Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Week 2 Wrap-up

I always said that if I were ever to make a habit of betting on football games (something I never do unless I'm in Vegas, where you sort of have to or else what's the point), I would never bet a game in the first four weeks. I don't know who's good and who's bad until Week 5, at least.

I proved my point in Week 2, going 5-10-1, which is almost impossible. I look at it this way, though: what are the odds that a person could go 5-10-1 picking football games? Someone flipping a coin could hardly go 5-10-1, right? Obviously, I must have some sort of knowledge on which I'm basing my picks; it's just that all the knowledge I have happens to be outdated and wrong. That's my excuse, anyway. If I consistently go 5-10-1 after Week 5, why don't we all just agree that it's a really good thing that have little to no interest in betting on football games.

Week 2: 5-10-1

Overall: 11-18-3

Games I Felt Good About in Week 2: 1-4

Games I've Felt Good About Overall: 3-6-1

All that said, let's talk about the Patriots, who were caught on the sidelines videotaping the Jets' defensive coaches' signals during Week 1's game at New York.

[the following is the author's opinion, and is no way based on fact or of any personal knowledge of those individuals involved, whom the author has never ever met]

I don't think we've heard that last of this Bill Belichick cheating business; Belichick seems to assume this will go away because he, The Great Bill Belichick, will cause it to go away by the force of his awesome will. I suppose that's a major obstacle for tyrants (which Belichick surely is, at least in all things pertaining to the New England Patriots); the inability to recognize a situation over which you can't possibly maintain control (or to acknowledge the existence of such situations in the first place).

The text of Belichick's statement can be found here; the man who wrote this is clearly a man used to slavish loyalty from underlings and insulated by power, so much so that he seems to think this statement will actually be believed. Belichick's claim that "My interpretation of a rule... was incorrect" is an obvious lie (NFL rules state that "No video recording devices of any kind are permitted to be in use in the coaches’ booth, on the field, or in the locker room during the game," and in a Sept. 6 memo to coaches and general managers the NFL's head of football operations stated clearly that "videotaping of any type, including but not limited to taping of an opponent’s offensive or defensive signals, is prohibited on the sidelines, in the coaches’ booth, in the locker room, or at any other locations accessible to club staff members during the game"), and Belichick's apparent belief that his statement "resolves" the issue is delusional.

"I, the Great Bill Belichick, say that this was a mere misinterpretation of a rule, and I, the Great Bill Belichick, now proclaim the issue closed."

I think Belichick is so obsessed with winning that he doesn't care if he does it legitimately or not. He reminds me of an alcoholic who lies to his friends and family about his drinking and deep down doesn't even really consider it lying, because he's only doing it to get them off his back about his drinking, which they shouldn't be on his back about in the first place because he's an adult and he can drink if he wants. To be an alcoholic is necessarily to be a narcissist (go to an AA meeting if you don't believe me), and I think it's also safe to assume that it takes a special kind of narcissist to cheat and then be condescending when caught, as if it's nobody's business what I, the Great Bill Belichick, do in order to secure wins for my football team.

I think Belichick could pass a lie-detector test with his patently ridiculous claim that he simply misinterpreted a rule, because I think Belichick is arrogant enough to convince himself that if the Great Bill Belichick did something, it must be justifiable. In Belichick's mind the fans, the league, the commissioner and certainly the media (for whom Belichick has demonstrated the kind of contempt befitting someone who desperately wants to prove that he's better than other people) don't deserve an explanation. Not from the Great Bill Belichick.

The problem with Belichick's dismissive attitude is that if more evidence of more Patriots' cheating comes to light -- if, indeed, a franchise-wide culture of cheating instituted and run by Belichick is exposed -- Belichick's initial prevarication and dismissal of the issue will almost certainly cause him and his team to be judged far more harshly. It's not hard to envision a future in which Belichick is forced out of his job, disgraced, and the Patriots' three Super Bowl titles all carry Barry Bonds-sized asterisks in the minds of most sports fans.

It's also not hard to envision a future in which that doesn't happen; I'm just saying. He's a dick.

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