Friday, September 14, 2007

Belichick likened to a slot cheat!

This article appeared September 13th on AOL sports.

Bill Belichick: More Like a Card Counter or a Slot Machine Fixer?

How bad is Patriotgate, the cheating scandal that got Patriots coach Bill Belichick busted by the NFL today? Did Belichick just do what any coach would do to gain an edge? Steve Czaban sums it up nicely:

Don't give me the whole "cheating goes on all the time in sports, don't get so righteous" argument. Cheating does happen all the time, and so does PUNISHMENT for cheating. Mild cheating that doesn't involve technology, is one thing. Using tools and schemes and electronics is another.

That's RIGGING. It's the difference between counting cards in a casino, versus using a magnet to jack-up a slot machine's payout.

There's something respectable about counting cards, and something shameful about rigging a slot machine. By ordering an assistant to tape opposing coaches' signals, Belichick crossed over to "rigging a slot machine" territory.

Well, personally, I think the whole thing is blown out of proportion. This kind of stuff goes on all the time in sports. A good example of it is in baseball where baserunners on second base steal the opposing catcher's signs to the pitcher, or when opportunistic managers and coaches in dugouts steal the opposing third-base coach's signs to the batter. The same thing goes on in tennis where coaches illegally signal their players on the court to change something in their game.

But there is on thing I can relate to in this article: the comparison of card-counting to rigging slot machines. If Belichick did indeed cross the line by ordering an assistant to tape the opposing coach's signals, then, in my day, I jumped over the Grand Canyon if you want to compare card-counting to my moves!