Patriots scandal brings back old memories


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.

Patriot’s scandal


Well, if you’re a fan of the NFL you’ve probably heard about CameraGate. Another hero of mine taken down by cheating. So, I’m really conflicted within. A few weeks ago when I found out about the Harrison HGH scandal, I demanded the Patriots release him. Now that Belichick has been caught for cheating, should I be demanding he be fired by Kraft? Or should I rescind my Harrison request? This ESPN article gives a different perspective on things, especially the Zach Thomas story of him analyzing audio tape obtained from a mike on a defensive player to learn Brady’s audibles. (Pats lost that game 21-0). Another thing the ESPN article talked about was how the home team was allowed to have extra cameras on the sideline:

Home teams often place video cameras on the sideline to record the opposing team’s signals. The cameras are placed on the sideline under the guise that they provide extra game tape for the home team’s coaches. When road teams attempt to get credentials for their sideline cameramen, the applications are usually rejected.

Maybe Belichick’s rationalization is that this is an unfair advantage of the home team and that he should be allowed the same advantages. All this leaves me to believe that this has been blow way out of proportion. I hope we hear a good explanation from Belichick. We probably won’t though given how tight-lipped he is.

Now how about Rodney? Given the type of guy he is in the community and the team leader he is. I guess I have to forgive. Especially if I have to rationalize for Belichick’s actions.

Patriots will also be tainted

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The news that Rodney Harrison of the New England Patriots was suspended for using HGH really shook me.  Harrison was my favorite player on the Pats. My heart is broken.  One report I heard said that he had been using it the past 2 years to recover from the serious knee and shoulder injuries he had sustained.  Although Harrison took the suspension like a man and admitted to wrong doing (he didn’t have to do this), a more honorable action would have been to just plain retire.

The bigger question is, how will the Patriots organization react to this?  If the Patriots do not release Harrison, Belichick and Kraft will also be tainted. You can’t proclaim yourself the model franchise in the NFL and accept such behavior. I’m a 15 year season ticket holder. I want the Patriots to win another superbowl, but not at the expense of the franchise’s image.   As it is, the 2003 and 2004 championships are going to have an asterix next to them.

Somebody forgot to tell Harrison

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As you can see in the “About Me” section of this blog, this is my 15th season as a Patriots season ticket holder.  Last night was the Patriots pre-season home opener against the Tennessee Titans.  I have to tell you, in the past 14 years, last night was probably the best preseason game I have ever been to.  The thing is, somebody forgot to tell Rodney Harrison and the Pats defense that this was a preseason game.  Rodney was all over the field, with a nice pass deflection and a huge hit and sack on Vince Young. It was one of those hits that left the crowd going “oooooo”, “ohhhhhh”, “ouch”.  Poor Vince got nailed again and sacked hard by 38 year old Junior Seau.  A different series, the Titans got down the Patriots 2 yard line.  It felt like a playoff game, the crowd was screaming, the pats defense was pumped and stopped the Titans on downs 1-3.  The Titans decided to go for it on 4th down.  Vince Young rolled right, and looked like he had a clear path to the endzone.  How do I know this?  Well, my seats happened to be right in front of the action 15 rows back.  Just as Vince was about to dive into the endzone, a wall of patriots came out of nowhere and completely leveled him.  From my perspective, it almost looked like he was snapped in half backward.  I just can’t believe he got up from that play.  I was sure he was seriously injured.

This game did not seem like a preseason game at all.  Especially by the play of the defense.  The Pats will say otherwise, but I still think the Pats were seriously pissed by last year’s season finally against the Titans.  That was a brutally physical game in which Rodney Harrison was knocked out with an injury for the rest of the season by a cheap shot by one of the Titan’s receivers.  IMO, that one cheap shot cost the patriots another trip to the superbowl.  The AFC championship game was so close, just one play could have changed the whole complexion of that game, and I know a healthy Harrison would have turned the tables.  I think the Patriots wanted payback.  Keith Bullock didn’t help matters by saying he was gonna level Reche Caldwell in an interview before the game.  If you have followed the Pats for the past few years as I have, you know that the Patriots take any insult, however so minor, very very very personally.  They usually make their opponents pay for it.  Last night was no exception.

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