal signals via videotape? What's the plan? Sell the tapes on eBay?
So what about stealing signals for use in the current game?
There's nothing you can get in the heat of the action with a video camera that you can't get with a pair of binoculars.
The allegations ludicrous and irrational. There is clearly no motive for videotaping signals of opponents you're not going to face for years, and there's no motive to videotape signals for use during the game in which they're taped.
It would be just like the Jets to bring the discourse to this level with the Patriots because they got their asses kicked. [Ed. note--sarcasm.] For it is written on the gates of heaven, that teams from New York and Boston shall hate one another.
But then I start thinking about who's on the other side of the ball, and why there might be a little bitterness going on between the two sides. And then I remember that Mangini used to be on our side of the ball. And might have known what to check for on the Patriots sideline...?
On the other hand, if the Patriots supposedly do this habitually, why wouldn't the Jets have done this sooner? Things haven't exactly been all sweetness and light between the teams up until now.
Maybe other Pats fans will call me out for not immediately rising to the team's defense, no questions asked. I am, of course, going to wait for the facts to come in--but with my fingers definitely crossed. It just worries me, because if the investigation reveals the accusations to be truthful, it would put a terrible taste in my mouth about a game that had been 100% positive. I'm just hoping it's not true.