Poster made myself. Photo from touchdown.org via 100 Percent Injury Rate.
I really wanted to touch on this subject as soon as the story broke. I wanted to voice my displeasure over the asinine workings of Belichick and Co. However, I've stayed true to Pittsburgh-only stories, and kept away from going on an all-around hate-spree. That time is over.
Several unnamed Steelers assistants are adding fuel to the New England-video-taped-sign-stealing fire. Our coaches are claiming that this is nothing new for Belichick, and the team would regularly change signals prior to playing New England. Why? To keep them from pulling the same bullshit that they got caught with in New York.
Steelers fans know all about Bill Belichick. Prior to winning 3 Super Bowls with New England (in which he beat the Steelers in 2 AFC Championship games at Heinz Field), Bill coached the Cleveland Brownies. If any team's assistants know about Belichick's
There's rumors that the Patriots could lose several draft picks over the case, possibly a 2nd and 5th rounder. However, I think that's way too light of a punishment. The Bills and Packers have also accused the Pats of using illegal video taping...this isn't a one-time deal. Taking away draft picks would be a slap on the wrist.
Steroids-users are suspended in any league. NBA refs who cheat are fired. The Pats will be docked low first day to high second day draft picks? Come on! The Steelers were twice docked draft picks, once for wearing pads in training camp in the 70s, and once for a minor salary cap issue in 2001. You dock draft picks when teams do stupid things like that. Changing the course of a game or gaining an illegal edge over your opponent (especially one you play twice a year like the Jets) should receive a higher punishment. Now, I don't know what that punishment should be. All I know is that taking away draft picks is like saying "Oh, you got caught with your hand in the cookie jar. Now, I'm going to take away several of your future chances of buying more cookies."
The thing that really gets me is that most Pats apologists are most likely Barry Bonds haters (I have no evidence to back this. I'm only saying this because 9 out of every 10 people hate on Barry Bonds. I'm that 1 other person). Bonds has never been caught, yet nearly everyone calls for an asterisk to be placed next to his accomplishment. The Pats are caught, and people talk about taking away draft picks. Why don't they get an asterisk next to all three of their Super Bowl wins? This is a delicate situation, and the league should not wuss out. As a Steelers fan, this video taping incident throws both AFC Championship losses into doubt. The Steelers were 15-1 during the season in which New England won their 3rd Super Bowl, but got beat bad at home. Ben placed blame on himself, Hines was upset, Bettis had no answers.
How does a 15-1 team lose at home in the AFC Championship game? Yes, New England was 14-2, but one of those two losses came against Pittsburgh. In the earlier meeting that season, Ben went 18 for 24 for 196 yards with 2 touchdowns and no picks against New England. In the AFC Championship game, Ben was 14 for 24 for 226 yards, 2 TDs and 3 picks. The yards were up, but Ben was picked off thrice. Now, New England is suspected of stealing defensive signals, so this makes my point moot. But, who's to say that the team wasn't stealing offensive signals as well? It would seem foolish to limit your cheating.
I'll update this in a little bit. I want to see what Belichick has to say during his press conference at 11.
UPDATE: Belichick has apologized. He called it a videotape procedure. The man is acting shady, and refused to elaborate on what he was actually apologizing for.
The greatest part was when a reporter asked "Will it be harder to score against San Diego without knowing their signals?"
The Pats can rot. Belichick's genius has been unmasked. I hope Goodell comes down hard.