Cheating Scandals Continue to Plague the New England Patriots
This scandal we will call #Playgate.
Really? Again. When will the NFL finally drop the hammer on the New England Patriots and their culture of cheating? First, there was Spygate, then Deflategate, and now what do we call the latest New England Patriots cheating scandal? Perhaps, “Playgate.” Yahoo Sports reported that on the day of NFL games, the Patriots would send employees to steal the opposing team’s initial scripted plays from their locker rooms. That neutron bomb was embedded in a lengthy ESPN report published on Tuesday. The report makes public how the NFL’s handling of Spygate influenced the investigation into alleged football deflation by the Patriots.
Belichick is the Dr. Evil of the NFL
Detractors of the Patriots, including F&TS, have grown frustrated with the constant praise heaped on Bill Belichick and his coaching method. There are reasons why the Patriots always seem to be a few steps ahead of their opponents. They know their offensive plays ahead of time. In spite of the fact that the league has caught the Patriots cheating already, they continue to circumvent the rules of fairness.
First, the ESPN report reveals the Patriots had a more “effective cheating method” than Spygate. Their method involved a “low-level Patriots employee” stealing opponents’ play sheets before kickoff. Second, a low-level Patriots employee would sneak into the visiting locker room and steal the play sheet. The play sheet includes the first 20 or so scripted calls for the opposing team’s offense. The practice was so rampant and well-known teams started leaving fake play sheets behind in their locker rooms.
The Patriots’ cheating is so bad, they also sent team employees to the visiting team hotel rummaging for playbooks or scouting reports.
ESPN Report Bombshells
In the aftermath of the 2007 Spygate scandal, Patriots’ coach, Bill Belichick, spoke to the 31 other owners of teams about the Patriots’ practice of videotaping opposing signal callers on the sidelines. Belichick said “he had merely misinterpreted a league rule, explaining that he thought it was legal to videotape opposing teams’ signals as long as the material wasn’t used in real-time. Belichick said he had made a mistake — “my mistake.”
Many former New England personnel insist that signal taping (Spygate) wasn’t even the most effective cheating method the Patriots used. The report says “that during pregame warm-ups, a low-level Patriots employee would sneak into the visiting locker room and steal the play sheet. [The sheet] was the list of the first 20 or so scripted calls for the opposing team’s offense.”
Coaching my ass. The Patriots are a dirty organization. We hope the NFL community holds it against Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and owner Bob Kraft for the rest of their football lives.