When Patriots fans dismiss Tom Brady’s involvement in Deflategate and his coach’s previous hiccup with Spygate, they say the infractions are minimal and also “everybody does it.” They say the scrutiny's more intense because the Patriots have a target on their backs due to unprecedented sustained success.
In other words, "cats be hatin."
Anti-Pats proponents and opposing teams call it cheating. Belichick and Brady would never admit to cheating to win, but we know they push their advantages to the limits. It’s a stretch to say that Roger Goodell or the NFL had it out for the face of their league, but finally we have legitimate proof that other elite coaches have also skewed the lines of cheating and fair play, just to get an edge.
Tony Dungy is known to have character that is beyond reproach and has said the Colts never cheated during his years as coach of the team.
However, Deion Sanders, an analyst for NFL Network, blew Dungy’s spot after Sunday's Super Bowl about the Colts cheating when colleague LaDainian Tomlinson said some might question New England's success because of Spygate, the 2007 scandal which the Patriots broke league rules by videotaping the opposition's signals from an unauthorized location.
"Those same critics, did they say anything about the wins that the Indianapolis Colts had? You want to talk about that, too? Because they were getting everybody's signals," Sanders said on NFL Network. "Come on, you don't walk up to the line and look over here and the man on the sideline giving you the defense that they've stolen the plays of. We all knew. LT knew. Everybody in the NFL knew. We just didn't let the fans know. That was real and that was happening in Indy."
Dungy responded to Sanders comments on "Pro Football Talk Live" on Wednesday to explain that the Colts -- like all other teams -- did steal signals, but never cheated.
You know, like when President Bill Clinton admitted to smoking weed but not inhaling. We have been using #alternativefacts in our society way before the Trump campaign.
"I think we have to go back to what is cheating," Dungy said. "People accusing us of cheating? I don't think that's the case. Stealing signals? You can go back to the 1800's in baseball, you can go anywhere there were signals done, and people were looking and watching and trying to get signals."
Dungy’s admittance actually supports Brady and Belichick’s actions and further adds to the confusion as to what is considered cheating and what is considered superior elevated strategy.