Ok, after a day to reflect and read all the articles and see all the commentary, I think this whole thing is being blown way out of proportion. I take Bill Belichick’s latest comment pretty literally and I’m surprised nobody is dissecting it more in the press. Even the Boston press this morning seems to have ignored Bill’s post-penalty comments.
As the Commissioner acknowledged, our use of sideline video had no impact on the outcome of last week’s game. We have never used sideline video to obtain a competitive advantage while the game was in progress.
Part of my job as head coach is to ensure that our football operations are conducted in compliance of the league rules and all accepted interpretations of them. My interpretation of a rule in the Constitution and Bylaws was incorrect.
Everybody asks the question, why did Bill Belichick do this petty stuff when he already had a dominant team? Maybe the answer isn’t so diabolical as members of the press seem to like to paint a picture of. Maybe its as simple as he tapes the signals to review after the game and that he didn’t believe this was a violation.
Its funny seeing opponents come out of the woodwork asking if their games were tainted with this. Hines Ward questioning the 2001 and 2004 AFC championship games against the Steelers. Let’s review those. In 2001, the Patriots scored a total of 3 offensive points in the 2nd half of the game. Huge advantage huh? In 2004, the game was already over by the second half before any analysis of play calling could have been dissected. Then you have members of the press comparing this to Nixon and Watergate.
All this eerily reminded me of the JBoss astroturfing incident. We had many of the usual detractors coming out of the woodwork condemning us for the evil actions we had inflicted on the Java community. You had people also comparing our actions to Nixon and Watergate. Yes, this incident was blown out of proportion as well, basically because of our previous arrogance and inability to let any slight against us go unchallenged. Belichick has similar arrogance and inability to let grudges go. Both incidents were also terribly inconsequential and even irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Does it change all the hard work Belichick or JBoss did to achieve their successes. No, it shouldn’t. Does it taint your accomplishments in the eyes of others? Sure it does, but what ends up happening is you continue the fight not to bask in the glory others place upon you, but instead for your own personal feeling of self worth.
So, what’s in store for Belichick’s legacy? My guess is that in the near to far future, you’ll have individuals that see an opportunity to boost their own careers or settle old grudges by simply out right lieing about new allegations when the Patriots continue to have new success. Their proof for these made-up accusations will be, “they’ve done something bad before, so this must be true.”
So, what will Belichick do about it? Will he be a pussy and retire after this season? Or will he stick around for another 10 years and win another 3 superbowls? I hope he doesn’t let this scandal ruin the love he has for the game or kill his deep desire to win and win big. I hope he doesn’t let others define his own personal perception of himself.