Friday, September 14, 2007

Bad News Bill

In defending the existence of the plumbers and their covert activity, Nixon administration aides cited National Security, the Cold War threat and plain fear of a McGovern presidency. As absurd as one may think of these reasons, these men were serious enough to treat American soil as though it were that of Cuba, Syria or Moscow. In the end, the whole enterprise called into question the extent to which a president can abuse his power, but also gave the public a chance to see the personal side of the world's most public figure, the American president. Nixon's thoughts, discontents, prejudices, everything, are on display for the public to listen to and endure.

The sad saga of NFL genius, Bill Belichick, seems even lower, albeit more trivial, than Nixon's. Trivial because we're talking football, not an election or the illegal wiretapping of a doctor and his client. However, it's relatively lower because, as Belichick himself shows, there is no viable reason why he had to cheat (not that cheating's ever positive).

In his second apology before trying to slam the door shut on the controversy now known as Videogate (depending on what you read, watch or listen to), he never explains why he did it. At least Vick acknowledged his immaturity, and vowed to address and rectify it before returning. But against an outmatched Jets squad, and with arguably his best offense, why did he need to steal (only?) defensive plays? And if he misinterpreted the rules, in what ways did he originally interpret them, thus leading to the infracture?

The reason one hears the analogies to Watergate in this drama is because they're so glaring. Outside of the actual acts, the defiance and ambiguous apologies are so Nixonesqe. He strode into last Wednesday's press conference like the smartest guy in the room, yet he was, at that moment, the man with the least integrity. His second apology from Thrusday night has the feel of a man who's not only not sorry for what he did, but will probably work harder at not getting caught again.

No, there shouldn't be any review into the Super Bowls, nor should anyone assume only the New England Patriots do this sort of spying. However, for a man so successful, intelligent and diligent to be so duplicitous, conniving and scoundrel-like towards his profession speaks volumes about what he thinks of his professional field as opposed to his own personal gain. At least Nixon had his reasons, while Bellichick has his rings (and counting).


Chris Meehan said...

I guess reviewing those superbowls as a practical matter is impossible; however, I don't think it's out of line.

read this story:

And I do think it's highly likely that the Pats were the only team engaged in this type of spying, and that it gave them a significant competitive edge.

C. P. Coleta said...

Airman O'Malley, you're nuts to think that they're the only team. And the Eagles lost that game because of McNadds, not spying on plays. No doubt its advantages, scouting will tell you what plays a defense will run, not a guy videotaping. If he's on their sideline with his camera, got the signals, and went to the locker room, why didn;t the Pats have an offense explosion in the second half? Because it means nothing in those instances. Sorry to sy, this is going to motivate them and they're gonna be even scarier now.

Now, enough of this sports talk - back to politics!

Chris Meehan said...

wait, read the article... how their offense adjusted after the 1st quarter. i remember watching that game (in C26) and being amazed at all the screen passes they ran. it made a huge difference.

of course teams try to steal each other's play calls, but not with video cameras.

remember that game, like all Pats superbowls, was decided by 3 pts.