Doesn’t anyone want to talk football? – Bill Parcells.

Apparently not this week, Bill. Most people would seemingly rather speculate on a topic in which not one single confirmable fact has been released.

They’d rather use unconfirmed and unsubstantiated reports as a means to declare the reign of the greatest head coach and quarterback combination of all time a total sham.

They’d rather rush to judgment, declaring the parties GUILTY without having any idea what really happened.

They’d rather mock the efforts of actual explanation instead of trying to understand the possibilities.

When they get any pushback, they hide behind the “covering the story” explanation.

Have you ever seen a more condescending Tweet than that? “Covering it?” I had to respond.

I’m blown away by the idea that these people think that what is going on right now is simply the media “covering” a story.

Consider. In a column published last Thursday, which was entitled Arrogance demands consequences, Jackie MacMullan used the following phrases to describe Bill Belichick.

  • “arrogance.”
  • “incredibly audacious, stupid and paranoid”
  • “ludicrous”
  • “forever forfeited the benefit of the doubt when it comes to his own integrity”
  • [NFL] “should lay the hammer down.”
  • “he should be suspended for the Super Bowl.”
  • “about the integrity of the sport and the arrogance of a football coach who, if guilty, will have once again shown that he thinks he is bigger than the game”
  • “the win will be declared a tainted one by many. The noise will continue, and the chants of “Beli-cheat” will endure.”
  • “not just his legacy that will be stained”

Keep in mind, at this point, the only thing that had surfaced was rumors, a report from Chris Mortensen which had still not been confirmed by anyone, and is in fact being countered in some circles.

As many times as MacMullan stated “if” in the column, it was also clear that not for a second did she doubt that Belichick was guilty.

On the national level you get articles like from Mike Freeman – Is the NFL Going to Let Brady and Belichick Play It for a Fool? written the same day as the MacMullan column.

Here are some clips from that:

  • No one believes any of this except Patriots fans. No one. It’s a joke. It’s worse. It smells like a cover-up. 
  • This was a chance for Brady to come clean. Instead, he pulled a Lance Armstrong.
  • Not a single, objective soul believes them.
  • The Patriots just aren’t believable, and for that reason they deserve the same type of suspension the New Orleans Saints received post-Bountygate. Because if you believe the Patriots, the footballs deflated themselves or some poor ball boy or equipment person did this on their own. Both things are total science fiction.
  • What the Patriots did was sleazy. No, it doesn’t compare to football players abusing women or other malfeasance, but it does compare to one of the league’s most infamous cases, Bountygate.  For that reason, the NFL needs to suspend Belichick for a season, the way Sean Payton was, and Brady for half a season.
  • Those spy cameras didn’t turn on themselves, and the footballs didn’t deflate themselves.
  • The punishment needs to be harsh and swift because there’s a lot at stake here. There is plenty of evidence for the NFL to act now. Those suspensions should begin immediately. Yes, for the Super Bowl.

Is there any going back from a piece like that?

No. This whole thing has been disgusting from the get-go. We still don’t have any facts that have been confirmed, but the scientific analysis of what could’ve happened, as well as the whisper mill have turned the situation much more into the Patriots favor over the last couple days.

Jets connection appearing in Deflategate probe – Tom E Curran

Did NFL run sting operation on Patriots to trigger deflate-gate? – Dan Wetzel

Mike Tanier’s Monday Morning Hangover: Caught Up, Pumped Up for Super Bowl XLIX

There’s more, here and there, while we still can’t say what actually happened, what we can say is that once again, the media completely embarrassed themselves in trying to rush to judgment.

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18 thoughts on “Media’s Legacy Is Forever Tarnished

  1. And the backtracking has begun. Good example is Florio, whose frothing over the Patriots has calmed down recently. They know that that they were pouring gasoline over a fire they created, and now they are slowly walking away from it.

    (NOTE: this doesn’t reflect the four letter network. Eff them)

    (DOUBLE NOTE: The second Bill Nye started weighing in on this story, the more I wonder if this is the end of days)

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    1. Florio was on Dan Patrick this AM, and it seems that the NFL is now in the crosshairs. It looks like this thing is going to boomerang straight towards Goodell & the NFL. (The state of the league address this week should be one for the ages.)

      There’s still nothing concrete yet, but if the Pats are completely cleared I hope certain media members and entities take heat for the rest of their careers/existence.

      You know there won’t be any apologies.

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  2. This may be obvious (and should have been to me) but avoid at all costs Simmons’ podcast with his father and “J-Bug.” Completely un-listenable. And i generally enjoy his podcasts. Simmons has been terrible on the Pats of late, starting with Brady’s recent contract restructuring and through this recent mess.
    On the other side is Barnwell’s column on Belichick’s draft mastery. Bruce tweeted on this but it shoould (but won’t) shut up the local morons who keep saying that GM Belichick has screwed Coach Belichick.

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  3. The first sports media hack who wonders whether the Patriots’ DL 777 landed ‘with deflated tires’ should be handed over to ISIS.

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  4. This stuff will never stop unless the mediots peddling in this filth are held accountable — and that means either a one-year suspension, without pay, or complete termination and a five-year probationary period during which no media outlet is allowed to hire them. In the past, a few people have been cut loose for plagiarism (Barnicle, Jayson Blair, etc.), but so was Borges and he ended up with another job soon after anyway. Plagiarism, of course, is more of a crime against fellow journalists, which is why the “journalistic community” takes it seriously. The very fact that people like Tomase and Shank — who have knowingly (probably knowingly, at least) published false information in order to either smear the Pats and their owner, or to advance their own careers — continue to have jobs is the main problem here. These same types of people have been demanding Belichick’s head for his alleged crimes against football humanity, and yet when they violate all kinds of ethical standards in order to advance a story, it basically gets swept under the rug. Sure, they may take a little heat for a little while (Tomase did); but, until they start getting fired and drummed out of the so-called profession as punishment for their wanton, despicable acts, this crap is just going to continue, with no end in sight. I’m basically a First Amendment absolutist, but there’s also a reason why you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theatre–well, at least we “normal” folks can’t. It appears that the label “journalist” comes with some kind of immunity from that kind of scrutiny.

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  5. Can’t wait for the Felger and Mazz “We gave our opinion on what we heard” and “We know the Patriots always toe the line”.
    Because those excuses are so much better then “Everybody does it”

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    1. I’d say that odds are 90% that Felger says Belichick is lying and that neither he nor Mazz support anything that the Patriots say. They will call the Pat’s study meaningless despite the fact that they have no facts or evidence to support their opinion.

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      1. Well the Florio anti Pats takes are 100% fact. His pro Pats takes are suspect and he is carrying the NFL’s, and Krafts water…

        Funny how 3 months ago the “Good Old Boys” network was completely unreliable and today their rumors are set in stone!!

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        1. Even Florio is in the bag now? Of course! I should have known all along that he was on Krafty Bob’s payroll.

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  6. This is purely anecdotal, but I just heard from a friend who’s having a Super Bowl party. She wanted a football for decoration, and found an old deflated one outside. She brought it in, and what do you know, it partially inflated.

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  7. The more Roger tries to do the more he makes Tagliabue look like a fabulous commish. What a wonderful thing it was to have a commish who protected the players and the leagues best interests by protecting it’s public image from some of the dirty things that happen in the shadows of the NFL.
    Is everyone enjoying the league now for what it’s become under the Sheriff Goodell? He’s taken over a league that had a sterling reputation and has proceeded to put his own interest of what is truly best for the sport. And that is keeping it from being viewed as something barely above the WWE.
    He is a media whore and his own ego has gotten in the way of protecting the image of the sport in the minds of many fans who now think it’s fixed. This was never the case under Rozelle or Tagliabue. Roger Goodell has managed to undue in 10 years what the previous Commissioners took many decades to build. Great. So financially it’s never been better but what does that all mean when you tear down the players and teams with it?

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  8. I posted it to the previous thread, but since it pertains to Peter King’s condescension, I’ll re-post here.

    To: The 6 New England states.
    From: The Echo Chamber

    http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/poll/conversation/_/id/4674914

    What’s your take on 11 of 12 Patriots footballs being underinflated during New England’s 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts?

    49% Patriots’ success is tainted
    51% Not a big deal
    (Total votes: 1,189,207)

    No, Peter, it’s not just New England that thinks the media all wet…

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  9. Personally, I believed at the start that this was a meaningless, inconsequential act of gamesmanship that was common across the board – and I thought that the NFL “enraged” leak turned it into a firestorm of insanity that the NFL could not control. I thought the Colts figured leaking the story would be a day’s worth of sour grapes, everyone would laugh, but it was not a serious lapse of any sort. A bent stick, or spitball in other words – “oh, those crafty Pats…hahahaha”

    Now, I just believe that we were misinformed – deliberately – at every level. I buy the weather explanation, and the reason it didn’t happen to the Colts is because they’re a poorly coached team that doesn’t mess with the footballs enough to the QB’s satisfaction.

    But all that aside, I never dreamed that the media would go full nuclear at the local and national level, and that the NFL was so utterly incompetent as to let this get away from them so badly.

    It is now impossible – impossible! – to accept that the NFL is intelligently run, or anything other than a bumbling old men who must not really understand the world around them. I knew Goodell was inept, but I didn’t think he was this gravely incompetent.

    As for the media, it’s the lowest moment in my memory. I don’t know how any of them come back from this, I truly don’t. Forget Spygate – this is Spygate times a million because at least in that case they WERE punished (we can debate all day whether they should have been, but that’s relevant). Here they rushed to judgement as badly as any case of libel and slander that I think I can imagine.

    I would not understand why any player would ever talk in more than generalities ever again – why? What would be the point? Unless it’s for endorsements or something directly beneficial. Even Brady on D+C seems pointless and absurd.

    As for King – he’s gross. He’s disgusting, and petty and superior. Screw him. He’s a waterboy, a delivery man. He’s the guy who picks up Goodell’s laundry. And Goodell is a clown.

    It’s a joke. If you still take the NFL seriously after this, you got problems. I’d have more trust in the 1986 World Wrestling Federation.

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