For the majority of the New England Patriots’ dynasty, many have attempted to define them by two so-called “scandals.”
Any time the Patriots or Bill Belichick are mentioned, the involuntary reaction of most of the media and fans is to call them “cheaters.”
But this Hall of Fame coach’s opinion on those supposed “scandals” of the past is the viewpoint everyone should have.
In 2007, “Spygate” became the biggest story in sports after NFL officials found a Patriots videographer videotaping the opposing team from an unauthorized area.
Despite all the fake news about this being some sort of massive “cheating scandal,” what the videographer was doing was completely within the rules, as the NFL confirmed at the time – he just happened to be standing in the wrong spot.
Had he merely been standing in a different area of the stadium doing exactly what he was doing, this whole “scandal” doesn’t even exist.
On top of that, in 2014, the Indianapolis Colts decided at halftime of an AFC Championship game they were once again losing to claim that the Patriots and Tom Brady were playing with deflated footballs, thus launching “deflategate.”
Of course, as anyone who actually looks into the facts of that situation knows, it too was a total sham, as the NFL admitted they had no idea what level each of the game balls suspected of being deflated were at prior to the game.
The NFL even admitted that only one of the Patriots 12 approved game balls was even in question because it had been deflated by almost 2.0 psi, yet they still dismissed the fact that science says in temperatures as cold as the team were playing 1.8 psi can be lost on average.
All of that is to say that anyone who calls the Patriots “cheaters” is most likely just a loser who has never won or worked for anything in their life, so they resort to claiming that others “cheated” to get ahead.
Unfortunately, though, only a select few people in the NFL, the media, and opposing fan bases see it that way, and prefer to keep their heads buried in the sand so they can claim the Patriots are “cheaters.”
One of the few people who doesn’t have that loser mentality, though, is two-time Super Bowl Champion, Hall of Famer, and former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher.
In his new book, Heart and Steel, Cowher never once mentioned the Patriots so-called “scandals,” and as expected, the media simply wasn’t going to let that stand.
So in a recent interview, Ed Bouchette, a reporter for the sinking ship/dumpster fire that is The Athletic, grilled Cowher on why he didn’t talk about those issues with the Patriots, seemingly demanding he use it as an excuse as to why the Steelers didn’t win more Super Bowls.
But being a man of honor and integrity, Cowher shut that down real quick, telling Bouchette that if the Patriots did happen to beat them because of something like “Spygate” then he and his Pittsburgh coaching staff didn’t do a good enough job.
“It’s only cheating if you get caught,” Cowher said. “Like any player, if you’re going to hold him, don’t get caught. If you get caught, you’re wrong. If you don’t, you’re right. I always thought we never lost the games to New England because of Spygate. If [Bill Belichick] got the calls because we didn’t do a very good job of making sure we signaled those in, that’s on us. It’s not on him.”
“Because we’re always looking for competitive edges, I think, as any coach,” Cowher continued. “Whether it’s someone’s stance, someone’s split, someone’s formation (that tips off a play). You’re looking at someone’s eyes. How are they coming out of a huddle? You’re always looking for those little things that give you a competitive edge, and that to me is what that was.”
That’s exactly how everyone should look at those situations involving the Patriots.
As we’ve already pointed out, the entire narrative that the media and opposing fan bases crafted wasn’t close to being accurate, and so at the end of the day, their success came down to the fact that they were just a better team than everyone they faced.
It just goes to show you that having that mentality rather than having the loser mentality that “cheating” is what makes someone better than you, is the difference between being just another media hack and being a Hall of Fame head coach.
Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.