Defensive backs used stickum after 1980, too

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We asked, and you’ve begun to deliver.

Responding to an invitation to pass along any admissions or denials from receivers of stickum use after it became illegal in 1981, a reader passed along a line to an August 2007 item from ESPN.com in which a former defensive back (and as of 2007 NFL head coach) said he used stickum as a player.

Herm Edwards, who was coaching the Chiefs at the time, conceded that, after the NFL scuttled the adhesive substance, he still would put some inside his cleats, just below the ankles.  On obvious passing downs, Edwards could reach down and rub some onto his fingers.

“It’s definitely a different league now,” Edwards told Jeffrey Chadiha at the time.  “People are concerned about the image more than ever.  But I also know there’ll always be some gamesmanship going on.  That’s just how this business works.”

So what’s the difference between gamesmanship and cheating? There may not be one.

Either way, gamesmanship and/or cheating exist, in the NFL and presumably all other pro sports. It’s important for the league to keep that broader context in mind if it’s determined that the Patriots tampered with air pressure in footballs — and whenever the NFL next catches someone in the act of cheating.

53 responses to “Defensive backs used stickum after 1980, too

  1. Keep the “broader context” of gamesmanship in mind? Total 180 for you! Funny how it works when almost nobody agrees with you, huh? Backpedal much…….?

  2. In my opinion, the story here isn’t about who used stickum, or whether Jerry Rice’s legacy is tarnished. It’s about hypocrisy, pure and simple. There are plenty of people, including legit hall-of-famers, who are tearing down the Patriots when they should really be looking in the mirror.

  3. Patriots cheat and everyone jumps down their throat and rips them apart.

    Someone else cheats and Florio goes on a hunt to prove that everyone else did it and it wasn’t a big deal.

  4. A lot of baseball players got caught with steroids. Sometimes it was a big news story, sometimes it wasn’t.

    My opinion in regards to their legacy doesn’t depend on the amount of media coverage. In my opinion the legacy of guys like Clemens, Sosa, McGwire, and Bonds have been tarnished.

    That won’t change if another player gets caught with steroids later down the road and the media doesn’t cover it as much… they are 2 independent things.

  5. Is this supposed to be new information? Everfreakinbody who watched FB or highlights from the 80’s knows there was stickum. All it was just a mess to use it. The gloves worn by receivers now are more sticky than that goop. You think OBJ makes that catch without gloves?

  6. I think the NFL has “Jumped the shark” with the deflation gate. Suddenly others are looking around and the Pats are starting to look like they are being unjustly persecuted. The Pats got caught being arrogant, but like Bill said it was in front of 80,000 people with camera so get over it. The issue that I find most disquieting is still the extremely poor job done by the zebras? Please lets get to this issue because it is important NOW.

  7. Tony Dungy was defensive back, too.

    You don’t suppose that Saint Dungy………..

    nah, never mind

  8. kmac0505 says: Feb 15, 2015 3:51 PM

    Lester Hayes of the Raiders used to have stickum all over his body.
    ————————————————————————-
    Duh. A football sticking to his helmet as he ran down the field began the ban on stickum. Damn, anyone else here remember seeing that live on TV (B&W)?

  9. “Either way, gamesmanship and/or cheating exist, in the NFL and presumably all other pro sports. It’s important for the league to keep that broader context in mind…”

    Would be good for the media to keep that in mind too, instead of trying to hype up another scandal everyone can feign outrage over.

  10. I wonder how much the narrative would be different if Rapoport’s tweet had come before Mortensen’s tweet.
    It seems pretty obvious to me that Mort’s “source” is someone from the Colts, and they exaggerated the lack of PSI. 11 of 12 being down a full 2 PSI is a lot different than another report saying 1 as much as 2 PSI under.

    Mort has a history of piling on the Pats, most often getting his “facts” wrong. Just saying.

  11. Herm was shown waving at the Pats sideline camera during “spygate”, as shown on Fox sports with raw footage.
    People seem to forget that the tapes were viewed and shown before Goodell stupidly destroyed them . that was not a favor to the Pats, as many detractors contend. It was actually hurtful to the Pats that the tapes were destroyed.

  12. Did not Fred Biletnikoff also file down tacks and place them inside his gloves? I seem to remember something like that when I was a child – certainly creative if nothing more

  13. “Deflategate” is basically the Seinfeld of sports scandals: Its a media-contrived scandal about nothing.

  14. Well whatever you do, don’t accuse the Broncos of using stickum. They went the opposite direction and put Vaseline on their jerseys. They were fined a whopping $15,000 for it after a playoff game in 1998 and no one ever mentioned it again despite the fact that Denver went on to the win the Super Bowl.

    What a shame PTI wouldn’t air for another 3 years so Michael Wilbon could have opined that they should be disqualified from the Super Bowl and put in jail.

  15. Is David Tyree’s SB helmet in the HOF? If so, check it for Stickum. Heck, if the media is gonna assassinate the Pats for something that may not have even happened, then they need to revisit every game and every team from the last 30 years for cheating and make the results the lead story on every nightly newscast. Fair is Fair.

  16. uglynora says:
    Feb 15, 2015 5:25 PM
    Every team throughout NFL history had some kind of bounty program too. Enjoy the time off Coach, QB & GM.
    ———————————————————
    If you mean Belichick, Brady and Belichick again, cuzz, you know, the Patriots don’t have a GM, rest assured they are wallowing in the glow of sticking their newest Lombardi where the sun don’t shine of all you Patriot haters.

  17. It all comes down to what definition one is operating from the perspective of.

    “Gamesmanship” has one definition that comes with a negative connotation that uses dubious tactics, and another definition that simply means to outwit an opponent. In both cases though it is not illegal or against the rules even though it is common for the opponent to be confused and uncertain as to how it does comply with the rules since they weren’t the one to think of that tactic from the perspective of the opponent that has already identified a rationale for how it is within the rules.

    “Cheating” has many definitions, but without any specific context it is probably implied to most that the rules are technically being broken, which is not the case with “gamesmanship”.

    In other words, one should never accuse another of being a cheater without first verifying that there isn’t a level of legal gamesmanship that can justify the dubious or witty chosen action.

  18. The patriots cheated this season, i’m sure a lot more than we know and they won the super bowl. The nfl can’t punish them or else it makes the league looked rigged so the nfl is trying to paint a picture that everyone cheats when really its just the patriots.

  19. Deflect from victory???!!!
    I throw it in everyone’s face!!!
    4 rings & counting!!!
    I LOVE IT!!!!
    Go PATS!!!!!

  20. Hate all you want, nothing is going to change the fact the New England Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX. And by the way they beat a team you guys couldn’t in cheese land so deal with it homie!

  21. For the most part, QBs did NOT want Stickum covering their footballs

    But I can’t help but wonder if guys like Montana playing in cold or rainy weather, may have found that just the right amount of Stickum (left over from Jerry Rice handling the ball of course) wold have HELPED him grip the ball at times when it was slippery

    By the same token, it looks like the 49ers had a VERY LOW fumble rate – which of course was probably because Jerry Rice’s stickum made it easier to grip the football on running plays

    So, to apply the same standards those Patriots haters use, I guess we need to take some Lombardi’s away from Montana and the 49ers

    Meanwhile, the Dolphins tampered to assemble their Perfect Season team, The Broncos cheated on the Salary Cap to win their Super Bowls, and the Jets coaches trip players mid game – all of which are VERY serious infractions – but all that counts really is hating the current dynasty

  22. packer4life4ever says:
    Feb 15, 2015 6:09 PM
    Not surprising the Kraft machine is doing all they can to deflect attention from their *victory.
    ——————————————————————-
    A machine that somehow hasn’t gotten this story on a nationwide level. Sheesh no wonder Vikings fans hate Packers trolls.

  23. everyone used to use it on leather gloves. even in highschool.

    they no longer do, because material science has improved so much it is absolutely pointless. the gloves now are better than glue.

  24. “So what’s the difference between gamesmanship and cheating?”
    Pretty simple: it’s cheating when the Pats do it. Gamesmanship when anyone else, including the PEDhawks, do it.

  25. jchipwood says:
    Feb 15, 2015 6:16 PM
    The patriots cheated this season, i’m sure a lot more than we know and they won the super bowl. The nfl can’t punish them or else it makes the league looked rigged so the nfl is trying to paint a picture that everyone cheats when really its just the patriots.
    —————————————————————-
    So chippy, you seem to make it your life’s work to discredit the Pats at every opportunity. Tell me what team you root for. A guess is the Jets, Bills, or Broncos. You know, teams the Pats regularly take to the woodshed. And tell us the team, so we can point out all the skeletons in their closet.

  26. Sorry Charles Haley but we’re going to reverse our decision to admit you into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. It seems that two of your Super Bowl victories with the 49ers (Super Bowls XXIII and XXIV) would never have happened had Jerry Hypocrit Rice not cheated, by his OWN admission no less.

    Signed

    Pro Football Hall Of Fame
    Canton, OH

  27. So chippy, you seem to make it your life’s work to discredit the Pats at every opportunity. Tell me what team you root for. A guess is the Jets, Bills, or Broncos. You know, teams the Pats regularly take to the woodshed. And tell us the team, so we can point out all the skeletons in their closet.
    ——————————————————————–
    jchipwood is a fan of the Dolphins the same team that stole a copy of Brady’s audible signals, tampered with Shula’s hiring, messed with the tarp in a game against the Jets, etc. I remember ESPN covering up for the Dolphins when they stole signals but demanded the Patriots be stripped of their titles when they got caught doing it. Double standards suck.

  28. A little history for you Chippy:

    “He (Shula) was still the coach of the Baltimore Colts at the end of the 1969 season, when then-Miami owner Joe Robbie approached him and signed Shula to a contract. The NFL charged the Dolphins with tampering and awarded their first-round pick to the Colts.”

    Oh and didn’t ‘arrogant’ Shula lose to those upset Jets in Super Bowl III, lol.

    ……You know what you Patriots haters like to say, ‘once a cheater always a cheater’, so clearly you all must agree that undefeated season culminating in Super Bowl VII deserves an asterisk, as does their win in Super Bowl VIII………ahh such a shame Chippy, darn it.

    Hey and maybe the Colts can lose a first round pick this time to the Patriots for trying to frame them with ‘Deflategate’…it seems the Colts had the ONLY ball that was significantly under the limit……hmmm.

  29. steeloven89 says:

    ASTERICK

    ——————————–

    I rest my case your Honor.

    If they can’t even SPELL asterisk, how can we expect them to understand the logic that violating a 2006 rule in 2007 does NOT invalidate Super Bowls from 2001-2004?

    Meanwhile google “George Halas” and Spying if you really want to risk bursting that bubble

  30. The NFL Fans’ Cheating Community is sinking to new levels of ridiculousness. Entertaining as hell, though. Can’t wait to see what comes up next!

  31. It’s sad that people are so cynical that they think cheating is no big deal because everyone supposedly does it. Well it DOES matter to those of us who care about the integrity of the game and not every team does it.

  32. Dear NFL Fan,

    Hi, I am Commissioner Goodell and “I am focused on the integrity of the game and “protecting the Shield” from any impropriety …”

    Hey Commish – The Colts had the ONLY football that was under 2PSI in their possession for at least 20 MINUTES – what the hell you call that???

    Goodell: “We are unto Concussion Protocol and I have now instructed the Wells Team to redirect 100% of their effort in the direction of this most recent suspicion of the NE PATRIOTS.”

  33. I guess the rampant use of PEDs doesn’t bother anyone. Does anyone believe there are many NFL players that have never taken steroids or other PEDs in their life? Has to be a low percentage.

  34. truthfactory says:
    Feb 15, 2015 4:12 PM
    A lot of baseball players got caught with steroids. Sometimes it was a big news story, sometimes it wasn’t.

    My opinion in regards to their legacy doesn’t depend on the amount of media coverage. In my opinion the legacy of guys like Clemens, Sosa, McGwire, and Bonds have been tarnished.

    That won’t change if another player gets caught with steroids later down the road and the media doesn’t cover it as much… they are 2 independent things.

    —————

    What about George Brett and pine tar and the X-ray of Mickey Mantle’s corked bat.

    Are they tainted to you?

    Rules come in various degrees of seriousness and breaking them does too. Speeding isn’t prosecuted like DUI and DUI isn’t prosecuted like murder.

    Cheating is the same. pine tar isn’t the same as rampant steroid use which isn’t the same as fixing the World Series.

    Even if the Patriots were guilty, which they most likely are not, where does deflating a football sit on that scale?

    It’s a lot closer to speeding if you ask me.

  35. Hey bullcharger,

    Nice to hear some people speak with WISDOM & INTELLEGENCE – KEEP IT GOING maybe it attach to some of these brain dead commentators and become CONTAGIOUS.

    Can we please put into perspective what Rule 17 is about – even if Brady liked the football about .05 under pressure – I mean REALLY PEOPLE!

    Aaron Rodgers came out and said ” I like the footballs at 14 PSI”, which he acknowledge is against league rules.

  36. Stop the CRY BABY IMMATURITY with whining because your team (Colts GM Grigson) couldn’t put up more then 7 points in a 45 point game, or because you got beat with TWO – Yes TWO, 14 point leads in the playoffs – Ravens Harbawling cry-baby!

    OMG – Goodell Please HELP US – we keep losing to better team – WAH WAH WAH

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