It is indisputable that the New England Patriots are the one team in the NFL that nobody wants to play. And it doesn’t take much exertion between the ears to fully understand why. Since the club’s presiding Chairman, Owner and CEO Bob Kraft assumed administrative power over the franchise in 1994, the Patriots have established themselves as a gridiron god with no equal.
After six seasons of frustrating gridiron ineptitude put on display, Kraft enlisted the services of head coaching mastermind Bill Belichick. A year later the Patriots effortlessly detonated with the ridiculous and jaw-dropping power of a Tsar Bomba. Since employment of Belichick, the Patriots won three Super Bowls in four seasons, set an NFL record for most wins in a decade with 121, posted the league’s longest winning streak of collective regular season and playoffs wins, won five AFC Championships and logged a reckoning 19-9 postseason record. And if that wasn’t enough, the team powered through an 18-0 2007 season before the New York Giants dealt the Patriots a jaw-breaking uppercut in Super Bowl 46, throwing the most electrifying offense at that juncture in neutral and denying them a shot at NFL history.
Signal caller Tom Brady piggybacked off of Belichick’s supposed gridiron strategic intellect like a baby sloth to its mommy. In 13 seasons as the Patriots’ QB-1, the kid has appeared in five Super Bowls, winning three, won two Super Bowl MVP awards, been selected to nine Pro Bowls and student driven the team to more division titles than any other quarterback in NFL history with 11. Brady has the best postseason record of 18-8 with his playoff wins being imperial to any other signal caller in the history of the game.
Under gridiron wizard Belichick, he helped set the presiding mark of the longest consecutive win streak in the NFL with 21 games over two seasons and consecutive playoff wins with 10, in addition to the Patriots’ worshiped 18-0 2007 campaign, in which the club’s quest for perfection was asphyxiated by the Giants.
But a brilliant illusion is only as good as the quality of its execution. And in 2007, the Patriots were cited for conspiring and executing the biggest farce and cheating scandal in NFL history. After a spirited and contentious investigation, it was unveiled that the club had committed gridiron espionage — treason.
The Patriots had illegally filmed and embezzled opposing team’s defensive and offensive signals, jamming the radio frequency in rival coaches headsets on game day, wiring its defensive linemen to eavesdrop on opposing signal caller’s audibles and weekly employing a covert, strategic, technical espionage operation known as Block Ops that provided the team with combative gridiron leverage no opponents could counter. The system, in essence, gave the Patriots’ coaching staff and their players front row seats and amplified, high definition streaming feed of offensive and defensive signals — video and audio communications. This system of gridiron espionage, it was later disclosed, had been in effect since the 2000 season.
Naturally NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was seething and mortified that the integrity of the league had been compromised so extensively. He was so disappointed in Belichick’s internal measure of personal responsibility, glaring lack of honor and disrespect for the league that he sent the seasoned coach to his room — putting him in time-out — confiscated all his electronics, gave him a slap on the wrist, as well as a very passive talking to and advised him not to do something like that anymore.
A week after the biggest cheating scandal in NFL history broke, the Patriots team owner gave Belichick cookies and milk, then told him to run along and play. Kraft rewarded Belichick’s strategic espionage against the league with a six-year contract extension and an inflated pension from $4.5 million to $7.5 million per season.
With respect to all parties involved, I’m wondering if Goodell, Belichick and Kraft meet every Saturday morning to play in a sandbox together and talk about girls. You almost have to wonder after an indifferent response that all but endorses espionage and treason within the league’s constitutional parameters. It takes a man to relieve a team of its imperial stripes when treason has perverted the league. If Goodell can’t get it done perhaps it’s time to find someone who will.