by Scott Benson
Once again a bottom-feeding sports desk has played hide the sausage with an incendiary hatchet job on Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
An alert reader (thanks Steve) tipped us to this ESPN Page Two five-star nutty by Gregg Easterbook, which calls for Belichick’s suspension for life from the NFL.
Easterbrook, a first-class weirdo who is apparently under the mistaken belief that Belichick is Jewish, has spent the better part of the last nine months comparing a football coach to the Devil. Now, just as his pet conspiracy theories evaporate one by one around his pointy little head, he decides to crank up the rhetoric.
Thing is, the story has disappeared. Go ahead. See if you can find it. The NFL page? Don’t see it. Page Two? Nope, not there either.
Imagine what kind of sick f**k you’d have to be to write a column that even ESPN can’t stand behind?
Don’t worry, Gregg. We saved a copy.
EDIT (8:08 pm) – It appears ESPN doesn’t have any trouble standing behind the column after all. Now the column being touted on Fearless Leader’s main page, with the plea for Commissioner Roger Goodell to “publish the guilty party” and bring Spygate to a close.
Funny that the free lunch gang is so quick to write off a half-million dollar fine when it’s coming out of somebody’s else wallet.
So, if I understand this correctly, unless Goodell suspends Belichick, preferrably for life, then Gregg Easterbrook and ESPN will see to it that Spygate never ends.
I think there’s a word for that.
It’s ain’t journalism.
There is no limit to Easterbrook’s idiocy. He is the worst sportswriter I’ve ever read in my life, which is saying something given some members of the Boston sports media. He consistently demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of statistics, rules and basic logic. Not to mention the closet Nazi thing. The only one who needs a lifetime ban is Easterbrook from the keyboard, lest he be allowed to spew more of his idiocy and contaminate the minds of the general populace.
Yeah, Easterbrook was once fired by ESPN for anti-semitic remarks. Maybe Tomase will turn in a report on his “closet Nazi thing”.
Greg just wants to see this whole saga end. He’s going to keep writing incendiary columns about it until it does.
In that case, can we convince him to hold his breath until it does? Considering how worked up he’s gotten writing some of these columns though, I think he may just go apoplectic and suffer a major heart attack one of these days and save us the trouble…
I didn’t read the column because I ran out of blood pressure medication yesterday and I have to pick up my refill prescription this morning…I didn’t want to risk a stroke by reading Field Marshall von Easterbrook’s piece.
However, I got the general idea of what was in there by reading blog posts from outraged Pats’ fans.
Yes, the guy is a tool, and a hater, and a flame-baiter at best.
However, I can’t help but think that this column may be his “all in” bet in the final big poker hand of the Spygate game. He knows the walkthrough story was wrong, and he knows that nothing new came out of the disgruntled ex-employees’ testimony last week. He also could see, like the rest of that nation, Walsh standing in full Pats’ gear taping the Buffalo and Cleveland games in 2001 on CBS News the other night, putting the lie to Walsh’s claims of “concealment” of the taping procedures.
In other words, Herr Easterbrook knows that this story has nothing left to do but die, so he’s launching his final salvo now in a desperate attempt to recover his already sullied journalistic reputation.
His Ombudsman already beat him down once last season for his irresponsible columns. We’ll see if she goes for Version 2.0 in the wake of this nonsense.
Now, what to make of that Bob Ryan hit piece in Sunday’s Globe???? Can we re-vote on his approval ratings???
Ever since Bob Ryan started to do alot of Television, he’s joined the rest of the media flock and turned into a screaming drama queen. I guess he didn’t want to be left behind….If you ask me, it’s the media who is “tainted” after the way they’ve handeled the whole “spygate” affair.
First, Easterbook: The column is an act of desperation from a desperate man. He should be thoroughly ignored. I skimmed the article and that’s all the attention it will get from me.
Second, Ryan’s column this morning: I know it hurts us (my credentials: I’m 16yr season ticket-holder) but what can be argued against it? If you get out at all, you know how fans/media around the country feel about our team and we are put in a tough spot. So is Bob Kraft. How can any Pats fan, in good conscience, say this is not entirely Belichick’s fault?
Go ahead and use the standard lines & talking points: ‘the signals didn’t matter’, ‘every team does/did it’, ‘they broke a rule, they didn’t cheat’… but the reality is that it doesn’t matter. These titles, these players, this organization and certainly this coach, are going to be tainted forever. I wish it weren’t true, but it is.
If you were a Colts fan, Steelers fan, or any other fan, you would be all over the Pats on this. At some point you have to face the reality that this wasn’t something people are going to view as insignificant… even if it is. For example, Walsh said that a player practiced while still on IR, that is not a big deal and would not be perceived that way. Stealing signals? People just feel that is cheating. It’s human nature.
It sucks. The whole thing sucks.
Tom, I guess my main problem with Ryan’s column is the fact that he seems to be taking Matt Walsh at his word that the Pats tried to hide their videotaping procedures, when tapes that show Walsh out in the open with his camera, using his Pats’ gear, are there for everyone to see.
Remember, Matt Estrella was standing on the Pats’ sideline in his Pats’ gear, pointing his camera right at the Jets’ sideline for all to see last September too.
Doesn’t seem to me like this was anything they were trying to hide.
Belichick, in my opnion, thought the “during the game” wording in both the rules and the memo provided him with a legalistic loophole that he could use should he ever get caught doing this, therefore, he never thought that it had to be concealed from anyone.
Moreover, we’re talking about a rule that was NEVER, EVER enforced when Rozelle or Tagliabue were running the league, and a rule that BB was caught breaking at least twice during the 2006 season, even after the memo came out (and the Jets were caught doing it by the Pats in Foxboro that same year)–yet no one was ever punished for it.
Trust me, if BB thought that doing this was such a big deal, he would have tried to hide the camera a heck of a lot better.
So, the “concealment” and “cover up” angle of Ryan’s column is what distresses me the most.
Walsh has little-to-no credibility, yet his words are being given much more weight than BB’s here.
That’s where Ryan goes wrong IMO.
One of the whole problems is that what the Patriots did is being referred to as “stealing” signals, when the term makes no sense – how are they stealing something that’s available for the world to see? Of course, the term comes in part from baseball, that most boring and banal of sports, where a gentleman’s agreement of sorts exists in the “unwritten rules” of the game that supposedly prevents such activities. No such understanding has ever existed in professional football in the public consciousness, and stranger still, sports writers have romanticized the various actual cheating that has gone on in baseball over the years. Rub spit or petroleum jelly on a baseball or scuff it with a file or sandpaper and you’re on your way to a hall of fame baseball career! Use videotape to streamline the scouting process on opponents and you’re a dirty, rotten cheater, forever tainted in the eyes of the (brainless) media and public. And people wonder why I occasionally wish for a meteor to crash into Bristol, Connecticut.
If you’re going to argue that the Pats’ SB victories are “tainted” because of this, what the heck does that say about the Broncos (or, perhaps more accurately in this case at least, Donkeys) circumventing the salary cap to allow them to illegally have players they could not otherwise afford, especially when said players ended up as Super Bowl MVPs?
I get what you’re saying, but do we reallty want to be making the ‘this other team did something much worse’ argument? I don’t.
Maybe you mis-understood my point, which was also Ryan’s point: They will be looked at this way (tainted). It’s just a fact. Maybe you and I won’t but don’t expect the rest of the country to look back on this decade and say they were great like they do for the Niners/Steelers/Cowboys. they just won’t.
I was just adding on that if you are truly honest, and we could go into some bizarro, alternate reality where this happened to the Colts, we would all be calling for them to be disbanded as a team and for the NFL to hold a dispersement draft for their players (ok, I am exaggerating a little, but not a lot). So how can we think/expect/hope that this will not be in other fan’s/columnist’s thoughts when they talk about this group? It will.
And the other point is that while I don’t think videotaping/stealing signals had much of an effect on their success and its certainly not responsible for 3 titles and 4 trips to the SB, I do think that perception will never change and we, and the Krafts, have to deal with it, which sucks… and it’s Belichick’s fault. I love him as a coach, but he really hurt an era that would have been looked at much differently than it will be now. It’s crazy to think it won’t.
So, in the end, we can all use the ‘they didn’t cheat, they broke a rule’ card and all that other stuff, but NO ONE’S mind will change and that sucks.
I’d say this site is the one with the egg on its face here.
Hey guys — lookie ESPN’s hiding something! Lookie lookie! Lookie!
Oops — uh looks they ran the story after all.
“I love him as a coach, but he really hurt an era that would have been looked at much differently than it will be now. It’s crazy to think it won’t.”
Well, seeing as without Belichick, we probably wouldn’t be rooting for a team with 3 SB wins in the first place, I’m inclined to take the whole package, warts and all.
STI- Absolutely. So am I.
It just seems to me that when you read some of the comments Pats fans make on this topic, they can’t seem to acknowledge those “warts”, you know? There is a feeling of BB being a victim and nothing more. And sure, he has been victimized by the press in the way they ‘reported’ (I use the term loosely) the story, but the practice itself, no matter how it was reported, has brought suspicion on their success… and again, that sucks.