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  #6589  
Old January 31st, 2015, 08:08 PM
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Re: Sports: NFL

It has been a very interesting week in the northeast to say the least. I think once the investigation is complete there will be no evidence that the Patriots tampered with the footballs before the start of the game. No loss of draft picks, no fine, just a warning letter. For the game tomorrow it will come down to how well the Pats line plays in running game and pass protection. Pats 24 Seahawks 20.
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  #6590  
Old January 31st, 2015, 08:52 PM
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Re: Sports: NFL

I don't think they need evidence beyond the deflated footballs, but Goodell has demonstrated spinelessness in the past and it's possible he'd hook up his old friend Robert Kraft with spinelessness now.

If you are in possession of recently stolen items, you are presumed to be the thief. The burden is upon you to prove innocence. If a barrel rolls out of your warehouse window and injures a passerby, you are presumed to be at fault. These are so because, in the eyes of the law, you are responsible for the things under your control.

I don't know what the NFL will ultimately do, if anything. It may be they do nothing. But if I was in charge, I'd hold teams responsible for their stuff until they proved their innocence.

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  #6591  
Old January 31st, 2015, 10:43 PM
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Re: Sports: NFL

Judging by events this week, Goodell and Kraft might not be buddies anymore. What if the results turn up that the refs didn't properly check the balls before the start of the game? Are Pat's still at fault? 'Guilty till proven innocent" sounds off slightly off to me too
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  #6592  
Old January 31st, 2015, 10:50 PM
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Re: Sports: NFL

(1) we already know there are backroom chats. (2) the hostility between Kraft and the league is phony. (3) it's not "guilty until proven innocent." It's that the balls and the Patriots' control over them is sufficient evidence, to my eyes. Consider that if the balls had been stolen from the Jets, the Patriots' possession alone would be enough to put the burden of proof on the Pats.

But, it's not up to me.

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  #6593  
Old February 1st, 2015, 12:23 AM
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Re: Sports: NFL

Dunno DS, it seems like a matter of degree to me. I've never seen an NFL game where the rules weren't violated. The job of the officials is to monitor the game and penalize teams when they violate the rules. Well... in theory. In practice, we're told that things like offensive holding could be called on every play and is only called when it is egregious. Defensive holding/pass interference also takes place by the letter of the rules far more often than it is called. In the NFL, the rules are regularly violated and the referees make judgement calls on whether those violations are severe enough to merit punishment.

Without exploring the merits of the system as it is - and I think it has very good reasons for being as it is, the question in my mind is whether ball inflation is a violation of the rules that is somehow different from the other types of violations. It is something which is monitored by the officials - and something they have the power to change. They both test how inflated the balls are before the game and they touch the balls in between each set of plays.

So why should I want to treat it differently from the guy who gets his hands up tight in the other guy's jersey away from the official or from the guy who bumps a little harder than might otherwise be coincidental six yards downfield? The rule is on the books, yes, but I get the feeling that certain QBs (thanks Aaron Rodgers!) are used to pushing the envelope and having no one care. Which makes this...

A tempest in a teapot.

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  #6594  
Old February 1st, 2015, 12:54 AM
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Re: Sports: NFL

I think they should lost a 1st round draft pick and maybe more. Not because it's huge deal on its own, but because they've been caught cheating before, in 2007. Don't like it? Didn't like it then? Don't walk so close to the line, and you won't get your hand slapped for stepping over it occasionally, even if you didn't mean to. Sends a message.

The Browns are mired in a similar scandal, for illegal communications with the sidelines, but nobody cares. Why? Because it's the Browns, who are not repeat offenders.

I'm not outraged, but it's plain enough that a line was crossed by a team that does not deserve the mercy given to a first time offender. They should be disciplined for the condition of their equipment, and if they don't like it, they shouldn't play with fire anymore. It's not a tempest. It is (or should be) the disciplinary knee kicking when it gets tapped.



edit: The Aaron Rodgers business is beside the point. He said he liked the ball inflated, and sometimes he'd see if it would be overinflated and still get past the refs. First of all, cheating is cheating. You get caught, you pay the price. Second, what the Patriots did was (1) have *legal* balls at the weigh in, and then (2) have 11 of 12 balls *lose* 2 psi before play resumed at halftime. That's a level of deceit that Rodgers didn't admit to, and if he did get caught cheating, I'd say the same thing. Treat him like a cheater. Though it would be with some mercy, as a first time offender.

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  #6595  
Old February 1st, 2015, 01:25 AM
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Re: Sports: NFL

I admit I haven't been following it closely, but my impression has been that this is something that is sometimes done and that no one has ever really made a fuss about before. I was also under the impression that there was never really a time when the balls could reasonably have been deflated after they were checked and that there is at least the potential that the officials simply gave them a "squeeze test", and that they were already underinflated at the time.

The reason the Aaron Rodgers business is so important is the impression it gives that he believes it is acceptable to submit the balls he wants to play with (knowing they are not acceptable within the letter of the rules) to the officials and let them reject or modify them if they are unacceptable. If that is an area, like every down offensive holding, where the players know that the rules are enforced with a certain degree of leniency, then it feels wrong to penalize someone for operating under the de facto rules.

Obviously, if the balls were indeed deflated after they were checked then it's entirely different from what I am describing. It's just that I don't have any credible report that they were indeed deflated after the check.

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  #6596  
Old February 1st, 2015, 03:19 AM
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Re: Sports: NFL

DS being from Baltimore, I would be very interested in your take on John Harbough. He really went out of his way to praise Belicheck(helped get him his 1st job). He might have been feeling a little guilty about something, I wonder what it was.
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  #6597  
Old February 1st, 2015, 10:51 AM
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Re: Sports: NFL

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Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper View Post
The Aaron Rodgers business is beside the point. He said he liked the ball inflated, and sometimes he'd see if it would be overinflated and still get past the refs. First of all, cheating is cheating. You get caught, you pay the price.

Second, what the Patriots did was (1) have *legal* balls at the weigh in, and then (2) have 11 of 12 balls *lose* 2 psi before play resumed at halftime.
On your first part...that could explain the record low interceptions for Rodgers this year because if you are not use to it catching an over inflated ball is really tough...

As far as the second part, admittedly I haven't cared enough to check but I had heard that they were checked again at halftime before going into the locker room and were corrected before the start of the second half. So the third quarter when the Patriots scored most of their points they were playing with "Legal" footballs. It was the first half where scoring wasn't out of hand that they were supposedly using the "illegal" balls. I really don't like the Patriots at all but I don't think the ball had much to do with that win...Colts not being able to stop the running game cost them.

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  #6598  
Old February 1st, 2015, 11:35 AM
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Re: Sports: NFL

The point is not how badly they beat the Colts or what happened on the field. The point is that the balls were checked *before* the game and were found to be satisfactory. It was only *after* they were checked that the balls were deflated. Which means that the balls were not simply deflated to the lower edge of acceptable and maybe a little below - which is what Rodgers had been describing on the high end - but the tampering occurred *after* the officials checked the balls. Moreover, the balls weren't just a hair under 12.5; they were 2 psi under, or a difference of 15%.

The effect on the game is beside the point. Rodgers only talked about his footballs being inflated to the high end of permissible or just beyond; he wasn't caught so we don't know how much. Fifteen percent is a *lot*, though, and I won't assume what he described on the high end is what the Pats had on the low end. The whole conversation about the effect on the game is a change of the subject, anyway.

Like I said above, they got caught with cheating equipment, they should get punished. It's not a big deal; it should be like the league kicking when tapped in the knee. In baseball, the umpire doesn't have to see the pitcher rub pine tar on the ball in order to take action; if he encounters a ball with a foreign substance on it, the pitcher gets ejected. No drama, just do it and it's done.

edit: Missed the two posts above.

@Drewman-chu ~ Sometimes I get the feeling from Pats fans that they think they have something that we in Baltimore want. That's not the case. There is a short list of franchises that have been very good for the last 10-15 years, and the Ravens are on that list, no better or worse than the Patriots. Certainly when I talk about this issue it's not about any kind of jealousy. I don't want Brady and I don't want Belichik; your organization has nothing I care for other than (1) Wilfork, (2) Gronkoski, and (3) Edelman. There is no other part of the Patriots organization you could pay me to take.

My impression of John Harbaugh? I didn't like him much for a few years, but I've come to respect him a great deal. I don't know why you ask. He always speaks respectfully of others, including Belichik. If this is some sort of a question about his comments about the ineligible receiver, that was discussed upthread. Harbaugh's onfield demand for the refs to give the Ravens' defense time to adjust was perfectly consistent with the rulebook and therefore Brady's comment that he should study the rulebook was a deceptive cheap shot. But that's upthread.

Harbaugh's players seem to like him. We have won at least one playoff game every year he's been here but one, and by reputation he treats the fans very well. You don't see him acting like a fool on the sideline like his brother, and his knowledge of the game appears to be encyclopedic.

I honestly have no idea what you mean when you say "might be feeling a little guilty about something." I suspect you have a conspiracy in mind, but I don't know what you mean. Do you suspect Harbaugh said something to the league (or to the Colts) about the Patriots using underinflated balls? Would that be a bad thing, if one team was cheating and someone on another team outed them? Should that person feel guilty? Regardless, isn't it more likely it was the Colts themselves, having already played the Patriots earlier in the year? Whoever triggered an investigation didn't do anything wrong, regardless. Cheaters should be caught.

That is what I think of John Harbaugh.

@Aldin ~ It was widely reported that the balls were inspected 2+ hours before the game and found to be acceptable, and then at halftime were 2 psi underinflated. A quick poke around the internet revealed this article, which touches on it. I remember reading others that were more succinct on the point.
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Last edited by Dad_Scaper; February 1st, 2015 at 11:58 AM.
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  #6599  
Old February 1st, 2015, 01:02 PM
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Re: Sports: NFL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper View Post
(1) we already know there are backroom chats. (2) the hostility between Kraft and the league is phony. (3) it's not "guilty until proven innocent." It's that the balls and the Patriots' control over them is sufficient evidence, to my eyes. Consider that if the balls had been stolen from the Jets, the Patriots' possession alone would be enough to put the burden of proof on the Pats.

But, it's not up to me.
(1) most definitely
(2) Agreed 100%. Sherman called them out publicly on the cronyism so they had a (1) and decided they needed to do a bit of stagecraft.
(3) In this situation it actually is 'guilty until proven innocent' as this will never be tried in a court of law. It is being tried in the court of popular opinion. No one will go to jail over this. The NFL is a billion dollar brand funded by public interest and good will. Cheating scandals tarnish that brand and if a significant portion of the public turns on that brand, 100's of million dollars in revenue will be lost as a result.

General statement not directed at anyone:

Had the deflated balls shown up on the sideline of the Jackson Jaguars no one would care. It is only been a story for the last 2 weeks because of the Pats history with flaunting the rules combined with the Pats consistent winning. If all their cheating failed to improve their record, no one would care. If the Pats didn't think it helped them win games, they wouldn't bother doing it. The score of the Colts game is irrelevant as anyone who thinks the first time someone gets caught breaking a rule is also the first time they broke that rule is naive. How many close games have they won since Belichik became the NE head coach thanks to one violation of the rules or another? How many wins become losses if played fairly, leading to a 1 seed becoming a 3 seed, a 3 seed becoming a wild card team, and a wild card team missing the playoffs completely?

Every fan of an AFC team that had at least one 8 win season since Belichik became the NE head coach has to wonder if their team was denied a play off spot, a home play off game, or a play off bye as a result of the Pats not playing by the same rules as everyone else. Their are also 3 NFC franchises that lost a SB to the Pats by 3 points or less who have a right to ask these same questions. That is a lot of NFL fans with a lot of buying power suddenly having a crisis of faith in the NFL brand. No one likes feeling cheated.

The NFL does not want to lose those fans and the money they spend. They also apparently don't want to tell Belichik to stop cheating though. If they did, they would not have swept Spygate under the rug and only lightly slapped his wrist as a punishment. The lack of any real punishment or public shaming by the NFL back then is what has lead to a climate of anything goes in NE today. I suspect that nothing significant will occur this time either and NE will be back next year with some new way to flaunt the rules for a competitive edge.
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  #6600  
Old February 1st, 2015, 01:49 PM
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Re: Sports: NFL

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Originally Posted by Yodaking View Post
The score of the Colts game is irrelevant as anyone who thinks the first time someone gets caught breaking a rule is also the first time they broke that rule is naive. How many close games have they won since Belichik became the NE head coach thanks to one violation of the rules or another? How many wins become losses if played fairly, leading to a 1 seed becoming a 3 seed, a 3 seed becoming a wild card team, and a wild card team missing the playoffs completely?

Every fan of an AFC team that had at least one 8 win season since Belichik became the NE head coach has to wonder if their team was denied a play off spot, a home play off game, or a play off bye as a result of the Pats not playing by the same rules as everyone else. Their are also 3 NFC franchises that lost a SB to the Pats by 3 points or less who have a right to ask these same questions.
I started a post last night that I abaondoned to basically say the exact same things you said here. Cheating is the perceived culture of the organization. It is almost impossible for them to change that perception.

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