February 7, 2008

Spygate II

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

So what happens if it turns out to be true that the Patriots cheated in a Super Bowl, specifically their first win against the Rams, you know the one that’s drawing comparisons to the one the lost on Sunday to the Giants. Taping a team’s final walkthrough, which the Patriots reportedly did, would be the equivalent of looking at another player’s hand poker. If there’s a worse type of cheating — other than taking a dive — I don’t know what it is.

You may also ask what business U.S. Congress has investigating a matter like cheating in the NFL. You can also wonder why they became involved in the MLB-steroids mess of the past while as well. Let’s just remember where these leagues play their games: in stadiums that were built in large parts thanks to tax dollars. These tax dollars were alloted by whom now? That’s right the government. Basically, when you’re playing in somebody else’s house, you better abide by house rules and try not to put your feet up on the furniture.

The real question I have about Spygate II is what exactly are they going to investigate? The NFL already requested tapes and notes from New England, said they’d reveal what was on them (and didn’t until pressed about it last week) and then destroyed the tapes for no one to ever see again. Why? It makes no sense. It was reveal that the Pats did cheat in at least six games during the 2006 season though, and why has there been nothing done about that?

Also, what did the NFL ask the Pats for? Was it just last year’s tapes? If so, then New England can say they complied with the league’s orders and commissioner Roger Goodell seriously dropped the ball. The NFL has to disclose what the Patriots had, how they did it, how far they went and when they cheated. It’s the only way to not make themselves look like fools and come out looking alright.

As for consequences, If the allegations of cheating that go back to the victory over the Rams (and maybe even before) is true, then Bill Belichick should be suspended from the league for life and SEVERE fines should be laid on the team. It’s the only way to go. All of the Patriots records should be tarnished, sullied with asterisks everywhere they belong.

Goodell has gone above and beyond what any previous commissioner has in terms of disciplinary measures to uphold the integrity of the league. If he drops the ball on Spygate II in the same fashion he did with the original, more than a few people will be calling for his ousting. I’ll be one.

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