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September 11, 2007



What the Pats did is in clear violation of league rules, as video cameras aren't allowed on the field, whether they're getting the signals or not. They will have to pay the consequences. At the same time, I think this is getting overblown. Anybody, including just a player sitting on the sideline, can look at the signals, write them down, and match them with the polaroid that soon follows each play, and I'm sure every team is guilty of trying to figure out the signals of the opposing team. Also, I believe coaches have a short window in which they can communicate to the QB, and I'm sure there's not enough time to get in the correct play call to counteract whatever signals are coming in at the exact same time. Heck, Romeo Crennel's signals were video taped by the NFL and shown, along with the final play, on the Pats' last Superbowl video. The thing is, signals change week to week, the amount of plays teams use during a single game is huge, and this actually giving some sort of huge advantage is ludicrous. Plays even change as the defense tries to read what the offense is doing. Is this illegal and dumb? Yes.

Let's not forget, knowing a play is one thing. Being able to execute and physically stop the opponent is another. At times in the past I guessed exact plays while watching games. Does that mean I'd be able to stop it? Of course not.


those are great points, jameros. and exactly what i meant when i said i'd have to work out some conclusion for myself about what real advantage stealing signals would give the pats. i'm just not familiar enough with how plays are called etc. to come to my own conclusion, but plan to do some serious reading in the coming days. your points have already gone a long way toward making me feel better, though!

but still, there are two questions I can't ignore: if it doesn't confer much of a real advantage, why would the patriots have done it? and why would it be explicitly prohibited by the league? do you have any further thoughts on that?

Mike Maddaloni

I am a big Pats fam - I run GoPats.com! - and on this issue I am going to wait until the case has been run to completion and a final decision has been made. Too many people on both sides are not commenting, with the exception of Hobbs.

Of course, if I have Julia Child's cookbook, that does not make me a master chef! And in this high-tech age, what says there is not other recordings or taping going on. And if the Patriots are found guilty of this, I would be certain that they would not be the only ones out there doing this.



I always enjoy all your blogging, beth, being a huge Patriots and Sox fan. As always, you seem to put into words, so effectively, the random thoughts bouncing around in my head. I feel completely disenchanted today. I can't believe that an organization I took pride is cheering on because they held everyone to such high standards is suddenyl being slapped with this... this... I don't even have the words. I just stared dumbfounded at the television when I heard that Goodell had determined the Patriots violated league rules.

Patriots stealing plays | SportsBonehead.com

[...] Colts run off a string of titles, who knows), and they need to cheat in week 1 against the Jets?� Patriots fans should be outraged at this behavior.� To make this even more ridiculous, the Patriots were suspected of similar [...]

For the first time since 1991, it really sucks to be a Patriots fan | Boston Brat

[...] Commenter Jameros on The Patriots Act says, “The thing is, signals change week to week, the amount of plays teams use during a single [...]


Remember though, even if there's only a slight advantage to be gained from cracking the signals, or one that only matters once every ten plays, that's no reason to dismiss it. Belichick's whole coaching philosophy seems to revolve around getting as many slight edges as one can find, knowing that many slight advantages add up to one big advantage, in the long run.

What's stupid was videotaping the signals. Instead they should have gotten some Rain Man-like guy who's good at cardcounting, and who could just memorize every signal he sees for the whole game.

BTown Blues

Whether the Patriots benefitted from the videotaping is anybody's guess. What is not is that they were in violation of NFL policies and regulations. They knowingly and willingly cheated. PERIOD.

While we could speculate that others are doing it too, fact is no one has been caught doing so. Innocent until proven otherwise.

The Patriots must be penalized for this - In the least they should have to forfeit the game to the Jets. Loss of draft picks seems severe, unless the NFL can conclusively prove that they've done this in the past.

Shawn Medeiros

Who wants to put money on the guy videotaping gets fired. Just throwing it out there.

In all seriousness I feel pretty bad that our team would do this.


I think this is seriously going to get overblown and although Im not a pats fan, they will get hit hard by the NFL.. Whether they deserve it or not is a different story, but as we have seen in this offseason Roger Goodell is going to send a strong message..

Im sure other teams have done the same or are doing the same now.. The pats are a smart organization and I'm sure the Pats Legal Department is knee deep in this.. Im curious to see how this plays out..


Ok, it appears we got caught doing something unethical and prohibited by league rules. As a longtime fan I am sorry that we have been blemished by this. But talk about reviewing our championships, game forfeiture and the such is ridiculous. Jameros spoke very well of the situation we face. I do not believe for one instant that simply having the videotape would enable us to counter everything an opponent is planning at each and every moment. Reading many sites and the posts associated with them it's really easy to see the hate directed towards our team and even the comments about BB's sideline apparel (who really cares what he's wearing). We have an incredibly talented team from top to bottom and I think it makes others flat out jealous and they are all just chomping at the bit to see us taken down. It will all be OK... What doesn't kill ya only makes you stronger... and this won't kill us.


The advantage would be in future games. Signals can;t change THAT much, because football players are not the brightest bulb. If the pats know if a defense is doing a weakside or strongside blitz, or if they know that the coverage will be zone or man to man, you can make huge adjustments in order to exploit that. It won't work everytime, but it will work enough of the time.


I have to say i agree with some of you that the pats do have a great team and so my question is why do they think it was worth the risk and all the b.s. they would get if they got caught. Something else this isn't the first time the same guy got caught doing the same thing last year in GB. They just didn't turn him into the league they just made him leave and the reason they knew about it was they had been told to watch for it so someone else knew they were doing it before that. Plus after they told him to leave he was caught again later in the game doing it again. So whether you gain much of an advantage or not why continue to put yourself in that position, seems kind of stupid to me.


mike, that is the $1 million question. there might never be a satisfactory answer.

Jamie (Jameros)

Beth: Why the Patriots did it, I don't really know. Again, I'm sure every team does it, or tries to do it, but the Pats used an obvious piece of equipment, which was stupid. My guess as to why it's prohibited by the league is that they needed to make rules prohibiting signals stealing, and using equipment like that is the most obvious way to get caught. If someone is watching from the stands and relaying in info, how could that possibly be caught/proven?

thejetsblog.com  Links: CameraGate Rolls On

[...] The Patriot Act — The biggest thing I’m still struggling with personally is exactly what type of advantage the theft of signals via videotape in-game really conferred on the Patriots.Our Reaction: Let me paraphrase … “It makes me sick that they are dirty cheaters … it’s just that I can rationalize it more if I help myself believe it was less effective.” [...]


Hi Beth.

I read thejetsblog.com (TJB) and saw your post so I just wanted to say you are right and I just read some of what you blogged so if nothing else someone noticed.

You sound fair minded and slow to jump to conclusions or fanatical reaction. Are you sure you're a football fan?


oh, believe me. i am a football fan. and in almost any other area i talk junk with the best of 'em. but this situation is exceptionally bad and warrants a serious response imo. believe me, i'm FAR from the voice of reason. :) hopefully we can move on from this and i can show that side as well here...

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