Undefeated Will Come With a Price

The Patriots are one week away from a perfect regular season.  They have the oppurtunity to be the first team to go a full 16-0.  What will that mean for the franchise?

For Patriots fans, it’s something that will never be forgotten, because it will likely never be repeated.  To us, the season is unblemished, perfect in every way.  However, many fans across the country will think different things.  They will call the Patriots “cheaters,” people like Don Shula will say there should be an asterisk.  Along with the undefeated title, there will be a permanent bias, a blemish on a perfect season.  The undefeated record will come with a price.

 Is it fair?  Of course not.  Any person who actually took the time to think would realize that the Patriots weren’t even cheating.  They recorded and took signals as they would record and analize a game tape.  It’s no different.  They wanted the signals as a reference point to help them to prepare for future games (they certainly did not use them in the same game).  All teams change their signals (another fact that the majority of fans can’t comprehend).  By all means, I am not supporting the Patriots actions.  They disobeyed the rules, and they should have been punished.  However, all of the hype from the “Spygate” scandal is one giant misconception, and it’s sad that the Patriots will be looked down upon for that.


7 Responses to Undefeated Will Come With a Price

  1. jim z. says:

    You say they used the tapes as a reference point, much as they would use the game film. Reference to what exactly?

    It seemed clear to me they were trying to find some way of predicting defensive play calls, whether in same game or a future game. Yes, it seems a team would change signals as a matter of standard practice but maybe there’s a team that doesn’t, in which case filming and studying coaches signals would be advantageous.

    Now, I love the Patriots and think Belichick is great but I’m not afraid to say he was wrong and to accept that yes he was “cheating.” I am just not convinced that using the tapes as a “reference point” is a defence or that it even means anything.

  2. Ryan says:

    Kudos to being a Pat fan that actually acknowledges the asterisk. It should be imprinted right next to the record in the book. Learning the signals and knowing the play beforehand is a huge advantage. For the rest of the country not blinded by the red, white, and blue the asterisk will forever be there.


    * they cheated

  3. Greg says:

    Jim z.:

    “It seemed clear to me they were trying to find some way of predicting defensive play calls, whether in same game or a future game. Yes, it seems a team would change signals as a matter of standard practice but maybe there’s a team that doesn’t, in which case filming and studying coaches signals would be advantageous.”

    Well, I think every team HAS to change their signals. But I agree with what you said, that they were trying to predict defensive play calls. Now, you know your stuff, the key is defensive play calls, not offensive play calls (as most of America thinks). Now although they wouldn’t be able to use the signals in the first half, there is a chance they could have interpreted them for the second half (which as you said, would give them a huge advantage. But, I don’t think the cheating did anything. Look at what the Pats did to the Chargers the following week.

    I was incorrect in using “reference point.” What I meant, was something the team could look back upon when preparing for future games. Maybe a “reference point” to something specific the Jets were running.

  4. jim z. says:

    I don’t mean to add more to this over-worked subject, but a couple of points:

    1. Obviously, an asterisk to the 16-0 (let’s hope) season makes no sense as they were caught at half-time of the first game against a Jets team they were going to beat.
    Since then, they’ve proved how worthy they are without any help.

    2. The problem is – and this is why this incident is so damaging – there is a legitimate question about prior seasons: did they tape to steal signals and did it ever make a difference? We’ll never know for sure I guess.

    Frankly, when you think about it, there’s really nothing wrong with trying to steal signals; you just can’t use a sideline camera. Why nothing wrong? Well, it seems from just casual observation you might notice that a team safety blitzes every time the def. coordinator pats his head before the play. What are you supposed to do? Ignore it? Hell no, nobody expects that.

    It’s when you use taping technology, especially from directly across the field, and then analyze that tape that you are acting unfairly. I think that’s why the rule exists in the first place.

    My take is that Belichick left no stone unturned in looking for a way to help his team win and he rationalized his actions by his “interpretation” of the language of the rule where it’s not precisely clear that you can’t tape for use in a later game. I’m no lawyer but that argument is a stretch and besides judgement was not made in a courtroom but in the realm of public opinion.

    There will always be those who condemn Coach Belichick and diminish all the team has accomplished. Let’s move on and root hard for 19-0. As your post said, that’s the real story.

  5. mike says:

    how much money did bob kraft pay the referees this season. you can’t tell me they don’t cheat, or have the refs cheat for them. i’ve never seen someone cheat as much as the patriots besides the cowgirls of the 90’s. its disgusting the stuff they get away with. and tom brady is such a homo

  6. Greg says:

    jim z.:

    I think you’re 100% correct. As a fan, I don’t think the Patriots did anything out of the ordinary, as I believe that all teams look at the opponent’s signals.

    As you said above, there shouldn’t be an astersisk, and it is rediculous that it could even be mentioned, considering the way that the Pats have handled their opponents thus far.

    The problem is the fans outside New England, who already hate the Pats for being so good, Those fans don’t take the time to comprehend the situation. The only thing they do take out of the situation is that they think the Patriots and Bill Belichick are cheaters. The perfect example is “mike,” who posted above. I don’t need to say anything about it, just read it and you’ll understand my point.

  7. Jeff says:

    I think it is great that a team can go undefeated in the salery cap era. However it does not change the fact that they broke a rule and were caught. I think it is greeat that there are Pats fans that feel this season was not perfect, but flawed. !6-0 is huge and should be free of controversy. I hardly feel they deserved it, the team they beat (Giants) were on of the teams they were caught taping. How is that fair. I know someone is going to say they changed their signals, but they still had seen information that could have been helpful in over comming the Giants in this victory.

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