Why am I polluting a Pittsburgh Steelers blog with video of the lowly Miami Dolphins?
Because I want you, dear readers, to see what all the fuss was about. That right there is authentic video tape footage from the fabled Matt Walsh Collection.
Now, my football coaching experience is limited to winning the Super Bowl five consecutive seasons in Madden ’07. Drawing on that knowledge, it occurs to me there is a reason why the game has built-in safeguards to prevent you from knowing which play your opponent picked. Clearly, those crazy video game developers must be a bunch of dorks all hyped up on the Red Bull and smoking the dope to think keeping your plays secretive is something of value.
I mean, what possible good could come of taping signals? If I knew a tug of the ear and two pats of the left shoulder meant a blitz was coming, I’d switch to a run or quick pass. If I knew touching your chin then grabbing your left nut meant a pass was coming, I’d drop more guys back in coverage. Doesn’t seem like any of those things could affect the outcome of a game, huh?
Not according to the NFL. Listening to Commissioner/Head Weasel Roger Goodell’s press conference, you’d wonder why the New England Patriots even bothered to tape anything in the first place. According to him all the video conclusively proved was:
Bill Belichick was not on the grassy knoll.
Bill Belichick did not have sex with that woman. Although he totally boffed the married one.
Bill Belichick shot the sheriff. But he did not shoot the deputy.
Bill Belichick was not in the room when the nude photos of Miley Cyrus were taken.
Oh, and there was nothing on the tapes Goodell didn’t already know. Nothing surprising. Nothing to see here. Move along and don’t forget to beg your cable company to carry the NFL Network. Your only source for Thursday Night Football!
Except Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter is having none of it. He even used the scary words “Mitchell Report” during his press conference yesterday. He also had this quote which makes me want to vote for him three times even though I’m a Democrat: “Frankly, I’m incensed by what happened with the Steelers and I’m incensed about the notes being destroyed, I really am.”
What Honorable Senator Specter is referring to is the fact one of the tapes was footage of the Steelers in the 2001 AFC Championship game. A game we lost, by the way. A game where a number of our players have outright said the Patriots knew all our signals. Hines Ward in particular has said, “They were calling our stuff out. They knew [our plays].”
This is important because Lyin’ Eyes Goodell made it very clear that the Patriots never used the tapes DURING a game for a competitive advantage. All the taping was done for future reference, according to him.
Except if you apply a little thing called LOGIC to that statement, it wilts like Tony Romo in the playoffs. If the Patriots taped the Steelers in the 2001 Championship game, how would that tape help them in the future? Did they expect to play the Steelers again? Obviously not. Was it for future reference? Wouldn’t a tape from 2001 be a bit outdated by 2002 and beyond?
Nope. Doesn’t pass the smell test. Neither does the fact Walsh reportedly said the Patriots specifically instructed him to conceal his activities and lie his ass off if he is caught or questioned about what he was doing. Yeah, that sure sounds like the Patriots were fuzzy on the rule about taping the opposition’s signals as everybody from Belichick to owner Robert Kraft has claimed.
I love how Broom-lovin’ Roger will drop the hammer on a mere player if he gets a DUI or is involved in a smackdown at a strip club. However, when his precious crown jewel franchise’s reputation is at stake, it’s all good. A little fine here, one draft pick there, and let’s sweep this under the rug. No biggie.
I think this situation is an absolute disgrace for the NFL. I am also disappointed (although not surprised) by the Rooneys circling the wagons when their team was probably the most wronged.
I join with wise Senator Specter in calling for a fair and independent investigation into this debacle. I also want stiffer penalties imposed on the Patriots. Finally, I want all ill-gotten victories reversed and I want the Pittsburgh Steelers declared the 2001 NFL Champions.
Sure, we lost in the championship game but let’s be honest, Pittsburgh always wins the Super Bowl. It’s what we do. When we’re not being cheated by inferior wanna-be dynasties that is.