ESPN Kisses Patriots Asses…Again

The folks over at ESPN have some serious man-love for anything wearing silver, red, and blue.  When reading, listening to, or watching anything about the NFL on ESPN, it’s apparent that they just can’t seem to kiss enough Patriot ass.  ESPN released it’s “All Decade” team which in turn, turns out to be nothing short of a homage to their favorite team.

Perhaps maybe it’s because the Patriots are a short drive from Bristol, CT and the fact that it’s too easy to revel in the NY. Giants and too scary to support the Jets.  The Bills are up in NY but would you really rally around the Bills?  Of course not.  Having a 3 time Super Bowl Champion and 5 time AFC Championship representative in your backyard makes it so much easier to focus only on them.

In ESPN’s “All-Decade” team, honors were doled out to HC Bill Belichick and Tom Brady as the best of the NFL.  The team of course the best of the decade. Miami Dolphins’ Jason Taylor was a victor as one of the best defenders of the decade…and ESPN was quick to point out that Jason Taylor sacked Tom Brady more than anyone.  Almost as if to say, “if you can get to Brady you must be great!”

At the bottom of their Patriot homage, found here, they touch, ever so briefly, the argument against the Patriots because of “Spygate”.

Some Patriots critics still scoff at their success because of the Spygate scandal, one of the biggest NFL stories of the decade. Belichick was turned in for illegally videotaping opponents’ defensive signals. The NFL fined him and stripped the Patriots of a first-round draft pick.

I’m not sure why this is so unimportant to the crews over at ESPN.  This was the first incident in NFL history where a team was docked a first round pick and fined for blatant cheating.  It was such a black mark on the game that the Commissioner destroyed the tapes in question forever putting more doubt on the subject.  Did the Patriots tape the Rams?  Did they tape the teams they faced in the playoffs?  How often did they tape other teams?  It doesn’t matter if you support the Patriots as a fan or not, it’s a valid and legitimate question that has to be addressed…and in more ways than the blurb above.

To be fair, the article does talk a tad more on the subject in the subsequent paragraph.

But ESPN analyst Herm Edwards, the former New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefscoach, laughs at the overblown notion.

“If you’re naïve to believe that helped him win a Super Bowl, you’re kidding yourself. I don’t believe that,” said Edwards, who on one of the tapes submitted into evidence could be seen waving to the Patriots’ cameras.

Call me foolish here, but that alone almost backs up my assertions that ESPN is a love-fest haven for the Patriots.  A comment on the subject from Herm Edwards who “works” at ESPN…when he himself was waving to the cameras.  So yes he knows they did it as well…but apparently that doesn’t matter.

I will not take away the fact that the Patriots won 3 Super Bowls and appeared in 5 AFC Championship games.  They did.  It’s a fact you can easily look it up.  The question as to whether they cheated to obtain those victories is not only fact, but at the same time debatable as to the extent that it actually helped them.

To me, the best coach in the NFL for the past decade is Tony Dungy.  While he doesn’t hold the rings that Belichick does, he has a better winning percentage.  While he may not have the Super Bowl trophies that Belichick does, he still has his class and his pride.

The argument can also be made against Tom Brady when compared to the likes of Peyton Manning who’s passing numbers were much better than Tom Brady’s.  Again, ESPN puts the onus of their decision clearly on the number of trophies that were won.

I am not some bitter Dolphins’ fan hating on the Patriots, I would rather piss on the NY Jets logo than bash the Patriots.  Still, facts are facts and they are hard to ignore no matter where it comes from…obviously that does not include the folks at ESPN.  It will be interesting to see where they turn when the Patriots are no longer “these” Patriots.

I don’t agree with their “All Decade” team and I suppose that is the point of having one at all.  I’m not alone in my opinion.  Pete Rose bet on baseball…and he is serving his sentence.  Whether you believe it is just or unjust is not the point.  Bill Belichick cheated in football and still gets accolades for his coaching ability.  He may have been one of the best coaches to ever walk the sidelines, but instead, their will be an asterisk next to his name, a hole in his wallet from the fine, and a never ending question as to how they actually used their tapes.

The Patriots are one of the best teams in the NFL, that has been proven year in and year out.  There is little to dispute that other than the whole “Spygate” issue and had that not ever happened, there would be no discussion at all.  Still you have to account for that.  You have to consider it.  At ESPN, they never consider anything that looks down towards the Patriots.

They wrap up the article like this:

It also should be noted the Patriots went 18-1, nearly pulling off the NFL’s first unblemished season since the Dolphins did it in 1972, after the Spygate mess.

About 30 other NFL franchises wish they could fail like that.

Once again, they fail to mention that the one game they lost was the only game in the entire season that mattered.  In fact, you can ask any coach, any player, any team in history from the ’72 Miami Dolphins to the 0-16 Detroit Lions and every single one of them will tell you that losing one game in a season would be great…provided the one game wasn’t the last one.

Sorry Bristol, No NFL team wishes they could fail like that.

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Tags: Bill Belichick Jason Taylor Miami Dolphins New England Patriots Tom Brady

  • jcd

    Agreed.  The cheating scandal has been swept under the rug by the NFL. With the tapes destroyed, the fans will never know the full extent of the violations.  In the NCAA, when you cheat you have victories, even championships, negated and removed from your record.  Why not in the NFL?  Wonder how many victories, AFC championships and Super Bowl titles would have been removed from the Patriots’ decade of glory if such a standard had been used?

  • Matt N.


  • Frank

    You are delusional.  Seriously.  Go read that posting again, but try to see it from an outside perspective.  It’s petty, trite, and worst of all, a cliche response from a fan of a division “rival”.  Yes, the quotes of sarcams were necessary if I was going to use that term.

    Two things:
    1) Who do you think should be coach/team/player of the decade.

    2) Your argument is self contradictory.  First off, you’re saying they shouldn’t be the team of the decade, then go right into saying the 18-1 season was a failure because they didn’t win the super bowl.  What is it: do super bowls matter or don’t they?  Grow some gray matter and make up your mind.

  • Tony Gambino

    I agree, the Jet’s still trump the Pats as the most hated in the NFl, but the Patriots are gaining quickly and it is harder to hate the talent less and pitiful. They (PATS) are starting to take more beatings at the home games, in my survey of fights in the crowd. They cheat before the games (spygate) and during (snow plow) and they will soon be back where they belong with the Jets and the Bills, counting losses and moving up in order on draft day. One perfect team, largest win % in NFL history in many categories, that one is the Miami Dolphins and  decade is not over .

  • Brian Miller

    Actually jealous is not a word I would use to describe the anything related to the Patriots.  I am actually glad that I am not a Patriots fan, it’s nice to know that in the history of the Miami Dolphins…I have never had to hide the fact I was a fan.

    As for the comment about who I think should have been named top honors…I did say that it should be Dungy and Manning.  As for this article being petty…on the contrary.  I looked at this from an outside perspective and even stated that had the whole “Spygate” thing not occured that the Patriots most assuredly would warrant every accolade they received.  However, I don’t think that issue can summarily be dismissed with a broad wave of your hand.  Something that the folks over at ESPN have done, and the entire fan base of the Patriots.  The fact is that there was enough evidence for the Commish to take away a first round pick for the first time in NFL history.  That alone says there was proof they cheated.  Sorry, that is a fact that I think should be taken into consideration.
  • Frank

    Regarding spygate:  If I was an Eagles fan (insert Panthers/Rams if you want), and I found out that my team lost the superbowl because Andy Reid was signalling plays in full view of 80,000 people in the stands and billions on live tv, and was making no attempt at disguising the signals so they couldn’t be picked up by someone with a cheap camcorder in the stands, I would want him FIRED.  Instantly.  That’s a completely unforgivable mistake.

    All of you spygate proponents are basically saying that when Pat’s oponents said “Earmuffs!” before calling a play, the patriots committed the unforgivable crime of not covering their ears.  Then you’re saying that being docked a first round draft pick is light punishment?  Really?  Seriously?  Have you even thought about this?

  • Brian Miller

    Frank:  There is nothing more that I find pleasurable in seeing that my own argument can be summed up so brilliantly by someone who actually opposes my argument.  You put it perfectly when you brought up the docking of a first round pick as being, to some, “light punishment”.  I agree, I think it’s rather harsh punishment especially when combined with the fines.

    All the more reason to believe, IMPARTIALLY, that the extent to which the Patriots used that camcorder could warrant such punishment and again, how ESPN can so blatantly disregard the issue when they come up with the team of the decade.
    While I am sure your intentions were not help prove what I was saying…I appreciate the unbiased help.  ;)
  • Brian Miller

    Oh and Matt I meant to ask you…do you where your 18-1 AFC Champion shirt that often?  I didn’t think so.  What’s even funnier is that the NE players refuse to wear their own rings or the Bob Kraft 16-0 memorial rings he bought.  Now that’s funny.

  • http://landryhat davedallasfan

    personally i think the 18-1 is called “poetic justice” so to speak. kinda took care of the problem all by it’s self. the patriots were the best team that year, but they did not deserve to win the whole shabang because they CHEATED.  yes they got by easy from the nfl. yes there was more to it then just a little spying. yes there was cheating to gain an edge. they taped practices before a superbowl, for petes sake. that is huge. that is such a violation that they should be stripped of that victory. but to NOT cause a major uproar and total upsidedown caos forever in the nfl, it was a hand slap, and a under the table sweep. and Espn was right there to help out. they would rather make up shit about terrell owens, or some bad press rumors for veiwer attention. heaven forbid they would report real news acurately and piss off the NFL????

  • Frank

    Brian: You are correct, I wasn’t trying to help your argument :)  I was replying to Tony but you got in a minute before me.   Yeah, it doesn’t make me look good.

    I wish the NFL didn’t destroy the tapes though.  That’s the kind of thing that conspiracy theories are built on.  Like Dave’s comments that they taped a super bowl practice (speaking of making up shit dave).

    Conspiracy theories aside, the main allegation of spygate is that they taped oposing teams from the sidelines and used those tapes in future games.  The NFL warned them not to do it, but they continued.  Sure, they shouldn’t have done it, but I’d still be furious if my team’s coach wasn’t disguising signals.  Earmuffs!

  • Brian Miller

    Frank:  I really couldn’t pass that one up…LOL.

    My issue is not with what the Patriots did or didn’t do, simply that it should have been taken into consideration when you make a decision like they did.  ESPN loves the Patriots, LOVES the Patriots.  It will be funny to me how much endeared to them they will be when Belichick is gone and the Patriots are not winning.
  • Just Blog Baby

    All I have to say is “tuck rule”.

    Not taking anything from the Pats because you still have to execute even if you know what’s coming but that horrible moment in the snow helped start the dynasty. I can’t help but wonder what would have happened had they never beat my Raiders that day.

    Vinateri still had to kick that field goal in a blizzard so I can’t hate on that. The fumble…errr…tuck would have ended the game. This wasn’t some contorversial call in the third quarter, it was a 4th quarter, no time outs left, take a knee and the game is over moment that will go down as the most absurd call in the history of the NFL.

    Yes, I’m a bitter Raider fan. No, I’m not jealous of the Pats. Yes, you do need some luck along the way. In the end, it just feels that if it were the Carolina Panthers who had all this success that we wouldn’t see so much love for them. But that is the nature of the Disney network. They embraced Belicheat even though he is a known jerk.They tried their best to paint Tom Brady as a clean cut guy until Brady himself came forward and said he’s not the guy they make him out to be.

    They are a well run organizaton with the trophies to show for it but in the end the Disney Channel has done its part to create the perfect plot lines and stories to sell more magazines and get more ratings. Take it with a grain of salt and just wait until this ends, we’ll see what the true colors are then.

  • Jay

    Ok what kills me is that everyone thinks theres going to be more on those tapes than shooting hand signals and panning over to the score board for the time and downs…  good grief its not the JFL film and looking for the second gun man on the grassy knowl. 

    I  am not discounting what they did as right or wrong however if you think they obtained a competative advantage, and enough of one to win three superbowls, a forth showing and 5 afc tiltes through trying to piece together some film that if it was shot 15 feet back in the stands would be legal then your eatting to much tuna fish.

    Dungy is a class act… Manning is a great QB.. however Manning is known for choking in the play offs.. which is why the colts are not the team of the decade…   if the Steelers go to the show next year and win.. I would accept an arguement for them.

    During the season Belichick is a dedicated man to the sport and isn’t out to make friends.. hes out to win football games… 

    Hate the patriots all you want but between a great coach, a great QB and some luck along the way they have achieved more than any other team has this decade..  

    Good luck to the fins this year.. I was impressed with thier first game slaughtering of the Pats last year..  hopefully you will give us a run for our money again this year…

  • http://landryhat davedallasfan

    makin shit up; i’m frickin fumin; i did’nt make any thing up, what the HELL? that was one of the documented tapes, frank. it was a taped practice of the rams before the super bowl. the patriots camera man was caught at the practice but no action was takin at that time. look it up frank. that is fact. that is not something i made up. do your homework before you accuse me of making something up. warner and the rams wanted a full investigation over the situation and that might have been one of the reasons goodell destroyed them. this would have brought the superbowl into question? it’s one thing to call this cheating on regular season games, but the BOWL? do you really realize what kind of implications and on what level that is. do you realize how much money was bet and lost in vegas on those charges…….guys would be killed over that. so don’t blow smoke out your ass and say i made this shit up and it’s some conspiracy?????????what in the HELL MAN?????? IT’S DOCUMENTED. ONLY THE DOCUMENTS CONVIENENTLY GOT DESTROYED. for more reasons than just to satisfy goodell.

  • http://landryhat davedallasfan

    frank, your a more ignorant patriot fan than espn. bet you watch it all the time? they cheated frank. they got caught. belichek is a cheat. he cheated his way to at least one if not more superbowl wins. what YOU said is pure speculation. how do you know they only taped game footage to use for up coming games. were you there? do you believe belichek.?  he cheated, he got caught at it, and then he lied about it. that’s what everyone else sees frank, what part of that are you missing, or did i make that up too?

  • frank

    Calm down Dave.  It is known that the Patriots taped opponents from the sidelines.  Yes, they broke the rules.  I don’t know that they ever lied about it.  And they were punished severely for breaking them.

    And at one time there was allegations of a super bowl practice tape.  Nothing ever came of that.  You’re going around spreading it like it is a fact.  That’s the part I’m accusing you of making up.

    And yes, I agree the tapes shouldn’t be destroyed.

  • MainePhinFan

    I think it is pathetic. Yes ok. maybe Brady deserves the koodos here.. however his coach Bill Cheat Billichick deserved to be FIRED and any and ALL of the teams wins STRIPPED from them since he was coach. Now to say he is a TOP COACH?  You see the commish throw his weight around against players who mess up OFF THE FIELD all the time. But does he do the right thing when a coach is caught CHEATING?  No he runs and hides from it. Took their 1st round pic away..  OMG such a punnishment!  I say all teams start cheating, hell… ya dont get in trouble for it why not?  If you can cheat and steal wins and cheat your way to superbowl wins AND not get punished for it? ALl teams should do it then.

  • frank

    I was watching a Dolphin’s game last year, and Vonnie was offside twice.  I think their division title should be revoked because HE CHEATED!!1!111!!!!  What, he got penalized for it?  I don’t care!!!  He CHEATEDE AND ALL THEIR GAMES SHOULD BE FORFEITED.

    Okay… maybe a little over the top, but isn’t it kind of what you’re saying?  Belichick should be fired for breaking the earmuffs rule?  Really? I mean, REALLY? 

    I think it might be time for you guys to either move on or get some therapy.  This can’t be good for your blood pressure.

  • mitressehc

    I hate the Pats. I hope we are the ones to break Brady’s knee this year. I am not worried about the past, I am fully concentrating on the future and the future looks good. I remember when you guys were the joke of the NFL, and now you are collecting a lot of accolades. Enjoy it. It won’t last for ever. You guys got away with one because Belicheat is blowing Goodell and vice versa. we aren’t worried, be ready to play this year and tell ya boy to wrap his knee up because JT,and JP, and my new guy Cameron Wake are going to send him home to Gissell hurtin this year baby. Go Phins.

  • Deof Movestofca

    Oh, please tell me that someone didn’t just equate a penalty with cheating.  It’s amazing the mental gymnastics that some people have to go through to legitimize what Belichik did.  Let’s review a few:
    a) But, all (or at least other) teams steal signals.
    Even if true, I believe the rule is specifically against TAPING them, especially since it would be almost impossible to prove whether a team A stole another team B’s signals without physical evidence.

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  • Deof Movestofca

    b) Belichik is such a genius he didn’t need to steal signals and didn’t really get all that much out of doing so.
    Then, first, why did he do it if it were so unnecessary?  Second, one has to wonder why such genius wasn’t on display when he was HC of the Browns.
    c) Losing a 1st round draft choice should be ample punishment for what they did.
    Really?  Does anyone really think that there aren’t more “coaches” out there who would gladly trade a 1st rounder for 3 SB titles?
    d) Fans of other teams just keep bringing it up because they’re jealous.
    Even if true, it still doesn’t change the fact that the Patsies’ 3 titles are TAINTED.

  • spooneman

    Love all this re-hashing of shady favoritism the league has shown the Patriots in recent years. The first being the infamous dusting off of a little known never used rule called “The Tuck Rule”. Yep Raiders fans you got screwed, that was a fumble. But since it was Brady, Belicheat, and the Pats it was called otherwise. Now we have another Tom Brady rule because he got hurt when a O-Lineman pushed a defender down who was trying to do his job (Get to the QB) and hit Brady in the knee. It was clearly unintentional. I wonder if Brady gets hurt again if the NFL will make another rule and another and another……

  • http://landryhat davedallasfan

    frank you say that the superbowl practice tape was just a rumor? it was an allegation that one exsisited? well the FACT is that the guy that was accused of doing the actual taping was at one of the rams practice sessions. fact, he was caught there and admitted to it. what was he doing there, watching cause he’s a big fan of warners’? come on. he taped them, he said so. well those tapes ended up in goodell’s posession before they were made public. goodell destroyed them. all fact frank. have i made any thing up yet. ????  can anyone besides frank see where i may have made any thing up????? ok, then i’ll go on. now is where i may “speculate some” because i did’nt see whats on those tapes, but what the hell do you think is on them, cheerleaders bending over? goodell now has a monster on his hands. A TAINTED SUPERBOWL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HUGE…. so he destroys the tape to end the situation and speculation and it’s done. strip the patriots of a first round pick, slap beliprick on the pee-pee and go on. make everyone happy. well we ain’t. because we all know a screwin when we see one frank, or anyone else that wants to back beliprick and the patriots up for this “violation” of NFL policy. they cheated, and because of it DO NOT deserve the title for that specific reason. DID I MAKE ANY THING UP THAT ANYONE WOULD ARGUE WITH????? FRANK??? ANYONE????

  • http://landryhat davedallasfan

    sorry brian for getting so worked up, but this is a passion of mine. i’ve seen my cowboys go to 8 super bowls. win 5 and loose 3 by a combined 11 pnts TOTAL! that is devestating, those 3 loses. you guys know what i’m sayin. you’ve had your wins, and tasted those bitter defeats 3 times too. you know how tough it is to watch that knowing how hard just as a fan to go thru a season and have it end with a loss in the bowl, much less how a player must feel? then when i see the patiots “cheat” there way getting at least 1 bowl win if not more? i’m just a passionate madman about it. it pisses me off to no end. and then have some arrogant patriot fans try to brush it off as nothing….????? well us real fans know better. thanks for letting me vent brian, and i’m sorry if i’ve been a little over the top here.

  • Scott Sheaffer

    You said the Super Bowl is the only game that matters. The Dolphins haven’t won a Super Bowl since January 1974. So you’re telling me that the Dolphins haven’t won a game that matters in over 35 years? Tou’re saying, the great Dan Marino played only one game that mattered in his entire career, and he lost it in a blow out?  Okay. All of last year didn’t matter. No Super Bowl. 11-5 wasn’t any different than being 1-15. None of those 10 extra wins means anything according to you.

    Herm Edwards ought to know all about filming signals. Along with former Colts coach Tony Dungy and former Steelers coach Bill Cohwer and Marty Schottenheimer, he was part of a coaching staff which filmed signals. On NYC radio station, WFAN, Jimmy Johnson -who led the Cowboys to 3 Super Bowl wins and went on to coach the DOLPHINS- said he also had signals filmed. He said a scout showed him how the Kansas City Chiefs were doing it. (At the time, Schottenheimer coached the Chiefs. Dungy, Edwards, and Cohwer were all assistants on Schottenheimer’s staff.)

  • Deof Movestofca

    “You said the Super Bowl is the only game that matters”
    Within the context that he meant it (i.e., when a team’s only loss is in the SB), yes.  If a genie came to you and told you he could grant you either that your team went 10-6 in the regular season but would win the SB or would go 16-0 in the regular season but would lose the SB, which one would you chose?

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