Monday, February 18, 2008

The Pats-Belichick Taping Thing Has Officially Turned Into A Clusterfuck Of Nonsense

Come see non-existent videotapes, frivolous lawsuits, insane journalists and equally insane Congressman all at the House of Nonsense!

The part that I don't get about all of this Patriots videotaping scandal (again, I refuse to call it "Spygate" as I am repulsed out our society's lack of creativity in the arena of "scandal naming.") is why anyone really cares and what they want done? I mean, if you are really angry about the allegations against the Pats or the admitted taping of Jets (and likely other teams') hand signals--and I would be f'n pissed if the situation were reversed--what the fuck do you want the NFL to do? Do you want Belichick suspended or banned? Would that make you happy? Do you want the Pats' 3 Super Bowls stripped and all their wins taken away? Do you want their franchise taken away? I mean what would make you happy? You see, I get being pissed, but after that I don't know what the fuck you want done about it.

Let me start by saying that I don't in any way want to make it look as though I'm making excuses for the Pats. Far from it. I think that under the perfectly clear language of the rules, the Pats cheated; it probably occurred many more times than we know about; and despite what Belichick says, it was probably beneficial and in a close and evenly matched game it is certainly possible that sign stealing was the difference between a win or loss. I freely admit all of that. But the response to this is so out of whack that it tends to discredit those with serious concerns. I mean, Senator Spector sounds a barfly at Stan's after Mussina doesn't get the outside corner on 3 straight pitches and the attorneys for those idiots who filed that $100 million lawsuit should be sanctioned if not disbarred for filing a frivolous suit. I mean, gimme a fucking break, what utter frickin nonsense that is. When people overreact like Spector, Easterbrook and those lawsuit assholes, the public response is a collective eye roll. I'm saying it makes the Pats sympathetic (that would be impossible at this point) but it makes them more sympathetic.

One of the main reasons why I find this overreaction completely intolerable is because it is being compared to the Steroids (capital "s" at this point) situation. This couldn't be farther from the steroids situation (other than maybe that people are breaking rules to gain an advantage, but I don't see Congress convening about Shawn Merriman). Lest we forget (and I think constant reminder is necessary), the reason that there is such great concern over the strength of MLB's testing policy is because weak testing is seen as a tacit acknowledgment that PED's aren't a big deal. And that is a bad message for kids trying to get an edge. It's not so much an issue of cheating the fan, though we arguably have been cheated, but the reason Congress felt the need to get involved was because they didn't think baseball was doing enough. No one is worried that kids are going to secretly tape each other (unless we're going to argue that the Pats are responsible for the growing teenage webcamming. If I ever have a girl, she will not be allowed near a camera, video, internet or any combination thereof.). It's apples and oranges. The only greater concern here is that the Pats lied about cheating. And if the Pats did lie, more should be done and more penalties doled out. You don't lie to to the Commissioner (just ask PacMan). But it should be taken care of by the NFL. And if they told the truth but everyone is simply mad that the public hasn't heard the entire story because the Commissioner refuses to discuss it, then I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for anyone who continues to be angry.

Overall with this whole thing, I don't give a shit about it. The benefit the Pats got from the tapes were the same you'd get from having a guy watch the other team's calls from the sidelines (earlier I said it was "possible" that they got an edge that made a difference. I still believe that but I take the view that the possibility is awfully slim). I think the original penalty was too harsh and I think the only concern left is whether or not the Pats are telling the truth. I don't think the gov't needs to get involved to make the determination or has any horse in this race whatsoever. If Senator Specter can prove the Pats lied, then what? Does he imprison Belichick and put pressure on the NFL to fire Goodell? I just don't see the point. I guess I can just foresee this thing turning into a whole bunch of nothing. And I'd rather than have my gov't get involved with this nonsense that affects no one other than the league, I'd rather have them do what they do best: a whole lot of nothing.

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