Common sense likely will prevail in Spygate 2

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The Patriots expect to be punished for Spygate 2: Stupid Spygate, but if it’s true that severe sanctions aren’t expected for the comedy of errors that resulted in a Patriots videographer capturing several minutes of footage from the Bengals’ sideline in clear violation of league rules, it means that common sense will have prevailed.

Which is good news, because common sense doesn’t always win the day. For clear proof of that, look no farther than #DeflateGate, a cart-before-the-horse controversy in which the league ignored basic principles of science in rushing to judgment against the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady, and working backward to justify the conclusion.

In that case, forces within the league seized on an opportunity to rectify what some believed to be too light of a punishment for the original Spygate. This time around, those same forces don’t seem inclined to trump up the facts to justify clobbering the Patriots.

If that happens, it’s the right outcome. There’s no reason to believe that the taping of the Bengals sideline by a videographer who was trying to show what an advance scout does was anything other than a boneheaded mistake. If it were a deliberate act of espionage, it would have been audacious; the taping occurred in plain sight, with no effort to conceal the activity by a person with a camera in his possession and a Patriots logo on his polo shirt.

That said, it would be prudent for the league to confirm that no digital trail exists from the individuals on the video crew to any members of the football operations. It’s possible, in theory, that back channels exist for using such information in a way that would transpire with coach Bill Belichick knowing nothing about it.

The Patriots should welcome that effort, if (as it appears) this entire situation was an honest mistake. A ridiculous dumb and borderline inexplicable mistake, but an honest mistake nonetheless.

78 responses to “Common sense likely will prevail in Spygate 2

  1. Common sense would be to strip them off every single win including postseason wins and all their Lombardis during the belichick era. Then strip them of all their draft picks for the coming year and force Robert Kraft to sell the team.

    The NFL needs to send a message that cheating won’t be tolerated.

  2. firerogergoodellnow says:
    December 10, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Common sense likely will prevail in Spygate 2

    Unless it won’t.
    _________________

    Unless Jeff Pash tries to get involved and manipulate another “outcome”.

  3. Laws of science mean a phone gets destroyed and a person in charge of footballs is called The Deflator? I am a firm believer that lots of QBS deflate balls, and also that the cold does the same…but I also believe Brady had the Deflator deflate balls on pupose.

    The uproar was overblown, but he did it, others did it also and now no one should do it.

    With this case, they knew what they were doing, they would have used that tape to help them, and a small punishment is fine. No need to go taking 1st round draft picks…

  4. A lot of the boos Sunday were at Kraft. This is among several things under his control that are hurting the team and Belichick and Brady can’t be happy about this.

  5. Unfortunately, the media is no friend of the Patriots. The national media will control the narrative that this incident is another example of “cheating.” I will give you stupid but this isn’t cheating. Let’s say this were the LA Charger who had made the mistake… It wouldn’t have been national news.

    On a different note, Mr. Florio, thank you for always cover the Patriots with dignity and respect. I began reading Pro Football Talk almost daily when deflategate erupted. Your coverage has always been detailed and fair. Thank you!

  6. If it is illegal for a team to video another team then why even send the camera crew ? Given the past transgression the Pats shouldn’t put themselves in this position

  7. Wait…I just read there were 8 miutes ofvideo on the Bengals sideline clearly showing signals….that is not what I first thought. I first thought it was more of filimg the scout and the sideline was in the background….But 8 minutes of not filming the scout?

  8. I literary laughed aloud at the following post…

    NFL (Niners Football League) says:
    December 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm
    Common sense would be to strip them off every single win including postseason wins and all their Lombardis during the belichick era. Then strip them of all their draft picks for the coming year and force Robert Kraft to sell the team.

    The NFL needs to send a message that cheating won’t be tolerated.

    4 4 Rate This

  9. It would be unlikely with the way their offense is playing but imagine if they won the SB again??? The outrage would be worse than when Trump beat Clinton in an electoral landslide, circa 2016.

  10. Still waiting for the Colts punishment to be handed out and

    Still waiting for an explanation as to how a guy on his own could go into a room in 90 seconds precisely deflate 12 balls to a players liking yet with the whole of halftime the NFL ran out of time to check the other 9 Colts balls!

  11. Interesting take. Wrong, but interesting.

    Problem is, filming 8 minutes of the Bengals sideline, the week before you play them, is not a np boneheaded mistake. It is another attempt, make that a continuing attempt by the patriots to cheat.

    Enough is enough. Time for them to be rightfully and justly disciplined.

  12. belichick is a horrible coach the reason he wins is because he knows the opponents play calls very easy to win when you know a pass is coming so you tell the defense where to play

  13. corvusrex96 says:
    December 10, 2019 at 7:18 pm
    If it is illegal for a team to video another team then why even send the camera crew ?
    ————————————
    They weren’t there to film the game or the team. They were there to film the advance scout doing his job before the game.

  14. bartpkelly says:
    December 10, 2019 at 7:19 pm
    Wait…I just read there were 8 miutes ofvideo on the Bengals sideline clearly showing signals….that is not what I first thought. I first thought it was more of filimg the scout and the sideline was in the background….But 8 minutes of not filming the scout?

    6 1 Rate This

    I love how people make things up. There were No signals to tape. It has been confirmed that at the time of the “taping”, the Bengals were sending in signal via headsets. So exactly what do you think they had to gain? Obviously common sense is not to common.

  15. . If it were a deliberate act of espionage, it would have been audacious;
    ——
    It would have been obvious by the tape.

    They still need to release it. I want to see what’s on it so I can judge for myself rather than constant whispers of what could have been on it hanging as a cloud over this team like for the last 12 years. That’s on Goodell.

    Do the right thing Roger. For once.

  16. If they had been filming the Ravens or the 49ers you might have a case.

    But they were filming the Bengals…

    The 1-12 Bengals…

    You don’t need to spy on the Bengals to gain an overwhelming advantage.

    You just need to take the field on game day.

  17. 7If you haven’t seen it, the Patriots have been running a series of behind the scenes videos describing the operations of various team departments. While it isn’t Oscar material, it is better 80% of the ESPN output.

  18. bartpkelly says:
    December 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm
    Laws of science mean a phone gets destroyed and a person in charge of footballs is called The Deflator? I am a firm believer that lots of QBS deflate balls, and also that the cold does the same…but I also believe Brady had the Deflator deflate balls on pupose.

    The uproar was overblown, but he did it, others did it also and now no one should do it.

    With this case, they knew what they were doing, they would have used that tape to help them, and a small punishment is fine. No need to go taking 1st round draft picks

    ————————————

    heres the thing though. others have been busted using underinflated balls since brady including the giants steelers game and nothing was done at all.

  19. No it wasn’t a deliberate attempt to cheat. It was a damn tv show that’s literally shown off the videographer, nutritionist, and the coaches if the Pats were trying to cheat they wouldn’t have sent an independent contactor to do it. Much less one wearing a damn Pats outfit you could do it more efficiently using binoculars and a note pad in the middle of the crowd out of sight. Also it happened a day after one of the worst performances the officials ever made. What do you think the NFL wants the mob to go after the Pats or fix the ref situation?

  20. Conspiracy Theory: They’ve lost two in a row, right? Maybe they desperately did NOT want to face the humiliation of being beaten by the Bengals and stooped to devising this plan to prevent it…?

  21. onebuffalove716 says:
    December 10, 2019 at 7:50 pm
    bro…. I can’t wait until they are just another team. It’s gonna be wicked awesome to see them become 8-8. Not because I hate them but their fans are losers.

    Cool story Bro!

  22. looks like goodell got wise and/or kraft threatened to go rogue and expose goodell once and for all

    Hey, roger, where is the apology for the zebras brazenly cheating for the chiefs on sunday? You apologize for every other team that gets hosed with botched calls, intentional or not.

    Roger oh roger, where are you?

  23. As much as I dislike the Patriots, I’m convinced that there is nothing sinister about this incident.

    People should note, however, how quickly and clearly the NE organization communicated what happened in this case where they were innocent and contrast it to the silence, evasion, and denial that came from them in their previous infamous incidents. The difference is telling.

  24. did anyone else notice that good ol Bills statement about this, sounded exactly the same as the statement about deflate gate? How he immediately distanced himself? He did the same thing to Tom Brady.

    DEFLATE GATE: I dont know anything about that, you will have to talk to Tom.“My entire coaching career, I have never talked to any player, staff member about football air pressure,” Belichick said. “That’s not a subject I have ever brought up. Yeah Bill Mr. Micro manager himself doesnt know anything about footballs or air pressure

    DO YOUR JOB: “Again, I have no involvement of this, no knowledge of it,” he said. “I really don’t have any idea of what exactly is going on. I can tell you we, as a coaching staff and I personally, have never used any video footage at all of anything those production people have done. Nice nuance, I have never used any video footage those “prodction people” have done. Now video tape that i have authorized is a whole other story.

    Of all teams who have to be better and do it better than anyone else when it comes to the rules the Pats need to be aware of how this all looks. You got permission from the Browns but not the NFL or the bengals? Stupidity deserves no benefit of the doubt

  25. looks like goodell got wise and/or kraft threatened to go rogue and expose goodell once and for all

    Hey, roger, where is the apology for the zebras brazenly cheating for the chiefs on sunday? You apologize for every other team that gets hosed with botched calls, intentional or not.

    =====

    Exactly. No articles admitting to mistakes by the refs in the KC game. Hmmmm…..

  26. Oh Florio…..

    Not a surprise you are in damage control. Common sense? Okay….

    1: They were caught doing this once before. They used the exact same excuse the LAST time they were caught cheating. During that ordeal it was discovered the tapes went clear back to their first SB “win” including filming practices and walk throughs.

    2: Science… okay, Science. Putting aside the fact a guy nicknamed “The Deflator” took the balls into a mens room and off camera before taking them on the field, deflated, and putting aside lost and broken cell phones… It goes against Science that all of the footballs were deflated within a few PSI from one another due to “rain and the cold.” Didn’t fly then, doesn’t fly now. Too many variables involved. They would have been all over the map amd some would have either held pressure or re-pressurized due to heaters and usage on the field. Sorry, not sorry. There is no spinning this one.

    3: Here we are, the Patriots yet again caught cheating. It is a recurring theme and issue with one team and one team alone. Same excuses as last time, verbatim.

    For common sense to prevail the punishlwnt would need to be drastic. This is one team and HC who is getting busted cheating constantly. We all know Goodell will yet again slap Belicheat and Kraft on the hands like the previous two times, doing his close buddy Kraft yet another solid. BUT that doesn’t make it right or just. Belicheat should have his fake and phoney Lombardis stripped before being permanently banned from the NFL amd Kraft should have his franchise stripped from him. Period. Enough allowing one team to systematically and regularly cheat at every level. Enough truly is enough.

  27. Anyone with common sense will finally admit that the Patriots are chronic cheaters and Belicheat has destroyed the league

  28. There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.

  29. Hey, it was just an honest mistake, where the filming just happened to involve the Cheats next opponent, not any of the other 30 teams. Anyone buy that baloney?

  30. Idiot blind Patriot fanboys can’t see the obvious. Once a cheater always a cheater
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Coming from a guy who claims the 49ers never cheated and 4 SB wins is somehow better than 6 for a QB…….

  31. Kurt Laughlin says:
    December 10, 2019 at 8:05 pm
    As much as I dislike the Patriots, I’m convinced that there is nothing sinister about this incident.

    People should note, however, how quickly and clearly the NE organization communicated what happened in this case where they were innocent and contrast it to the silence, evasion, and denial that came from them in their previous infamous incidents. The difference is telling.

    0 11 Rate This

    ——————

    Could not be any further from the truth.

    NE was fully
    cooperative in Framegate I and Ii. It took the NFL a week+ to sit around and figure out how they would frame them in each case, hence the delay in action from the league office.

    Do you people all have memory problems or is it intentional to see what you want to see?

    They were caught off guard at the first framejob for sure, but realized what was happening with the second one in Deflategate so they put their foot down to expose Cheater Goodell and the cheating owners.

    NE will not be bullied or so nice ever again.

  32. 1: They were caught doing this once before. They used the exact same excuse the LAST time they were caught cheating. During that ordeal it was discovered the tapes went clear back to their first SB “win” including filming practices and walk throughs.

    2: Science… okay, Science. Putting aside the fact a guy nicknamed “The Deflator” took the balls into a mens room and off camera before taking them on the field, deflated, and putting aside lost and broken cell phones… It goes against Science that all of the footballs were deflated within a few PSI from one another due to “rain and the cold.” Didn’t fly then, doesn’t fly now. Too many variables involved. They would have been all over the map amd some would have either held pressure or re-pressurized due to heaters and usage on the field. Sorry, not sorry. There is no spinning this one.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________

    1. Wrong. There was absolutely no proof whatsoever of any filming of practices or walkthroughs. That story has been debunked left and right and the newspaper that first ran the story put out a full front page apology when the truth came to light.

    2. Huh? Every reputable scientist that has looked at this agrees science can explain the PSI levels. What you are saying makes no sense. Please explain the PSI in the Colts balls based on this elementary theory

  33. Honestly, hard restrictions on in-stadium game day video capture seems like the best approach to this issue.

  34. People should note, however, how quickly and clearly the NE organization communicated what happened in this case where they were innocent and contrast it to the silence, evasion, and denial that came from them in their previous infamous incident

    =====

    Wrong. BB schooled the entire world on science during deflate gate.

    And he was pissed because it took so much time away from coaching before the SB.

    Selective memory?

  35. How do you film signals when there aren’t signals any more? You know, the whole mic on a coach and speaker on 1 player on the field helmet to relay what they are doing? Thinking, apparently it’s not for everyone.

  36. Common sense is asking a lot from Patriots haters.

    My favorite idiotic post claimed it couldn’t be a coincidence that the organization filmed their next opponent.

    They filmed a day in the life of an advance scout. Where do the haters expect the crew would film him, at the Boston Pops?

  37. NFL (Niners Football League) says:
    December 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Common sense would be to strip them off every single win including postseason wins and all their Lombardis during the belichick era. Then strip them of all their draft picks for the coming year and force Robert Kraft to sell the team.

    The NFL needs to send a message that cheating won’t be tolerated.

    Wow you must really be jealous

  38. Seriously? They were caught doing the EXACT same thing as SPYGATE with EXACTLY the same cover story. We all know that the first Spygate was buried but the NFL hurts itself more this time by sweeping it under the rug than coming down hard. Do people really believe they were not trying to cheat?

  39. Maybe they should film their segment on advance scout’s in the preseason or not at all. Given all the previous allegations and violations this team has had, they should be avoiding even the appearance of impropriety.

  40. Okay, let’s use common sense:

    Option 1) Believe an organization’s version of events, without question, that they had nothing to do with the videotaping and that it was simply about documenting an advance scouts job duties.

    Ignore the fact that said organization has previously been disciplined for unauthorized videotaping. Ignore the fact that instead of videotaping the advance scout, the video was trained on the Bengals sideline, specifically on the coaches and players when they substituted and called in plays, occurred for 8 straight minutes, and took place during the 1ST QUARTER when “common sense” would dictate the video would have been in the advance scout it is alleged to have been about.

    Option 2) Its all BS. The Pats use this ruse all year long in advance of the team they are getting ready to play in order to have plausible deniability by being able to claim they had nothing to do with it and it was all just an independent company that just happened to cross the line in a coincidental way that just so happens to provide the Pats with a strategic advantage.

    Common sense indeed.

  41. …..”capturing several minutes of footage from the Bengals’ sideline in clear violation of league rules”…..

    What league rule was violated? It isn’t a violation to film the opposing sideline as long as you do it from an approved area and you don’t use the footage in the game in which it is taken.

    It would be a clear violation if the pats were using the footage during the game.

    now….back to the nonsense…..

  42. steelercrazy says:
    December 10, 2019 at 8:45 pm
    Hey, it was just an honest mistake, where the filming just happened to involve the Cheats next opponent, not any of the other 30 teams. Anyone buy that baloney?
    ——————————————————-
    The confirmation bias is strong in this one.
    The documentary crew went to where the team scout was working. Would be silly if the scout was scouting a game for a team that was not on the Patriots schedule. See how that confirmation bias works. It takes something that should happen and twists it into a baloney sandwich.

  43. The guy wasn’t even a “Patriots videographer”; he was a local Cleveland guy sub-contracted to take video of the scout doing his job in Cleveland. Simple as that.

  44. I have no horse in this race, but if an organization wanted to film another team’s sidelines (as we all know the Patriots have done in the past), I can’t think of a more clever way than to say you’re recording your advanced scout doing his job against the upcoming opponent, then just-so-happening to record the other sideline in the process. It’s a nice cover. And easy to see right through. I can’t imagine all this plays more than a small role in the Patriots brilliance. But they keep doing it for some reason, so it must help on some level. To dismiss this incident as a big “whoops” is incredibly naive.

  45. They broke the rules so they should be punished but, seriously, the Bengals is the team they chose that they needed to cheat against?

  46. Can someone tell me what they could get from that that they couldn’t get just buying a good seat in the stadium?

    Why is video taping people already being video taped against the rules? Why do the rules give permission to video tape in certain areas of NFL “fans” keep saying they aren’t allowed to tape from anywhere?

    Why is taping someone in view of 50000 people worse than a head coach making a tackle on a break away TD?

  47. joker65 says:
    December 10, 2019 at 8:28 pm
    Anyone seen the video yet?? No??

    Then how do ya know what it shows
    _____________

    Good question, here’s a better one: why did they give the tapes to the browns?

    All I gotta do is show up somewhere in a KC Polo and start filming I guess.

  48. Common sense indicates that proven multiple time cheats like Belichick and the Patriots do not make this kind of mistake. Not when you are globally recognized as the most detail oriented coach/staff in the history of the sport. Nothing happens in NE without BB knowing about it and ok’ing it, remember? Cheating is an institutional ideology in the New England organization and it starts at the top. If you think videotaping the staff of the team they are playing the following weekend for a half hour was just an honest oversight I question your decision making. This whole story is looking and quacking exactly like the duck it is.

  49. I’m sorry Deflategate (framegate) was never about common sense.

    1. D’Wwell Jackson never said the ball he picked was soft. Lie #1 from the Colts

    2. Colts staffer admits to putting a gusher in the ball which not only is illegal(cheating) but affects air pressure.

    3. The NFL had a swat team ready to test balls at halftime.

    Because, integrity. We believe the lies that confirm our prejudices.

  50. NO SCANDAL to anyone with a brain.

    The film crew was in Pats gear and in a press box full of media. If you really wanted to film the Bengals sideline for an “unfair” advantage and not be noticed you’d put an unhappy non-descript fat guy in the middle of the stands with a camera.

  51. GRAVITY!

    “Yeah, uh, the camera’s were tipped down due to gravity & uh, just so happened, accidentally of course, to be focused on the Coaches on the sidelines. Oops, yep, there is some signals caught on tape….my bad, totally would have said something had you not said anything. Yeah, here is 8 minutes of the 136 minutes we have & you can see, but ya know, the rest of it, well its really nothing, trust me. You know, we pay those people, but they don’t really “work for us” per say, cuz they are not employees or football people. Not like for-hire spies, err…., I mean they are production people.”

    “You know, you kinda have to be a little dull to deny gravity. Lots of tests have been done to show how cameras can tip down, so I am not sure why you would deny the existence of gravity.”

    Gravity: science to excuse the mountain of circumstantial evidence.

  52. People should use care having the words “honest” and “Patriots” in the same sentence.
    They are a contradiction in terms… Like “pretty ugly” and “wicked good”.

  53. Just so you people with no video production knowledge know how a shoot like this would work. I’ve worked in this field for over 20 years.

    The crew would film the scout prior to the game at his spot in whatever box he was in, they would ask him about his job and what the typical day would be. This would be done before the game starts, because he needs to do his job during the game. Once the game starts, some footage would be taken of the scout watching the field. Not much of this footage would be needed, just a few frames to edit into the final product. Next, footage of the field would be taken (players running in and out, coaches etc.) to be edited into the final product to coincide with what the scout was talking about. Generally we would take the audio from the questions and lay that over the footage of the field shots to give the viewer a visual to correspond with the context of the conversation. Keep in mind this videographer was outsourced from the Cleveland area, he is a subcontractor for Kraft Media. I’m willing to bet if Football Operations had known about this production they would have either squashed it from happening or made sure that they producers used footage from NFL films or whatever was available freely to all 32 teams. The problem here was that no one talked to Football Ops or at least the Patriots legal team.

  54. hippstuff says:
    December 10, 2019 at 7:56 pm
    Conspiracy Theory: They’ve lost two in a row, right? Maybe they desperately did NOT want to face the humiliation of being beaten by the Bengals and stooped to devising this plan to prevent it…?

    —–

    Except…. the Browns-Bengals game was played before the Pats-Chiefs game.

  55. rje49 says:
    December 10, 2019 at 10:25 pm
    The guy wasn’t even a “Patriots videographer”; he was a local Cleveland guy sub-contracted to take video of the scout doing his job in Cleveland. Simple as that

    Even if true, and it “more probable than not” that it is, it matters not. Patriots have been winning too long. The universe requires correction. Imaginary “gates” are inevitable.

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