The Patriots nor Anyone Else Needs to Cheat to Beat the Cincinnati Bengals
Because we always need something new to be outraged about---this NFL Week will now be dominated by silly speculation the New England Patriots "Cheated" by having a production crew shoot a play from the Press Box of the Cincinnati Bengals game last week.
By the way, yes, the Patriots and Bengals play in Week 15. It should be noted, the Patriots are 10-3 on the season, the Bengals are arguably the worst team in the NFL at 1-12.
A brief summary of why someone is outraged (someone is always outraged):
At Sunday's Bengals vs. Browns game in Cleveland, it appears the Browns credentialed a freelance production crew to shadow an New England advance scout for a feature story on the Patriots website called "Do Your Job"
While shooting the piece, the crew at some point in the Press Box, got a shot of the field during game action. Word got out to the Bengals who immediately filed a complaint. The video was confiscated both the team and the NFL holding copies of it and investigating the said clip.
Now....here's where the "Outrage" begins to seep in to our conversation.....
We all know or most are familiar with the Patriots past history with shady video documenting of opponents, they've been caught before bending the rules. This is not a secret to, well, anyone who follows the NFL.
In the current world in which we live---EVERYTHING is a conspiracy. EVERYONE thinks they are the ones who know what happened and anything the team says is a lie. Which isn't to say the Patriots haven't lied before either. It's been proven they have. Rather it just says everyone on Social Media will offer up an opinion and be convinced they really know the truth.
But....why in this instance would the team feel compelled to have a crew shoot "During" a game to get "Information" on the Bengals in a game they can easily just get off of a game recording??
Short of the production crew setting up on a tripod and shooting a wide view of plays, what would they actually "Gain" from this video of a clearly inferior Bengals team? Especially since access to such video is so easy for them to get without having to do this.
Yeah, sure, I know--it makes for great talking points for the talking opinion heads on ESPN and Fox Sports and Sports Talk Radio. It's an easy segment that costs nothing but time and credibility.
Listen, I know full well, the NFL has a rule about shooting in the Press Box during a game. The rule applies to everyone, teams included. You need express permission from the host team to be there. The Browns DID credential the crew to do their work--however either the Patriots or the Browns did a poor job of making everyone aware of what was going on.
As for the Bengals--they just need to stay quiet and not enter this conversation. There is nothing to be gained by sayin anything. Very little, if anything the Bungles have done in 2019 indicate they are a threat to beat, well---anyone, never mind a good team like New England.
But for at least a couple of days, this will be a talking point with at least a couple of the usual talking head suspects yelling into the camera about how the Patriots should know better and whether this could or couldn't be a fineable offense.
Really, at the end of the day the whole thing is "Much ado about nothing" but like I said--in the world we currently live, any chance someone has to express faux outrage means it will live in the News Cycle for at least a few days.
At least until someone else does something silly to change the conversation to the next "Faux Outrage" talking point.....