The Patriots are a pretty durn good football team.
I've been a casual fan of New England since they won their first Superbowl in 2002. Back then, they were a team of no-names who managed to beat the juggernaut Rams, who featured sold-his-soul-to-the-devil-in- return-for-two-great-years-at-quarterback-in-the-NFL Kurt Warner and star running back Marshall Faulk.
I didn't follow New England religiously or anything, but I appreciated their defense and the way a bunch of non-star players could perform at such a high level.
I also never considered myself a Patriots fan. I'm not a fan of bandwagoning, and in my opinion, you should stick to rooting for the teams you grew up cheering for. For me, that's BYU and the Jazz. There isn't an NFL or MLB team in Salt Lake, so I never developed any allegiances in those sports.
Then the Patriots won two more Superbowls and the novelty kinda wore off. I paid attention to their record and watched highlights of their games from time to time, but didn't really care if they won or lost.
This offseason, New England picked up Randy Moss and Dante Stallworth and immediately destroyed the Jets in the first game of the 2007 season.
Then Cameragate happened.
Here's my take. Belichek was busted for having someone use a video camera to record the signals of Jets coaches during the first half of the game. This recording in and of itself was useless. The only way it could give New England any advantage was in conjunction with game film, as signals from the coaches could be synced with the plays that were run.
And then the signal-to-play information would have to be memorized and applied to future plays.
The only time they'd have time to do this would be during halftime or after the game was over.
So really, not much of an advantage was gained, in my opinion.
Also, what is the difference between a.) using a camera to record signals and b.) hiring someone (or a team of someones) to stand on the sidelines and write down the signals the opposing coaches make on the opposite side of the field?
The former is against NFL rules, and the latter is not. I don't see much of a difference.
Nevertheless, using mechanical means to record signals is against the rules, and as such, I'm fine with the punishment handed out by the NFL.
I also believe it happens all the time in the league, and assuming only the Patriots have done so it naive.
The Patriots play Miami on Sunday and will destroy the Dolphins. Miami is in a major state of disarray.
Tough times to be a Phins fan, the hiring of Big Tuna notwithstanding.