Wednesday, September 19, 2007

More on the cheating Pats and Belichick's take on J. Edgar Hoover and Nixon

So I wrote about how I didn't think this whole Pat's cheating scandal was that big a deal here. Well here's a completely different take on it from one of my favorite football columns, Tuesday Morning Quarterback, written by Gregg Easterbrook. While I think he goes a little bit overboard, especially because I believe the heart of the NFL's popularity is how its rigid salary-cap and profit-sharing system maintains parity, Easterbrook raises some scary rumors about Belichick.

And the Patriots' cheating might have been more extensive than so far confirmed. Fox Sports reported that former NFL players believe Belichick had microphones installed in the shoulder pads of defensive linemen so the Patriots could tape other teams' offensive audibles and line calls. Needless to say, putting microphones on players violates NFL rules. Andrea Kremer of NBC reported that several teams might charge the Patriots this week with having stolen playbooks from the visitors' dressing room. The convenient "malfunction" of visiting teams' headphones at the Patriots' two fields under Belichick seems to have happened far too often to be an IT department error. The rumor mill says Belichick, Richard Nixon-style, has file cabinets of info on opposing coaches and assistant coaches – some gleaned honestly, some obtained by cheating.

That last bit sounds like Hoover to me, hence the title. Anyway, read his article, I'm beginning to feel myself shifting camps here.

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