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Thursday, September 13, 2007

More On The Big Fat Cheating Meanies    

And here's where I finally rant enough to earn myself an actual Crazy Jeff tag.

Apparently the "sync at halftime" system is precisely what they were doing with the tapes, according to some unlinked but published report. That changes things somewhat... that qualifies as proof of real-time shenanigans. Doesn't make it meaningful, but it's definitely far different than the after-the-fact stuff I hypothesized yesterday.

I'm fine with whatever punishment. The punishment levied isn't my beef with the situation, so whatever they want to do (picks, forfeits, big-ass suspensions, all three) is fine by me. Ideally, I'd prefer that it be appropriate to the actual crime, as opposed to a political maneuver to suck America's ignorant, reactionary cock. But hey, that's the bed they made when they cheated, so come what may.

However, my cooperation depends on America owning up to the following facts:

  1. This gained the Pats a slight advantage at best, and did not affect any game outcomes
  2. Belichick did it because he's psycho, not because it would actually make a difference
  3. The only reason people are so pissed is because it's the Patriots
Seriously, America, admit it. Stop pretending it isn't personal. You look ridiculous. They're the team you hated for no reason. Now you have a reason, and you're exploiting it. Don't even think you'd feel the same way if it were the Chargers or the Bears.

In fact, you want proof of how full of shit you sanctimonious motherfuckers are? Two words: Shawne Merriman. QED, fuckos. He cheats, and his punishment is a Pro Bowl trip and a Nike commercial. EVERYONE turns the other way. But as soon as the Patriots cheat, somehow it's the goddamn 9/11 of sports. coughbullshitcough

Sorry, America, but Simmons and Aaron Schatz have it right. They nail the position of both Patriots fans (bummed, shamed) and the actual importance of the issue (not). They are voices of reason in a world gone mad, and I don't care how it looks for me to say so.

You want proof of that? Even King Kaufman thinks the whole thing is stupid. In fact, he objects to it a lot more vehemently than Simmons does! That there's the end of the argument, folks. It's as good as having God come out of the sky, in human form, to kick Skip Bayless in the beanbag.

Yeah, so I cited two Pats homers as part of my defense. Guess what: fuck you. I've been reading nothing but "fuck the Pats" stories all week, and I'm sick of it. Simmons is right, and you're wrong. I'm with Belichick: eat a dick. Suck it, swallow it, choke on it.

Here's why those two guys can be both Pats fans and reasonable. You may not agree with the end result, but Boston fans at least attempt to be well-informed. There are plenty of folks for whom that's not the case at all, but the smart ones strive to claim Boston superiority from as nonpartisan a standpoint as possible.

I have no qualms claiming myself as one of the informed. I know I do enough legwork to back that up. And say what you will, but Simmons and Schatz are nothing if not informed.

I've spent the better part of this week (as you can tell) reading everything I can on the topic of VideoGate, in a half-assed effort to determine whether the Pats were actually in the wrong. My motivation may be to defend and/or rationalize, but the reading I've done nevertheless gives me as good and considered a read on the situation as anyone.

So, tell me why I (or those two) should take any guff of any nature from some schmuck who watched SportsCenter, said "deah, Patriots suck, screw 'em!!!" and called it a day. F that. I put in days of effort towards fairness; what's everyone else doing to get to the bottom of things?

If America doesn't want to hear from Simmons and Schatz, they can put someone forward with half a brain to argue against them. Otherwise, drain this cup.

Anyway... they still didn't cheat. They did everything they've been accused of by the NFL, and should be punished for it all. But it's not cheating. Sorry.

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  • new pats logo, wait for it...

    By Blogger rusch, at 3:30 PM  

  • I was just going to post the link to that Kaufman piece on your previous rant on this subject, but I see you're already all over that. I'm with Kaufman 100%, but your usage of his column in the "even Kaufman says" sense is disingenuous. Kaufman, like me, is pretty unlikely to get worked up over cheating in most contexts, and is frequently a voice of reason in situations like these. I don't think you should find his support as particularly damning to the haters, just because he isn't connected to New England in any way. That said, you're right and he's right, so you've got that.

    Also, I guess this stuff is all over ESPN or something, but I have serious questions as to how ubiquitous this supposed outpouring of Pats-hatred is. I think you're letting yourself get worked up by the usual sports journalism hacks, eager for any controversy, and sour grapes franchises, eager for any explanation as to how they've been so thoroughly destroyed by the Patriots these past few years.

    Still, I agree to actively support you in your outrage over this if you agree to stop treating Barry Bonds like the Anti-Christ.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 4:02 PM  

  • Also, a good comment from the letters section of the Kaufman piece:

    The rule...

    You say that the rule about videotaping exists because the NFL likes rules. I think it's more likely that the rule exists because the NFL would like sole ownership of every scrap of video recorded at an NFL game. You can't have everyone with field access taking video that might be posted on someone's blog.

    I know that those who think this must be cheating of the worst kind will protest, but is it possible that this guy was taking video for his own amusement? Would you bring a video camera if you had field access at an NFL game?

    By Blogger Jesse, at 4:15 PM  

  • Okay, I will. Not to turn this into a South Park episode, but I've learned something today.

    My motivations for decrying Bonds were and are strictly personal. I'm not upset by steroid allegations; I recall defending Palmeiro quite vigorously when that whole thing happened. My approval of the Bonds witch hunt was all about Barry Bonds being a prick who deserves the Kevin Everett treatment. Recognizing the parallels was a nice reality check. I gained at least some sympathy for that situation.

    That said, the grey area around steroids is a lot less grey than that of the Beli-Cam thing.

    Steroid usage has increased production in so many cases that there's strong grounds to wonder about the numbers. But I wouldn't describe steroid use as exploiting a technicality, nor the end result as an insignificant difference. I would for both in the case of the Beli-Cam, though. Stealing signs with a camera versus without a camera, on the other hand? I'm really not feeling it.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 4:25 PM  

  • As for the Kaufman mailbag, Amen. There's TONS of evidence to suggest that the NFL has the rule in place to prevent non-sanctioned video so as not to compete with NFL Films et al, and could give two shits about cheating.

    I don't know about the guy being innocent (let's not start insulting people's intelligence) but as for the NFL's motives... absolutely.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 4:27 PM  

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