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Old 02-16-2008, 07:29 AM   #1
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Default Steelers glad to let Patriots off hook

Steelers glad to let Patriots off hook
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, February 16, 2008

Steelers linebacker James Farrior was in a jovial mood Thursday. He basked in the sunshine and warmth of Florida while helping famed speed coach Tom Shaw train prospective linebackers for the upcoming NFL draft.
When asked about Spygate and what if any competitive advantage that filming the Steelers' defensive signals gave the New England Patriots in the four meetings between the teams since 2001, a relaxed Farrior didn't offer the anticipated angry retort.

"They're probably not the only team that ever did that," Farrior said. "If they did tape it, I'm mad that we didn't do it first.

"Everybody's trying to gain that little bit of a competitive edge. I wish our coaches would have thought of that first, so that we might have (more) championship rings."

Farrior, a team captain who led the Steelers in tackles last season and is noted for possessing a dry wit, appeared to be joking. But there was some truth in his words.

In a copycat league where teams steal the newest trends from each other without shame, stealing signals is nothing new. It's just that New England took the art form to a new level.

That's why commissioner Roger Goodell dropped the hammer on the Patriots for filming the New York Jets' defensive signals from the sideline during their 2007 opener.

The $750,000 question is: Did Goodell's punishment fit the crime? Did Goodell go far enough, or did he allow New England to wiggle off the hook?

That's what Sen. Arlen Specter, who wedged his way into the Spygate scandal, intends to find out.

"It depends on how the coaches and players use it, but it definitely can be beneficial sometimes," said Farrior, who joined the Steelers in 2002 after spending his first five seasons with the Jets. "If you know what a guy's doing or what the play's going to be, that's going to give you an advantage.

"But if you're just looking at the tape and trying to figure out what the signals are going to be, coaches do that all the time anyway, I think."

Farrior and everyone else in the Steelers organization continue to present a unified front and spew the company line regarding Spygate: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

Steelers chairman Dan Rooney released a statement that not only supported New England's punishment but also supported any future punishment that Goodell may levy, if Specter's investigation unearths more dirt.

It's almost as if the Steelers are aligned with the Patriots in this case. In one sense, maybe they are.

The NFL is big, big business -- first, last, always.

Like it or not, Steelers fans -- and many of them don't like it at all -- the Steelers and Patriots are business partners.

Don't forget that what's good for the Steelers is also good for the Patriots, who made history when they teamed with the New York Giants to produce the second-highest rated television show of all-time at Super Bowl XLII.

Spygate or no Spygate, the NFL is in the midst of unmatched popularity
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Old 02-16-2008, 07:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers glad to let Patriots off hook

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That's why commissioner Roger Goodell dropped the hammer on the Patriots for filming the New York Jets' defensive signals from the sideline during their 2007 opener.
it must have been a very soft hammer.. like the one you give a toddler to play with... b/c i dont think he punished them hard enough. where is the sledgehammer???
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers glad to let Patriots off hook

I do understand that the Steelers and the Patriots work for the same employer and I can see where virtually any currently employed owner or coach "needs" to tow the company line.

HOWEVER...the FANS have EVERY right to demand a full accounting of what happened and we shouldnt be influenced by anyone working for "the company", even if it is our beloved Steelers.

To put it into percepective, I work for a Police department. If one of our officers accepts a free breakfast every day as a gratuity, gets caught doing it, and is suspended. I would fully expect our department to say,"yea, he got caught and he was punished, its been taken care of and we need to move on"...and I would expect other police agencies to say "It happens all the time, He just happened to get caught"

But the public has a right to be outraged at the officers behavior and the , at least, perceived notion that the establishment giving out freebies may get favorable treatment over other businesses.

What Rooney and Farrior say, and what stance they take has no bearing on how I feel about this scandal. I still respect both of them and understand why they have to say what they do....But I also want the rights of all of us, who support this "company" with our hard earned cash, to be recognized and respected enough to have a full investigation.

Last edited by lamberts-lost-tooth; 02-16-2008 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers glad to let Patriots off hook

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But I also want the rights of all of us, who support this "company" with our hard earned cash, to be recognized and respected enough to have a full investigation.

i dont think they are sorry they did it. they are just sorry they got caught.
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers glad to let Patriots off hook

I think we Steelers fans should also file a class-action lawsuit against the Pats*. Every fan base of the other 31 teams should imho.
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers glad to let Patriots off hook

This isn't about competitive advantage. This is about the fact that the NFL is the beneficiary of certain protections from the US Government. Specifically the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961. That piece of law allows the NFL to pool all their teams together for the purpose of TV and cable contracts. If that piece of law were to be repealed, the NFL would loose significant clout in negotiating their TV contracts. Teams could run off to whoever they wanted to in order to negotiate deals for their own TV and cable rights. Imagine the Steelers having an exclusive deal with TNT. How about every Patriots game being on CBS nationally?

The NFL is on very thing ice and Goddell had better wake up and realize that quick.
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers glad to let Patriots off hook

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This isn't about competitive advantage. This is about the fact that the NFL is the beneficiary of certain protections from the US Government. Specifically the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961. That piece of law allows the NFL to pool all their teams together for the purpose of TV and cable contracts. If that piece of law were to be repealed, the NFL would loose significant clout in negotiating their TV contracts. Teams could run off to whoever they wanted to in order to negotiate deals for their own TV and cable rights. Imagine the Steelers having an exclusive deal with TNT. How about every Patriots game being on CBS nationally?

The NFL is on very thing ice and Goddell had better wake up and realize that quick.
...and THAT is the hammer that Specter is holding over Goodell's head.
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:23 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers glad to let Patriots off hook

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Originally Posted by lamberts-lost-tooth View Post
...and THAT is the hammer that Specter is holding over Goodell's head.
The problem is that Goddell, and the owners, don't seem to understand what this means. Maybe they should ask the NBA and MLB what it means to not have control over the broadcast rights of every single team in the league.

If the act is repealed, the NFL will loose millions, if not billions, of dollars. Goddell needs to pull his head out of his butt and be serious with this situation instead of pretending like the NFL is bullet proof.
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:25 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers glad to let Patriots off hook

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Originally Posted by HometownGal View Post
I think we Steelers fans should also file a class-action lawsuit against the Pats*. Every fan base of the other 31 teams should imho.
We should get the majority share of it. Considering New England cheated us out of history of being an 18-1 team to WIN the Super Bowl.
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:30 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers glad to let Patriots off hook

A lawsuit against the Patriots has no legs and will be laughed out of court. There's no way that anyone can prove that the Patriots' actions in any way affected the outcome of those games. Any lawsuit at this point is going to look like the ultimate sour grapes move.


If you want some action, call Arlen Specter and Bob Casey and tell them to keep pushing the NFL to give some hard answers. And as much as it might pain some of you, you should also call the Steelers' offices and leave messages for Dan Rooney and tell him to stop parroting the party line and take a stand.
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