(The Way they Were and Still Are Regardless: The boys, pre-scandal, Park City 2007)
You haven't been able to turn on the radio or TV this week without hearing a heated discussion of this Patriots scandal which is being compared to everything from a Greek tragedy to Watergate. It's something that's been going on for all the ages, even dramatized on the Brady Bunch when Jerry Rogers, like a thief in the night, started dating Marcia just to get his hands on the Westdale High playbook.
Still, I'm surprised at how willingly people are buying into the "Everybody does it" defense. Is this the standard? Somehow the Pats are the victims here: People are jealous of their success. They're being singled out because they're winners. YES. Everybody knows that this is a fact. It's a crappy side effect of human nature. The question is if all of your enemies and frenemies are watching you, waiting for you to falter, WHY WHY WHY -- in New York no less, playing against an ex-protege who hates you, and in the wake of a widely-reported crack down on this kind of behavior ---why would you basically hand your jealous enemies all the reasons in the world to tear you down.
Instead of blind devotion, we should be mad at them for being so stupid and arrogant and tarnishing their good name, New England's good name. I don't care if everybody does it. Everybody supposedly did steroids too and those players are worth little more than an asterisk now.
One colorful "lady" on the telly this morning, with her bleeped out commentary and blurred middle finger, was inviting anyone who dares to call the Patriots cheaters to "hop up and rotate. "
Except they are cheaters. They've been fined. They're losing a draft pick, which I'm told is kind of a big deal.
Bellichick's carefully-worded, likely legally counseled "apology" basically said "Sorry you're upset." I'm not gay. I've never been gay.
While their shame is not on par with that of Barry Bonds or the perpetually incarcerated thugs of the NFL and NBA, they’re still tarnished. Every regular season, playoff game or Superbowl they’ve ever one will be second guessed. And that is a shame.