Enough with the Patriots Cheating Talk

(Philadelphia, Pa) —-This past Sunday, the Patriots were accused of spying on Jets’ signals via a camera during their game and now the NFL is looking into the claims by the New York Jets.  The New England Patriots are accused of using an employee to videotape signals by Jets coaches on New York’s sideline during the season opener.  The investigation was first reported by ESPN.com, which said that NFL security confiscated a video camera and tape from a Patriots employee during New England’s 38-14 victory Sunday. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said of the matter “The rule is that no video recording devices of any kind are permitted to be in use in the coaches’ booth, on the field, or in the locker room during the game”.  He added  “Clubs have specifically been reminded in the past that the videotaping of an opponent’s offensive or defensive signals on the sidelines is prohibited.

Let me make myself clear that I do not condone cheating and I know that it is against the rules of the NFL, but I believe this maybe the most overhyped and over reported story that I have seen in a while.  Give me a break if you think the Patriots won all those games and championships using “spy” equipment. If you looked into it, I think every team would have some kind of “cheating” whether it is stealing signals, having a plant on team’s sidelines, former players giving information, false injury reports, etc.  The game is won between the lines and “cheating” cannot replace the great job that Scott Pioli and Bill Belichik have done in assembling and coaching the Patriots to three Super Bowl titles.  The Patriots will probably be made an example of by the NFL, with something like taking away a 2nd or 3rd round pick in 2008.  But the Patriots do such a great job in drafting in all 7 rounds and replenishing talent that I don’t think it will matter in their maturation.

To those fans that cry foul play, I point to Super Bowl XXXIX where the Patriots beat the Eagles by three points.  The Patriots win was not due to signals being stolen, because several other factors within the lines (McNabb throwing 3 INTs, The Eagles Non-Urgency at the End of the Game, Sndy Reid wasting timeouts, Mark Simoneau not covering screen passes, Matt Ware’s troubles as a nickelback, Corey Dillon Running Wild, etc) caused the Eagles to come up short.