Furthermore, in great detail, information started to arise that this was an NFL wide problem. Most recently, Roger Goddell said that "scouting NFL signals is commonplace and legal." Obviously, the use of a camera in certain spaces makes it more illegal than other places, but that's not what's troubling.
Keep in mind, the punishment of the Patriots was a 1st round pick in the 2008 NFL draft and a 750k dollar fine (500k to be paid directly out of Bill's own pocket).The punishment wasn't for spying. As a matter of fact, the spying is completely legal as pointed out above. It's merely where you spy from. If the Patriots had taped signals from the press box, a fine would have never been imposed. As Jimmy Johnson said though "it's not possible to tape signals from the press box when the team is on the wrong side." In other words, you can't tape their signals but they can tape yours, and it's 100% legal.
Jimmy Johnson also went on to elaborate by saying that the idea was given to him by then KC Chiefs sideline coach to tape from the sidelines. "You merely have to put an extra camera man beside the rest of them."
What has become painfully obvious is that the above is not only very unfair it is also very speculative. I won't attempt to convince you that Belichick believed in what he was doing was justified. I will attempt to merely justify it.
Now remember, if you are the team under the press box, the other team is completely in viewing range of the box. Cameras can be pointed in their direction and signals can be easily recorded. You are protected from this because the NFL prohibits you from taping from anywhere that is not enclosed by walls. There are no other places like this than 1 press box.
Well, you might be thinking that the tape recorded from the press box can't be very good. You obviously don't have an HDTV. HD Cameras (used to record games in High definition) have optical zoom levels exceeding 16x. What does that mean? It means that you can record video from the Press-box at nearly the same quality zoomed in as zoomed out. Imagine, High definition video of the Jets coordinator or the Chargers cheerleaders. Surely the NFL coaches would be able to get one such camera. 50k$ (not sure of the price, but that'd be absurdly expensive for a camera - my dad is a professional photographer. I'm positive the top cameras might go that high, but most do not)
What Belichick could have been thinking is that if it's legal for one team to do it (the home team) then it must be legal for another team to do it when they are on the road. I'm not saying he thought it was legal, but that it should be legal. It just doesn't seem to promote a competitive advantage to allow the home team to tape signals for future games. I mean, at one time, the Jets made the playoffs. If they taped the Patriots signals, they could possibly beat them because of it.
I'm not condoning the practice of breaking rules (I actually believe in strict enforcement), highlighting the obvious discrepancy is a must in this situation.
This isn't a conspiracy theory. It's a reminder that the rules aren't always set up to be fair. Sometimes they are unfair and it's just not convienent to talk about where they fall short. The people that challenge the laws are often ruled as heretics or unclean, but history often stands on their side. Maybe Belichick is nothing more than a coach looking to bend or break rules or maybe he didn't want to be victimized by a practice he saw as common and biased.
While most fans are tired and ready to move on, I really suggest they take a hard look at what really happened instead of listening to the "but they cheated" 'Hatriots'. (I hate that name, but it seems to become standardized).
Just a thought.