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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Lesson learned, Giants should cheat

    January 28, 2008
    BY MIKE MULLIGAN mmulligan@suntimes.com
    PHOENIX — If you want to be polite about it, you could say the best way for the New York Giants to pull off an upset of New England in Super Bowl XLII on Sunday is to employ the same sort of cynical tactics that the Patriots used to establish their dynasty.

    Not direct enough for you? OK, let’s put it this way: The Giants should cheat.


    They don’t have to call it that, mind you. You wouldn’t want impressionable kids to receive conflicting messages about the importance of sportsmanship. But in the Machiavellian world of professional football, the time has come to match fire with fire.

    New England and its ever-resourceful coach, Bill Belichick, have risen to previously unmatched heights through hard work, total commitment, unerring adaptability and ingenious manipulation of the salary cap. But the Patriot Way also includes dirty tricks and questionable tactics, from gamesmanship on the field to video cameras on the sidelines.

    Has everyone forgotten how it all began? The seeds of a Giants upset this year were planted back in Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans on Feb. 4, 2002, when the Patriots pulled off what might have been the greatest upset this side of Joe Namath’s Jets by dispatching the St. Louis Rams — then known as the Greatest Show on Turf — by a 20-17 margin.

    The Patriots were 16-point underdogs, but they arrived as one that night, declining individual player introductions before the game as a symbol of their united cause.

    It was a tear-jerker of a story — unless, of course, your allegiances were with St. Louis. In that case, it was highway robbery or perhaps a simple case of battery: The Patriots’ defense grabbed and clutched and mugged and assaulted. They cut the high wire, stole the net and left the Rams in a freefall from which they haven’t recovered.

    After looking at the tape, the Rams claimed at least 15 New England penalties weren’t called. Belichick & Co. recognized that the league wasn’t going to ruin the Super Bowl by interrupting it with a series of penalties, thereby extending the time of the game, alienating fans and perhaps losing ratings.


    A year later in the AFC Championship Game, the Patriots beat Indianapolis 24-14 by employing the same sort of rough-house play in the secondary. Colts general manager Bill Polian sent 20 plays to the league office to review and noted a few days later in an online chat that not one of the seven penalties whistled in the game occurred after the ball was snapped.

    ‘‘We did not get any memo saying they were throwing away the rule book,’’ Polian said at the time. ‘‘If that was the case, both teams should have been notified.’’

    The next year, the league attempted to outlaw rough play in the secondary by making the five-yard chuck rule ‘‘a point of emphasis’’ and effectively protected the passing game from Belichick. The coach adjusted, and now it’s the Patriots who come to the Super Bowl as two-touchdown favorites with a high-powered offense that can’t be contained.

    How do you stop the new Greatest Show on Turf? The only answer is to meet finesse with force. The Giants ought to go back and study Super Bowl XXXVI and the AFC Championship Game from the next season and emulate those Patriots. The league still can’t afford to lose the New York television market and viewers across the world by calling a penalty on every play.

    The only problem might be whether bruising tactics on the Patriots’ receivers will work. Randy Moss is big and physical and can get off the line against press coverage. In the NFC Championship Game, Giants cornerback Corey Webster was thrown to the ground by Green Bay’s Donald Driver while trying to get a jam on the line of scrimmage, and the play resulted in a 90-yard touchdown. Members of the Giants’ secondary took terrible angles on Driver as he burst down the sideline. Moss is significantly faster than Driver.

    The other problem is with Wes Welker, the Patriots’ slot receiver. He’s so quick, it’s difficult to get a jam on him coming off the line. Then, of course, comes the Tom Brady factor. If someone had told you back on that fateful February day in 2002 that one of the quarterbacks in that Super Bowl was headed for the Hall of Fame, you certainly would have thought it was Kurt Warner. But it’s Brady who has won two Super Bowl MVP awards and three titles.

    ‘‘You have to hit Brady,’’ a defensive coordinator whose team lost to the Patriots said recently. ‘‘You have to hit him on every play using any way you can.’’

    Brady set an NFL record with 50 touchdown passes during the regular season and was named the league’s most valuable player. He set a playoff record for completion percentage by hitting 26 of 28 passes against Jacksonville in the divisional round.

    But Brady uncharacteristically threw three interceptions against San Diego in the AFC Championship Game and was spotted around New York last week wearing a protective boot on a sprained right ankle. Isn’t that an invitation for a defensive lineman to fall on the tender leg early and often?

    Cleveland Browns coach Romeo Crennel, the defensive coordinator on the Patriots’ first Super Bowl winner, said it’s not so easy to devise a game plan to stop New England’s offense because that’s not going far enough. When Brady struggled against the Chargers, the Patriots simply switched gears and went to the running game, allowing the combination of Lawrence Maroney and Kevin Faulk to key the victory. ‘‘The Patriots are a total team,’’ Crennel said. ‘‘They have a good offense and a good defense. They have shown during the course of this wining streak that they don’t rely on one particular thing. If one thing is not working, something else works for them.

    ‘‘You have to defend everything, and you have to go after them on offense with everything. That’s what it is going to take: a well-rounded effort to beat them.’’

    Leave it to Belichick to put together a team that’s cheater-proof.


  2. #2
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    Re: Lesson learned, Giants should cheat

    Hmmmm........The Patriots cheated in Superbowl 36 who would have known? Nice to know you can throw out the rule book if a penalty is committed on every play. This is old news to Rams fans we know we were jobbed.
    Just Fix It

  3. #3
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    Re: Lesson learned, Giants should cheat

    Another way for the Giants to pull off the upset is to make sure that the officiating crew for this upcoming Superbowl isn't the same crew that officiated Superbowl XXXVI.

  4. #4
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    Re: Lesson learned, Giants should cheat

    By all means, the Giants should play rough and break some rules. If the officials aren't calling penalties in the big game, then they should use that to their advantage. The rules may be different and they need to test what is, and is not, called. They should at least learn from history. It could be the difference between losing and winning.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  5. #5
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    Re: Lesson learned, Giants should cheat

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    January 28, 2008
    BY MIKE MULLIGAN mmulligan@suntimes.com
    PHOENIX — If you want to be polite about it, you could say the best way for the New York Giants to pull off an upset of New England in Super Bowl XLII on Sunday is to employ the same sort of cynical tactics that the Patriots used to establish their dynasty.

    Not direct enough for you? OK, let’s put it this way: The Giants should cheat.


    They don’t have to call it that, mind you. You wouldn’t want impressionable kids to receive conflicting messages about the importance of sportsmanship. But in the Machiavellian world of professional football, the time has come to match fire with fire.

    New England and its ever-resourceful coach, Bill Belichick, have risen to previously unmatched heights through hard work, total commitment, unerring adaptability and ingenious manipulation of the salary cap. But the Patriot Way also includes dirty tricks and questionable tactics, from gamesmanship on the field to video cameras on the sidelines.

    Has everyone forgotten how it all began? The seeds of a Giants upset this year were planted back in Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans on Feb. 4, 2002, when the Patriots pulled off what might have been the greatest upset this side of Joe Namath’s Jets by dispatching the St. Louis Rams — then known as the Greatest Show on Turf — by a 20-17 margin.

    The Patriots were 16-point underdogs, but they arrived as one that night, declining individual player introductions before the game as a symbol of their united cause.

    It was a tear-jerker of a story — unless, of course, your allegiances were with St. Louis. In that case, it was highway robbery or perhaps a simple case of battery: The Patriots’ defense grabbed and clutched and mugged and assaulted. They cut the high wire, stole the net and left the Rams in a freefall from which they haven’t recovered.

    After looking at the tape, the Rams claimed at least 15 New England penalties weren’t called. Belichick & Co. recognized that the league wasn’t going to ruin the Super Bowl by interrupting it with a series of penalties, thereby extending the time of the game, alienating fans and perhaps losing ratings.


    A year later in the AFC Championship Game, the Patriots beat Indianapolis 24-14 by employing the same sort of rough-house play in the secondary. Colts general manager Bill Polian sent 20 plays to the league office to review and noted a few days later in an online chat that not one of the seven penalties whistled in the game occurred after the ball was snapped.

    ‘‘We did not get any memo saying they were throwing away the rule book,’’ Polian said at the time. ‘‘If that was the case, both teams should have been notified.’’

    The next year, the league attempted to outlaw rough play in the secondary by making the five-yard chuck rule ‘‘a point of emphasis’’ and effectively protected the passing game from Belichick. The coach adjusted, and now it’s the Patriots who come to the Super Bowl as two-touchdown favorites with a high-powered offense that can’t be contained.

    How do you stop the new Greatest Show on Turf? The only answer is to meet finesse with force. The Giants ought to go back and study Super Bowl XXXVI and the AFC Championship Game from the next season and emulate those Patriots. The league still can’t afford to lose the New York television market and viewers across the world by calling a penalty on every play.

    The only problem might be whether bruising tactics on the Patriots’ receivers will work. Randy Moss is big and physical and can get off the line against press coverage. In the NFC Championship Game, Giants cornerback Corey Webster was thrown to the ground by Green Bay’s Donald Driver while trying to get a jam on the line of scrimmage, and the play resulted in a 90-yard touchdown. Members of the Giants’ secondary took terrible angles on Driver as he burst down the sideline. Moss is significantly faster than Driver.

    The other problem is with Wes Welker, the Patriots’ slot receiver. He’s so quick, it’s difficult to get a jam on him coming off the line. Then, of course, comes the Tom Brady factor. If someone had told you back on that fateful February day in 2002 that one of the quarterbacks in that Super Bowl was headed for the Hall of Fame, you certainly would have thought it was Kurt Warner. But it’s Brady who has won two Super Bowl MVP awards and three titles.

    ‘‘You have to hit Brady,’’ a defensive coordinator whose team lost to the Patriots said recently. ‘‘You have to hit him on every play using any way you can.’’

    Brady set an NFL record with 50 touchdown passes during the regular season and was named the league’s most valuable player. He set a playoff record for completion percentage by hitting 26 of 28 passes against Jacksonville in the divisional round.

    But Brady uncharacteristically threw three interceptions against San Diego in the AFC Championship Game and was spotted around New York last week wearing a protective boot on a sprained right ankle. Isn’t that an invitation for a defensive lineman to fall on the tender leg early and often?

    Cleveland Browns coach Romeo Crennel, the defensive coordinator on the Patriots’ first Super Bowl winner, said it’s not so easy to devise a game plan to stop New England’s offense because that’s not going far enough. When Brady struggled against the Chargers, the Patriots simply switched gears and went to the running game, allowing the combination of Lawrence Maroney and Kevin Faulk to key the victory. ‘‘The Patriots are a total team,’’ Crennel said. ‘‘They have a good offense and a good defense. They have shown during the course of this wining streak that they don’t rely on one particular thing. If one thing is not working, something else works for them.

    ‘‘You have to defend everything, and you have to go after them on offense with everything. That’s what it is going to take: a well-rounded effort to beat them.’’

    Leave it to Belichick to put together a team that’s cheater-proof.
    DONT YOU JUST LOVE HOW THE MEDIA FINALLY BRINGS UP THE RAMS WERE ROBBED IN THAT GAME WHAT 5 YEARS LATER.... BUT WHEN THE GIANTS DO IT ON SUNDAY, IT WILL BE A PENALTY YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT BROTHER...

  6. #6
    Keenum's Avatar
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    Re: Lesson learned, Giants should cheat

    This still freakin ticks me off.

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