Either today or tomorrow the NFL will report its findings: the Patriots were videotaping the Jets’ defensive signals. What now surfaces is all kinds of other alleged illegal activity by this team… that the Packers complained to the league last year about the same kind of activity, and that at least two teams, the Bills and Chargers, have also accused the Patriots of committing the NFL’s version of illegal wiretapping.
Note that Goodell warned all teams this summer that they were on notice that all of this activity must end. If that was a declaration of amnesty for the past and stringency for the future, let the stringency begin.
Goodell has come down much harder than Tagliabue on Pacman Jones. I would like to be commissioner for a day; the Patriots need to be punished severely for this. It would make your head spin what I think they should get… the loss of ALL of next year’s draft picks, with the first round pick going to the Jets and the rest of them being voided. Maybe that would get the attention of this team. Apparently Goodell’s warning did not.
Why so harsh? Because professional sports has been getting more than a few black eyes lately, and Goodell has proven that he can be the man to clean things up. Steroids in baseball, doping in cycling, NBA referee point fixing… NFL spying. The integrity of the games we watch is everything, and without it it is nothing. Belichick has already apologized and will issue a statement after the NFL issues its findings. What about the 26 year old videotaper? He is obviously a puppet under orders by higher ups to perform such activities. Whoever was the originator of the order to perform such activities should be banned from the league. If it was Belichick, goodbye. If it was an offensive coordinator, goodbye. And if that guy wants to fall on the sword and not give up who told him to do it, ban him and fine the team extra for hindering the investigation into the matter.