There was NO Patriot cheating. Not even close.

I would like to correct a rather large bit of misinformation you have on your site here:


"Of course, taping opposing teams signals would have allowed the Patriots, after reviewing the tape, to know exactly what the signal was for a particular defensive call. Later, when they see that signal again -- they know the play the other team will run. Simple. And, very useful information to have. Unfortunately for the Patriots -- it is illegal!"

This is actually completely untrue. The NFL RULEBOOK places no information off limits for filming. Read that again. NOTHING in the rulebook indicates in any fashion what and can not be filmed. The coaches signaling is perfectly legal, the substitutions, the cheerleader routines, and the execution on the field are ALL perfectly legal.

Up until the end of the 2006 season when the rule was re-written the camera teams used to make these legal films (called by the NFL "for coaching purposes"). AT this time (the end of 06 season) it was changed to read the camera must be placed in an area "enclosed on all sides and with a ceiling." However there is STILL no restriction in the RULEBOOK about what can and can not be filmed.

Your argument of a memo from the commissioner is disingenuous at BEST. No memo supersedes the rulebook. Had he wanted to make it illegal to film signals he should have amended the RULES not put out a memo.

This means they violated a procedural rule of camera placement. Since they are allowed to film the signals, there was NO CHEATING. Cheating is an attempt to gain an unfair advantage. Since filming coaches play signaling is LEGAL, there is no unfair competitive advantage. This is exactly why the NFL never used the words "cheat," "cheater," or "cheating." It is also why the NFL explicitly stated the Patriots gained NO COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.

I have heard ridiculous arguments that all rule violations are cheating...but this is just stupid. The NFL rulebook restricts all kinds of activitiy. If every rule violation was cheating, Urlacher of the Bears would be a cheater following his fine for wearing a visor with an unauthorized sponsors name on it.

I understand that fans of opposing teams are bitter that the Patriots have run ROUGHSHOD over the NFL, but hey that is how it goes. One team has to be the best. This season, it is the Patriots.

Comments for There was NO Patriot cheating. Not even close.

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Feb 02, 2008
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Media is Unfair to Belichick
by: Anonymous

Thank you, whoever you are. There is s much misinformation about this scandal. The media is too lazy to dig for anything other than the same storyline they had on September 15th. The writer of this article is obviously biased, contradicts himself many times, and fills in the gaps of what is not proven with his own conclusions or very loaded innuendo. I would like for the entire truth about the way in which all coaches prepare for games, includng the parts of the preparation that the public does not see. But having Belichick alone ridiculed and trashed is the equivalent of putting every cop in a city on a sting to try to pinch one unsavory character with a sloppy amalgam of charges--while no oversight is done on anything else.
There is a long history of competitive advantage scandals or rumors relating to some of the NFL's greatest ever teams. The 90's Cowboys and Broncos, the 80's Niners, the 70's Steelers and Dolphins, the Raiders a couple of times, the Chiefs. If the writer of this article wants ring forfeits from the Patriots, there might be as many as 14 rings given up by other teams.

Feb 03, 2008
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Nothing Wrong
by: Anonymous

One heluva fine for doing nothing wrong!!!! How do you explain this in your totally "unbiased" opinion?

Feb 16, 2008
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You don't know the rules...
by: Ish Engle

First,

Page 105 of the NFL's "Game Operations Manual" states:


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.


That's a pretty clear-cut rule.


No video recording devices ... are permitted to be in use.

How does this make taping legal? Or, like your "genius" coach, did you "misinterpret" this rule?

Second, there are rules violations, and there are rules violations that gain advantage. Comparing wearing unauthorized logos to gaining competitive advantage is like saying driving 5 miles over the speed limit and drive-by shooting are equivalent. One involves the driver, the other involves the driver and others. Logo wear involves the player, signal taping involves several coaches (some unaware of their participation).

The reasons people are labeling the Patriots cheaters are 1) Belicheck has said he's cheated since he's been the coach, 2) they were caught trying to gain a competitive advantage OUTSIDE OF PERMITTED rules, and 3) they have been caught and prohibited from doing the same on more than one previous occasion.

If it wasn't your Patriots, you would call that dirty, too. Get real, follow your coaches lead and admit that they cheated. Just don't keep following his lead on being a @$$h013.


Feb 17, 2008
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Videotaping is legal
by: Bud Light

So Isa, are you ok with videotaping from let's say the mezzanine of a stadium?

You quote the Operations Manual, Bellichick referenced his interpretation of the Constitution and bylaws.

"Any use by any club at any time, from the start to the finish of any game in which such club is a participant, of any communications or information-gathering equipment, other than Polaroid-type cameras or field telephones, shall be prohibited, including without limitation videotape machines, telephone tapping, or bugging devices, or any other form of electronic devices that might aid a team during the playing of a game."

As you may or may not know, there was an emphasis on in-game use.

You should also note NFL spokesman Greg Aiello,

"It is not uncommon for visiting team video crews to request permission to shoot coaching video from both upper end zone positions," spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an email. "Home clubs must provide visiting clubs with equal vantage points for the taping of games. Teams typically shoot coaching video from one upper 50-yard line location and one upper end zone location, but there are no restrictions on shooting from both upper end zone positions as long as the opportunity is provided to both teams. No permission is needed from the league office."

Can you explain the above with p 105 of the Operations Manual? Aiello is saying the Jet's taping from the mezzanine of Gillette Stadium was ok.

Pretty odd to get upset about taping from a different location.


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