Excuse the rant but the Patriots have another Spygate incident on their hands and I think they are guilty as hell. Here's what happened, starting with a bit of Spygate history to get everyone up to speed on why this is such a big deal:
Remember Spygate? Even if you aren't a football fan, you probably heard of that NFL scandal. It even has it's own wikipedia page, that's quite in depth actually. Basically it was when the New England Patriots got caught filming the New York Jets sideline and defensive coaches' signals throughout a game in 2007. Which was ultimately deemed very much against the rules and against the spirit of the game by commissioner Goodell back in the day - in a word it was cheating.
Eric Mangini, the Jets head coach at the time, knew what Belichick and company were up to during that time and reported the filming to the NFL's security during the 2007 game. The Pats were caught rehanded and Belichick was fined a lot of money and so was the team, and they were stripped of their 2008 #1 pick in the draft. And it was headline news for all of 2007 after the story broke and stayed relevant for many years to come.
It stayed so relevant because everyone knew the Patriots were cheating in this way, and that this wasn't an isolated incident. Reports and allegations were dropping all over the place of them filming other team's practices for years. Many think (or probably know) that only the tip of the cheating iceberg that is the Patriots under Bill Belichick ever got officially confirmed or publicized. (blame lack of proof for that).
Anyways, fast forward to Dec of 2019. (And realize from 2007 to 2019 you just fast forwarded through Deflategate and that whole Brady fiasco).. and we arrive at yet another shady, Patriots cheating allegation/scandal/incident:
That's right. Spygate 2.0. Maybe this time it was just an innocent misunderstanding. But c'mon now.. after what we have seen and heard about Belichick and the Patriots over the last 12+ years, how can you possibly take them at their word on this?
Patriots video reportedly focused on Bengals sideline for 8 minutes
Supposedly some rogue film crew filmed the Bengals sideline for 8 whole minutes during a game. Exactly what the Patriots got into so much trouble for over a decade ago. The film crew did work for the Patriots, though Belichick is claiming he had no idea what they were doing, and from what I understand, he is saying they were filming for a 'Do Your Job' video feature, not for nefarious reasons.
Basically they are saying this is an innocent misunderstanding, and at worst, the film crew did violate the NFL policy but it was completely unintentional and there was absolutely no cheating.
Very curious to say the least. This is exactly how the first Spygate played out so far, more or less. Belichick plays the card of plausible deniability and fed the last film crew the same excuse - 'just say you were filming for other reasons and you had no idea you were breaking the rules, ie CHEATING.
I have to think this was cheating. That Belichick knew exactly what was going on and that he was behind all of this. If that's true, makes me wonder why? The game they were filming was of two bad teams - the Browns and the Bengals. If you are such an epic awesome coach, why in the world would you ever even come close to another possible Spygate scandal? What possible edge could you achieve from this?
The most damning bit of evidence to me is that one of the cameramen wanted to delete the footage after he was caught:
Patriots cameraman reportedly asked to 'just delete the footage,' Bill Belichick denies any involvement
What does everyone here make of all this? No doubt this story will become more clear over time.