Just in Case you hadn't seen enough hysteria about the Pats. - Fantasy Football Cafe 2014 Fantasy Football Cafe


Return to Football Talk

Just in Case you hadn't seen enough hysteria about the Pats.

Moderator: Football Moderators

Just in Case you hadn't seen enough hysteria about the Pats.

Postby Kilroy » Wed Sep 19, 2007 5:00 am

Belichick may have, in fact, doomed the NFL. :-o

From ESPN:

Belichick's cheating could lead to dark days for NFL

by Gregg Easterbrook
for ESPN.com


The situation with the National Football League is a lot worse than people realize, and the only one who seems to grasp this fully is commissioner Roger Goodell. You don't issue emergency orders backed by threats on Sunday morning of a game day, as Goodell just did regarding the New England Patriots' files of cheating information, unless the situation is a lot worse than people realize.

Why is the situation worse than people think? Because the NFL is on the precipice of blowing its status as the country's favorite sport. The whole NFL enterprise is in jeopardy from that single word: cheating. It's the most distasteful word in sports. And now the Patriots have brought the word into the NFL.

Think the NFL can't decline? Fifteen years ago, the National Basketball Association was going up, up, up by every measure and was widely considered the gold-plated can't-miss "sport of the next century." Since then, NBA popularity and ratings have plummeted while NBA-based teams have floundered in international competition. At the moment of its maximum success, the NBA became overconfident and arrogant in ways that need not be recounted here. Key point: There was no law of nature that said the NBA had to stay popular, and it did not.

Today the NFL is king of the hill in sports status, ratings, merchandising and association with the American psyche. There is no law of nature that says the NFL has to stay popular. Overconfidence and arrogance could be the downfall of the NFL, too – and we might be on that precipice. People will always watch and play football, of course. But nothing guarantees that the NFL's version of football must remain the super-successful money machine that it is today. There could be autumn Sunday afternoons in the near future in which the overwhelming majority of Americans couldn't care less what NFL games are being shown. Fifteen years ago, sports-marketing types would have said "impossible!" to the notion that only 11 percent of American households would watch the NBA Finals, which is what happened this June. Plummeting popularity for NFL broadcasts seems "impossible!" right now, but might happen fast enough to make your head swim.

Criminal behavior by NFL players, haughty owners who demand public subsidies, negative press for the union, coaches who snarl at the public instead of acting grateful for their privileged positions, insufferable egotism from multimillionaire athletes: All these things can be overlooked as long as the games themselves are good. If the games themselves are tainted, the NFL could tumble with amazing speed. And now there is a cheating scandal – cheating by the team that presented itself as the epitome of the sport – which calls the games themselves into question.

First we learn that the Patriots were cheating by using video equipment to steal signs, in blatant violation of league rules. Then we learn that even after the scandal broke and Bill Belichick issued his Nixonian stonewalling statement, the Patriots were still keeping sign-stealing videotapes and notes from past games. Surrender of the tapes and notes was the subject of Goodell's emergency order, first reported by ESPN's Chris Mortensen. Sunday night on NBC's "Football Night in America," Goodell threatened more punishment of the Patriots if all cheating materials aren't surrendered, and repeatedly declared it was imperative that NFL games be fair and equal competition. That's exactly the crux of the threat Belichick has created to the league's golden goose.

Consider the Sunday night contest. New England had played San Diego just four games back, in the January 2007 postseason. Perhaps Belichick's cameraman was illegally taping the Chargers that day, and perhaps Belichick illegally used the information against the Chargers on Sunday night. The San Diego coaching staff has changed since the playoff game, so presumably its defensive calls are different. But San Diego's new defensive coordinator, Ted Cottrell, was defensive coordinator for the Bills and Jets, both AFC East teams, in the Belichick period. Perhaps Belichick has spied on Cottrell's calls before and took out the tapes of the spying rather than handing them over as Goodell demanded. Was New England cheating again Sunday night, when the Patriots advanced the ball with such ease it seemed they knew what defense San Diego would be in?

And the Patriots' cheating might have been more extensive than so far confirmed. Fox Sports reported that former NFL players believe Belichick had microphones installed in the shoulder pads of defensive linemen so the Patriots could tape other teams' offensive audibles and line calls. Needless to say, putting microphones on players violates NFL rules. Andrea Kremer of NBC reported that several teams might charge the Patriots this week with having stolen playbooks from the visitors' dressing room. The convenient "malfunction" of visiting teams' headphones at the Patriots' two fields under Belichick seems to have happened far too often to be an IT department error. The rumor mill says Belichick, Richard Nixon-style, has file cabinets of info on opposing coaches and assistant coaches – some gleaned honestly, some obtained by cheating.

It seems more than just an eerie coincidence that Belichick's unethical behavior involves illicit taping, the same offense that made Nixon's actions so sordid. The parallels to Nixon don't stop there. Caught, Belichick – like Nixon – tried to hide the true extent of the prohibited acts; Belichick – like Nixon – tried to claim his prohibited action hadn't been prohibited; Belichick – like Nixon – immediately stonewalled. It would be tempting to break the unhappy tone of this column with a Nixon joke – when the league plays Belichick's tape of the Jets' sideline, will there be an 18-and-a-half minute gap? But for all lovers of the NFL, there's just nothing to laugh about now.

The Patriots announced they have hired "Swede" Risberg to investigate cheating allegations against the team.
What else is there about New England cheating that the team or league isn't telling us? Are the Patriots one bad apple, or is cheating common in the league? Worst, did the Patriots cheat in their Super Bowl wins? If New England was cheating in the Super Bowl, this will become the darkest sports scandal since Shoeless Joe and the Black Sox. If you don't think Goodell and all owners, including Robert Kraft of New England, are in abject terror of any possible disclosure that the Patriots were cheating in the Super Bowl, perhaps you just don't understand the situation.

The weasel wording of Belichick's Nixonian statement shows the New England coach full of contempt for the NFL fans, and the NFL enterprise, that made him a wealthy celebrity. Belichick declared that his super-elaborate cheating system was only a "mistake" caused by his "interpretation" of the league's rule. Wait, "interpretation"? The NFL rule bans teams from filming each other's sidelines. There's no room for interpretation, it's a ban! Here's the NFL policy, from a memo sent to all head coaches and general managers Sept. 6, 2006: "Videotaping of any type, including but not limited to taping of an opponent's offensive or defensive signals, is prohibited on the sidelines, in the coaches' booth, in the locker room or at any other locations accessible to club staff members during the game." Prohibited. There's nothing there to "interpret." Videotaping opponent's signals even after getting this warning isn't a "mistake," it's cheating. Belichick's cheating was not some casual spur-of-the-moment blunder but rather an elaborate staffed system that took a lot of work to put into place and that Belichick worked hard to hide. And you don't hide something unless you are ashamed of it.

Michael Vick tried to deny and stonewall, but at the last owned up and admitted what he did. That's dignity. Belichick is now using weasel words to deny responsibility for his own choices. What kind of example does that set for the young? "Make good choices," football coaches constantly preach to the young. Now, caught, Belichick wants a special exemption to responsibility for his own choices. Belichick also is trying to close the matter by saying he won't talk about it anymore. So he cheated and now unilaterally declares the matter closed because he doesn't want to face the consequences of his own choices. But this is not over and not going away. Before the cheating scandal, Belichick had a reputation for being heartless but a really good coach. Now, he seems little more than a creepy con artist, and it's the refusal to act like a man and take full responsibility that's really offensive. Goodell's draft-choice penalty against the Patriots – either a first or a second and a third – is the highest draft penalty ever imposed in the NFL. The severity of this sanction shows how seriously Goodell takes the violation. If more disclosures are coming, there might be a lot more punishment of the Patriots. And unless Belichick comes clean and stops lying about his cheating, this event should disqualify him from consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame – it is, after all, not the Hall of Cheaters.

Will Belichick even be in coaching by season's end? When the Vick dogfighting scandal first broke, most football pundits, and most in the Atlanta and league offices, thought there would be few repercussions. Then they thought Vick would have to make some kind of apology. Then they thought he'd need some leave of absence. Then they thought he'd be suspended for a year. Now they wonder whether he'll ever be allowed to play again. By acting Nixonian, Belichick is accelerating his fall from grace. Today, Belichick and New England are trying to pretend the scandal is over. It would not surprise me in the slightest if, before the season ends, Belichick resigns, or is suspended, or is fired by Kraft, or even is permanently barred from the league. Belichick's head might be necessary to preserve the integrity of the game. Surprisingly soon, sacrificing Belichick to save professional football might seem an attractive option, even to Kraft. Remember, there is no law of nature that says the NFL must remain popular.


Yep...Michael Vick = Belichick, Shoulder Pad Microphones, the fact that New England's a**-whooping of the Chargers was from continued cheating, it all makes sense now.

The NFL is doomed. :-°
Image

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." -- Voltaire
Kilroy
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Fantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerGraphics ExpertMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeCafe Musketeer
Posts: 13587
Joined: 6 Oct 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Making My List and Checking It Twice...

Re: Just in Case you hadn't seen enough hysteria about the Pats.

Postby jake_harv88 » Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:38 am

honestly the writer brings up some good points. Everyone is running around sayings its ok that they cheated because they believe its widely spread. There are two things wrong with that:

1) Its not ok even if everyone is doing it. Are steroids ok just becasue everyone is doing it?

2) If it is widely spread this is worse than people think

I think the writer takes some of this a little too far. You shouldn't really be assuming the worst at this point. Just take the information at hand. Saying that he wouldn't be surprised if bellichick is barred from the league at years end is a little ridiculous...
jake_harv88
Water Boy
Water Boy


Posts: 84
Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: Just in Case you hadn't seen enough hysteria about the Pats.

Postby Phokus » Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:41 am

Yeah, i read that yesterday. I like how Easterbrook uses the 'mic'd up linemen' accusation without proof. Anyway, this is ridiculous, the NFL is not doomed. If we listened to Easterbrook, NFL teams would never punt or kick field goals, based on the 'success' of coaching his kid's football teams to championships. heh
Phokus
Special Teams Staff
Special Teams Staff


Posts: 100
Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Home Cafe: Football

Re: Just in Case you hadn't seen enough hysteria about the Pats.

Postby beanoX3 » Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:02 am

Easterbrook's style tends to be more tongue in cheek rather than literal, so there's no reason to take everything he wrote too seriously. Or he editorializes, which he seems to be doing here.

In any case, where's his "cheer babe of the week" section??
The cake is a lie.
beanoX3
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar

Posts: 5971
Joined: 14 Feb 2006
Home Cafe: Football

Re: Just in Case you hadn't seen enough hysteria about the Pats.

Postby SniperShot » Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:58 am

Sounds like chicken little wrote this article... Is the sky falling or what? ;-7

Man talk about doom and gloom.
SniperShot
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Cafe WriterCafe RankerGraphics ExpertEagle EyeWeb SupporterPick 3 Weekly WinnerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorCafe Blackjack Weekly Winner
Posts: 7511
(Past Year: 14)
Joined: 27 Aug 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Fairfax, VA

Re: Just in Case you hadn't seen enough hysteria about the Pats.

Postby DocSlinky » Wed Sep 19, 2007 11:40 am

The achilles heel to his "the NFL could fade away like the NBA" argument....the NBA doesn't have a rabid fantasy league following like the NFL does. We are the support base. Power to the People!! ;-D
DocSlinky
Defensive Assistant
Defensive Assistant


Posts: 446
Joined: 7 Sep 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Avoiding any serious work

Re: Just in Case you hadn't seen enough hysteria about the Pats.

Postby WickedSmaat » Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:17 pm

What are we going to turn too?

Baseball has Steroids, Basketball is fixed, and no one cared that Hockey had a gambling issue.

I love golf but it'll never get the draw. Bowling is a non-issue(remember, sundays are for bowling).

UFC is great but is "too violent" for network TV.

There's always soccer :-P oh wait, is Beckham still playing? haven't heard any news about him lately.....

I'm not worried, are you? }:-)
-Wicked
WickedSmaat
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Cafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeWeb SupporterPick 3 Weekly WinnerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorCafe Blackjack Weekly Winner
Posts: 8165
Joined: 1 Oct 2005
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Singing songs of satisfaction toooooo the wooooooorld..... (the world).

Re: Just in Case you hadn't seen enough hysteria about the Pats.

Postby eaglesrule » Wed Sep 19, 2007 3:37 pm

I sometimes think Easterbook takes things a little to far. That being said, not many people can be a fellow for the Brookings institution, writers for Beliefnet.org, The New Republic, and written very interesting books challenging the status quo. This is not some hack on par with Theisman, Merril Hoge or Sean Salisbury. In other words, he never struck me as a shoot from the hip author, so I don't dismiss him in particular as easily as I would most other NFL commentators.
The opening scene of the movie "Saving Private Ryan" is loosely based on games of dodgeball Brian Dawkins played in second grade.
eaglesrule
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar

Posts: 2843
Joined: 3 Dec 2003
Home Cafe: Football

Re: Just in Case you hadn't seen enough hysteria about the Pats.

Postby eaglesrule » Wed Sep 19, 2007 6:50 pm

Phokus wrote:Yeah, i read that yesterday. I like how Easterbrook uses the 'mic'd up linemen' accusation without proof. Anyway, this is ridiculous, the NFL is not doomed. If we listened to Easterbrook, NFL teams would never punt or kick field goals, based on the 'success' of coaching his kid's football teams to championships. heh


BTW he doesn't base the foruth down theory on the success of his kid's, if you are a frequent reader, you knwo that they have brought statistics into it. Frankly, I agree with him on "maroon zone" theory. when you are in opposition territory, where a field goal is a tad dicey, but a punt in all likelihood will neyt you ten yards or so, it probably does make more consistent sense to just go for it if its five or less yards, given the statistics. And given the stature of the NFL, i wholeheartedly agree that some coaches make decisions to blame shift.

And he isn;'t saying the NFL IS doomed, he is saying that leagues that display too much hubris could be headed for a fall, i.e. the NFLs popularity is not a foregone conclusion. People used to think the MLB and NBA were unassailable in their relative hey days.
The opening scene of the movie "Saving Private Ryan" is loosely based on games of dodgeball Brian Dawkins played in second grade.
eaglesrule
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar

Posts: 2843
Joined: 3 Dec 2003
Home Cafe: Football

Re: Just in Case you hadn't seen enough hysteria about the Pats.

Postby steelerfan513 » Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:05 pm

My problem with this article is that the only reason it got written was because of Belichick. Seriously, does anyone really think he would've written his article if this whole "scandal" hadn't happened? Of course not, but it did, and it made it easier to get readers for this article.

If the NFL were on its way to a fall, we would've heard about it earlier because someone would've written about it when Rodney Harrison got busted for HGH or Shawne Merriman got suspended for steroids. Widespread steroid and HGH use has severely hurt baseball, so why couldn't it hurt football just as much, even more than this whole cheating "scandal"?
Image
Image
Kudos to Leber for the amazing sig and to Metroid for the userbar and making them both fit
2008 and 2009 Defunct Dynasty League Champion
steelerfan513
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Cafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeMatchup Meltdown Survivor
Posts: 11906
Joined: 15 Sep 2005
Home Cafe: Football

Next

Return to Football Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

Forums Articles & Tips Start & Sit Sleepers Rankings Leagues


Get Ready...
The 2014 NFL season kicks off in 5:46 hours
(and 36 days)
2014 NFL Schedule


  • Fantasy Football
  • Article Submissions
  • Privacy Statement
  • Site Survey 
  • Contact