When Is Cheating Not Cheating?
When the Haters Choose to Ignore It
Today's "revelation" that the New York Jets were videotaped the playoff game at Gillette Stadium last season illustrates just how ludicrous this whole "cheating" scandal really is.
What Patriots fans have known all along is that this is no revelation at all. Many if not most if not all teams videotape other teams all the time. What the Patriots did was videotape from the sideline, as if that really makes a difference.
"Um, it's OK if you tape from here, but, uh, it's not it you do the same exact thing from, uh, there. Yeah."
If the tapes contain the same material, it makes no difference from where they were shot. But, as stupid and arbitrary as the rule is, that's what the rule is. The Patriots broke the letter of the law. Other teams, like the Jets, break the spirit of the law, but not the letter. The haters inanely rationalize that this is just.
These are the same people who say the "Tuck Rule" was unfair. But that rule was called by the letter of the law, if it didn't follow the spirit of it. The haters want it both ways. That's because they're not rational.
Meanwhile, the Jets say that they had permission to videotape from the end-zone location their camera operator was clearly told to vacate. Obviously, the Patriots didn't seem to think they had permission; hence asking them to leave.
So let me get this straight: If an action violates a rule (the NFL said it didn't -- big surprise) but someone says it's OK, it's not really against the rules? That's New York logic for you.
This is the smoking gun Sports Illustrated's Peter King has been looking for. All the time, he intimated the league feigned investigating the Patriots because there was something more there, something sinister, something for which only the Patriots could possibly be responsible.
Guess what? The league dropped the investigation because they knew all the rest would come out. They wanted the issue dead and buried, but the haters have refused to let it die. And chances are King will sweep this under the carpet as well, because it doesn't conform to his agenda.
Whatever ridiculous argument the haters contrive, the fact remains: The Patriots are 13-0 with a clean and highly scrutinized program. Any insinuation otherwise is worse than sour grapes, and it's intellectually insulting.
In a real and sane world, the Patriots did not "cheat." They broke a rule, as many teams break many rules, and the Patriots were penalized far greater for far less a sin. They paid the ridiculously high price, a higher price than other teams would have been assessed.
Still, Patriots fans have faith that Justice ultimately will prevail and the Patriots will be recognized undeniably as the greatest team of all time, and Bill Belichick will be acknowledged at the greatest coach. But there is at least one snowstorm, as many as six teams, and continued unfair and preposterous insinuations first to overcome.