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Cheats Gonna Cheat, Roger Gonna Roger, Kraft Gonna Kraft, Refs Gonna Ref


jetophile
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Just now, dbatesman said:

glad we finally got a thread on this

IMO there are never enough. Several years ago someone said to me that calling the Patriots cheaters, the whole thing was getting old, they were done with it, sick of it, blah blah blah OLD. I almost spit out my water. It will never get old. Death, Taxes, and the Cheats, baby.

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So here's another thing that scratches me where I itch about Cheats fans and the whole kerfuffle that was Spygate. "Mangini the rat." How does that make the Cheats not guilty as charged?

And it gets funnier. Mangini was previously under Belichick's tutelage and that's why he recognized what it was. I saw Mangini in a clip some years ago saying that he regretted ever saying anything, then he never intended things to go as far as they did, it wasn't a huge deal, and that he just wanted it to die. Damage control.

 

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I blame the NFL more than the Patriots. If you cobbled together dozens of small cheats to give you a 0.1% advantage here, 0.3% there (which can add up to a material advantage) and only 5% of them are caught and lightly punished when they are, a case could be made that cheating is logical from a risk/reward perspective.

NFL needs to escalate successive team punishments under a "repeat offender rule," rather than deal with each case in a vacuum. Like they do with individual cases like Vontaze Burfict.

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46 minutes ago, jgb said:

I blame the NFL more than the Patriots. If you cobbled together dozens of small cheats to give you a 0.1% advantage here, 0.3% there (which can add up to a material advantage) and only 5% of them are caught and lightly punished when they are, a case could be made that cheating is logical from a risk/reward perspective.

NFL needs to escalate successive team punishments under a "repeat offender rule," rather than deal with each case in a vacuum. Like they do with individual cases like Vontaze Burfict.

I totally agree with repeat offender and also the vacuum sentiment. As a relative juxtaposition about Burfict, Roethlisrapist was initially suspended 6 games under the conduct policy (although not convicted in a Court of Law). Then it was reduced to a 4 game suspension because he didn't rape anyone over the Summer before the season started . . .  I guess . . . ? 

It really is all over the place. The Josh Brown thing, Ray Rice, Adrian Pederson; but then the NFL came out with their absolutely ridiculous pandering NO MORE campaign to make it look like they give two shi ts about domestic violence. 

 

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18 minutes ago, jetophile said:

I totally agree with repeat offender and also the vacuum sentiment. As a relative juxtaposition about Burfict, Roethlisrapist was initially suspended 6 games under the conduct policy (although not convicted in a Court of Law). Then it was reduced to a 4 game suspension because he didn't rape anyone over the Summer before the season started . . .  I guess . . . ? 

It really is all over the place. The Josh Brown thing, Ray Rice, Adrian Pederson; but then the NFL came out with their absolutely ridiculous pandering NO MORE campaign to make it look like they give two shi t's about domestic violence. 

 

Consistent internal processes are defensible. Goodell (or, often, his delegate) acts like Nero in the coliseum after a gladiator match. I'm not an expert on the CBA but as I understand, the NFLPA basically subjugated themselves to the Commissioner's favor when meting out punishments. 

As you raise, the NFL almost always reduces penalties under legal threat. They are petrified of their "process" -- such as it is -- becoming part of a public trial. And for good reason. I've been on the "company" side of the table in deciding how to sanction misconduct. Internal consistency is a HUGE factor in those meetings. It goes both ways. "We gave Bob a warning for the same thing last year, how can we fire Andy?" or "We fired Bob last year for this, how can we justify only warning Andy now?" An inconsistent application of company policies leads to -- at best -- a big settlement, at worst -- a courtroom defeat and potentially bad press.

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Ehh, don't care about the Patriots/Belicheck hate. That said, I would have serious doubts that Bruschi would get involved with any cheating. Standup dude. One of those sports players, like Derek Jeter or Larry Fitzgerald, that you just can't hate. 

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2 minutes ago, jgb said:

Consistent internal processes are defensible. Goodell (or, often, his delegate) acts like Nero in the coliseum after a gladiator match. I'm not an expert on the CBA but as I understand, the NFLPA basically subjugated themselves to the Commissioner's favor when meting out punishments. 

As you raise, the NFL almost always reduces penalties under legal threat. They are petrified of their "process" -- such as it is -- becoming part of a public trial. And for good reason. I've been on the "company" side of the table in deciding how to sanction misconduct. I can tell you that internal consistency is a HUGE favor in those meetings. "We gave Bob a warning for the same thing last year, how can we fire Andy?" An inconsistent application of company policies leads to -- at best -- a big settlement, at worse a courtroom defeat and potentially bad press.

It's a slippery slope. I openly admit that I tend to reduce off-field (athlete) toolbaggery and things that would get us all fired in the realm of a regular job to things that would get us all fired in the realm of a regular job. I hope that makes sense.

I'm not even talking about showing up on time for work. If you slap your kids around or beat your dog I would not feel particularly comfortable working with someone like that if it was a known entity but they never even got a desk citation. 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, jetophile said:

It's a slippery slope. I openly admit that I tend to reduce off-field (athlete) toolbaggery and things that would get us all fired in the realm of a regular job to things that would get us all fired in the realm of a regular job. I hope that makes sense.

I'm not even talking about showing up on time for work. If you slap your kids around or beat your dog I would not feel particularly comfortable working with someone like that if it was a known entity but they never even got a desk citation. 

 

 

Don't disagree. Dirty little secret though is in situations like that -- someone posts something racist on Twitter and it comes to the attention of the employer, for example -- there is usually a buyout and a non-disclosure signed, rather than deal with defending how firing someone for private, non-criminal (although repugnant) activities is justifiable under company policies/law/contract.

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15 minutes ago, PCP63 said:

Ehh, don't care about the Patriots/Belicheck hate. That said, I would have serious doubts that Bruschi would get involved with any cheating. Standup dude. One of those sports players, like Derek Jeter or Larry Fitzgerald, that you just can't hate. 

I don't hate Bruschi at all. It's just that denial is a river in Egypt. I'm fairly sure he never directly "witnessed" anything, but c'mon, haha 

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18 minutes ago, jgb said:

Don't disagree. Dirty little secret though is in situations like that -- someone posts something racist on Twitter and it comes to the attention of the employer, for example -- there is usually a buyout and a non-disclosure signed, rather than deal with defending how firing someone for private, non-criminal (although repugnant) activities is justifiable under company policies/law/contract.

Being labeled a racist is worse than being labeled a pedophile, even if both are guilty. The physical act of molesting is less punishable than words these days, as far as career suicide goes.

I remember years back when you were still johnnygreenballs that you said your employer was running Facebook profiles and that you were shocked and amazed what people would put online about themselves. It's also bone-chilling and a pre-emptive strike in a manner of speaking at the same time.

A friend of mine that I haven't seen for 16 years sent me an e-mail. She said I hope this is still you, I've been trying to find you everywhere online, I checked every social media outlet there is. Good luck with that. Zero footprint.

 

 

 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, PCP63 said:

Ehh, don't care about the Patriots/Belicheck hate. That said, I would have serious doubts that Bruschi would get involved with any cheating. Standup dude. One of those sports players, like Derek Jeter or Larry Fitzgerald, that you just can't hate. 

I have no problem hating him. He's an unrelenting homer. He drinks Kraft's hot tub water. After the happy ending.

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1 hour ago, jgb said:

I blame the NFL more than the Patriots. If you cobbled together dozens of small cheats to give you a 0.1% advantage here, 0.3% there (which can add up to a material advantage) and only 5% of them are caught and lightly punished when they are, a case could be made that cheating is logical from a risk/reward perspective.

NFL needs to escalate successive team punishments under a "repeat offender rule," rather than deal with each case in a vacuum. Like they do with individual cases like Vontaze Burfict.

The issue that the NFL has with punishing for cheating is that doing so requires a public admission that cheating occurred, and the bigger the infraction, the more it undermines “the integrity of the game” and harms the whole league.  Take the element of Spygate that alleged that the Patriots taped the Rams’ walkthrough before the Pats’ first Super Bowl win of the Brady era.  I’ve seen enough to believe that it actually happened, but Goodell swept it under the carpet - mostly because if the validity of a Super Bowl was ever called into question, it would be devastating for the NFL.

The Patriots were smart enough to realize this, and I’m sure they used that to their advantage as they continued to cheat post-Spygate.  Goodell’s (somewhat) stronger pursuance of Deflategate was the NFL’s pushback on the Patriots to let them know that their punishments could still have teeth in a way that doesn’t destroy the league.

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17 hours ago, MykePM said:

The issue that the NFL has with punishing for cheating is that doing so requires a public admission that cheating occurred, and the bigger the infraction, the more it undermines “the integrity of the game” and harms the whole league.  Take the element of Spygate that alleged that the Patriots taped the Rams’ walkthrough before the Pats’ first Super Bowl win of the Brady era.  I’ve seen enough to believe that it actually happened, but Goodell swept it under the carpet - mostly because if the validity of a Super Bowl was ever called into question, it would be devastating for the NFL.

The Patriots were smart enough to realize this, and I’m sure they used that to their advantage as they continued to cheat post-Spygate.  Goodell’s (somewhat) stronger pursuance of Deflategate was the NFL’s pushback on the Patriots to let them know that their punishments could still have teeth in a way that doesn’t destroy the league.

So the lesson is: cheat big or go home!

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18 hours ago, jetophile said:

Being labeled a racist is worse than being labeled a pedophile, even if both are guilty. The physical act of molesting is less punishable than words these days, as far as career suicide goes.

I remember years back when you were still johnnygreenballs that you said your employer was running Facebook profiles and that you were shocked and amazed what people would put online about themselves. It's also bone-chilling and a pre-emptive strike in a manner of speaking at the same time.

A friend of mine that I haven't seen for 16 years sent me an e-mail. She said I hope this is still you, I've been trying to find you everywhere online, I checked every social media outlet there is. Good luck with that. Zero footprint.

Even scarier, we had a whole operation set up to check Facebook profiles of potential jurors...

 

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Top takeaway from Donald Trump's reported involvement in Patriots probe: Spygate will never die and NFL looks worse for it

Dan Wetzel
Dan Wetzel
·Columnist
Wed, May 26, 2021, 6:08 PM
Let’s start with this: ESPN’s latest Spygate story is an absolutely delicious, dead-of-the-offseason mystery for NFL fans. It's both believable and perhaps less so. It features backroom deals, political corruption, football, loyalties (real and perceived), quiet martinis, Mar-a-Lago dinners, hotel confrontations, campaign money, cheating and, well, so much more. You should read it in full.

They could have made it a cable drama — "Arlen of Eastown," maybe. Or just the next season of "Billions."

The central question that ESPN investigated is this:

In 2008, did Donald Trump, then a real estate developer and reality television personality, get Arlen Specter, then a United States senator from Pennsylvania, to back off an investigation into the New England Patriots Spygate scandal by promising that Pats owner Robert Kraft would make a political donation and/or payoff?

The answer isn’t 100 percent clear. The question and the reporting is fascinating though — unless you’re one of the many people in modern American society that only want to hear exactly what you want to hear about Trump, Kraft, Bill Belichick, the Pats, the NFL, Roger Goodell or a U.S. senator.

If you are one of those people, if you are too sensitive to handle any examination of impropriety by your hero (whomever that is), then go read something else.

For the rest of us, here’s my deep dive into this rather entertaining plot twist.

Did Patriots owner Robert Kraft instruct Donald Trump to bribe former senator Arlen Specter to make his Spygate investigation go away? It seems unlikely. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
 
Did Patriots owner Robert Kraft instruct Donald Trump to bribe former Sen. Arlen Specter to make his Spygate investigation go away? It seems unlikely. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Background

In 2007, the Patriots were caught videotaping the defensive signals of the New York Jets from an unauthorized area of the old Meadowlands Stadium. Three days later the NFL stripped the Pats of a first-round draft pick and fined the team and head coach Bill Belichick.

Within a week, the NFL said it had destroyed all evidence and deemed the case closed. This led to critics arguing the investigation was rushed and didn’t adequately look into any prior acts, including previous Super Bowl triumphs. That group included Specter, a longtime critic of the NFL who by February 2008 began an investigation and threatened to bring NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in front of Congress to testify.

The investigation eventually went nowhere. Specter lost a primary election in 2010 and died two years later due to complications from non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Did Trump steer Specter away?

Maybe. In an autobiography published in 2012, Specter wrote that: “On the signal stealing, a mutual friend had told me that 'if I laid off the Patriots, there'd be a lot of money in Palm Beach.' And I replied, 'I couldn't care less.’”

In the book, Specter didn’t identify the “mutual friend” although records show he had dinner about that time with Trump at Trump’s Palm Beach social club, Mar-a-Lago. Trump was friends with both Specter, whom through the years he donated $11,300 to various campaigns dating back to 1983, and Kraft, the owner of the Patriots, who also maintained a home in Palm Beach.

Specter’s son and the ghost writer of the book say the “mutual friend” was Trump.

"My father told me that Trump was acting as a messenger for Kraft," Shanin Specter told ESPN. "But I'm equally sure the reference to money in Palm Beach was campaign contributions, not cash. The offer was Kraft assistance with campaign contributions. ... My father said it was Kraft's offer, not someone else's."

So Trump was the go-between?

Yeah, but …

There are no records that Kraft or any of the billionaire’s businesses ever donated any money to Specter. The two did meet in 2010 at a hotel suite in Boston where Specter sought campaign donations.

Instead, according to tapes of Specter talking for the 2012 book, Kraft brought up the congressional investigation and deemed it “very unfair” to the Patriots. Specter wound up with no money.

So, if Trump was working to set up campaign donations in exchange for Specter to stop poking around about Spygate, then it doesn’t appear Kraft was down with the plan or even knew about it. He never gave any money and instead aggressively confronted Specter.

Perhaps Trump just tricked Specter, doing a favor for his buddy Kraft, who as a fellow businessman he probably liked more than a politician he needed to be friends with. Maybe Trump just bluffed and made Specter think Kraft would provide a campaign windfall if Specter backed off the Spygate stuff.

Trump certainly knew that politicians are easily, and often unduly, influenced, not just by a campaign donation but by the prospect of future contributions. After all, here was a Pennsylvania senator having dinner in Florida with a New York businessman even though Trump gave him only a little over $11,000 in nearly 30 years of campaigns.

And there was that same Pennsylvania senator traveling to Boston to seek money from a Massachusetts businessman. That's odd behavior from a senator who supposedly “couldn’t care less” about money.

Any suggestion that this was a bribe and not a possible campaign donation makes little sense. There is almost no way that Kraft would risk imprisonment, not to mention the loss of his franchise, to bribe an adversarial U.S. senator over a matter this trivial. Besides, per ESPN, Specter never reported an illegal bribe offer to Senate ethics officials.

What we do know is that Specter’s congressional investigation essentially ended. Maybe it was because lacking subpoena power, the concept was doomed. Or maybe it was because he thought he’d get that “Palm Beach money.”

Whatever it was, Specter did what Kraft wanted and didn’t get a dime for it. That’s embarrassing and just one reason Specter looks far, far worse in this than Trump or Kraft, who don’t seem to have done much of anything wrong here.

As for the NFL ...

The ESPN report looks terrible for the league. It reminds that Goodell’s office, in an effort to squash criticism of Spygate, “persuaded the Eagles and Steelers to release statements insisting the league had done its due diligence, even though executives with both teams were convinced the NFL investigation was flawed and deliberately incurious.”

It also notes that Goodell personally called Mike Martz, the head coach of the 2001 St. Louis Rams who lost to New England in the Super Bowl that season, and asked him to release a similar statement. Martz told ESPN that the statement that was eventually released “had been significantly altered by the league.”

This also may explain some of Goodell and the NFL’s actions on the Patriots second famous scandal — 2015’s Deflategate.

In that one, the league went scorched earth and operated beyond ethical norms to label the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady as cheats for playing with allegedly underinflated footballs. The league never proved the footballs in the 2015 AFC championship game were deflated, and most of the case stemmed from its initial lack of understanding of the science behind Ideal Gas Law.

This is speculative, but you can see why Goodell, who had minimized Spygate and then had to fend off a powerful U.S. senator who was threatening the league’s coveted antitrust exemption, would be particularly angered, and even vengeful, when the same team came up in a cheating scandal a few years later.

It’s a hell of a way to run a business.

The Conclusion

First off, Spygate may never end. It’s been nearly 14 years and now it's dragging a former president into its retelling.

As for this story, no one knows for sure but we’re going with Trump fooled Specter into thinking he’d get big money out of Kraft if he backed off, only for Specter to go seek out that money and have Kraft stiff him.

In all likelihood, Kraft didn’t even know what Trump was up to. If there is one thing we’ve learned about Donald Trump, he has a way of outmaneuvering Washington politicians in ways they never saw coming.

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On 5/26/2021 at 11:55 AM, PCP63 said:

Ehh, don't care about the Patriots/Belicheck hate. That said, I would have serious doubts that Bruschi would get involved with any cheating. Standup dude. One of those sports players, like Derek Jeter or Larry Fitzgerald, that you just can't hate. 

He's also a guy that would follow orders from Belichick, for sure.  The most standup guy can be convinced by an authority figure that an ethically ambiguous "order" is the right move and that he should follow it without question.

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11 hours ago, jgb said:

Even scarier, we had a whole operation set up to check Facebook profiles of potential jurors...

 

Oh, man, I remember now that, too. I think I blocked it out because it was even more terrifying. It was in the same time frame. Someone created thread that they were disconnecting from Facebook, the selftaught guy who used to play guitar from FL, he did cover songs.

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10 minutes ago, jetophile said:

Oh, man, I remember now that, too. I think I blocked it out because it was even more terrifying. It was in the same time frame. Someone created thread that they were disconnected from Facebook so, the selftaught guy who used to play guitar from FL.

And this was 15 years ago. I'm sure it's even crazier now.

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I'm just thankful Tom Brady is no longer a Patriot. 

N.E is now an awful, awful Football team with 0 future (Belly running on his last miles).

N.E will soon be (once again) the forgotten team that fans of the AFC East no longer care enough to even speak about anymore (just like it, always was). 

N.E was birthed the moment Tom Brady arrived; and the Patriots died when Brady left (immediately). 

All of their ******Championships****** are *tainted*, *tarnished* and *laughed @*. 

"Cheaters never Win". 

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