Friday, September 14, 2007

Whadda week...

So...let's go through a few thoughts...


Daisuke Matsuzaka is looking tired. I know that the Red Sox are trying to treat Clay Buchholz with kid's gloves, but I think it would help their chances in the post-season to maybe skip Matsuzaka for a turn or two in the rotation - cut back a bit on his throwing, so he's fresher come post-season.

Patriot Nation -

Bill Belichick did something mind-bogglingly stupid.

Not a sentence I thought I would ever find myself writing.

But Video-gate has been interesting to follow outside of Pats territory. Lost on most it seems are the following -

  1. The video camera was confiscated in the first quarter along with the tape. The Patriots never had an opportunity to analyze the tape.
  2. I have heard analysts talk about how a tape like this can give a team a huge advantage due to their ability to make adjustments to what an opposing defense is doing in the second half - here's the problem with that: a coaching staff would have to sync the film of the opposition's signals with game film to see what's happening on the field. Halftime is ten...maybe fifteen minutes? That's gotta be one talented analyst. So the idea that it can help in the same game is absolutely ridiculous.
  3. I have heard others talk about it giving an advantage in the case of a rematch. I have heard former players talk about how teams typically change their defensive signals when facing a team for the second time in a season. So no advantage there, either.

Was what Belichick did wrong and paranoid? Yes. Did he and the team deserve to be sanctioned? Yes.

Is it going to hurt his legacy in the league? Only in the short-term. Does it tarnish the Patriots' legacy? Also, only in the short-term. The fact is that Belichick is not the first coach to do anything like this and won't be the last. Check out Jason Cole's article at Yahoo Sports. He points out that Mike Shannahan got caught by the league filming Chargers' practices - PRACTICES! That means they physically sent someone to San Diego during the week. This article from the Washington Post notes that the Broncos won their Super Bowls while out of compliance with the salary cap.

If there's anything that can give a team an unfair competitive advantage, it's spending more than allowed.

Don't get me wrong, I don't like what Belichick did, and am not defending it. My point is that Shanahan's transgressions have not impacted the esteem in which he is held around the league and in the press. This is unlikely to taint anything Belichick and the Patriots do for anything more than just the short-term.


Anonymous said...

Kev, Your 3 case-in-points sound an awful lot like "They got caught, but gained no advantage in that particular game, so it is ok for me to list these 3 points for damage control." Why didn't you list a fourth which states 4. "Oh, by the way they basically got caught doing it last year but nothing happened so it is ok to try to get away with it again."

As far as Shannahan goes, simply by you mentioning it says that it is a stigma which has stuck with him. That is longer than the short term.

My Dolphins may suck right now, and have for the past 5 years, but our future Pats - Dolphins discussions will have a different feel to them. The questions will be for the long term. How long have they gotten away with it, and how many games have they won by cheating? There is no way for you to know the answer, thus defend it. As far as last year, last week answers that question.

This scandal will pass in time, and the fans and media will jump off this bandwagon to get on the next scandal bandwagon, but there will be those of us, including opposing teams and players that in the back of the mind will always wonder.... How did they do that? Sounds like a legacy to me!

Why would a team that has been one of the greatest teams/organizations in terms of depth and pure talent have to try to cheat to add an exclamation point? Mike

Kevin Smith said...

Actually, Mike, If you re-read what I wrote, I didn't say that it was okay, and I did say that Belichick deserved to be disciplined for it. However, it is not an action that can give you a competitive advantage - as acknowledged over the course of the last week by former coaches Jimmy Johnson and John Madden (during this evening's game). If you can logically explain to me how any team can get an analytical breakdown of this film by the second half of a game, I will readily consider it.

As for Shannahan - what have you heard about him until this hit? What a great coach he was. Nobody talked about his cheating issues until this scandal broke.

It was a moronic and useless action and I don't excuse it. So, you missed something in there.