Thoughts/Impressions on “The Dynasty” Apple TV Series

Justthetippett

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I just wish one of these docs would address the videotaping thing in a sober and sophisticated way. Why was the rule written the way it was? Where could you and couldn't you film? What was the practice of other teams? Simple questions that would immediately contextualize it. Even a simple graphic showing the vantage points that were allowed and weren't.

And no Asante drop?!?! Guy must have friends in high places!
 

tims4wins

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I just wish one of these docs would address the videotaping thing in a sober and sophisticated way. Why was the rule written the way it was? Where could you and couldn't you film? What was the practice of other teams? Simple questions that would immediately contextualize it. Even a simple graphic showing the vantage points that were allowed and weren't.

And no Asante drop?!?! Guy must have friends in high places!
I really hope we get both a Spygate and DFG documentary at some point in the next 5-10 years while BB is still young enough to truly participate. I know Ernie said some things will go to the grave with him but that would be really sad if they never spoke their truth. I think a significant portion of the fan base would like to hear it straight from Brady, Bill, Ernie, etc.
 

BaseballJones

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I really hope we get both a Spygate and DFG documentary at some point in the next 5-10 years while BB is still young enough to truly participate. I know Ernie said some things will go to the grave with him but that would be really sad if they never spoke their truth. I think a significant portion of the fan base would like to hear it straight from Brady, Bill, Ernie, etc.
There are three things I really want to hear from Bill:

1. Deflategate
2. Malcolm Butler benching in the Super Bowl
3. How it all went down at the end with Brady in NE, and then with him in NE

It would be phenomenal to hear his views on these three things, with full candor.
 

cornwalls@6

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There are three things I really want to hear from Bill:

1. Deflategate
2. Malcolm Butler benching in the Super Bowl
3. How it all went down at the end with Brady in NE, and then with him in NE

It would be phenomenal to hear his views on these three things, with full candor.
I’m not really sure what more Bill can say about Deflategate. That’s always been much more of a Brady thing to me. Unless you mean getting an unfiltered take on just how insane and despicable the entire sham investigation/suspension was. Totally with you on number 2 and 3. Though I’ve often wondered if his stonewalling on Butler was less about being tight lipped and hostile to the media, and more about not wanting to throw Malcolm under the bus, and thereby further damaging his reputation and market value as a player. The benching being just about him having poor practices that week never quite tracked with me, and I’ve always suspected there was more going on. Purely speculative though.
 

Justthetippett

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I’m not really sure what more Bill can say about Deflategate. That’s always been much more of a Brady thing to me. Unless you mean getting an unfiltered take on just how insane and despicable the entire sham investigation/suspension was. Totally with you on number 2 and 3. Though I’ve often wondered if his stonewalling on Butler was less about being tight lipped and hostile to the media, and more about not wanting to throw Malcolm under the bus, and thereby further damaging his reputation and market value as a player. The benching being just about him having poor practices that week never quite tracked with me, and I’ve always suspected there was more going on. Purely speculative though.
Well we know they got Goodell in the interview seat. I'm sure he'll offer an unvarnished truth on Deflategate.

Episode 4 was rough. Really Shakespearean. I loved the acknowledgement of the fuck you TDs. And Moss's "nipped it" regret.
 

BaseballJones

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I’m not really sure what more Bill can say about Deflategate. That’s always been much more of a Brady thing to me. Unless you mean getting an unfiltered take on just how insane and despicable the entire sham investigation/suspension was. Totally with you on number 2 and 3. Though I’ve often wondered if his stonewalling on Butler was less about being tight lipped and hostile to the media, and more about not wanting to throw Malcolm under the bus, and thereby further damaging his reputation and market value as a player. The benching being just about him having poor practices that week never quite tracked with me, and I’ve always suspected there was more going on. Purely speculative though.
Yeah I don't know what he would say about Deflategate, but I bet he has some pretty serious opinions about it that I'd love to hear.
 

Arroyoyo

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Dec 13, 2021
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I think the “shit on Bill” stuff is being way overblown. He broke the rules with Spygate.

Yes, the rules were absolutely moronic (particularly when you add context around what could be filmed and where), but he did knowingly break the rules, and when you’re on top and the world is looking for any reason to drop you a peg or two, he shouldn’t have tossed the many people that hated him a softball.

A lot of the “smearing” type of stuff is offset by the players - namely Bruschi - talking about how the players had Bill’s back no matter what, and then the nice moment when they gave a game ball to him after they’d beaten the Chargers.

I think there’s also some sentiment that “we beat the shit out of everyone before losing to answered prayers and a shit load of fairy dust the day of the Super Bowl,” that speaks towards how the team rallied around him not just for one week, but the whole season, and that they really were way better than any other team that year, regardless of the SB loss.
 

Oil Can Dan

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I just wish one of these docs would address the videotaping thing in a sober and sophisticated way. Why was the rule written the way it was? Where could you and couldn't you film? What was the practice of other teams? Simple questions that would immediately contextualize it. Even a simple graphic showing the vantage points that were allowed and weren't.

And no Asante drop?!?! Guy must have friends in high places!
The rule:

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.'
Why was the rule written the way it was?
It's trying to prevent any team personnel from having access to any recorded material during a game. You want someone to record things during the game? Fine, stick someone in the stands, but do not allow team personnel access to these things in real-time.

Where could you and couldn't you film?
It clearly states where you can't film from. There's no ambiguity. Don't film anywhere that is accessible to club staff members during a game.

What was the practice of other teams?
Irrelevant. Whether or not other teams did this stuff the Patriots are the ones that got caught.

They knew they were breaking the rules and took great care to hide the fact that they were breaking the rules. Estrella was wearing a Patriots polo with tape over the Patriots logo with a windbreaker that had "NFL Photographer" on it. When asked who he worked for the Patriots videographer didn't say the Patriots, he said Kraft Productions. He was clearly trying to hide who he was and what he was recording.

As for the argument that no advantage was gained or it was minimal or whatever, believing that means you have to believe that Belichick and Ernie Adams, who are rightfully revered as NFL royalty when it comes to smarts, did all of these things willfully and knowingly without having thought through the risks and consequences for no apparent benefit. They just recklessly and thoughtlessly implemented this whole thing in an irrational fashion without thinking it through. For me, I find that pretty hard to believe.

The whole thing sucks. The Patriots actions, Goodell's actions, the blowback from everyone. It's all very unfortunate.
 

Arroyoyo

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I think you nailed it OCD. Let’s reserve our victimhood for Deflategate, where it’s appropriate.
 

lexrageorge

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As for the argument that no advantage was gained or it was minimal or whatever, believing that means you have to believe that Belichick and Ernie Adams, who are rightfully revered as NFL royalty when it comes to smarts, did all of these things willfully and knowingly without having thought through the risks and consequences for no apparent benefit. They just recklessly and thoughtlessly implemented this whole thing in an irrational fashion without thinking it through. For me, I find that pretty hard to believe.

The whole thing sucks. The Patriots actions, Goodell's actions, the blowback from everyone. It's all very unfortunate.
It is undoubtedly correct that the team did not benefit, say, in the second half of a game. They still used physical tapes at the time, and there just wasn't enough time to go through the material at half time and make any real use of it in that game. My guess is that the Bill and Ernie did find some marginal benefit in that it helped them learn some of the signals opponents used, which they could use in the future when playing the same opponent or coaching staff under certain situations. Still amazing to me that some coaches did not bother changing their signs during the offseason or during a rematch.

They knew they were breaking the rules and took great care to hide the fact that they were breaking the rules. Estrella was wearing a Patriots polo with tape over the Patriots logo with a windbreaker that had "NFL Photographer" on it. When asked who he worked for the Patriots videographer didn't say the Patriots, he said Kraft Productions. He was clearly trying to hide who he was and what he was recording.
What's fascinating about that whole account is that other teams knew the Pats were doing it. There was video of opposing coaches smiling and waving (and likely making other gestures) at the camera. Mike Holmgren openly talked about it during a post-game press conference after the Pats beat the Packers in 2006, and the league completely ignored it. Ignoring it was an active choice at the time, as it was only a few months after Goodell's memo. It wasn't a secret that the videotaping was going on.

My guess is that Bill knew the intention of the 2006 memo (which really wasn't all that confusing and was indeed well within the commissioner's authority to issue), but decided to keep taping and directed Estrella to play dumb in case he ever got caught. Kraft's words to Bill were well deserved, regardless of the benefit to the team.
 

BaseballJones

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I think you nailed it OCD. Let’s reserve our victimhood for Deflategate, where it’s appropriate.
I think that's totally fair. Spygate was, as I've described it, a molehill, not a mountain. But it was at least an actual violation of the rules and Belichick knew better. I don't really mind them getting whacked for that.

Deflategate is another thing altogether. The problem with Deflategate, though, is that it really was the result of people still being angry over Spygate. UGH
 

Hoya81

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I've always thought that Ernie's job was to research theories and trends that either he and BB developed on their own or came across in the public discourse. Not the kind of low-level work done by coaching interns and rookie scouts, but essentially a proto-analytics buttressed by Adams' deep knowledge of the historical game. I'm sure BB's affection for left-footed punters came out of research that Ernie developed.

I've always felt that the public misconception of Spygate was that the Pats would be able to use it as an in-game cheat code rather than enhanced game prep. Trying to diagnose the signal in real time, somehow communicate that to Weis/BoB/McDaniels, pick a play and get it to Brady would have been enormously difficult in the 25 seconds before the helmet mics get turned off. Even the Wickersham article linked above said that even after all the energy put into the taping, it was still mostly guess work.

View: https://youtu.be/OLqp4LhtT5M?si=WSgAxhpoZgwBFWzI

This bit from "Do Your Job 2" is a good example of how even when you can identify a weakness or a trend on film (Julio Jones' favoring his injured foot prior to SB 51), the players still have to execute.
 

Ed Hillel

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I think that's totally fair. Spygate was, as I've described it, a molehill, not a mountain. But it was at least an actual violation of the rules and Belichick knew better. I don't really mind them getting whacked for that.
I think the reason Bill felt emboldened is that Tagliabue did all this shit behind closed doors with a slap on the wrist. You can make a fair argument that Denver should have had their Superbowls stripped and lost numerous first round picks while getting mobbed publicly, but he took them behind closed doors and slapped them on the wrist twice instead. Ray Lewis basically got nothing.

Goodell going full Teddy Roosevelt was really the biggest story of Spygate imo. The league going out of its way to trash a successful franchise over something they all knew was relatively harmless and had been a common practice for years was a 180 from past precedent and brought us the “Ginger Hammer” era, which was designed to bring more interest to the product via the new hot take shows ESPN was running.
 

steveluck7

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Watched #3 this morning. Aside from the obvious nostalgia and good feelings, one thing that struck me was Pattens TD in the AFC Championship game. The angle they showed during the doc… that looks like a call that gets overturned today.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Watched #3 this morning. Aside from the obvious nostalgia and good feelings, one thing that struck me was Pattens TD in the AFC Championship game. The angle they showed during the doc… that looks like a call that gets overturned today.
His hand hits the ground after the foot.

Edit: I must be thinking of the SB catch

View: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=De8gmp-pFT0


7 min mark. He’s in completely and not bobbling. What am I missing?
 

NortheasternPJ

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If only the Patriots had Wes Welker on the team they’d have won. Oh wait he caught over a hundred passes for 1,100 yards?

Wes got a huge snub. Outside of the side of his head shirtless in one shot he’s not even hinted at.
 

fiskful of dollars

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Man. That was a hard watch. Ep 4.
It's a nightmare scenario to think what would have been the Patriots legacy if they don't beat Seattle/Atlanta/LA. They did it 3 times (should have been 4 but enough negativity for one post). Phoenix-like retribution.

I knew this was gonna be a tough watch but holy chowder! Hearing JK talk about the locker room afterwards was both emotional, raw, heartbreaking and wonderful. Most of us are former athletes. We've been in those losing locker rooms - even if the locker room was just a pizza party after the last game. Athletes (and us fans) agonize over games - I've often wondered why, especially after a tough loss. It's weird and kind of wonderful in its own way. I always hate the snide, smug SM posts deriding a player or a team after a tough loss. If you EVER played, you know the sacrifice, the blood, the fear, the pain, the exultation and the camaraderie of team sports. It's only the uninitiated who take pleasure from athletic failure (unless it's a game thread or the NYY - seriously, fuck those guys). It's dismissive and ignorant. Hearing about professional grown men crying and throwing up after a heartbreaking loss just validates what we do here in SOSH and our fandom. These amazing athletes DO in fact deserve our respect and attention. It's easy to forget that sometimes. Also, they do it in full public view. Can you imagine doing your job with 24/7 media speculation about your performance from day to day? I'd go insane, I think.

It's cold and rainy here today in VA. Mood seems appropriate. Can't wait for next week!
 

Ed Hillel

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[/QUOTE]
His hand hits the ground after the foot.

Edit: I must be thinking of the SB catch

View: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=De8gmp-pFT0


7 min mark. He’s in completely and not bobbling. What am I missing?
You can’t see it from this angle, but he 100% drops the ball when he rolls over. The ball is just sitting on the ground for a moment. I remember seeing it live and being like…ok, glad nobody is mentioning this, but it was not a catch, even for those times.

Relatedly, that was Hochuli’s rookie season, and remains the worst called Patriots game I can remember. They blew like 4 calls…AFTER REPLAY REVIEW. It was uncanny how bad the officiating was that game.
 

BaseballJones

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Troy Brown's punt return for a TD came only after he let a Miller punt bounce and go 60+ yards, but it was called back because the Steeler gunner ran out of bounds and didn't come back in. What a break for the Patriots. Holy smokes.
 

Nick Kaufman

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If I were Kraft, this is what I would have said about Deflategate:

"The Patriots are accused of doing something they haven't done. Either way, we do not believe that deflating balls makes a difference in game outcomes.

Since we cannot convince our accusers that we didn't do what we are accused of doing and since we don't believe that it matters either way while our accusers believe it matters a great deal, here's a punishment that should serve both points of view equally well:

For the next 20 seasons, every single opponent of ours should be able to deflate their game balls to their hearts content when they play against us, while our balls are regularly checked that they fall within the regulation parameters. Hell, let's make it 40 years. I don't care".
 

steveluck7

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You can’t see it from this angle, but he 100% drops the ball when he rolls over. The ball is just sitting on the ground for a moment. I remember seeing it live and being like…ok, glad nobody is mentioning this, but it was not a catch, even for those times.

Relatedly, that was Hochuli’s rookie season, and remains the worst called Patriots game I can remember. They blew like 4 calls…AFTER REPLAY REVIEW. It was uncanny how bad the officiating was that game.
[/QUOTE]
That’s what I’m referring to. I had never seen the angle they used in this doc and was just like “whoa, that’s not a catch.”
 

Silverdude2167

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Troy Brown's punt return for a TD came only after he let a Miller punt bounce and go 60+ yards, but it was called back because the Steeler gunner ran out of bounds and didn't come back in. What a break for the Patriots. Holy smokes.
Even better they re-spotted the ball on the wrong hash mark which potentially led to the kick being down the middle...
 

BaseballJones

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If I were Kraft, this is what I would have said about Deflategate:

"The Patriots are accused of doing something they haven't done. Either way, we do not believe that deflating balls makes a difference in game outcomes.

Since we cannot convince our accusers that we didn't do what we are accused of doing and since we don't believe that it matters either way while our accusers believe it matters a great deal, here's a punishment that should serve both points of view equally well:

For the next 20 seasons, every single opponent of ours should be able to deflate their game balls to their hearts content when they play against us, while our balls are regularly checked that they fall within the regulation parameters. Hell, let's make it 40 years. I don't care".
As a reminder, here were Brady's stats in the playoffs after halftime of the AFCCG - when they really focused on the "proper" inflation of footballs:

vs. Ind: 12-14 (85.7%), 131 yds, 2 td, 0 int, 145.2 rating
vs. Sea: 37-50 (74.0%), 328 yds, 4 td, 2 int, 101.1 rating
TOTAL: 49-64 (76.5%), 459 yds, 6 td, 2 int, 114.0 rating

In the two biggest games of the year. One of them in cold rain and the other against one of the best defenses of all time.

All with "properly inflated" footballs, watched over by the NFL like hawks.
 

Ed Hillel

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That’s what I’m referring to. I had never seen the angle they used in this doc and was just like “whoa, that’s not a catch.”
The blocked fg return was also a forward lateral, by like a full yard. You can’t really tell without seeing it in slo-mo, though. Brown’s momentum creates an optical illusion.
 
Last edited:
Apr 7, 2006
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There are three things I really want to hear from Bill:

1. Deflategate
2. Malcolm Butler benching in the Super Bowl
3. How it all went down at the end with Brady in NE, and then with him in NE

It would be phenomenal to hear his views on these three things, with full candor.
Malcolm Butler didn't play mainly because he got into a physical altercation with one of the position coaches before the game. Take it for the little it's worth, but I heard this from a very close friend of one of the coaches. (Also, those rumblings have been out there for a little while now.)

To me, what's especially maddening about this is that the team ran Malcolm out there for a couple of S/T plays, but continued to play Bademosi over him in "coverage" throughout the game. There were several key 3rd down conversions, any one of which NOT being converted would have had a major impact on the outcome. And, yes, it's obviously an unanswerable question, so who the fuck knows, but imagine this scenario:

Following the game-time "Malcolm, you're not going to play" conversation - the one that had him crying on the sidelines - BB goes to him at, say, halftime. "You've been playing like shit all week, that bullshit you pulled before kickoff won't fly on this team - T-E-A-M - but I believe in you and we all need the very best of you, so: clean slate. Malcolm, go." Is there anyone here who truly believes Butler doesn't then go out in the second half and play like his fucking hair is on fire? At least well enough to change the outcome of a 3rd down or two, better than Bademosi did?

This is why that remains, for me, such a devastating development in the history of the Patriots. This is why it caused some fissures in the locker room. I know it goes against BB's grain a bit - he probably wanted to show the team that we don't put up with that shit, from anyone, and WE WIN ANYWAY - but what a fucking obvious and easy bit of coaching that would have constituted. And the team could well have had another Lombardi. Oh well. Fuck me.
 

brandonchristensen

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Malcolm Butler didn't play mainly because he got into a physical altercation with one of the position coaches before the game. Take it for the little it's worth, but I heard this from a very close friend of one of the coaches. (Also, those rumblings have been out there for a little while now.)

To me, what's especially maddening about this is that the team ran Malcolm out there for a couple of S/T plays, but continued to play Bademosi over him in "coverage" throughout the game. There were several key 3rd down conversions, any one of which NOT being converted would have had a major impact on the outcome. And, yes, it's obviously an unanswerable question, so who the fuck knows, but imagine this scenario:

Following the game-time "Malcolm, you're not going to play" conversation - the one that had him crying on the sidelines - BB goes to him at, say, halftime. "You've been playing like shit all week, that bullshit you pulled before kickoff won't fly on this team - T-E-A-M - but I believe in you and we all need the very best of you, so: clean slate. Malcolm, go." Is there anyone here who truly believes Butler doesn't then go out in the second half and play like his fucking hair is on fire? At least well enough to change the outcome of a 3rd down or two, better than Bademosi did?

This is why that remains, for me, such a devastating development in the history of the Patriots. This is why it caused some fissures in the locker room. I know it goes against BB's grain a bit - he probably wanted to show the team that we don't put up with that shit, from anyone, and WE WIN ANYWAY - but what a fucking obvious and easy bit of coaching that would have constituted. And the team could well have had another Lombardi. Oh well. Fuck me.
Yeah it’s an ugly situation that feels indefensible from Bill’s POV. It’s coaching malpractice to not throw everything you can - especially when your D is getting absolutely toasted.
 

wonderland

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What kind of issues would it caused in the locker room if players felt like Butler got special treatment? I think it’s a totally defensible move and it clearly didnt have that big of an impact on things given they won the Super Bowl the next year.
 

Justthetippett

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It is undoubtedly correct that the team did not benefit, say, in the second half of a game. They still used physical tapes at the time, and there just wasn't enough time to go through the material at half time and make any real use of it in that game. My guess is that the Bill and Ernie did find some marginal benefit in that it helped them learn some of the signals opponents used, which they could use in the future when playing the same opponent or coaching staff under certain situations. Still amazing to me that some coaches did not bother changing their signs during the offseason or during a rematch.



What's fascinating about that whole account is that other teams knew the Pats were doing it. There was video of opposing coaches smiling and waving (and likely making other gestures) at the camera. Mike Holmgren openly talked about it during a post-game press conference after the Pats beat the Packers in 2006, and the league completely ignored it. Ignoring it was an active choice at the time, as it was only a few months after Goodell's memo. It wasn't a secret that the videotaping was going on.

My guess is that Bill knew the intention of the 2006 memo (which really wasn't all that confusing and was indeed well within the commissioner's authority to issue), but decided to keep taping and directed Estrella to play dumb in case he ever got caught. Kraft's words to Bill were well deserved, regardless of the benefit to the team.
Bill was arrogant to take the risk but he also probably thought the penalty for an infraction would be for the League to tell the team to cut it out. He massively underestimated the competitive professional jealousy of his colleagues, and, I would imagine, felt betrayed not only by Mangini but by the whole coaching fraternity (including those in the media) by the overreaction. Deflategate was more ridiculous, but Spygate remains one of the more overblown "cheating controversies" of all time.
 

Van Everyman

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I think the reason Bill felt emboldened is that Tagliabue did all this shit behind closed doors with a slap on the wrist. You can make a fair argument that Denver should have had their Superbowls stripped and lost numerous first round picks while getting mobbed publicly, but he took them behind closed doors and slapped them on the wrist twice instead. Ray Lewis basically got nothing.

Goodell going full Teddy Roosevelt was really the biggest story of Spygate imo. The league going out of its way to trash a successful franchise over something they all knew was relatively harmless and had been a common practice for years was a 180 from past precedent and brought us the “Ginger Hammer” era, which was designed to bring more interest to the product via the new hot take shows ESPN was running.
I’ve said the bolded multiple times as well – I also think Tagliabue or Rozelle would’ve told all these whiny coaches bitching between games to league officials about deflated balls or whatever to go pound sand.

Another somewhat underrated element of this whole story is that by punishing the Patriots so severely, Goodell was explicitly, trying not to open a Pandora’s box of cheating allegations, which go back at least to George Allen sending spies to opposing teams’ practices. By effectively saying “I am shocked, shocked, to find cheating in this establishment,,” he tells other teams to keep a lid on it – of course by tarnishing the legacy of the game’s best team.

Fuck ‘em all, indeed.

As for Ernie, I would point to this passage in that Wickersham-Van Natta piece I posted upthread:

As much as the Patriots tried to keep the circle of those who knew about the taping small, sometimes the team would add recently cut players from upcoming opponents and pay them only to help decipher signals, former Patriots staffers say. In 2005, for instance, they signed a defensive player from a team they were going to play in the upcoming season. Before that game, the player was led to a room where Adams was waiting. They closed the door, and Adams played a compilation tape that matched the signals to the plays from the player's former team, and asked how many were accurate. "He had about 50 percent of them right," the player says now.

During games, Adams sat in the coaches' box, with binoculars and notes of decoded signals, wearing a headset with a direct audio line to Belichick. Whenever Adams saw an opposing coach's signal he recognized, he'd say something like, "Watch for the Two Deep Blitz," and either that information was relayed to Brady or a play designed specifically to exploit the defense was called. A former Patriots employee who was directly involved in the taping system says "it helped our offense a lot," especially in divisional games in which there was a short amount of time between the first and second matchups, making it harder for opposing coaches to change signals.
My sense is that Ernie was the guy who did most of it and Bill just trusted him to take care of it.

Still, I also found this passage kind of funny in light of how revered Ernie is by us post-Malcolm-Go!:
Still, some of the coaches who were with the Patriots during the Spygate years debate the system's effectiveness. One coach who was in the booth with Adams says it didn't work because Adams was "horrible" and "never had the calls right." Another former coach says "Ernie is the guy who you watch football with and says, 'It's going to be a run!' And it's a pass. 'It's going to be a pass!' And it's a run. 'It's going to be a run!' It's a run. 'I told you!'"
And Moss's "nipped it" regret.
Supposedly, there is five hours of Randy Moss tape from these interviews. I would like to start an online petition for the filmmaker to release all five hours.
 

brandonchristensen

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What kind of issues would it caused in the locker room if players felt like Butler got special treatment? I think it’s a totally defensible move and it clearly didnt have that big of an impact on things given they won the Super Bowl the next year.
Letting a superior play the second half to help the defense from getting their asses beat to win the game wouldn’t have had any negative impact in the locker room.

At all.

Kelce pushed Reid and was screaming in his face during the SB this year and because they won he got to make a joke about it. And it’s gone. Had they lost, it would have been a story.

You play to win, not to make a martyr out of your team.
 

wonderland

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Letting a superior play the second half to help the defense from getting their asses beat to win the game wouldn’t have had any negative impact in the locker room.

At all.

Kelce pushed Reid and was screaming in his face during the SB this year and because they won he got to make a joke about it. And it’s gone. Had they lost, it would have been a story.

You play to win, not to make a martyr out of your team.
The Kelce situation isn’t remotely comparable. That was a heat of the moment incident.

This was about preparation in the lead up to the game. A foundation of the team for over 15 years at that point.

You can disagree, that’s fine, but I believe that players would’ve noticed and it would’ve had a negative impact on the next season
 

Ed Hillel

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I just finished the documentary, and the Ernie quote to me is almost certainly saying he’s not going to name names of people and teams who were doing the same thing to them. Imo, this was a widely utilized and accepted practice for years, and now Ernie and Bill are forever stuck in a situation where they feel the rug was pulled out from them and almost everyone who knew better or participated themselves (cough Tony Dungy) either stayed silent or got up on their high horse. They seem either bound by coaching code or backdoor threats from the league to not name names and just take it.

Now, BB’s problem was ignoring the repeated requests of the league to stop. It actually seems like the league gave a one year grace period for teams to stop/adjust without repercussions, but BB either didn’t think it would be much of a change from Tagliabue or thought other teams would continue to do it anyway, and so they had to do it to keep up. So I think you can debate whether the rug was really pulled out from them, but I am quite confident the practice of taping signals was prevalent for many years and they probably feel betrayed in many ways by others who left them high and dry, and especially Mangini.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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The Kelce situation isn’t remotely comparable. That was a heat of the moment incident.

This was about preparation in the lead up to the game. A foundation of the team for over 15 years at that point.

You can disagree, that’s fine, but I believe that players would’ve noticed and it would’ve had a negative impact on the next season
Maybe, but seems like ever since it happened the players have largely second guessed BB, if anything.
 

Ed Hillel

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Also, this whole thing is giving me a really negative opinion of Bob Kraft. Belichick was supposed to still be coaching when he planned all this to air. It’s really gearing up to be a hit piece on the guy who did so much for the franchise and fanbase, and it was to air when he still would have been head coach. It’s pretty clear how uncomfortable BB was filming a lot of this. I mean BB couldn’t even have properly responded to Spygate how I’m sure he might want to because he was still their head coach.

Petty asshole move.
 

Al Zarilla

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You can’t see it from this angle, but he 100% drops the ball when he rolls over. The ball is just sitting on the ground for a moment. I remember seeing it live and being like…ok, glad nobody is mentioning this, but it was not a catch, even for those times.

Relatedly, that was Hochuli’s rookie season, and remains the worst called Patriots game I can remember. They blew like 4 calls…AFTER REPLAY REVIEW. It was uncanny how bad the officiating was that game.
[/QUOTE]
The “survive the ground” rule wasn’t in effect yet, and Patten apparently had possession long enough to make it a catch.

I’d forgotten the hit on Bledsoe going out of bounds by #30 of the Steelers. Looked scary as hell like the one that Jets Mo Lewis could have killed him with.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Malcolm Butler didn't play mainly because he got into a physical altercation with one of the position coaches before the game. Take it for the little it's worth, but I heard this from a very close friend of one of the coaches. (Also, those rumblings have been out there for a little while now.)

To me, what's especially maddening about this is that the team ran Malcolm out there for a couple of S/T plays, but continued to play Bademosi over him in "coverage" throughout the game. There were several key 3rd down conversions, any one of which NOT being converted would have had a major impact on the outcome. And, yes, it's obviously an unanswerable question, so who the fuck knows, but imagine this scenario:

Following the game-time "Malcolm, you're not going to play" conversation - the one that had him crying on the sidelines - BB goes to him at, say, halftime. "You've been playing like shit all week, that bullshit you pulled before kickoff won't fly on this team - T-E-A-M - but I believe in you and we all need the very best of you, so: clean slate. Malcolm, go." Is there anyone here who truly believes Butler doesn't then go out in the second half and play like his fucking hair is on fire? At least well enough to change the outcome of a 3rd down or two, better than Bademosi did?

This is why that remains, for me, such a devastating development in the history of the Patriots. This is why it caused some fissures in the locker room. I know it goes against BB's grain a bit - he probably wanted to show the team that we don't put up with that shit, from anyone, and WE WIN ANYWAY - but what a fucking obvious and easy bit of coaching that would have constituted. And the team could well have had another Lombardi. Oh well. Fuck me.
Thank you for sharing this anecdote. It tracks given the circumstances.

As for the outcome of the game, who knows what would have happened had he played some or all of the snaps - we simply cannot say. Its history and you cannot change it anyway. That said, I definitely had questions so this post fills in some blanks.

For the record, you cannot have players assaulting coaches - there can be zero tolerance for that sort of behavior. If this story is accurate, their overall decision not to play him outside of s/t reps makes sense.
 

Nator

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Ty Law is magnificent through the first 3 episodes, and this is such a great quote.

"I was like, You know what?' Im tired of hearin' about the track team. I'm tired about hearing about how fast and athletic they are. This is football. We about to rock y'alls ass."
 

ShaneTrot

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The Spygate episode is a tough watch. I did not have to relive that. You do have to wonder how much they got out of taping signals. Can you make an offensive play change that quickly because you have to relay the change to the QB?
 

Silverdude2167

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I've only watched the first three episodes but Kraft comes off as annoying and the way the third episode ends pisses me off.

They would do anything to win, even cheat...or if this series wants to present reality, what everyone else was doing up till 2006 at least.
 

BaseballJones

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One thing I’m pretty sure of is that BB never in his wildest dreams think that taping signals against the rules would lead to the kind of penalty they got, and what that would carry with them in the future. If he knew that THAT was going to be the consequence I cannot imagine he’d have kept doing it.

The fact is, it was the biggest penalty the league had ever handed down. And that includes teams like Denver repeatedly violating the salary cap to build championship rosters. Oh and when Denver (under McDaniels LOL oops) was caught videotaping another teams practice in 2010 (so not long after Spygate), Goodell punished this team that had broken major rules multiple times…..by fining them $50,000.

That’s it. The Patriots, a team that had never been punished for a violation before, were hit with a million dollar fine and the loss of a first round draft pick.

The scandal here isn’t that the Patriots broke the rules - yes they did and teams break rules all the time and do and should be punished for it - it’s the NFL’s reaction to it compare to what other teams got.

My comparison is in college sports. Syracuse broke rules by having an assistant do academic work for Fab Melo. He was deemed ineligible and as a result SU hoops forfeited a ton of wins and lost scholarships and were put on probation. Pretty big penalty. Ok fine.

North Carolina has a 20 year academic scandal that’s so bad that the school nearly loses accreditation, as thousands of athletes are involved in fake classes and fake majors. They literally got no penalty from the NCAA. Why? Because non athletes were also involved in the scandal so the NCAA said, well the athletes weren’t receiving a “special benefit” (for being athletes) so there’s nothing to be done. The academic fraud at UNC was many orders of magnitude worse than what happened at SU, involving several thousand times more athletes and they got no penalty at all.

It’s this kind of thing that’s the problem. By levying such a massive penalty against the Patriots - while not levying penalties anywhere close to that against other teams doing much worse stuff - the NFL made it look like what the Pats did was just this horrific, outrageous thing. After all, if it wasn’t that bad why did they get penalized so hard? And even at that, many NFL teams wanted them punished even MORE. Which is why when the idiotic Deflategate thing came about, the league came down so hard on the Pats for that too.

The real scandal in all that was the disparity in treatment the Pats received, not in the violation itself.
 
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One thing I’m pretty sure of is that BB never in his wildest dreams think that taping signals against the rules would lead to the kind of penalty they got, and what that would carry with them in the future. If he knew that THAT was going to be the consequence I cannot imagine he’d have kept doing it.

The fact is, it was the biggest penalty the league had ever handed down. And that includes teams like Denver repeatedly violating the salary cap to build championship rosters. Oh and when Denver (under McDaniels LOL oops) was caught videotaping another teams practice in 2010 (so not long after Spygate), Goodell punished this team that had broken major rules multiple times…..by fining them $50,000.

That’s it. The Patriots, a team that had never been punished for a violation before, were hit with a million dollar fine and the loss of a first round draft pick.

The scandal here isn’t that the Patriots broke the rules - yes they did and teams break rules all the time and do and should be punished for it - it’s the NFL’s reaction to it compare to what other teams got.

My comparison is in college sports. Syracuse broke rules by having an assistant do academic work for Fab Melo. He was deemed ineligible and as a result SU hoops forfeited a ton of wins and lost scholarships and were put on probation. Pretty big penalty. Ok fine.

North Carolina has a 20 year academic scandal that’s so bad that the school nearly loses accreditation, as thousands of athletes are involved in fake classes and fake majors. They literally got no penalty from the NCAA. Why? Because non athletes were also involved in the scandal so the NCAA said, well the athletes weren’t receiving a “special benefit” (for being athletes) so there’s nothing to be done. The academic fraud at UNC was many orders of magnitude worse than what happened at SU, involving several thousand times more athletes and they got no penalty at all.

It’s this kind of thing that’s the problem. By levying such a massive penalty against the Patriots - while not levying penalties anywhere close to that against other teams doing much worse stuff - the NFL made it look like what the Pats did was just this horrific, outrageous thing. After all, if it wasn’t that bad why did they get penalized so hard? And even at that, many NFL teams wanted them punished even MORE. Which is why when the idiotic Deflategate thing came about, the league came down so hard on the Pats for that too.

The real scandal in all that was the disparity in treatment the Pats received, not in the violation itself.
Great post. So true. I've always been baffled that, in the wake of the DFG B.S., it came out that teams felt the Patriots got off easy for Spygate. That's insane - even separate from the disparity. Just on its own, in a vacuum, a fucking #1 pick and 3/4 of a million dollars in fines? That's not sufficient? Total madness.
 

BaseballJones

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Great post. So true. I've always been baffled that, in the wake of the DFG B.S., it came out that teams felt the Patriots got off easy for Spygate. That's insane - even separate from the disparity. Just on its own, in a vacuum, a fucking #1 pick and 3/4 of a million dollars in fines? That's not sufficient? Total madness.
What’s actually incredible - and this is in some ways the ultimate testament to both Belichick and Brady - is that the Patriots got up off the mat from the Spygate and especially Deflategate situations to go on and make it to four more Super Bowls and win three of them. They shrugged off all that utter BS - which would have sunk anyone else - and dominated the league again. That’s ridiculous.
 

tims4wins

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Great post. So true. I've always been baffled that, in the wake of the DFG B.S., it came out that teams felt the Patriots got off easy for Spygate. That's insane - even separate from the disparity. Just on its own, in a vacuum, a fucking #1 pick and 3/4 of a million dollars in fines? That's not sufficient? Total madness.
The reason teams think the Pats got off light for Spygate is because teams didn’t understand the actual rules violation. They thought the Pats were cheating in real time or taping practices and other such BS.
 

grsharky7

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My wife and I watched the newest episodes last night. She's not a huge sports fan, but loves documentaries so she's all in on this series. When we were watching the Spygate episode she asked, "there are thousands of people there, those guys are out in the open, it's not like it's a big state secret.". I said exactly, our tickets for WVU football are behind the visitors bench and I watch opposing coaches send in signals every week.

Lets face it, the other teams were pissed that Bill and a pretty boy quarterback who was drafted late and they all whiffed on were kicking their asses and they wanted to pound the flesh when they had the chance. To this day Steeler fans haven't gotten over 2001 and 2004 and bring up the taping all the time, even though Cowher has come out said it didn't matter. They just couldn't believe that another team could come in and beat the big bad Steelers, this is just a nice excuse for their shortcomings.

Of course the Pats have beat most of the AFC in the playoffs in the last 20 years. The only teams who's seasons weren't ended by New England were the Browns, Bengals, Dolphins, and Bills. And lets face it over that time the Dolphins and Bills got crushed enough in the regular season to hate the Pats, the Browns don't really make the playoffs, and the Bengals never made it past the first weekend under Marvin Lewis.

I know we've beaten Deflategate to death but there was another example where there was plenty of evidence that other teams did stuff with the balls and crickets, nobody cared. I remember one game between the Packers and Vikings where the kicker was caught on tv putting the balls in front of the heater to get the PSI up on a very cold day. Nobody said a word. The other teams only care if you break the rules and win.