As every day goes by, more and more comes out about the New England Patriots and their cheating ways.
The thing that started this whole situation was the fact that the Patriots were videotaping defensive signals to gain a huge advantage over opponents as they pretty much new what play was coming. It all unraveled for the Pats against the Jets this weekend, and since then, the floodgates of stories has opened.
Rumors of what else New England has done to cheat continue to get bigger and bigger. I've read from various sources on the Internet that the Pats had their defensive lineman wired with a microphone to record what the opposing QB would say before or at the point of a snap. Then many have said NE had one or more of their defensive players fitted with a speaker to relay calls to them much like a QB legally has in his helmet.
The other thing that looks as if it is true is really the biggest form of cheating out of all the previous mentioned items. I know the other things, confirmed and unconfirmed, are pretty bad and are illegal, but it wasn't a direct way of messing with the other team. Did it put opponents at a huge disadvantage? Yes. But the following thing that actually happened to the Lions is just downright cheap.
"Next possession we were moving the ball again and the same thing happened. You know it only takes two or three plays to mess up a drive."
Matt Millen, the Lions' GM, was talking to Bengals' coach Marvin Lewis at the league meetings. He started telling him the story.
"Yeah, I know," Lewis said. "Headset went out. It happened to me in Foxboro, too."
Cutting the lines of communication for the away team can easily kill the momentum and flow of any drive. Videotaping signals is one thing, but directly affecting another team like that is simply moronic. The fact that they did it against the Lions is even sadder, but it really does make me look at the Patriots in a different way. And back to the videotaping, Rod Marinelli also noticed it against New England last December.
"You don't really know for sure," Marinelli said. "I mean you don't know whether he might be doing something for NFL Films or a coaches' show or whatever."
I'll admit, other than the Lions, I've always rooted for New England to an extent because of quarterback Tom Brady. Since he went to Michigan, I obviously wanted him to succeed, and with that, his team as well. Upon learning all of this new information about how crooked New England may be, I really have to reconsider my view of them. Don't get me wrong, I still like Tom Brady, but the question of how involved he was with this whole situation comes up. I imagine he just did what the coaches told him, but it does make you wonder a tad.
As far as Belichick and the Pats go, this is their punishment:
Commissioner Roger Goodell also ordered the team to give up next year's first-round draft choice if it reaches the playoffs and second- and third-round picks if it doesn't.
I still think Belichick should be suspended for a couple games simply because it seems like he is the one behind this whole operation and obviously since he's the head coach. A fine just really doesn't do enough for me, especially when racing teams are getting fined $100 million for spying, although that story seems even more involved in spying than the Patriots one. Regardless, it'll be interesting to see what else unfolds in this bizarre story.