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One thing in particular has been bothering me for the past two decades – the New England Patriots.
Like many other people, I suspect that they are cheating; but like many people, I can’t prove it.
I can cite Mr. O’Leary’s book, Spygate: The Untold Story, in which he wonderfully makes a case against the Patriots, but I myself can not point to anything that is conclusive proof that they are cheating.
In many respects, accusing the Patriots of cheating is much like accusing the CIA of murdering JFK. There is an abundance of information that points toward it, but there is no videotape or letter indicating complicity.
This drives me crazy, and it compels me to ask: How can I know? What can I show that has not already been elucidated?
Should I conclude that there is nothing there?
How is it fair for me to point to statistical analyses when I have never been a big fan of statistical analysis?
Is it fair to that infer that the Patriots might be cheating because no Belichick coach has ever accomplished anything in the NFL?
Not really. It’s interesting to note, but perhaps Belichick has a blind spot when it comes to picking assistants. Maybe Belichick is so talented he can use losers as assistants.
How about the Patriots near unbeatable home record which no other team comes close to achieving. Is that proof? Again, it’s nice to know, but it does not prove anything. Perhaps the Patriots really are that talented.
The videotaping of other teams known as Spygate? The partially deflated balls known as Deflategate? Again, these don’t seem to be big enough or conclusive enough to point to a conviction.
So maybe there is nothing there.
But then I ask, how is it possible for Belichick to grab the right players year after year to fit into his scheme? How can this be done when NFL teams repopulate principally through the draft and a limited free agency where good players are looking for the big bucks?
How do the Patriots pull through their injuries year after year when other teams are hindered vastly by injuries?
Instead of asking what the Patriots might be doing wrong, maybe I should be asking what they are doing right.
What are they doing right?
Well here is what doesn’t matter:
Injuries don’t matter. The weather doesn’t matter. The supporting players don’t matter. The assistant coaches don’t matter. The fans don’t matter.
What is consistently there on the team is the owner, Robert Kraft; Bill Belichick, the coach; Ernie Adams, Belichick’s buddy, and Tom Brady, the quarterback.
Oh yeah, half the season the stadium matters but to a lesser degree.
Two of the people who matter aren’t even on the field.
Is it possible for four men to win so much and play in so many Super Bowls?
What magic secret do they possess?
What bond do they have that makes for so much success?
What will future technology reveal?
Will future technology show them to be genius educators and motivators who were uniquely endowed to make superstars out of mortal men?
If that were the case, why are the men, the recipients of such genius, not able to transmit these skills to other people?
What is this mystical offensive and defensive strategy that can escape the view of millions of watching humans not to mention thousands upon thousands of cameras?
Back in the early 1980s, before the human genome was mapped, doctors, researchers and geneticists suspected a genetic basis for certain diseases. They couldn’t prove it, but they certainly suspected it.
Time and technology proved them correct.
Of course, that was legitimate science.
For the case of the Patriots, we might need a man like Houdini, who was adept at picking out frauds.
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