Say It Ain't So, Bill! Are the Pats Cheaters?
The New England Patriots are, by many accounts, the NFL's best team this year. (I'm a huge Pats fan, just to be up-front about it.)
But it appears they may also be cheats.
ESPN is reporting that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has determined that the Patriots violated the rules by videotaping defensive signals used by the New York Jets during Sunday's 38-14 Patriots win. League sources say Goodell "is considering severe sanctions, including the possibility of docking the Patriots draft picks." A similar videotaping accusation was leveled against the team in a game against Green Bay last year.
Several NFL coaches interviewed after the story broke said that teams have been trying to steal each other's signals forever. But why would a team with as much talent and leadership as the Patriots go so far as to allegedly break league rules? Was Bill Belichick determined not to lose again to his former assistant, Jets coach Eric Mangini? (Then again, at least one report claims Mangini blew the whistle on his old team.) Who knows?
The New York tabloids are having a field day with the controversy. The funniest headline I saw comes from the New York Post — "Belicheat." Belichick did apologize today but didn't say specifically for what.
5:02 PM ET | 09-12-2007 | permalink