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9/14/07

Statement from Bill Belichick

New England Patriots

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has issued the following statement.

“I accept full responsibility for the actions that led to tonight’s
ruling. Once again, I apologize to the Kraft family and every person
directly or indirectly associated with the New England Patriots for the
embarrassment, distraction and penalty my mistake caused. I also
apologize to Patriots fans and would like to thank them for their
support during the past few days and throughout my career. ”

“As the Commissioner acknowledged, our use of sideline video had no
impact on the outcome of last week’s game. We have never used sideline
video to obtain a competitive advantage while the game was in progress.”

“Part of my job as head coach is to ensure that our football
operations are conducted in compliance of the league rules and all
accepted interpretations of them. My interpretation of a rule in the
Constitution and Bylaws was incorrect.”

“With tonight’s resolution, I will not be offering any further
comments on this matter. We are moving on with our preparations for
Sunday’s game.”

Yeah, Sunday’s game against my San Diego Chargers, a team whose fans just HAVE to be wondering how much (if any) of Bill’s “interpretation of a rule in the Constitution and Bylaws” might have had to do with the Patriots win over the Chargers in that heartbreaking January 14th, 2007 AFC Divisional Playoff game. Nothing we can do about that now, but we can look forward to our Bolts knocking some sense into Tom Brady come Sunday night. I’ve read portions of a North County Times article over and over again to try and understand the point Brady was weakly making, and all I continue to come up with is that he feels you can do whatever you want, right or wrong, not worry about repercussions, and just go along your merry little way.

“I don’t think this is a concern of anybody,” Brady said during a conference call with the San Diego media. “It’s certainly not a concern of mine. I don’t think anybody cares too much about what people say or what people do. It’s probably more flattering to us than anything.

“People sometimes, when they think we have everything figured out, maybe it speaks to our preparation so I’m actually flattered by it.”

Flattered? Did he actually say flattered? Perhaps dear Tom has been sacked one too many times (Go for it, Merriman!), and his gray matter has begun seeping out in large portions. If the Michael Vick debacle didn’t show you that people DO take notice, and people DO care about the actions of others, Tom, then you really are more clueless than anyone imagined. So much for role models, eh? Say LaDainian, mind showing him how it’s done? Thanks. Perhaps you can don one of Belichick’s infamous hoodies, Tom, and do as Dennis Dillon of Sporting News suggested to Belichick.

Shame on you, Bill Belichick. You need to put a zipper on that hoodie so you can hide your head — and hang it.

Guess NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision doesn’t quite agree with your “I don’t think this is a concern of anybody” logic, either, Tom, since he handed down fines and the loss of draft choices to your team.

New England coach Bill Belichick was fined the NFL maximum of $500,000 Thursday and the Patriots were ordered to pay $250,000 for spying on an opponent’s defensive signals. The commissioner also ordered the team to give up next year’s first-round draft choice if it reaches the playoffs and second- and third-round picks if it doesn’t.

“This episode represents a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid longstanding rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition on the playing field,” Goodell said in a letter to the Patriots.

While I do appreciate the tough position Goodell has been in this year from Vick to this situation, I tend to agree with Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune, regarding the fact that monetary fines for those in the NFL really means diddley-squat.

Money? Roger, it means nothing. It’s the NFL.

I won’t say he totally blew it, but after discovering Belichick, who personifies the latter-day, Paul Revere-less Patriots (coincidentally, they play host to the Chargers on Sunday night) had been cheating, he should have gone Samson on the Philistines with the jawbone of an ass.

Fines are not fine in 2007.

So Sunday night’s Chargers-v-Patriots game will be interesting on many fronts. Have to say it would be a lot more fun if it was a home game for the Chargers and we got to see how SD fans would express their thoughts on the cheating scandal. Oh well, either way it’s bound to be a good game. Think I’ll go with what Tony Moss of Sports Network predicts for the game.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Many will give the Patriots the advantage in this matchup of talented teams. First, because of the homefield factor, and second, because Belichick is twice the tactician that Turner is. But don’t let last week’s dominant performance against a mediocre Jets team fool you. With the new pieces on offense and Seymour and Harrison missing on defense, New England is not as good in Week 2 as it will be in Week 16, giving a San Diego club that basically had no turnover from last year’s 14-2 unit the edge. The Chargers win this battle, though things could be very different when and if these two meet in the postseason.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Chargers 27, Patriots 20

Have a great football weekend, everyone. And LET’S GO CHARGERS!

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PS Leave it to the Daily Kos to post this delightful (yet somehow all too believable) item about a possible “back up” job for Bill Belichick.

Sniffin’ out the info

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