September 15, 2007

Right off the bat, I’ll admit to the fact that, unlike my good friend Rob, I don’t eat, sleep, and drink professional football. At best, I’m a casual fan who will tune in to watch a marquee matchup or a Thanksgiving Day game if I have nothing better to do. Of course, if I’m with my Goodboys pals back East during the NFL playoffs, I’ll watch a game over a few beers, but that’s the extent of my football fandom. Yet I don’t believe that prevents me in any way from believing that Patriots coach Bill Belichick should have gotten more than a sizable fine and his team the loss of one or more draft picks next year after the Patriots were found guilty of illegally videotaping New York Jets coaches to try and steal their signs during last week’s game.

Let’s be frank here: there is more to this story than the fact that a NFL coach broke a specific set of rules governing fair play and team conduct. If that’s all it was, than perhaps fines and the loss of draft choices would be an appropriate penalty. But in this case, you not only have a case of cheating on the field of play (something that should bring with it the harshest of penalties when it comes to professional sports) but the harming of a professional football franchise’s reputation, both on and off the field, virtually overnight. And for this reason, Patriots ownwer Bob Kraft has only one true course of action – to conduct whatever “internal investigation” he believes necessary, then fire Belichick as his coach.

In professional sports, there is nothing worse than cheating; it not only does a disservice to the league and the sport involved, it taints a highly-sophisticated image that the NFL has carefully cultivated over the years. Consider that after the Cincinnati Bengals off-the-field problems of last season, the Pacman Jones incident and his 1-year suspension, and the whole Michael Vick dog-killing thing, you have yet another story of abhorrent behavior – this time by a NFL coach – making headlines. Rather than talking about this weekend’s games – something the NFL hopes will happen, everyone is talking about cheating and who does it. That’s hardly the kind of ‘buzz’ NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wants to hear. That’s reason #1.

Reason #2: Now pretend you’re Patriots owner Robert Kraft. You have spent years building a once-sad and pathetic franchise into one of the most successful, dominating, and popular NFL teams in just a few short years. You have tried to make your franchise the very hallmark of on-the-field excellence and the definition of what it means to play and succeed as a team. Now, simply because your head coach is so paranoid and driven to win, he knowingly and willingly defies league rules and is found to have cheated – not once, but likely numerous times over the course of several seasons. Your team’s reputation has gone from smash to trash overnight. Outside of New England (where undoubtedly most fans believe Belichick simply got caught doing something everyone else does) your franchise is stamped with the scarlet letter of “C” for CHEATER. Never mind the fact that in just a few days you now own one of the most, if not THE most, unpopular teams in the NFL. Congrats Mr. Kraft, your outside-the-region marketing and merchandising has just taken a big hit.

One has to wonder what Kraft is thinking about this. Not only has his head coach sullied his franchise, but indirectly, his own reputation as well. After all, one might reasonably ask the question, how could be Belichick be repeatedly ordering an activity that involves cheating without the owner knowing about it? And how could Kraft allow Belichick to arrogantly, boorishly, and recklessly deflect all questions about this activity in the press conferences that followed the league’s decision. Did he not care about how his team and his owner would be perceived through such an act?

If I’m as successful a businessman as Robert Kraft has made himself to be, I have to know that my personal reputation and integrity is everything in life. He has to know you can be a winner on the field while still being a loser off it. Don’t believe me? Ask Barry Bonds. If I’m Robert Kraft, I have to know that Bill Belichick has put a vile stain on the reputation of my professional football franchise, and that as long as he is around, there can be no recovering from it.

If I’m Robert Kraft, I know that Bill Belichick has to be fired. And the sooner Kraft does that, the more favorable his reputation and his football franchise will be viewed in the eyes of the league and its fans.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 16:42 | Comment (1)
1 Comment »
  1. Every team that plays them this year is going to be paranoid about their signals, their practices, their pre-game warmups, etc…

    This is working to their advantage. I originally thought the penalty was just. Now, I’m not so sure.

    Comment by Rob — September 17, 2007 @ 7:02 am


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment


goodboys.jpg


Search The Site



Recent Items

Categories

Archives
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006


Blogroll

Syndication

4 Goodboys Only

Site Info