Sunday, September 23, 2007

VIDEOGATE: It just got a bit more interesting...

From day one, Roger Goodell has responded swiftly and with a heavy hand upon any actions that undermine the integrity of the NFL. He wasted little time issuing severe punishments to NFL bad boys Messrs. Jones, Henry, Johnson and Vick.

In each of those situations he left little time for speculation on how he might deal with these apparent punks. Yet the swiftness in which he swooped down and annihilated these clear and present dangers to the NFL pales in comparison to his decisiveness in “Videogate.”

On the real opening day of the NFL season, just two weeks ago, the New England Patriots were caught red-handed. They were busted for illegally taping the Jets’ coaches on the sidelines and when the league collected the evidence against the new “America’s Team” it had to have been grossly damning. In less than twelve days the cameras, equipment, tapes, discs, etc. were all collected and analyzed, the punishment was handed down and then the evidence was destroyed.

But why destroy the evidence? Couldn’t the NFL find a safe place in their vault next to their billions to store the equipment in the event something else surfaced regarding Videogate? Of course they could have but they didn’t and their failure to preserve this evidence screams – COVER UP!

Goodell certainly couldn’t allow his NFL darlings to tarnish their reputation any more now could he? The Patriots bring it all for the NFL. They draw from a huge market, their fan base is very solid, they have a profitable stadium that draws corporate money from the blue bloods of Boston and they are led on the field by an All-American boy who has a supermodel on one arm and an actress on the other.

Why would Goodell want to mess that up?

The answer of course is he doesn’t want to, hence the destruction of the evidence.

What if the evidence submitted suggested cheating on a much grander scale – like say the Super Bowl? The Patriots have three Super Bowl wins to their credit and all wins were by a field goal. Could those tapes be worth 3 points per game on the biggest sporting stage in America?

No, Goodell wasn’t going to let this multi-billion dollar business sink like Enron. He did what he had to. In less than two weeks he identified the culprit, locked them in on his scope, detonated his weapon and permanently extinguished a potential major calamity.

In the big picture, Goodell and the owners he represents will likely view the destruction of the Videogate evidence as nothing more than collateral damage. But as the dust settles from the powers of Goodell’s own weapons of mass destruction, we are all left to speculate.

Is their more evidence? Did the Patriots save some and will they continue to use it? Given such a light penalty and the upside provided by the cheating, will the Patriots continue to cheat? Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone? Did The Beatles really fan the flames of the “Paul is Dead” rumors? Why was the Orioles game on August 14, 1997 really cancelled?

Chances are the speculation will never amount to anything more than idle pub room chatter – chatter that I’m sure to be engaged in at some point in the not so distant future.

But until then, I’m going to queue up “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey” on The Beatles White Album and play it backwards. I’m sure there are some Videogate clues there.


Anonymous said...

Maybe while you're playing the White Album backwards you'll find what's missing in your analysis of Goodell's "punishment" of the Pats and Belichick: the clear, incontrovertible disparity between what was handed down to the QB coach of the Cowboys -- Wade Wilson -- who received a 5 game suspension for personal HGH use, and the virtual slap on the wrist/kiss on the cheek custom-made for Belichick and the Pats.

Dude...maybe instead of going for the "big drama", you ought to try more for accurate, factual reporting/editorializing instead. (You know...the thing Mike Preston always get ragged on for not doing.)

(BTW -- Is it my imagination, or is this blog beginning to resemble that old SNL skit -- "Hi Trudy"?)


Tony Lombardi said...

You were asleep during reading comprehension classes weren't you A?

Anonymous said...

LOL@asleep. Maybe. Or maybe I was just pointing specifically to what I consider to be the heart of the matter of the problem with the sanctions, (i.e the disparity between what Belichick received as punishment, and what Wilson received) whereas you referred to it more generally as a "light penalty".

Specific vs general. Hmmmmmm. A matter of lack of comprehension, or simply a different area upon which to focus. You be the judge; you seem to enjoy doing that. :D

(Although...a strong case COULD be made for the sleeping theory. Where is everybody? It's threw a blog, and nobody came. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)

Tony Lombardi said...

At least one person showed up for the blog other than me, but unfortunately he/she preferred to remain anonymous.

ravcol said...

Beli"click" was simply more blatant in his schemes to get information. The new rule should be forfeiture of the game if caught. That said, while we are eliminating the videotaping from the sidelines, let's also get back to basics shall we? Instead of feeding the already over high-teched NFL, eliminate all forms of electronic communication during the game. This includes phone calls, fax machines, wired helmets, head sets, etc. If you want help to call plays do it like they did for 100 years. On the field and input from coaches and players. Substitute players or use hand signals for calling plays. Maybe the QB's will then get back to controlling the game..of course there's that instant replay thing getting in the way.