Failure

Jan. 10th, 2011 08:02 pm
lynxreign: (Packers)
[personal profile] lynxreign
The failure of the NFL to address this makes me far less interested in the NFL as a whole.

I still care about the Packers and I'm not saying people shouldn't like their team, but the handwaving and "nothing to see here" taints the entire enterprise for me.

I posted this on Facebook, but I probably should have just posted it here. Ah well.

Date: 2011-01-11 03:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] telepresence.livejournal.com
Is there any actual evidence the Patriots are cheating? It mostly seems like this guy is just angry because the Patriots are doing really well this year.

Date: 2011-01-11 03:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynxreign.livejournal.com
This year or in years past? They've been caught and fined in the past, but nothing was really done to make sure they stopped and the earlier cheating was covered up by the NFL.
There's nothing to suggest they've stopped. Would you let Bernie Madoff handle your investments today?

Date: 2011-01-11 03:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] telepresence.livejournal.com
It just feels like trying to prove a negative to me. Yes, they got caught cheating in the past and were fined for it. Now apparently the standard of proof is...we don't have proof they aren't cheating?

Date: 2011-01-11 04:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynxreign.livejournal.com
They were fined for one of the infractions and the fine was about the same as you or I having to pay a dollar and not have to say sorry or promise not to do it again.

If it were (fill in the name of some team you don't care about) what would it take for you to believe they weren't cheating any more? At the very least, Bellicheck should have been suspended. Make it something they'll actually care about.

I'm not saying they definetely are and neither is the guy that wrote the article. I'm just saying that there's no reason to believe they aren't.

It may be a bit like trying to prove a negative, but that's one of the consequences of cheating. Absent decent proof or a punishment that might deter recidivism who would trust you again? Should Michael Vick be put in charge of an animal shelter? Who would trust him? Should BP be put in charge of environmental safety? Who would trust them?

Date: 2011-01-11 02:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] head58.livejournal.com
Has Brady stopped beating his wife?

Date: 2011-01-11 02:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynxreign.livejournal.com
That's a very different question if Brady had previously been convicted of beating his wife, isn't it?

Date: 2011-01-11 02:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] head58.livejournal.com
I'm simply reflecting on you insisting that they prove a negative. It's about as fair as the comparison you made between a football team and a man who ruined the lives of hundreds or thousands of people.

Date: 2011-01-11 02:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynxreign.livejournal.com
I'm not saying the effects are the same, but the issue of trust is. He was just the first person I could think of who you wouldn't trust to do something he used to do.

Date: 2011-01-11 03:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynxreign.livejournal.com
Here's one reason to suggest it is still going on
http://predominantlyorange.com/2010/11/27/broncos-dealing-with-video-tape-incident/

Former Pats staff caught trying the same trick now that he's on another team. At least it was dealt with better in Denver.

Had it just been one incident in NE, that'd be one thing, but the allegations of someone who used to be on the staff combined with the allegations of cheating years before that show a pattern of behavior and nothing has shown that there's any reason for that pattern to have changed.

Date: 2011-01-11 03:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] head58.livejournal.com
You know I don't give two rats' asses about football and can't be drawn into an argument about this, right?

Date: 2011-01-11 03:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynxreign.livejournal.com
I didn't want to draw anyone into an argument about this. I posted this because I'm frustrated about the situation and had to vent somehow.

I'd also like to point out that I want to be able to believe the Pats aren't cheating. Nothing would make me happier. I'm not a Pats fan, but neither do I hate the team or have any real rivalry association. Unfortunately, their actions have tainted something I do care about and I want it to be fixed.

Date: 2011-01-11 03:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] head58.livejournal.com
Would there ever be any remedy that would satisfy you though, short of everyone involved in the Patriot's team and management being barred from any NFL involvement for life and sowing the field at Gillette stadium with salt? I mean, they ALWAYS *could* be cheating!

The Google shows me that the Packers have a history of sexual assault scandals, including earlier this year. How can I be sure they're not out raping women 24/7?

(See how well I don't get dragged into an argument?)

Date: 2011-01-11 03:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynxreign.livejournal.com
Had the NFL not engaged in a cover-up, this wouldn't be nearly the problem for me that it is now.

Honesty would help a LOT. If Bellicheck were forced to admit wrongdoing and punished in a way that hurt the team more than cheating helped it, I'd be satisfied. I think Kraft should be fined too in a way that he'd be less likely to tolerate this in the future. Suspend Bellicheck during the playoffs or remove him from the team for a year or fire him. Hell, putting asterisks next to all his records as head coach of the Pats might be enough. As long as it was something serious enough that an outsider could believe a smart man wouldn't risk it again, I'd be satisfied.

As it is, the punishment was like an indulgent mother saying "naughty boy, don't do it again" *wink* *wink*.

Hell, I used to root for the Pats before all this crap came out. Many of my friends are Pats fans and I want them to do well unless they're playing the Packers. I just want to believe they're doing it honestly.

Unfortunately, I think Bellicheck started cheating and is prone to it because of the way he's been jerked around in his career. He's been seriously screwed over several times and I think that has affected him. (Sure, armchair psychology is rarely worth anything, but I figured as long as I'm sharing my impressions)

Date: 2011-01-11 04:27 pm (UTC)
bryant: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bryant
Note that Belichick personally lost 25% of his salary. In absolute terms, he had plenty of money left, but I would be very surprised if it didn't hurt.

They also lost a first round draft pick. This is a big deal for the Patriots -- consider their drafting strategy. They stockpile draft picks more than any other team. Belichick strongly prefers to improve via the draft. In this specific case, let's see. The Pats wound up drafting CB Terrence Wheatley with their next available draft pick. He has gone nowhere in the NFL.

The two CBs selected after the forfeited pick were Brandon Flowers and Tracy Porter. Neither of these guys are superstars, but CB was a position the Pats were and are fairly weak at, and either of them would have been a substantial upgrade to Terrence Wheatley.

It's also worth noting that only two teams have ever been forced to forfeit a draft pick. It is one of the rarest penalties applied for cheating in the NFL. It's also the only time anyone has ever been forced to forfeit a first round draft pick.

So there's that.

You're also assuming in this argument that there's no such thing as progressive punishment, and I think that's completely wrong. If Belichick gets caught cheating again, it's not going to be a 500K fine plus a lost draft pick.

Date: 2011-01-11 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynxreign.livejournal.com
If a head coach who's been one as long as Bellicheck has and could 1/4 of 1 year's pay for a superbowl ring? In a heartbeat. And didn't Kraft essentially pay the fine for him?

And the NFL sent a very mixed signal. You're fined, but we'll cover up earlier instances. You lose a draft pick, but can trade up.

And all of the punishments that could hurt the team were future punishments. Plenty of teams sacrifice the future to try to win now.

Date: 2011-01-11 04:51 pm (UTC)
bryant: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bryant
No, Kraft didn't pay the fine for him. That was explicitly forbidden and there's no evidence that it happened.

Regarding draft picks:

"'The loss of a No. 1 draft pick is about as serious a penalty as you could impose,' Mara [owner of the Giants] said. 'You could survive your coach being suspended a couple of weeks. But losing a No. 1 pick is far more devastating.'"

And you just completely ignored my point about progressive punishment. I'll make it again: the punishment gets worse the second time you get caught. You cited the Broncos incident this season. You should be aware that Steve Scarnecchia is facing a possible ban from the NFL because it's his second time. His first time, of course, was with the Patriots.

If Belichick is caught cheating again, that's what he's facing. Do you think Belichick would cheat if the consequence for being caught was being banned from the NFL?

Date: 2011-01-11 04:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynxreign.livejournal.com
If it gets him one last Superbowl? Maybe. If he thinks he can get away with it? Probably.

And losing a #1 pick is devestating in the future. Suspending your head coach in the playoffs? Or even in the runup to the playoffs if you haven't secured a berth? That might not be as "devestating", but it is far more immediate and far mroe definite. Would you rather have your head coach suspended in the playoffs or miss drafting Ryan Leaf? The draft is a gamble and it has no bearing on your current season. Get fired 'cause you didn't win and you're not going to care about the draft.

Date: 2011-01-11 05:04 pm (UTC)
bryant: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bryant
So... what prior punishment would change that equation? Sounds like you're saying that he should have been banned the first time it happened.

Date: 2011-01-11 05:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynxreign.livejournal.com
I'm saying the NFL should have come clean with the tapes they destroyed. I'm saying Bellicheck should have been suspended for a few games. Losing a draft pick you can easily think you're clever enough to make up for that. Hell your "amazing" QB was a 6th round pick.

Date: 2011-01-11 05:14 pm (UTC)
bryant: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bryant
If he'd been suspended for a few games, wouldn't you just say that it's a small price to pay for winning three Super Bowl rings and winning three more would be worth additional risk?

Date: 2011-01-11 05:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynxreign.livejournal.com
Not if it kept him from having a winning season. If the penalty directly interferes with the reason for cheating then there's no reason to cheat as it is counter-productive if you're caught. Especially if it is linked with escallating punishment as you suggest.

If the suspension is effectively enforced and he has no contact with the team and the team doesn't make the playoffs he's unlikely to try again, especially if the second time he's suspended without pay for a season.

I don't like the idea of lifetime bans, but I suppose that at some point that's what you're left with.

Date: 2011-01-11 05:22 pm (UTC)
bryant: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bryant
You're saying having a single winning season is more important than three Super Bowl titles?

Date: 2011-01-11 05:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynxreign.livejournal.com
I'm saying that if the penalty prevents another superbowl then yes. Plus an admission of guilt. The purpose of cheating is to win more. If you are caught and then lose more then it makes sense to stop.

Are you suggesting taking away the past superbowl wins? If the NFL would investigate properly, they might be tagged with * in the record books, but that's unlikely to happen. While that does bother me, what's more important is making sure it doesn't happen again and I think suspensions are a good way to achieve that.

Date: 2011-01-11 05:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynxreign.livejournal.com
And it also all depends on if Bellicheck believes the consequence will be as severe as banning from the NFL. As it stands, thanks to the NFL's complicity and his not being even suspended the first time, he probably doesn't. Or if he thinks he has his scapegoats set up. A lot of it depends on what happens to Steve Scarnecchia. Maybe if he's banned, but Bellicheck might think he's special since he's a head coach and revered. Part of the reason he's still revered is because of the cover-up. We're not to know if he cheated to get those championships and that's a big part of why I can't believe the penalties that have alrady been handed down and the threat of banishment matter. Has anyone ever been given a lifetime ban before in NFL for something other than gambling?

Date: 2011-01-11 05:06 pm (UTC)
bryant: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bryant
Yes. Dexter Manley got a lifetime ban, for example.

Date: 2011-01-11 05:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynxreign.livejournal.com
OK, I should have said other than gambling or drug tests, criminal activities.

For all I know Bellicheck may feel he has no option but to keep cheating. If his players and team and coaching seem ordinary all of a sudden, that could be more damning than any single allegation of cheating. Had he been forced to admit what he'd done, had the NFL released the tapes we might have a * next to a few seasons, but it'd be over. If he's exposed now, his entire career could be tainted. If he gets caught one more time it could still be explained away as a few instances.

Date: 2011-01-11 03:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynxreign.livejournal.com
Oh, and as for the Packers thing (and it happens on almost all of the teams unfortunately), many teams have programs to help with that, punishments are handed down and most teams don't try to shield the players from the law. I'd like it to be better than it is, and it is getting better, but it isn't there yet.

I liked the way the Jets dealt with a sexual harrassment charge earlier this year. An apology was immediately issued, fines were handed out and everyone involved with the Jets had to attend sexual harrassment prevention training. In fact, I think they've set up a permanent, required course.

Date: 2011-01-11 04:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lynxreign.livejournal.com
I said this to [livejournal.com profile] head58 below, but I'll repeat it here in case you don't read that.

I really want to believe the Pats aren't cheating, but I have no reason to do so at this time. No remedy has been applied. It isn't that we don't have proof they aren't cheating, we have no reason to believe they haven't continued.

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