Here’s Bernie Miklasz’s take:

Were Rams Cheated Out of Super Bowl Win?
By Bernie Miklasz
09/13/2007 2:21 am
After years of suspicion eminating from other NFL teams, the New England Patriots and their devious head coach Bill Belichick finally got tripped up and caught.

The Patriots’ cheating has been exposed, this time in the form of stealing the New York Jets’ signals during Sunday’s season-opening win.

A Patriots’ video assistant snaked onto the sideline with a camera to record the Jets’ defensive signals. What happened next? The theory: the information would be decoded to be used later. Once the Pats had a clear understanding of what the hand signals represented in terms of strategy, they’d apparently inform the QB through the helmet radio transmitter. (The helmet radio is permitted by the NFL in the offense’s huddle).

The interesting thing about the reaction is that opponents were hardly surprised. As Jacksonville defensive end Paul Spicer told reporters: “This ain’t news. I’ve heard it in the past. They finally got caught. The Patriots got caught. They’re busted.”

And now that the Patriots have finally been nabbed, there are all sorts of things going around. The Packers caught the same NE video weasel stealing signals in a game at Green Bay last season; he was escorted off the sideline.

The Indianapolis Colts reportedly ordered all video cameras off the sidelines (except for network TV) when they played the Patriots in past seasons.

Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio told reporters how the team’s radio communications mysteriously malfunctioned for an extended stretch during a loss at New England.

There’s even some buzz (all speculation to this point) that the Patriots rigged up helmet transmitters for defensive players in order to change a call before the snap – which is against NFL rules.

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Hines Ward told reporters that he wonders if the Patriots victimized the Steelers with forms of illegal sabotage.

“Oh, they knew,” Ward said of the Patriots stealing the Steelers’ plays. “They were calling our stuff out. They knew, especially that first (AFC) championship game here at Heinz Field (in 2001). They knew a lot of our calls. There’s no question some of their players were calling out some of our stuff. And you would hope that, during their run, when they were winning all their Super Bowls, all that stuff wasn’t going on.

“You look back in the past, and we played them in the championship games, and you kind of wonder. It seemed like they were a step ahead of us at all times, but those games are behind us. There’s nothing we can do about it. You just look forward and see what the commissioner will do.”

In a conference call with Wisconsin reporters, NY Giants defensive end Michael Strahan questioned the validity of New England’s three Super Bowl championships over the past six seasons. And he put the Patriots into the same category of shamed NBA ref Tim Donaghy, who was snared in an investigation of his activities with gamblers and his possible manipulation of betting lines or game scores.

“When I heard about that, I said, ‘Whoa, how long have they been doing that?’ Stealing signals? That’s pretty heavy, man,’’ Strahan said. “I don’t know if that’s much different than the cheating ref in basketball. It just makes you wonder how long they’ve been doing this and has it really helped them win some games? And if they’ve been doing it in those games that they won Super Bowls in or won playoffs in. It does make you wonder. Because that team has won some big games. I’m not saying that stealing signals definitely did it, because they have extremely talented players, but obviously it didn’t hurt if they were doing it.”

It makes you wonder even more about the legitimacy of the Patriots win over the Rams in Super Bowl 36 to cap the 2001 season. As is, Belichick flouted the rules in that game by having his defensive backs mug the Rams receivers downfield, knowing full well that the tactic would work because the NFL refs weren’t going to litter the Super Bowl with frequent penalty flags.

But the Patriots’ dirty tricks have been going on for so long, what else were they up to during that Super Bowl? The Rams didn’t play or coach well and had themselves to blame for their demise, but it may have been a tarnished triumph for the Patriots. We may never know what else was in the mix for that upset of the Rams.

And think about this: how did that Super Bowl change history for both teams? If the Rams had won their second Super Bowl in three seasons, would Mike Martz still be coaching the team? (The nature of his relationship with his bosses changed dramatically after that bitter defeat). Would a second Super Bowl title in three years mean automatic Hall of Fame inclusion for Rams such as Orlando Pace and Kurt Warner? If Belichick and the Patriots cheated in other ways during that game, then they may have stolen more than a Super Bowl from the Rams. They may have snatched the Rams’ team legacy and the St. Louis players’ individual career honors.And think of what Belichick has done to his own legacy, and that of his team. All of their accomplishments are tainted now, because unless you’re some Kool-Aid swilling Patriots fanatic, it is reasonable to have questions about the depth of the Patriots’ cheating under Belichick, and how much it affected the integrity of competition.

This is insidious stuff, and it attacks the very heart of fairness. It shatters the faith we have that the outcome of a sporting event will be determined based on talent, straight-up performance and permissible coaching tactics.

When you sell tickets to an NFL game and rake in billions of dollars from TV on the premise that we can count on seeing a fair game between two teams, such brazen and dastardly violations of the NFL’s competitive integrity is a devastating blow to the NFL’s image.

This is far more troubling than offenses committed by club-hopping knucklehead defensive backs, gun-possessing defensive linemen or dogfight-promoting quarterbacks suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. As terrible and annoying as that junk is, none of it improperly influenced the outcome of an NFL game in.

And there’s more to this than wins and losses. Were any opposing players injured because the Patriots had plays scoped out through video spying and could attack accordingly? Did any NFL players lose their starting jobs (and perhaps future salary considerations) because they were at a disadvantage against the Patriots? Did New England’s success, aided by cheating, cost other NFL coaches their jobs? Was the success of Patriots’ QB Tom Brady in any way enhanced by his coach’s cheating?

If Goodell is comfortable with the evidence presented to him, he should suspend Belichick for the rest of the season.

If Goodell can be the big enforcer and slap Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson around because their off-field conduct was detrimental to the league’s image, then I ask: what’s more damaging to the NFL than illicit, unethical conduct during games that gives one team a grossly unfair edge over an innocent opponent?

What’s more damaging to the NFL’s image than having fans not knowing if the Patriots’ victories were legitimately earned or gained through dirty tricks? What’s more damaging than the real possibility of rigged, sham Super Bowls featuring Belichick’s Patriot games?

Goodell suspended Denver punter Todd Sauerbrun for four games for using ephedra, and he suspended Dallas assistant coach Wade Wilson for five game for using HGH (human growth hormone — which Wilson claimed he needed for medicinal purposes).

What Belichick and the Patriots have done is give themselves an unfair and competitive advantage which destroys the sanctity of sportsmanship and fairness.

The Belichick case is a huge test of Goodell’s own credibility.

Goodell is friendly with New England owner Bob Kraft. So we’ll see if the new Commissioner believes cheating an opponent on an NFL field to unfairly win a game is more egregious than some cornerback acting like a fool in a nightclub.

We’ll see if the Commissioner will stand up to the Patriots and take the necessary action to protect and preserve his league’s integrity.

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17 thoughts on “Were the Rams cheated in Super Bowl XXXVI?

  1. Give me a break.lol

    I am not defending the stupidity of what Belichick did but the Rams thought they had that superbowl wrapped up before it happened and they didn’t show up until the forth quarter. They lost that game because they were cocky and over coinfident. If they had shown up the whole game and respected the Patriots they probably would have won but they didn’t and they only have themselves to blame.

    Belichick obviously wasn’t trying to hide what he did because he put the guy on the sidelines in Patriots gear. The only reason he was caught is because Mangini was part of the Patriots.

  2. You know what really amazed me about Belichick? last year right after they lost to the Colts in the playoffs, Belichick was so mad he didn’t talk to anyone, just stormed into the stadium red faced and almost shaking. I lost all respect for him then, I didn’t need this latest incident to convince me. He has no good sportsmanship at all. It’s one thing to be a good coach and win, it’s another thing to do it with class, and to act classy when you lose. Belichick has neither of those qualities. You play to win the game, but you don’t lose your soul in the process.

  3. Good point (to the above comment.) I’ve had respect for Belichick for a while. Even after the Rams were gut-punched in the cessation by Adam Vinatieri’s field goal. I had respect for the man up until last year with his excessively arrogant attitude he had at Mangini. Which was alright at the time, I thought it was funny. After the Chargers/Patriots game, I was shaking my head at the classless acts being shown on the field by some ‘classless’ Pats players. After the Colts game, it really started to hit me about the guy; the quick walk on the field, then the anguish to walk off. Yes, everyone would have been angry over a loss, but I can name you 31 other head coaches that would have been gentlemen and class acts about it.

  4. Belichick obviously has been doing this for some time. Mangini was the beneficiary of info while he was at NE. I guess Mangini could not believe Belichick was so arrogant he stationed someone to steal signals knowing full well Mangini would recognize what was going on and not say anything…but Mangini did. I am responding after the penalties have been announced and, while I automatically dismiss the money/fines as meaningless (I do that in sports no matter what the amount), I am still trying to figure out the draft pick scenario. One thing I have figured out is that the Commish blew it by not making it personal and suspending Belichick. With all the other stuff he’s been putting the hammer down on, you’d think the integrity of the game itself would read higher on his punishment meter.

  5. Yes it’s more amazing when you consider Mangini was coaching for Belichick a few years ago! It’s like the Sopranos…”you did this to ME,…?!” LOL. Word is quickly spreading in the NFL that this is not enough of a penalty. The reverberations from this incident could last a long time.

  6. http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/2007/09/13/2007-09-13_manginis_aboutface_on_spying_burns_belic-1.html

    “If he did steal signals in that game, he didn’t do a very good job,” said Lions offensive coordinator Mike Martz, the Rams coach {when New England beat St. Louis, 20-17 in the Super Bowl}. “Going into the last drive, they had 100 yards of offense. He got the wrong signals. If he had our defensive signals, it didn’t help him much.”

    “He won legitimately,” Martz insists. “Those players had to line up and play and win those games. And they did.”

    …so there you go.

  7. that answers that question (post above) but in my mind it’s like Richard Nixon. He was going to win in a landslide, cheated when he didn’t need to and didn’t learn a thing. Your right he didn’t gain a big if any advantage with his methods, which BEGS the question, why tarnish your resume at all? Because he is insecure, and wouldn’t even shake Peyton Manning’s hand after he beat them. Pathetic!

  8. I have to laugh about all these Patriots haters spewing forth on the internet. “Suspend him for a year”. “No Draft Picks”. Etc.

    The truth is what Martz said. Signal stealing is very difficult. If you can do it it is tough to get the plays in quickly enough. And then you need the players to execute the plays.

    Several coaches have weighed in on the fact that this didn’t affect results.

    And the fact is (as anyone with a brain could see) Sunday night that the Patriots have a great team.

    It really sucks to be a Patriots hater ’cause Bill is going to be coaching the Patriots for several more years.

  9. I’m really surprised at the great amount of comments this post has received. I just posted an interesting article I seen and added it on here for a few of you guys to check out. To my surprise, it got quite a few views and responses.

    Enjoyed reading your thoughts, guys. Thanks.

  10. Well I have to say that the article is interesting. I have thought about it myself and do believer that the pats stealing the signals has helped them all these years winning all those super bowls, not to mention making brady look like joe montana. All the coaches have to do is look at the signals and then tell tom brady the coverage thru the mike in the helmet simple as that. And furthermore the NFL is all afraid of the bad press so they just destroy the evidence that bill gave them and fine he and the organization, what a joke. It should outrage all true sports, fans but everyone just seems enamored with the “perfect season” which should have an asterisk because the pats cheated the jets, let em remind everyone that the game was close in the end the cheaters always win and that really suck o well,

  11. Rams were the better team, …….they were over confident, and failed to play hard until the end, …..if they had played their game, the game would have never came down to a field goal, or the thought of cheating,……i think the officials were brutal from the start, oh well, Rams loss, has been Pats Dynasty..

  12. Big B, there was a site that had a lot of evidence on the Rams being shafted from getting calls the Pats were. Faulk was being consistently held in the backfield by Willie McGinest, in turn that Faulk wasn’t able to be as explosive as he had been during the season.

    I was watching the game on NFL Network the other night (as heart wrenching as it was), and noticed a lot of suspect officiating. But there’s nothing to do about it, and to give credit when it’s due is key — the Patriots won the game fair-and-square on their part, as far as I know, but the referees refused to detect a lot of missed calls. Shame on them.

    I can’t wait until training camp.

  13. let’s be honest, in light of all of the patriot cheating, …..they have been 3 points better than 3 teams in the super bowl, so any advantage, filiming a walk through, that might have consisted of the first 20 scripted play plus red zone info?….Let’s not forget the first int run back by law of warner, he read it like he knew it was coming,…..only God knows, ………but the dynasty is definetly tainted….

  14. Hey Troy, i remember the site you speak of, …funny how it no longer exists? i had it saved to my favs…….go to you tube and look for bernie kukar, you can still find a small tid bit on the subject, ……thanks B

  15. Throw the bums out. they don’t deserve to make another penny off the game let alone play it. Let the bostonians watch pit bull fights since that is their due. what they (the Pats) have done is make a mockery of the sport, MARKED CARDS BABY. IT STINKS AND IT IS A CRIME AGAINST FANDOM. The bogus cries of the guilty “Everyone does it” is even more proof of their contemptousness of FairPlay. Foul,Foul,Foul and SHAME ON ANY AND ALL WHO ALLOW IT. BELICHICK should be banned for life from the game along with his cohorts. The whole matter and the way it was handled stinks to high heaven. reminds me of how Bush became president.

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