After a New England Patriot employee was caught videotaping the New York Jets’ coaches signalling in the offensive plays and the defensive alignments in last Sunday’s game, the Patriots have been fined $250,000 with a cool half million dollars assessed to Mr. Personality, Head Coach Bill Belichick. To add insult to injury, the Pats have had next year’s 1st round pick taken away in the 2008 NFL draft, provided they make the playoffs. If New England should stumble and not qualify for postseason play, the team would lose their 2nd and 3rd round selections.
With a loaded roster of players after adding Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Donte Stallworth and Adalius Thomas through trades and free agency it’s highly unlikely the team will fail to win at least 11 or 12 games. In most circles, the Patriots are considered the favorite to win the AFC and thus the Super Bowl, since in recent years winning the AFC championship is almost as much a guarantee for taking home the Lombardi Trophy that goes to the Super Bowl winners as Fidel Castro winning a Cuban election.
With a cast last year including the new father, Quarterback Tom Brady, and only missing some play-making receivers, since added to the mix, the Patriots are as heavy a favorite as any in recent years. That is a little unusual considering the defending champs, the Indianapolis Colts still have that Manning guy, surely you don’t think I mean Eli, and looked much improved defensively in holding the explosive New Orleans Saints without an offensive touchdown in their season opener.
The worst part of all this is the suspicion that this casts on the three Super Bowls New England has won in this decade. Not only do they have the ridiculous “tuck rule” (Al Davis of the Raiders calls it something that rhymes with “tuck”) tarnishing one of their Lombardi Trophies, anyone could see that Tom Brady fumbled on the play which would have ended the Pats chances of winning the game. Now all the trophies will be looked at as somewhat tainted unless it can be proven that they weren’t pulling such cloak and dagger, spy vs. spy shenanigans all through the Belichick era.
Bill Belichick is well known thoughout the NFL for manipulating the injury reports. Tom Brady has been listed as “questionable” with some sort of phantom injury almost the whole time he has been the starting QB. The only thing questionable about the guy is how he avoids paternity suits, even though his current girlfriend turned out not to be pregnant last spring. I alluded to that in an earlier article I guess the rabbit used in the test got some heavy duty rehab work in with the Pats trainer and had a miracle recovery, just as Brady has been doing for years. Either that, or Belichick, a noted control freak, was the one that had the bunny on the injured list in the first place. Patriot players have been known to come off their death beds to have career games in the Belichick regime, according to the injury reports.
If the message had not been received by now, cheaters, scofflaws, and Bengals should all be on notice that the new boss of the NFL, Roger Goodell doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Mr Goodell has acted swiftly and decisively in punishing lawbreakers and cheats, unlike his predecessor, lawyerly Paul Taglaibue. There is a new sheriff in town, but unlike Eddie Murphy in 48 Hours, Roger Goodell has authority to back up his bravado..