Thursday, September 13, 2007

Reaching for my Bag of Asterisks

Ain’t technology wonderful. The little green dot means this NFL helmet is a $3,000 Quarterback special with encrypted radio transmission capability -- but why stop there? Why not use all available technology to … umm … gather information. Yes, information is good. Information Rulz! Even when it’s against the rules. I suppose it’s all in the creative understanding of intent. Some blurbs from around the internet.

Videogate: At the root of the story is the Pats and their organizational arrogance. They started out as America's darlings when they decided to forego individual player intros and walk out as a team before Super Bowl XXXVI. Everyone was so sick of the fawning over the heavily-favored Rams that it was refreshing to see a team that truly played like a...well, team.

But over the years the same disease that has stricken the Red Sox has taken hold of the Pats: they are no longer underdogs and, in fact, perpetuate the very problem that makes many sane people turn away from sports. They cheat at will (this isn't the first time) and who would have thought the team-first Pats would sign locker room cancer, Randy Moss. These clowns have turned into every juggernaut that think the rules don't apply to him/them: Barry Bonds, Kobe Bryant, the Yankees, and the 90s Cowboys (aka the Forces of Evil).

Smooth criminals: Good old street crime is one thing. It goes with the history of sports. But this video thing lifts it to a new level of electronic surveillance and into the realm of the hi-tech, white collar crime that we all hate. Put these guys on the business page, for God's sake. There's no place for them in sports.

Doberman on the Diamond: The Patriots have long been suspected of cheating, but like many other sports, football is a fraternity, and unless you knew something for a fact, you didn't reveal you suspicions. Since the Patriots were caught in the act of videotaping other teams signals, nobody had to snitch on them. And now, players across the league are opening up.

ESPN: But if the New England Patriots really were using a video camera to steal opposing defensive coaches' signals -- perhaps even in their game against the Packers last year -- Favre said they might have gone too far. "Can it cross the line? I'm sure it can," Favre said. "It can give you a huge advantage."

Dead Tree Milwaukee: Favre was knocked out of the New England game in the second quarter with an elbow injury and didn't leave the field suspecting the Patriots knew more about the Packers than they should. But after hearing the latest accusations, and thinking about some of the New England games he had studied on tape, he had to admit the thought of the Patriots videotaping signals over the years made sense.

"I think we say that near about every game they play in," Favre said of playing a perfect game. "One game in particular - I watched the Minnesota game because we were playing them the following week or two weeks later - they were just flawless." Asked if it made him wonder about the alleged videotaping, Favre said, "Now, maybe. Before, no."

Yeah, I remember the one half of one game during “the streak” that Favre did not play and a wrist slap don’t make me happy. ***