It has finally become clear. The New England Patriots amazing run this decade has not been the result of brilliant player management, Tom Brady (arguably, the best quarterback of his generation), or solid coaching. Nope, the New England Patriots have done it all through Racketeering and cheating. (I can only assume that Tom Brady’s absurd, supermodel and starlet strewn romantic resume was somehow manufactured in the same way. For shame, Tom Brady, for shame.)
At least that’s what a new law suit alleges. Filled in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana last Friday, former St. Louis Rams player Willie Gary and several ticket purchasers brought suit, requesting their certification as a class, and demanding $100 millions in damages for the Patriots alleged violations. (You can read the lengthy complaint here.)
The five separate counts in the complaint boil down to this: a ticket purchaser to an NFL event is entering into a contractual relationship with the league to see a fair contest, and by taping the Rams “walk through” before the game, the Patriots gained an unfair advantage in violation of league rules and deprived the ticket purchasers of the benefit of their contract.
Now it pains me to say this, but I think that the Patriots are probably not in the wrong. Even if you had a video tape (Belichick denied it, of course,) and you knew what the Rams first 25 plays were going to be, the Patriots would still have to execute. A safety in the secondary can always fall down even if they know the route the wide receiver is running. Lacking definitive proof that it conveyed a competitive advantage, how would you prove that it was the proximate cause of the Rams loss? Alternatively, how do you prove that the Rams would have won the game “but for” the taping?
I’d love nothing more than to see Bill Belachick doing the walk of shame after being found liable for civil RICO charges. Can’t you see him now? Standing on the steps of the court house in that cut-off sweatshirt? Since this suit seem more than a little suspect however, I’ll just have to settle for the method the New York Giants used to solve the problem.