Furthering Debate I

There's been a lot of "debate" on BRB recently and I figured we should debate them even further! We'll start off with an ongoing debate regarding Bill Belichick and the Patriots sparked by Antonio Smith's postgame comments. I hope to continue these with further debates like Teddy Bridgewater vs Jadeveon Clowney, Coaching Candidates, the merits of tanking, offseason staffing changes etc. However to make more progress on debates than made in comments of other (less appropriate) threads, I hope to try to relocate them somewhere more appropriate. First the rules and objectives.


  • Get everyone involved, people that lurk or tend not to comment should contribute their unique perspective or their concurrence be involved.
  • Move the debate, let's not get hinged, let's keep it moving closer to resolution
  • Organize "debates" better


  • The "points of debate" I present are to be respected, debate those first. (If you wish to add more by all means suggest it but let's keep discussion focused and as minimally abstract as possible).
  • No one's opinion is more valid than another's. If you seek validation of your argument seek the concurrence of others. So keep in mind that player evaluations while welcomed should be taken with a grain of salt.
  • Provide verification for verifiable claims. If you want to claim that Peyton Manning is better than Tom Brady than that is fine but keep in mind your opinion will be treated as such, opinion. However if you mention the words of another or statistics, verify them.

For this debate consider the following:

Bill Belichick knowingly cheated in 2007 which made him a "cheater" and not a misinterpreter of the rules.

This seems the most muddied and pertinent to the distinguishing of friendly jabbering between fans and negative sentiment brought about by the spygate controversy on to the Patriots organization. Frankly it is impossible to know what Belichick’s exact intentions were and quite frankly I think it is of little consequence. The rules were clear that video recording devices were prohibited from the sidelines and a memo was sent out in November of 2006 to all teams mentioning just that. The Patriots were caught using video recording devices on the sideline. They were cheating in 2007 that is all that should be quantified now. As for Belichick’s intentions and competence in interpreting rules

"This episode represents a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid longstanding rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition on the playing field,"

-Roger Goodell (according to the New York Times)

The commissioner resolved that the Patriots organization (thus Bill Belichick) had made "calculated and deliberate" attempts to cheat. We will never know Belichick’s real intentions and there still remains the strong possibility of Belichick’s ignorance. However in the NFL’s commissioner’s view Belichick intended to cheat and did not "misinterpret" rules. Belichick was fined $500,000 and the Patriots $250,000 and a first round pick.

Quantifying Antonio Smith’s accusations.

Antonio Smith meant his accusations as a joke. I imagine the interview went somewhat like this: "What did you think of the Patriots’ second half surge?" "It must be cheating… I meeeeaaaan like how could they be that good in the second half without spying on us." If you need more verification refer to Patriots’ reactions or Smith’s own comment that his accusations were, in fact, a joke.

Bill Belichick’s track record since spygate.

69-23 so pretty damn good. The man has accomplished so much because frankly he is a brilliant football mind that has spawned so much reputable coaches and players. Sure he may cut corners (Dennard, Hernandez, etc) but he brings a unique philosophy that goes beyond the X’s and O’s and the results are evident. 69-23 speaks for itself and so does two super bowl appearances.

Antonio Smith cracked a joke when referring to Patriots’ suspicious behavior, the shitstorm that ensued hasn’t brought much conclusion since. Roger Goodell did mention that Belichick’s video records of opponents signals were "calculated and deliberate," however this cheating (which was deliberate and against the rules no matter how you slice it, Goodell’s quote disproves incompetence or ignorance beyond a reasonable doubt) does not detract from Belichick’s stellar record since, the man is a football genius, surefire HOF and I am extremely curious to see what he makes of the Patriots and his legacy when Brady moves on.

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