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Old 02-05-2012, 08:31 AM   #1
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Default The elephant in the stadium: Spygate's cloud of innuendo still dogs Patriots

(Mods I thought about putting this under the NFL fourm but there are quotes from Hines in the article so I decided to put it here. - mesa)

The elephant in the stadium: Spygate's cloud of innuendo still dogs Patriots
Sunday, February 05, 2012
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS -- Mike Tomlin calls it the sticky Lombardi because of all the handprints that stick to the trophy after the NFL commissioner awards it to the new Super Bowl champions.

Many believe the three Lombardi Trophies previously won by the New England Patriots remain sticky for other reasons and that perhaps Roger Goodell should have dusted them for fingerprints rather than destroy the evidence of wrongdoing that helped produce that cache.

Spygate, they called it. Coach Bill Belichick's Patriots were caught redhanded in 2007 secretly taping opponents' coaches' hand signals and, presumably, matching them with video cutups of plays in order for New England's defense to know which offensive play was coming.

That violated NFL policy, and Goodell fined Belichick the maximum of $500,000, fined the Patriots $250,000 and docked them a first-round draft choice in 2008. Then the commissioner destroyed the evidence, the tapes that prompted him to levy the punishment. One theory is that those tapes may have provided such clear evidence of cheating that to be made public would be to forever call in question New England's three Super Bowl victories. So Goodell pulled his Rosemary Woods and erased them.

"This episode represents a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid longstanding rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition on the playing field," Goodell wrote in a letter to the Patriots explaining his disciplinary action.

The Patriots shrugged that off in 2007 and became the first team to go 16-0 and won two more in the playoffs but were upset by the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

Both teams have returned here for a rematch in XLVI. It's a chance for the Patriots to cleanse themselves, to put a clean Lombardi next to the sticky ones in their trophy case.

The stigma of possibly winning those first three under a cloud of cheating remains. Belichick declined to answer questions about it here, but others have no problem doing so.

"They definitely cheated," said Hines Ward, who will be part of NBC's five-hour pregame show today.

Ward's opinions, like those of most Steelers involved in the 2001 and 2004 AFC championship games, are much stronger because they are convinced the Patriots won both of those games in Heinz Field because they cheated.

They are not the lone voices on the matter, though.

Amani Toomer, a longtime Giants receiver now retired, helped beat the Patriots four years ago in this game. He said this week he would place an asterisk next to the Patriots' three Super Bowl victories.


"I would, I definitely would without question," Toomer said on the "Jim Rome Show." "If you know what their adjustments are and what their signals are and you practice those signals, it's cheating.

"I feel very strongly about it because this game is as much about the level playing field of the NFL, and the league has built up so much goodwill to let everybody know that what you're watching is the real deal. The fact that the Spygate thing goes directly to the core that the NFL is, to me it is a big deal."

It makes this game even that much more important for the Patriots. If they can win one with this cast, essentially not as talented as those who won the other three, then they can at least show that perhaps had they not cheated, had they done things legitimately, they might still have won two or three Super Bowls.

"That's a good point," said linebacker Chad Brown, who joined the Patriots in 2007 when Spygate blew up. "As a former Patriot, I tend to gloss over that, and I don't understand how other fans and players view that. But it's a real thing."

Brown says a Patriots victory today "would remove any tarnish they put on what they had done in the past. This would clean it up and kind of move it out of the discussion, in my mind."

Ward also believes that a New England victory somehow will polish those three previous Lombardis in the Patriots trophy case.

"Yeah," he said after laughing at the question, "they would."

It's no laughing matter to Toomer, even though Spygate had no direct affect on him.

"Tom Brady hasn't won a Super Bowl since Spygate," Toomer told Rome.

"So if they don't win another Super Bowl with Brady, with Belichick, the three Super Bowls that they did win are going to be tainted. It's going to be like Barry Bonds, you're going to look at these three Super Bowls with an asterisk because of Spygate."

Brown said during his brief time with the Patriots, starting in that 2007 season, he did not sense any hanky-panky going on other than they mysterious workings of a mysterious man on the New England staff, Ernie Adams. Belichick and Adams have been friends since prep school, and Adams has been on staffs with Cleveland and New England, although not as a coach. The Patriots list him as director of research, and he is thought to have been a key element in Spygate.

"He plays a very interesting role within that organization," Chad Brown said. "He's not a coach, he doesn't really talk to players, but he talks to Bill after each practice. They walk off the field, and I guess he's able to act as a second mind, a second set of eyes for Bill.

"It's an amazing relationship. Certainly there are times during a game on the sideline, you hear Bill ask for Ernie upstairs: 'Ernie, what do you think?' He consults with him. Their relationship is shrouded in such secrecy. Even as a player on that team, you can't help but go, 'Huh! I wonder what did happen there?'"
For more on the Steelers, read the blog, Ed Bouchette on the Steelers at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Ed Bouchette: ebouchette@post-gazette.com and Twitter @EdBouchette

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12036...#ixzz1lWA9GX1Y
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: The elephant in the stadium: Spygate's cloud of innuendo still dogs Patriots

"They definitely cheated," said Hines Ward, who will be part of NBC's five-hour pregame show today.

Ward's opinions, like those of most Steelers involved in the 2001 and 2004 AFC championship games, are much stronger because they are convinced the Patriots won both of those games in Heinz Field because they cheated.




I think the most troubling thing that I have read on any Steelers forum is that there are some Steelers faithful that still disagree with Ward's assessment that the *Cheats won those games in whole because of their cheating . . .

I mean for real. Even (years) before Spygate broke - Ward was quoted as saying ". . . . it's like they knew what we were gonna run before we ran it". I remember saying to my Father-in-law during the 2001 game . . . That it was funny how the Pats would be ALL OVER some plays we ran that we hadn't run all year. I remember saying How the F^ck did they sniff that out so quickly????

Then years later Spygate broke . . . and it all made sense.


Even if the *Cheats win today it will never remove the cloud of deception and lack of integrity form their three trophies. I will even go so far as to say - If they do win today - It was probably because they cheated . . .

A zebra (I'm looking at you Belicheat) never changes it's stripes.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: The elephant in the stadium: Spygate's cloud of innuendo still dogs Patriots

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Originally Posted by VTsteel View Post
"They definitely cheated," said Hines Ward, who will be part of NBC's five-hour pregame show today.

Ward's opinions, like those of most Steelers involved in the 2001 and 2004 AFC championship games, are much stronger because they are convinced the Patriots won both of those games in Heinz Field because they cheated.




I think the most troubling thing that I have read on any Steelers forum is that there are some Steelers faithful that still disagree with Ward's assessment that the *Cheats won those games in whole because of their cheating . . .

I mean for real. Even (years) before Spygate broke - Ward was quoted as saying ". . . . it's like they knew what we were gonna run before we ran it". I remember saying to my Father-in-law during the 2001 game . . . That it was funny how the Pats would be ALL OVER some plays we ran that we hadn't run all year. I remember saying How the F^ck did they sniff that out so quickly????

Then years later Spygate broke . . . and it all made sense.


Even if the *Cheats win today it will never remove the cloud of deception and lack of integrity form their three trophies. I will even go so far as to say - If they do win today - It was probably because they cheated . . .

A zebra (I'm looking at you Belicheat) never changes it's stripes.
This.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: The elephant in the stadium: Spygate's cloud of innuendo still dogs Patriots

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This.
And that.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: The elephant in the stadium: Spygate's cloud of innuendo still dogs Patriots

Whats really amazing thru all that crap is, a mere slap on the wrist to billacheat and patriots.
And goodhell destroys all the evidence before being viewed by a panel. Why is it that this putrid commish needs a panel of cronies to sort out bad hits by James Harrison but he makes a quick and quiet decision to destroy tapes. Some day this sport is going to go down as the sport that ( used) to be great! Thanx to that idiot........
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: The elephant in the stadium: Spygate's cloud of innuendo still dogs Patriots

Like the old saying goes, “If you're not cheating, you're not trying”

Bellichik is hardly the first coach to try to gain an edge on an opponent and I'm sure he won't be the last.
Guys my age probably remember George Allen posting security guards along the perimeter of his practice field to keep "others" from filming his plays.
Besides paranoia, the reason he did that is because other coaches were trying to steal his plays (and I'm pretty sure none of them were named Bellichik).

In baseball, stealing signs is almost a hallowed tradition along with spitballs and razor blades tucked into pitcher's baseball caps.

Is it right?

Probably not.

But it's hardly new and Bellichik certainly didn't invent it.
Some people see him as a cheater while others see him as an innovator but whatever he is, he's always trying to stay ahead of the curve.

I mean, how many coaches would think to have their team "practice" a Super Bowl halftime?
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: The elephant in the stadium: Spygate's cloud of innuendo still dogs Patriots

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Originally Posted by FanSince72 View Post
Like the old saying goes, “If you're not cheating, you're not trying”

Bellichik is hardly the first coach to try to gain an edge on an opponent and I'm sure he won't be the last.
Guys my age probably remember George Allen posting security guards along the perimeter of his practice field to keep "others" from filming his plays.
Besides paranoia, the reason he did that is because other coaches were trying to steal his plays (and I'm pretty sure none of them were named Bellichik).

In baseball, stealing signs is almost a hallowed tradition along with spitballs and razor blades tucked into pitcher's baseball caps.

Is it right?

Probably not.

But it's hardly new and Bellichik certainly didn't invent it.
Some people see him as a cheater while others see him as an innovator but whatever he is, he's always trying to stay ahead of the curve.

I mean, how many coaches would think to have their team "practice" a Super Bowl halftime?
True.....its been done many times....But think of it this way. How would it make you feel knowing you did things like that no matter what it took (cheating ect.) to win the game. At the end of the day you'd have to ask your self am i really a great coach.
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:13 AM   #8
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Default Re: The elephant in the stadium: Spygate's cloud of innuendo still dogs Patriots

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Originally Posted by stb_steeler View Post
True.....its been done many times....But think of it this way. How would it make you feel knowing you did things like that no matter what it took (cheating ect.) to win the game. At the end of the day you'd have to ask your self am i really a great coach.
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: The elephant in the stadium: Spygate's cloud of innuendo still dogs Patriots

Quote:
Originally Posted by FanSince72 View Post
Like the old saying goes, “If you're not cheating, you're not trying”

Bellichik is hardly the first coach to try to gain an edge on an opponent and I'm sure he won't be the last.
Guys my age probably remember George Allen posting security guards along the perimeter of his practice field to keep "others" from filming his plays.
Besides paranoia, the reason he did that is because other coaches were trying to steal his plays (and I'm pretty sure none of them were named Bellichik).

In baseball, stealing signs is almost a hallowed tradition along with spitballs and razor blades tucked into pitcher's baseball caps.

Is it right?

Probably not.

But it's hardly new and Bellichik certainly didn't invent it.
Some people see him as a cheater while others see him as an innovator but whatever he is, he's always trying to stay ahead of the curve.

I mean, how many coaches would think to have their team "practice" a Super Bowl halftime?
Belicheat was warned before hand, and he kept doing it, THEN he got fined! Honestly I wouldn't doubt if he found another method of cheating. F em!!
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: The elephant in the stadium: Spygate's cloud of innuendo still dogs Patriots

I would feel more along the lines of 'everyone does it' if the NFL would have caught and punished someone else and the tapes weren't destroyed. It would have been in the NFL's best interest to punish another team to prove that not only a 3x SB winner had done it.

Lebeau said after it went public "it's easier to pass the test when you know the questions beforehand". Hines Ward made the comment after the AFC CG "it seemed like they knew what plays we were running before we did". Additionally Steve Young said on a MNF pregame he had "no time for apologists who say everyone does it" and that he was "in the league 20 years and never heard of it or saw it" being done.

I think if those tapes would have shown something of little consequence they wouldn't have been destroyed.In my mind regardless of what the Cheats do today those previous 3 SBs are tainted. Judging from some of the player comments this past week they seem to think the same.
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