When I was a kid I used to detest the Cowboys. Simply because they kept winning. I was sick of it. I was always rooting for some other teams to make it deep into the playoffs other than the usual suspects.
I wasn’t alone.
I’m still not alone.
People don’t like to see the same teams win year after year. The league doesn’t like it either. That’s why winning teams pick late in the draft – it gives them a worse talent selection at an attempt to make the teams more even. This is also why the NFL instituted a salary cap – to help level the playing field. (See what I did there? Because it’s football and…nevermind.)
But what happens when teams still perform at championship levels year after year even when the steps have been taken to make it more even?
People hate them.
You hate the Patriots because they are good. A dynasty, in fact. Ultimately, that’s the reason. All other reasons just stem from this reason.
“No. It’s because I hate Tom Brady.” Then you make a crack about Gisele or Tom’s Uggs and whatever else you can conjure up which really amounts to the fact that he beats your team year after year and it frustrates you.
“No. It’s because they’re cheaters.”
But that’s really not the reason.
Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying.
You hate the Patriots because they are good. Not because you think they’re cheaters.
You don’t care when bad teams cheat. Hell, you don’t care when any other team besides the Patriots is accused of cheating. You care more about the Patriots being accused of cheating than other teams actually cheating. It has gotten to that point and it’s out of hand. The lengths that you will go to justify the Patriots dominance over the last 15 years is laughable.
The Patriots - the team that beats your team on a consistent basis for so long and it just pisses your shit off.
I get it.
You can’t come out and say, “I hate the Patriots because they’re good.” That would make you look ridiculous. But that shouldn’t mean you let your intellectual honesty go flying out the window. Instead, you look for information that confirms your bias against the Patriots – it’s human nature. You cling onto any desperate reason that makes you feel justified in hating them.
Imagine - if you would - a punt return where an opposing gunner is on a full tilt sprint down the field. He is pushed out of bounds by one of the coverage men – which is usual. While running up the sideline, coming back in the field of play, Bill Belichick sticks his leg out to intentionally trip the gunner to give his return team a better chance of a return with one less gunner.
The internet lynch mobs would be relentlessly attacking “Belicheat”.
Of course, that wasn’t Belichick. That was Jets conditioning coach, Sal Alosi, in 2010, tripping up Nolan Carroll as he ran down the sidelines.
Or does it not matter because they suck and your outrage is selective? And by “selective” I mean – “Reserved for the Patriots only.”
How about Head Coach Mike Tomlin stepping out onto the field to change the running path of Jacoby Jones in 2013 resulting in a tackle instead of what may have been a touchdown? Cheating or nah?
Again, imagine your outrage if it was Belichick doing that. There would be calls for year-long suspensions. Ceremonial hoodie burnings throughout the streets.
“Well those are isolated, spur-the-moment instances. I mean, they weren’t thought-out, planned infractions.”
What about when the Denver Broncos were found guilty of moving $29 million illegally off of their salary cap with the contracts of John Elway, Terrell Davis, and others during their Super Bowl years? Blatantly toying with a policy put in place to keep the teams at even spending power.
What if Bob Kraft did that?
Remember when the Seahawks were fined in 2012 and 2014 for violation of the practice rules giving the Seahawks more contact practice time than allowed by other teams in the league? No? Why not?
Not the Patriots…ok…got it.
You don’t care about cheating. You’re concerned with hating the Patriots – because they’re consistently good. You use “cheating” as one of the many righteous vehicles you have to deliver you to that hate.
Wal*Mart is the retailer that everyone loves to hate. You couldn’t care less about their employees’ compensation package – as if that’s ever your business. But you latch on to any negative claim that comes out against Wal*Mart because you have to confirm your bias against the retail giant. If you don’t – you won’t sleep soundly at night.
The Patriots are your Wal*Mart.
“Fine. But what about Spygate?! <insert scary music>
“That was a HUGE deal.”
Let’s put aside the taping by the Broncos, Jets, Cowboys, Chiefs, Dolphins, etc. and focus on the evil Patriots seeing as how they are the target of your selective outrage.
Ray Anderson, the NFL head of game operations, sent out a memo to all teams that read:
That’s great, Ray. But your memo isn’t the rule; The one that’s stated in the rulebook; The one that must be voted on by the teams. Pages A105-A106 of the league’s Policy Manual for Member Clubs Volume II: Game Operations 2007 edition: Miscellaneous Rules and Regulations, Section A. reads:
The ACTUAL rule says nothing about recording offensive or defensive signals and moreover says filming isn’t allowed from the “field” (interpreted as helmet cams, etc) - NOT the “sideline” as Anderson would write.
Yes. Ray Anderson misquoted the rules. But Anderson’s new rule must be ratified by at least 75% of the team owners. This goes for rule changes. Does Goodell, Anderson, et al have the right to adjust the rules on the fly as they deem fit without team ratification? Apparently so.
Belichick argued Article IX of the NFL Constitution and By-laws which reads:
This states that the use of any sort of taped information is illegal for use during the game THAT day. Belichick argued that his filming was never used for THAT day (which was later corroborated by the video tech and Goodell).
The NFL cited the memo's misquoted rules instead of the ACTUAL rules when it made its accusations and subsequent punishment against the Patriots.
Filming opponent’s signals was never illegal –and wasn’t even after the Patriots did it. (In 2008, defensive captains were allowed helmet communication to the sidelines - same as quarterbacks.)
The rules do not matter. Goodell and his office specifically told the teams NOT to do it – and that evil, insubordinate Belichick decided that he would stick to the rulebook – you know, the actual rule - and Goodell took that as a slap in the face to his authority.
It was a battle of egos.
That’s your “Spygate”.
That’s what this entire circus was about.
Horrifying. I know.
People still think this is a scandal.
Any football fan that devotes a little bit of time into researching this issue can see it was much ado about nothing.
But you’re not interested in that.
You hate the Patriots because they win. If you scream “SPYGATE” loud enough – it justifies your hatred.
(Sidenote: How does one “Spy” out in the open?)
(Sidenote again: Patriots winning percentage during Spygate was 67% - after Spygate 78% - your Spygate argument is invalid).
From this ever-egregious infraction, the amount of accusations that have been concocted could fill up an entire show on Coast to Coast radio. They MUST still be cheating to have so much success. So let the accusations begin:
- Filmed walkthrough practices of opposing teams
- Stole/jammed opponent’s wireless audio signals
- Secret microphones on shoulder pads to pick up on-field signals
- Received opponent’s offensive playbooks
- Towel boy spies in opponent’s locker room
- TV in the Gillette Stadium parking lot that can be seen from inside the stadium by Belichick from the sideline that helps him determine whether or not to throw a challenge flag (I’m not joking – Sports Illustrated actually accused him of that).
Now we have DeflateGate.
This is your golden calf.
Clearly a sign of individuals trying to take small advantages in a game. Kind of like when the Broncos offensive line was fined for covering themselves in Vaseline to offset the ability of their opponent during their Super Bowl season. Remember that embarrassing press conference? Me neither.
As of this writing there hasn’t been an official word from the NFL on this. We are waiting to hear all of the facts.
But the facts don’t matter to you…this is your wet dream. You feel it justifies all of your irrational hatred.
It’s like you just heard that Monsanto’s CEO gave birth to an alien baby caused by its own pesticides.
You love this.
You don’t need to know the facts of the case. Your mind was made up the moment the accusation was made.
These are the Patriots we’re talking about.
You hate them because they consistently win.