Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Regarding Belichick and Cheating

so, everyone and their brother is up in arms about belichick and the patriots getting caught cheating. meh. i'm glad they got caught and i'm glad that the nfl is going to come down on them, but (and i'm not saying this just to be contrarian) frankly the only thing i'm pissed about is that the eagles haven't been the ones cheating their *sses off to bring a lombardi trophy to philadelphia.

would all of these outraged fans and/or columnists continue to be outraged if belichick was hired to coach their team? i wouldn't. i'd welcome him with open arms just as i would welcome anyone who cared enough about winning to do anything in their power to win. what's that saying? "if you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'" belichick is apparently as creative and devious at cheating as he is at scheming for offenses.

i'd love for andy to be figuring out ways to get an edge on the other teams. don't get me wrong. i'm all for sportsmanship and "doing things the right way". i get that. but i'm also not shelling out my season ticket money to watch someone take the high road. i'm not looking for a morality play. i couldn't care less if the eagles personified sportsmanship and good wholesome living. i just want to be entertained, and nothing entertains me more than winning. i like that this team is stocked with likeable, good natured guys, but it won't matter if they don't win.

i know i hold the minority view on this, but i feel same way about steroids. these are grown men being paid handsomely to entertain me. they know the risks and if they're willing to accept them to perform better on the field, so be it.

part of the reason i feel this way is that they're all doing it anyway. you know it and i know it. anyone who doesn't is a moron, a hypocrite, or in denial. you know why everyone involved in cycling *knows* that lance armstrong was doping? because they were all doping themselves! yet he wasn't just beating them, he was killing them.

another reason i feel this way is that i think the argument about setting a good example for kids is nonsense. steroids and performance enhancing drugs will exist with or without the nfl. everyone at every level is doing what they can to get ahead. radnor high school had some sort of big cheating scandal a while back. is it because the kids were negatively influenced by some organization or group that they looked up to? heck no. they came up with it themselves because all of those kids were looking for an edge. if the nfl completely wiped out performance enhancing drugs, it would have zero effect on the number of teenagers taking steroids. people and kids looking for an edge are still going to be looking for an edge.

i encourage pro athletes to take steroids because they make for good entertainment. i'd love to see the eagles field a team of 400 lb guys who run a 4.5. i'd love to see a guy run the 100m in 8 seconds. i'd love to see a guy lifting cars over his head on world's strongest man.

similarly, i have no problem with any football team trying to get whatever edge they can by whatever means they can. i guarantee you there are teams out there that are intercepting the radio signals from marty to donovan. i also guarantee you there are teams out there that have radios in other players' helmets. unfortunately, i'm guessing the eagles aren't one of them. does that make everyone happy? it certainly doesn't provide me any satisfaction.



Anonymous Phil said...

For once, I disagree with just about everything you wrote. Cheating is wrong and immoral. The "everyone else is doing it" defense will only lead to the lowest common denominator in anything. Why bother having rules at all if everyone is allowed to break them?

8:59 AM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

i agree with you that cheating is wrong and immoral, phil, and certainly i'm not defending cheating (at least that was not my intent). however, with as much money, time, and energy that is being put into winning football games, is it any surprise that the teams that are winning superbowls are cheating? not to me. is it wrong? yes. should the patriots be punished? yes. but i think it's a little overboard to go apesh*t about this. every team cheats in some way or another, on the field or off the field. some teams are just better at it than others.

i think there is a fine line between "stretching the rules" to see what you can get away with and out and out cheating, but the intent of both is the same. we laud people all the time for pushing the boundaries. in some ways, what belichick was doing was similar. having someone stand on the sidelines and watch the other team's signals is "gamemanship". using a video camera to do the same things is "cheating". eh. i don't know.

maybe i haven't thought about it enough, or maybe i've thought about it too much. i don't know, right now, i'm neither surprised nor outraged that the patriots cheated.

i'm a little disappointed that the cheating likely contributed in some way to the patriots beating the eagles in the superbowl, but can't change that now.

9:12 AM EDT  
Blogger Steve72 said...

Oooooh. That's gotta be a disappointment for the big Russian.

10:05 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

I'm also not sure whether too much or not enough has been made of this. Stretching the rules is fine (the old anything that isn't disallowed is allowed "rule"), but cheating is not. This was clearly the latter as the NFL had specifically said this was not allowed.

For some reason this doesn't surprise me either. It would have surprised if it had been the Eagles that were doing this though.

While I tend to agree that all teams push to be as competitive as possible (well, except AZ), I don't think many resort to cheating. Maybe I'm just being naieve.

11:53 AM EDT  
Blogger Big Dog said...

TMG, I am with you on this one, brother. I know what you are saying and I agree. Maybe that's why I love when pitchers have files in their pockets or have vaseline or when the Raiders would put plaster of paris pads on to use as clubs (lineman did). The only "cheating" that would make me irate is paying off officials. Other than that, I view it as getting the edge. I will get beaten up with you on this....

2:56 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"frankly the only thing i'm pissed about is that the eagles haven't been the ones cheating their *sses off to bring a lombardi trophy to philadelphia."

I feel sorry for you, Pete.

I mean this,

Ed Wade

8:43 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

well, that's your prerogative, ben.

7:18 AM EDT  

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