BILL BELICHICK CHEATED

If you’re a Steelers fan, you shouldn’t be worried about being called a whiner if you believe that the Steelers could very well have been cheated out of a Super Bowl trip by the guy who’s trying to tie Chuck Noll for most Super Bowl wins by a head coach today.

Bill Belichick cheated.

Ed Bouchette pulls no punches in his story in the Post-Gazette. And he has quotes from players, including Hines Ward, who say they are convinced that Belichick gained an advantage by illegally taping opposing coaches during games.

If you think Bouchette is being homer, check out what Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe wrote about spygate back in 2008:

“Remember that glorious evening in New Orleans when the Patriots captivated the nation by taking the field en masse rather than individually? Remember those clutch drives orchestrated by Tom Brady, those game-winning kicks by Adam Vinatieri, and all the other snapshot moments in the three Super Bowls?

Tainted, all of it.”

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wU-kynvWfs

 

  • Ron Ross

    Kordell Stewart 6 or 7 turnovers in 2 AFC Championship games. Good thing Troy Edwards ran out of bounds, fans might have blamed Kordell throwing into double coverage in the end zone on first down. He was bad & he went on to a great career after leaving Pitts. One punt with 2 teams who didn’t have a quarterback. I do like your comments about Fehr keep it up!!!

  • jwit

    The last point i want to make on the subject is how do you know where the cheating stopped. They were caught and admitted doing it. How do we know they weren’t listening to the other teams headsets or listening to the locker room ? Once you decide to cheat, the manner or to what extent becomes irrelevant, doesn’t it. Once you cross that line, its all cheating and its all gray.

  • JWK

    The so-called journalists covering the NFL now seem to all be promoters instead of reporters. When it all broke even Cowher said that this had nothing to do with the two championship losses. Really? Prove it. Spygate had to be swept under and must be kept under the rug to keep ratings and revenue high. The Patriots Super Bowl wins were all very close. Having that little extra edge must have helped. We’ll never know because it was swept up and the tapes burned.

  • Ken

    When Spygate broke, some analyst said that the reason other teams were willing to let the Patriots go with a relatively minor penalty and to allow the NFL to basically sweep this all under the rug was simple: if they raised a big fuss about it, the spotlight would be turned on them.

    Wasn’t it Eric Mangini that spilled the beans about the Patriots after he went to the Jets? There’s probably other ex-coaches out there who could tell similar stories but don’t choose to be squealers.

    They all chose to shut up and let it go away because it would turn out that many teams were doing the exact same thing.

    I can’t remember who the commentator was, but it was some longtime nationals sports commentator.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

      I think they had motivation to cover it up even if the Patriots were the only team. The NFL didn’t want to open up the “forfeit” can of worms. The penalty and the fact that they didn’t release the tapes and say, “See, it’s not that much of an advantage,” speaks volumes to me.

      • Belicheater

        Not to mention the fact that people paid to see a tainted product all of those years.

  • metalslam

    People forget to mention the millions & millions of dollars in lost revenue to the Steelers/Eagles/Panthers/Colts & a few others. They never dominated in superbowls , it was always last second field goals.

  • Matt

    So if Belichick and the Patriots’ legacy is tainted because of Spygate, why isn’t Noll’s tainted because of the steroid use? The Steelers of the 70’s are widely credited with ushering in the era of performance enhancing drugs.

    To those that point out that Belichick has not won a Super Bowl since Spygate came to light; I would like to ask, how many Super Bowls did Noll win after the league started testing for steroids?

    • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

      I knew several college football players who were using steroids in 1970. The Steelers didn’t usher them in. They had a lot of success. There were teams using steroids that had very little success. It was a non factor.

      • Matt

        Yinzer nation at its finest:

        “Yinz guys cheated and that’s the only reason you win. Our guys cheated, but it was a non-factor.”

        • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

          The Steelers didn’t cheat.

          • Matt

            So they did the steroids because they enjoyed acne and just for the fun of it and not to gain an unfair advantage. OK.

            So given the fact that Noll never won a Super Bowl (or never went to a Super Bowl) once steroid testing was implemented, does that taint his legacy?

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            This isn’t complicated. The Steelers linemen were juiced. They were blocking defensive linemen who were juiced. The opponents’ offensive linemen were juiced. Everybody was juiced. These guys were taking steroids in college, long before they got to the NFL. The Steelers were the first team to have a strength and conditioning coach…Paul Uram. He was one of the first to advocate extensive stretching. He was more of a pioneer than any of the players — wrote a book about it in fact.

          • Matt

            Here is the quote I was looking for:

            “”It started, really, in Pittsburgh. They got an advantage on a lot of football teams. They were so much stronger (in the) ’70s, late ’70s, early ’80s,” Haslett said Wednesday. “They’re the ones who kind of started it.”

            And didn’t Bradshaw admit to using steroids to get over injuries?

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            I don’t remember Bradshaw saying that. The Steelers were the first team to dominate in the 70s. They got a lot of attention because of the their success but they weren’t using them any more than the others. And there were no rules against them.

          • Mike from Boston

            Terry Bradshaw admitted to using corticosteroids to help deal with inflammation of joints.

            You can find Cortisone at your local CVS, Walgreens, and other major pharmacies.

            It’s not an illegal substance, and it’s never been banned by the NFL (or any other pro sports league).

  • jwit

    Have a nice off season pats, little tougher to win when you don’t know the opponent play calls.

  • Parker39

    John you are 101% correct on The Patriots and Barry Bonds. If Roger Goodell or Bud Selig were worth their salt they would have stripped the Patriots of their wins and Bonds (and every other confirmed steroid user) from the record books. I lost much respect for Sports Illustrated this week, they have a cover story on Robert Kraft and how the Patriots have become the “Model Franchise” of the NFL, but in the entire article they included exactly one sentence to the spygate scandal. Now that’s some hard hitting, respectable journalism!

  • Roger

    John: I agree with you 100%. I remember you saying that it seemed strange that Brady threw 20 straight passes against the Steelers in one playoff game. How did he know to do that? Easy, he was cheating. On another note, he looks awful damn ordinary when he has a little pressure on him. I realize all quarterbacks aren’t as efective when they get some heat, but this is a guy some “experts” (Ron Cook being an obnoxious example) say is maybe the greatest of all time. Baloney!

  • Deuce

    I’d actually like to know how Steeler Fans can keep a straight face while calling Belichick a cheater when the Steelers were pioneers of en masse steroid use in the 70’s during their championship dynasty and even in 2005 when just a month after they beat Seattle the Steelers team doctor was arrested, charged and later convicted for illegally prescribing HGH to patients…does anyone really think he wasn’t giving the Steelers HGH? Amazing that after the arrest how quickly it was swept under the rug (can you say Rooney Mafia at work?).

    And if the Patriots did cheat…wouldn’t their 2004 SB win against the Panthers be considered legit since several Carolina players were busted about a month or two for using steroids…including the punter (again, amazing, how quickly and quietly another steroid story in the NFL was swept under the rug).

    • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

      I knew college kids who were doing steroids in 1970 . The Steelers didn’t have a monopoly on steroids, not even close. And if you don’t think that every team in the NFL is dominated by guys on HGH, you haven’t been paying attention.

      • sherm

        If steroids were illegal in the 70’s then it doesn’t matter about a monopoly. They were cheating. I agree with your Bonds, Clemente comparison and if’s but if there was better replay technology when the imaculate reception occured and Jackie Smith doesn’t drop that pass on his numbers then Chuck Noll and the steelers only have 2 trophy’s and belichick and the patriots 3 prior to the filming the coaches scandal. It is what it is, and it allows us to have all this fun.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

          They weren’t illegal. And the replay would have shown that Jack Tatum hit the ball. It’s the only way it could have bounced back as far as it did.

          • Greg

            The immaculate reception did not lead to a Super Bowl that year.

        • Jeff S

          The Steelers didn’t win the SB the year of the Immaculate reception, so your theory is flawed to say the least.

      • Deuce

        So does that mean McGwire and Bonds and Clemens are cheaters but the ’05 Steelers are not? Plenty of MLB guys doing the juice when those guys were dominating.

        The Steelers were front and center on steroid use….they cheated. I know you’re a Steeler fan but just accept it: they cheated not matter how you spin it. They cheated in ’05, too.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

          Steroids were not against the rules in gthe 70s and every team was using them. Same thing in 05…every team is ridiculously juiced.

          • Ken

            Weren’t steroids a controlled substance in the 1970s? Wasn’t it illegal to use them? I think the law supercedes the rules of football.

            I don’t think it taints the Steelers of the ’70s as everyone else was doing it too. But I think they were just as illegal then as they are now.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            I’m not sure. I just know they were being widely used long before the Steelers won their first Super Bowl.

    • mlvnsmly

      Steroids weren’t illegal or banned in the 70’s. That was not considered cheating at the time. That’s like saying a player in the 70’s hit opponents helmet to helmet so he cheated. Also, if you could present evidence that ANY doctor, or anyone else, gave the Steelers HGH. I would like to see it. Your blind accusations and assumptions don’t count as any sort of proof.

      • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

        Dr Charles Yesalis, one of the foremost experts in the world on PEDs, estimates that 90-95% of NFL players use HGH.

        • mlvnsmly

          And neither you, me, Deuce, or even Dr Yesalis can prove that in any way. Not saying it did or didn’t happen in 2005, but to call someone a cheater with no actual evidence to support it like Deuce did is just ridiculous.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            Yesalis has plenty of evidence. He goes by the eye test.

          • mlvnsmly

            Ha, good one. I know a guy who’s a doctor that wrote a book on steroid use. He says nobody in the NFL is using PED’s. He can tell by looking at them. So I guess I have evidence too. See how stupid that sounds? Anyway, I said he can’t prove anything. I said Deuce has no evidence. Sorry for the confusion.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            Nice try. Google Yesalis Steroids. He’s one of the foremost experts in the world on PEDs. He’s been studying them for 25 years and he says sometimes the best test is the simplest one…the eye test.

          • mlvnsmly

            For someone who makes a living and seemingly enjoys writing, you sure don’t like to read too much. Nobody is going to prove anything with an “eye test” and that’s my point. You, Yasalis, or anyone else can THINK whatever you want, you can’t PROVE anything. Please let my point sink in, I think we must agree here. You can’t place an asterisk by the 2005 Steelers because we looked at them and assumed they are on Steroids.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            I’ve read lots of Yesalis findings and I’ve spoken to him many times and yes you can go by the eye test if,like Yesalis, you have studied the human body all your life and you know that it’s not possible for a human of a certain age to gain a certain amount of muscle mass in a certain amount of time. All he needs in most cases is a before and after picture. Many times he is able to look AT a Guy and he knows he’s unnaturally big. He’s basing it on 30 or 40 years of observations and testing.

          • mlvnsmly

            PROOF. Where’s the proof? Somebody saying they can tell by looking has not, is not, and will never be proof. period. Before you respond, please read my post again, and again. Don’t try to deflect attention from my argument because you have no valid response. I’m not going to just forget my point.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            Yesalis is not just “somebody.” He’s a doctor. A scientist who has been studying the effects of steroids on the human body for decades. He can look at a human body and CONCLUDE that that body was artificially enhanced by drugs. If you don’t like my answer, contact Dr. Yesalis and take it up with him. He’s an expert on the subject. You’re not.

  • Mike from Monroeville

    The Steelers lost to the Pats in 2002 because they couldn’t cover a punt and the had a field goal blocked.

    The Steelers lost to the Pats in 2005 because a tight end let a pass bounce off his hands for a pick six.

    • Belicheater

      And, Mikey, they had a competitive advantage from knowing what plays were coming.

      Goodell said he destroyed the tapes so that no one could gain a competitive advantage. So, if it didn’t give them a competitive advantage, why destroy the tapes? And would tapes from 5 years ago really help any team? NO. The tapes were so damning that they could never be released to the public. They were likely proof of Super Bowl cheating.

      And don’t forget about that “extra radio frequencies” coming out of Gillette Stadium, either.

  • Dan

    http://www.patsfans.com/articles/patriots/3508/SpyGate–The-Most-Overblown-Story-of-the-Decade.html

    Bill Cowher freely admits to doing the same.

    Maybe that 75-yard perfect Willie Parker TD run play was a little too perfectly timed and executed?

    I’m kidding of course, but this is really an issue that Steelers fans ought to let die. It’s crystal clear that everyone was doing it and this is just a lot of sour grapes. And I thought Pittsburgh was better than that.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

      You don’t lose a #1 pick and $750,000 for something that everybody is doing. It was a Boston Globe columnist who called it “tainted.”

      • Dan

        Windowdressing punishment. A memo was sent out to every NFL team prior to the fine. All it means is that the Patriots were one team that KEPT doing it and actually got caught.

        And it was a Steelers coach who admitted to doing the same thing. Is Super Bowl XL tainted, too?

        Read the article. Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson admit to the same thing. Why do people think they can have it both ways on this issue?

      • Tim

        The Patriots won what, 17 straight games after being caught cheating? Losing the ability to cheat obviously didn’t hurt them that much.

      • Bobzilla

        John: Ryan changed his tune this morning, when he down played the significance of Spygate on ESPN’s Sports Reporters. Typical. Writing one thing but saying something completely different in order to appease the ESPN brass.

        Bill Cowher freely admits to doing the same thing? That’s hardly a surprise. Anyone with aspirations of ever being involved with the NFL, including coaching or broadcasting, has got to toe the company line and not make a big deal of the incident. Cowher obviously values his employment with CBS.
        Ask Joey Porter how he feels about the cheating. Porter is one of the most outspoken former Steelers on the subject. He’ll tell you that the Patriots became the NFL’s favorite sons 10 seconds after 9-11. Gotta love that red, white and blue …

    • Mike from Boston

      If everybody was doing it, why wasn’t it exposed until 2007? If all 32 teams were equally culpable, then some bitter coach, coordinator, scout, or other front office employee would have ratted out their former employer a very long time ago.

      There’s no way you can convince me every team was doing this. More than one team? Sure I’ll believe that, the league wouldn’t have sent out a memo clearly denouncing the practice unless they had reason to suspect it was going on. But that doesn’t change the fact that what Bill Belichick was clearly and knowingly breaking the rules, and gaining a clear competitive advantage from it.

      As for the fine and draft picks… in my opinion those are meaningless punishments. These people make more money than God, and draft picks are just bargaining chips easily traded back and forth. Even forfeiting titles is an empty gesture meant to placate fans after the fact. The only punishment in sports that carries any real weight is suspensions, forcibly removing the guilty party from one or several games.

    • jwit

      How many game do you have to see before you realize that they had a distinct advantage by knowing the plays coming at them. How many guys who were stiffs in the secondary did he recycle from the colts and have play like pro bowlers? How often did they catch the steelers in bad situations and pick up the blitzes perfectly? How many analysts / former players do you have to hear say ‘ you cant guess right that often’. You think Teddy Bruschi was really that gifted of a linebacker?
      What nobody mentions about spygate is it was made the no huddle that much better. You line up quickly in no huddle the d has to signal the play in hastily. You see the signal and decipher it and send it down to the qb while the headsets are still active! They don’t shut off till 15 seconds are on the play clock. If you are in no huddle, the headsets are active all they way up to scrimmage and snap as long as you snap it before 15 seconds. That’s a long time to intercept a signal and talk tommy boy through the progressions on the way to the line.
      I’ll never forget listening to Kevin Kiley, a former player talking about how he could not believe how the pats played d in the afc championship game against the steelers. Well before spygate, he could not believe how all 11 players would leave the middle of the field and head right to where the play was going. He stated that as a player, some number of guys always have the middle of the field covered in the event of cut back, reverse, trick play, misdirection. He stated watching the d flow to the ball with no regard for middle coverage was something he had never seen. I think they knew the plays.

    • Parker39

      Dan, please produce your “crystal clear” evidence.

    • mlvnsmly

      I’m sure “Patsfans.com” isn’t too biased or anything although I still can’t find any evidence anywhere that the Steelers, or anyone else for that matter, were videotaping signals. Face it, they cheated for a long time, got caught, and now any success they’ve had will be tainted forever.

      • Dan

        Read the article instead of just criticizing the source. Bill Cowher’s statements are the same whether he’s talking to patsfans.com or steelersfans.com. And no, he wasn’t just toeing the company line. Anyone who thinks Bill Cowher is a simple company man a’la Chris Berman never looked at how many times he got fined or came damn close to being fined for criticizing the officials.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

          He took the high road. If he had agreed with the cheating theory he would have been accused of whining. It was a no-win situation. At the time he said it, he also may have been trying to avoid pissing off possible future employers.

          • Dan

            I don’t buy that for a second. Cowher was quoted in December 2010 and hadn’t coached in years. He still isn’t coaching. He’s never changed his tune. You’re speaking FOR him when he’s spoken for himself. Bill Cowher has a Super Bowl title, another appearence, and 6 AFC title game appearences under his belt plus I believe the track record of winningest coach of the 1990’s. What potential employer would possibly pass on hiring Bill Cowher and his track record because of anything he might say about Spygate????

            That’s an unbelievably weak claim to make. It was a no-win situation when he stuffed the photo into the ref’s pocket too. Bill Cowher told the truth and nobody from the Steelers or his staff has EVER contradicted a thing he said, not even quoted anonomously, outside of players who are being sore losers.

            The fact is Cowher did THE SAME THING, admitted it, and absolved the Patriots of having any impact on his team’s losses.

  • Dr. Phibes

    This reminds so much of Barry Bonds and steroids. Like Bonds, the Pats were great and may have very well won their championships and accolades without cheating. But taping other teams’ plays undoubtedly gave them an edge.

    If I can find a link to this I’ll add it, but I specificly remember Hines Ward, after the 2001 AFC championship, giving a bewildered post-game statement, saying he “it was almost like they (the Pats), knew our plays”.

    Finally, we can blame Goodell all we want for destroying the evidence, but he didn’t do that until 2 days after he began meeting with none other than Dan Rooney, whom he specifically asked for advisement on Spygate. The Ambassador has dirty hands in this mess too.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

      He knows a can of worms when he sees one.

  • JustAnotherBloke

    Your point about the game being changed because of the inability of other teams to solve Noll’s defense is why, in my opinion, Noll’s record can never be touched. They are not playing the same game today. Noll sits at the top of the game of football in his era.

    I also agree with your point of the asterisk “being up here”. I take no notice of arguments over who’s best or who belongs in the Hall of Fame. My Hall of Fame is “up here” and that’s the only one that counts. Belechick will never be validated in my eyes, no matter what he accomplishes.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

      The media have a tendency to fixate on statistics without taking into account that equal numbers don’t always equal equal acco0mplishments. QB stats are the best example. I point oun in my book that, based on history, if Bonds had been faced with the same dimensions that Clemente faced for 16 years at Forbes Field, his HR total would be reduced by at least 300. If Clemente had played 16 years in a park the size of PNC or Three Rivers, his total would increase by the same amount.

      • colt

        “…numbers don’t always equal accomplishments…QB stats are the best example.”

        You are right on, John. I wish that you could have heard the discussion Ron Cook and Bob Pompiani had with a caller to the “Nightly Sports Call.” Ron and Bob do not think that Bradshaw is “even in the conversation” when discussing the best quarterbacks; he is NEVER to be compared to Brady; Brady is SO much better, and everyone knows that; he is not in the top five; he “might” be in the top ten.

        Based on what? Stats? Can we just dismiss this guy because he had great receivers and great runninhg backs; and because he does not have the numbers of Brady? That seems to be what these guys are saying. I have said it before, and I will say it again – the man was a great quarterback with an armk that was as good as anyone who ever played. He was as smart as them all too, calling his own plays and leading his team to win after win, and 4 Super Bowl wins in 6 years. Bob and Ron need to go look at some film. Bradshaw was stronger than Brady, escaping the grasp of would-be tacklers as well as any QB has ever done.

        Sorry Cook and Pompiani, but the man IS in the conversation; I’ll take him on my team any day.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

          Best I ever saw.

          • Parker39

            When I remember back to my years of watching Bradshaw its the “hitch up the pants and throw it deep” plays that I recall the most. Throwing to receivers who were getting bumped, shoved, clubbed and harassed all the way down the field, while ducking defenders. Brady throws out patterns most of the time and I don’t think there has ever been a QB who was given more time to throw.

          • Bobzilla

            Here’s how much attention Ron Cook pays to football: The other day on KDKA-FM, the King of All Media could only recall one lopsided Super Bowl: No. 20, when the Bears pounded the Patriots, 48-10.
            Ron Cook is Abbott and Bob Pompeani is Costello when it comes to local sports, especially football..

  • Bobzilla

    The problem, at least one of them, for NFL fans is that there is no one within the media with the courage to police any wrongdoing by the league. Everyone is in bed with the nation’s most popular sport. Everyone is afraid to challenge the goose that lays the golden egg. No one scoffed at and/or downplayed Belichick’s cheating more than ESPN.
    When Arlen Specter kept the scandal in the news by demanding answers, ESPN came up with the same tired “don’t politicians have more important things to worry about?” editorials.
    The real question should be: Doesn’t ESPN have more important things to worry about than if Eli Manning is or isn’t an elite quarterback? Or, if Tom Brady is or isn’t the greatest quarterback of all-time? Two weeks of nothing but talk about the two quarterbacks is criminal.
    Getting back to the Patriots, I stopped being “captivated” the minute the NFL dreamed up The Laughable Tuck Rule.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

      Think how much better off we would be if all politicians spent less time being politicians and more time being football fans. I actually like it when they “waste” their time on “meaningless ” stuff. It decreases the potential for my wallet being lighter.

    • Mike V

      Remember, the first word in ESPN is “entertainment”. I try to not take them too seriously. I’ve mentioned a book before on this site and I’ll do it again….”God Save The Fan”. Lots of it about how horrible ESPN has been for sports and fans in general.

      • Bobzilla

        I appreciate the recommended read, but I sure don’t need a book on the subject. Any all-sports network that would over-expose Skip Bayless has got problems.