In what's shaping up to be the biggest heavyweight bout since Godzilla-Mothra III: Japananihillation, Belichick and Goodell sound like they're about to smack the shit out of one another.
On one hand, you have the tough disciplinarian commissioner who's made cleaning up the NFL the centerpiece of his stewardship. He's also been known to cock-slap any player, official, fan or cock-eyed passerby that happens to let his guard down. Bottom line: Goodell don't take no shit from nobody noways.
In the opposite corner, you have a man who's ego's been stroked harder and with more frequency than Nate's dick during the final trimester of Lisa's pregnancy (and that, friends, is a lot). Any player, coach, reporter or GM will tell you that winning one Super Bowl will give you a big head, deservedly or not (see Holmgren, Mike; Gruden, John). Winning three in less than a decade and being called a genius on ESPN? That's a recipe for disaster. Belichick's been propped up by so many that it's impossible for him to recognize that yes, league rules do apply to him.
Case in point: this business with taping the Jets' signals wasn't the first time (or anywhere close to it) that Belichick's been involved in funny business. He was specifically warned about going above and beyond what's considered reasonable in the course of looking for a competitve edge. Problem is, he's Bill Belichick and fuck you.
So, as the story drops and Goodell tries admirably do hand down a legitimate punishment (my only gripe: the pick should be a 1st rounder no matter what and he should be suspended for at least a game), you get this half-assed apology that comes off sounding as if it's a Hollywood actor addressing yet another drunk driving charge. He don't care, he ain't sorry, and all this means is that he'll just find another way to get an edge.
Opinions are all over the board on this one. How big of an advantage was getting the signals? My thoughts - huge. Knowing the coverage an front against a defense is invaluable to a quarterback - it makes the reads easier, the necessary routes more obvious and it lengthens decision-making time because you're not worried about the rush. Now, whether or not they knew all that all the time is debatable, but bottom line is, they were trying their damnedest to find it out.
While the revelations at least make you question some of the Patriots' dominance in the last decade, let's not go overboard. In Wisconsin, for example, there is news of Packers' players/journalists questioning last year's beatdown at the hands of the Pats. Let's not go nuts. Stolen signals or not, that Packers team wasn't going to beat New England. Maybe the game should have been closer, but the Pats didn't steal a win in that game.
To close, I'd like to propose to you the following question: What movie/tv/fictional character that had been caught red-handed did Belichick's "yeah, you caught me, but fuck you" attitude remind you of? Here are some of my first guesses:
1. Sideshow Bob when caught after rigging the Springfield mayoral election:
Your guilty conscience may tell you to vote Democrat but deep down you long for a Republican to lower taxes, brutalize criminals and rule you like a king!
2. Colonel Jessup (Jack Nicholson) in 'A Few Good Men' admitting to having ordered the code red that led to Santiago's death.
Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.
3. Detective Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington) when the shit hits the fan in 'Training Day.'
Aww, you motherfuckers. Okay. Alright. I'm putting cases on all you bitches. Huh. You think you can do this shit... Jake. You think you can do this to me? You motherfuckers will be playing basketball in Pelican Bay when I get finished with you. SHU program, nigga. 23 hour lockdown. I'm the man up in this piece. You'll never see the light of... who the fuck do you think you're fucking with? I'm the police, I run shit around here. You just live here. Yeah, that's right, you better walk away. Go on and walk away... 'cause I'm gonna' burn this motherfucker down. King Kong ain't got shit on me. That's right, that's right. Shit, I don't, fuck. I'm winning anyway, I'm winning... I'm winning any motherfucking way. I can't lose. Yeah, you can shoot me, but you can't kill me.
Your thoughts welcome in the comments.