Exploring "The Unfair Advantage Doctrine"
I think we all agree with a prior comment you made: 'cheating gives one team an unfair advantage over another'....Let's face it: If you have another team's signals (as of game-time) & those signals hold true throughout the game; then, the team with the signals has the advantage.
Just a couple of observations:
1)Then using your penetrating logic: whether you use binoculars, left-over locker room sheets(w/signals on it), vidotape or 'the freakin' Hubbel Telescope---however you end-up with the other team's signals, if you then go on to use them in an 'Official' game--YOUR CHEATING! Then, if it's later found-out that you cheated(using WHATEVER METHOD), clearly it follows that you're not playing America's game with the spirit of the "hallowed halls of Canton, Ohio" in mind!
Then, the penalty for having acquired those signals (regardles of by: Sheet, Binoculars or Hubbel Scope) & then with 'malice of forethought' & well aware of tipping the scales of the "Unfair Advantage Doctrine"---You with 'Full Awareness' (rather than 'tear-up that sheet', fold-up the "Hubbel", tuck away the Binoculars: BEFORE RECORDING 'SUCH' TO MEMORY, NOT AFTER) Go ahead & use them in that very same "Official" game; then, YOU (regardless of 'modus operandi') have 'ALL' gained the same (as in EQIVALENT)UNFAIR ADVANTAGE!
&, of course, I know Mr. Editor being the 'Logician' you are that you surely agree that the Same penalties should await 'ALL' parties using such Info (again, derived from: that Sheet, Readings from those Binoculars or that Hubbel) because the info, regardless of means, gave the same decided 'UNFAIR ADVANTAGE' to ALL.
Oh, by the way, almost anyone privy to the goings-on in Pro Football acknowledge that pretty much every team has, at one time or another, come by the 'Signals' of another "by one of a myriad of methods" & then went on to use them in the related game
OK, let's now equally apply the penalties--------Oh. OOPS, there goes the NFL!!!
Editor's Note: -- Wow -- a whole doctrine ascribed to me -- the "unfair advantage doctrine."
I like it. But, you have expanded it much further than I would. I think obtaining signals fairly, and within the rules, is fine. Players listening to calls and figuring them out -- even coaching using their God-given eyes and ears and mind to do that -- THAT'S GREAT -- In my book.
What I think is very, very wrong (and so does the NFL rulebook) is using various technological means to steal signals. Doing that is a big problem and heads us down a very slippery slope -- especially as technology continues to advance.
So, that is the distinction that hundreds of comments on this site explore. Sorry you somehow missed it.
All the best.