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Old 05-19-2008, 05:30 PM   #1
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Default Belichick mess won't go away anytime soon

My new favorite sports writer!!!
Older article...but GREAT article!!!

Quote:
Belichick mess won't go away anytime soon
Past games and reputation are in doubt, and he's not getting much support
OPINION
By Bob Cook
NBCSports.com contributor
updated 4:01 p.m. CT, Fri., Sept. 14, 2007


It’s taken only three days for the Richard Nixon-Bill Belichick comparison to become hackneyed, but the paranoid Patriots coach is making it so easy. Especially because Belichick’s version of a third-rate burglary is threatening to become the presumably insignificant event that kicks off a slow, painful process that ends with the knockout of a proud, arrogant and powerful man.

Just because Roger Goodell punished Belichick and the Patriots for violating NFL rules by sending a video assistant to tape New York Jets’ coaches sending in defensive signals does not mean that the scandal dubbed Videogate (there’s that Nixon parallel again) is over. Far from it.

Not with numerous players and teams now declaring, or just wondering, what Belichick might have pulled on them in games past, like how some Philadelphia Eagles are re-examining how, in Super Bowl XXXIX, the Patriots seemed to have the uncanny ability to throw a screen pass every time the Eagles’ defense blitzed. Not with claims of Belichick’s videotape system going back as far as his early 1990s tenure as Cleveland’s head coach.

Not with a Detroit Lions source telling SI.com that the headsets connecting the sidelines to the coaches’ sky box had a funny way of shorting out at Gillette Stadium whenever the Lions appeared to be close to scoring, and not with Lions general manager Matt Millen telling the same site that another team’s coach told him the same thing happened to his team at the Patriots’ field.

Not with Belichick using weasel words in his prepared response regarding Goodell’s punishment—a $250,000 for the Patriots, a $500,000 fine for Belichick (the maximum allowed under NFL bylaws) and the loss of a first-round draft pick next year, or a second- and a third-round pick if the Patriots don’t make the playoffs. Emphasis on the weasel words is mine: “We have never used sideline video to obtain a competitive advantage while the game was in progress,” according to the statement attributed to Belichick. “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.”

No, it’s not over, not with Belichick still able to tap any of the team dossiers whose information was augmented by previous cheating—the cheating doesn’t have to occur “while the game was in progress” for it to be beneficial. Not with Belichick still holding onto the canard that he didn’t break a rule, he merely misinterpreted it.

And definitely not with fans, players, coaches, journalists, league officials and anyone else who is not a hard-core New England Patriots backer or employee digging into the past, looking cross-eyed at the present, and otherwise trying to answer the question that Belichick has unintentionally put forth — is he a coaching genius worthy of the Hall of Fame, or is he worthy of being declared a pumped-up, Mark McGwire-like fraud who will have to slink away in shame, still vowing to not talk about the past?

Most definitely, that is an offensive question to the Patriots and their fans. Back to Nixon, it’s reminiscent of how the president’s supporters initially declared the Watergate break-in to be a third-rate burglary, and that the media in particular was trumping up something that was really no big deal. And then as more evidence accrued that Nixon OK’d illegal conduct that went far beyond rifling through papers at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, they declared that everybody does what Nixon did, but that he just got caught. And that turncoats like John Dean (the Eric Mangini of his generation) were wrong themselves to turn against Nixon.

Belichick and his team might rather want to talk about Sunday’s game against San Diego, but all those people who felt wronged by Belichick are coming out of the woodwork as his ship starts sinking. Rats, some might call them.

That Belichick has made enemies and remained aloof from his colleagues (in Madden, he’s “NE Coach” instead of being called by name because he won’t join the NFL Coaches Association, which licenses coaches’ names for the football video game) and the press isn’t going to drive further investigations or punishments. But it will inspire people to turn against him now that the first ball has dropped, and it already is resulting in few coming out to defend his conduct, other than to say “everybody does it.”

The pressure is going to keep building, and the ultimate cost could be Belichick’s chance at being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Before Videogate, he was a shoo-in. Now, unless the whispering stops and it becomes clear as day that Belichick never cheated, or at least didn’t cheat more or in more nefarious ways that anybody else, Belichick’s career is going to be examined and re-examined like it’s never been before, with dribs and drabs of information adding up to a flood of problems.

Belichick, whatever the hit to his reputation and Hall chances, seems unlikely just to resign, and then salute as he walks onto the helicopter whisking him away. But we’ll know Belichick is at least getting worried if he grabs vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli, and demands that he pray with him.

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/20776371/
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Belichick mess won't go away anytime soon

William Milhous Belichick
Super Bowl XLII and its losing coach.

By Geoffrey Norman

For a while on Super Bowl Sunday, you felt like you could actually justify owning a television set — even one of those monsters with a screen the size of a dinner table and a sound system that will make the foundation of your house tremble. This game was actually that good — better than the ads, for a change. Super Bowl LXII’s matchup between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants proved to be an epic of old-fashioned, hard-nosed NFL action. Or what the legendary Texas football coach Darrell Royal once called “some snot-knocking in the okra.”

If you don’t understand that phrase, or have never heard of Coach Royal, that would be a shame. There was a time, you see, when football coaches — many of them, anyway — were engaging men who could laugh at their (and our) obsession with the game.

You had men like Michigan State’s coach, Duffy Dougherty — who once said, “The alumni are with you, win or tie.”

John McKay coached both perennial college powerhouse USC and those habitual NFL losers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. When asked in Tampa about the “execution of his offense,” McKay said he thought it was “a good idea.” And when a reporter wondered if it was wise to let his star USC running back carry the ball 40 times per game, McKay quipped, “Why not? He doesn’t belong to a union — and besides, it’s not that heavy.”

Then there was “Bum” Phillips, who coached for the NFL’s Houston Oilers and then took the job with the New Orleans Saints when that amounted to a death sentence. “I’ve always said that there are two kinds of coaches,” Phillips once observed. “Them that’s fired and them that’s about to get fired.”

The great ones knew how to put a bad loss, or even a bad season, in perspective. “We didn’t tackle well today, but we made up for it by not blocking,” McKay said after one tough defeat. And the incomparable Royal put it this way after his Texas team lost a big one, “They cut us up like boarding house pie. And that’s real small pieces.”

Then, there is Bill Belichick.

Before his team had even officially lost to the Giants on Sunday, Belichick had left the field. True, there was only one second left, and the inevitable kneel-down was coming. And it’s also true that Belichick had given Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin a quick hug and handshake when everyone thought the game was over — before the refs put that lone second back on the clock, requiring one last Giants’ snap. Still, the game wasn’t over: 11 Patriot players had to go back on the field to await the final nail in their perfect season’s coffin. And Bill Belichick had taken a powder. So much for teamwork.

Given an opportunity to exhibit a little wit and generosity of spirit at the press conference after his team’s crushing Super Bowl loss, Belichick — as usual — came on surly and petulant. But, then, this is his style — win or lose. He explained the astonishing upset of his Patriot team with these words: “I mean ... look, they played well. They made some plays. We made some plays. In the end, they made a couple more than we did.”

Not only was he not even trying. He made sure everyone knew he wasn’t trying. It’s one thing to lack wit and grace. It’s quite another to feel contempt for them.

The world of sports is full of examples of apt words in defeat. After a fight in which he’d been cut up badly by Gene Tunney, heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey answered his wife’s question, “Oh, Jack, what happened?” by saying, immortally, “Honey, I forgot to duck.” Ronald Reagan used the same phrase with Nancy after he’d been shot by John Hinckley. And why not? The line is irresistible.

Belichick, as some sports fans have pointed out, is football’s Richard Nixon: intelligent, focused, driven, humorless, and borderline paranoid. Maybe not even “borderline.” He is enormously successful at his craft, but seems to gain no particular joy from the success. He does what he does out of compulsion and is the antithesis of the “happy warrior.”

With Belichick, as with Nixon, we see the urge to cheat even when there isn’t any need. Without Watergate, Nixon could still have beaten George McGovern by four touchdowns without ever leaving the White House. And Belichick felt the need to film the Jets’ defensive signals so that his staff could identify them later. The Patriots, with all-world talents Randy Moss and Tom Brady, could have spotted the Jets Ohio and Florida and still won by 300 electoral votes.

But no, Belichick had to get that extra, illegal, electronic edge. (What is it, anyway, with these guys and their fetish for secret tapes?)

And now, there are suspicions that Belichick and the Patriots may have been playing that kind of cheating game before Super Bowl XXXVI —back in 2002. The rumor (first reported in the Boston Herald) is that the Patriots secretly taped a Rams’ practice before the game. This would — not to put too fine a point on it — be cheating. Flat out.

Well, that Super Bowl is ancient history and nothing can be done about the Giants’ dramatic, 20-17 upset victory. The bad news is the current fallout. Senator Arlen Specter seems eager to investigate. As if, with Major League Baseball’s steroids scandal, we didn’t have enough Congressional meddling in sports. Can’t they just stick to what they do best — spending money, spreading earmarks, and ruining the economy?

Bill Belichick might be a genius as a coach, with three Super Bowl victories (and counting) on his résumé. But if his legacy is a Congressional investigation into Videogate, then he will be remembered as the Richard Nixon of football.
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q...A4NTg3ZTg3ZGE=
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: Belichick mess won't go away anytime soon

The Anti-Fan, 09/19/2007 - Spygate meets Watergate
Jim Gordon
September 19, 2007

Most of the Bill Belichick comparisons I’ve seen connect the cheating New England Patriots coach to shamed baseball slugger Mark McGwire, who famously told a congressional steroid hearing, “I’m not here to talk about the past.” But Belichick, who did give a McGwire-type performance last week (“It’s over and we’re moving on.”) reminds me of someone else.

Someone as secretive as Belichick, someone as paranoid, someone as, well, jowly.

Richard Nixon loved the game of football but wasn’t much of a player.

Ditto Bill Belichick.

Richard Nixon could be petulant with the press.

Ditto Bill Belichick.

Richard Nixon, with a sure-fire victory before him, inexplicably cheated and was caught.

Ditto Bill Belichick.

Richard Nixon, it was said, had the ethics of a rattlesnake.

There the comparison breaks down. Belichick’s rep isn’t nearly that good — at least not among his coaching brethren, who’ve thought Belichick has used “dirty tricks” for years.


The mystery is why, with a clearly superior team, in a league already suspicious of you, you would videotape your opponents’ defensive signals in blatant violation of NFL rules, rules you’d been reminded of just three weeks earlier.

“The Patriots are good … ,” Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor said. “They don’t need to steal signals.”

But, hey, neither did Nixon need to send “the plumbers” to break into the Democratic National Headquarters in the Watergate building to learn his opponent’s strategy. I mean, in the 1972 presidential election, what strategy was going to help George McGovern?

Even the reaction to “Spygate,” as it’s been called, has Watergate parallels.

When the incident began to be traced to the White House, one Nixon backer contemptuously dismissed it a “third-rate burglary.” When Belichick was first accused of cheating, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said it was all about other teams’ jealousy.

But just like with Watergate, where as the evidence mounted, Nixon’s backers ran for the hills, Kraft soon changed his tune, saying, “I had no idea this was going on, but I can tell you this — it won’t happen again… ”

Watergate and Spygate even share a technological component: Nixon was ordered by the Supreme Court to turn over tapes; Belichick is being ordered by a higher authority — the commissioner of the NFL — to turn over his tapes.

The why of it remains the most intriguing question; as ESPN’s Howard Bryant put it about Spygate and Belichick: “What is the personality trait that would make him feel he had to do this?”

What, indeed? As Belichick isn’t addressing that question, we turn to his doppelgänger for insight into the mind-set of successful people who see themselves above the rules:

“When the president does it,” Nixon insisted years after he resigned in disgrace, “that means that it is not illegal.”

http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/68809.html
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: Belichick mess won't go away anytime soon

Have you guys heard about Vick yet? Apparently there were some dog-fighting allegations.
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:56 PM   #5
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:01 PM   #6
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Patriot View Post
Have you guys heard about Vick yet? Apparently there were some dog-fighting allegations.
Oh man..does that mean you have to buy a new Jersey....C'mon...The one you have in barely a year old!!!
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by The Patriot View Post
Have you guys heard about Vick yet? Apparently there were some dog-fighting allegations.
hahaha nice one.........trying to get us off topic ehhh
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:54 PM   #9
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Oh man..does that mean you have to buy a new Jersey....C'mon...The one you have in barely a year old!!!
He already threw it away. He's wearing Red Sox' jersey now.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Belichick mess won't go away anytime soon

We just had another no-hitter!
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