Thursday, January 22, 2015


Raise your hand if you're shocked by any of the following:

1) that the Patriots might have cheated
2) that Bill Belichick now claims he didn't know that the footballs in the AFC championship game were deflated
3) that Bill Belichick made Pete Carroll and Richard Sherman into the sentimental favorites for the Super Bowl

Here's what TigerBlog thinks:

Bill Belichick should be banned from the NFL for a year - starting with the Super Bowl next week - and the continued specter of cheating that has hovered over him and quarterback Tom Brady for the entirety of their time together should keep them out of the Hall of Fame in the same way that it has kept out the baseball players who were linked to steroids but who never failed a drug test.

Yes, TigerBlog believes that. Hey, if you can ban a coach in New Orleans for the bounties placed on opposing players, you can ban Belichick for again threatening the integrity of the game.

He also would guess that Belichick is lying through his teeth when he says he had no knowledge that the balls were deflated. He further would guess that last Sunday wasn't the first time this had happened, and he thinks this taints every single thing Brady has accomplished, as it does for a baseball player like A-Rod.

In fact, he can't help but wonder how else these two have cheated through the years. What would surprise you? Anything?

And the idea that the Patriots creamed the Colts anyway doesn't matter. The Patriots didn't set out to cheat with the idea that the game would be a blowout anyway; they did it to get any possible edge in the event the game was close.

Does Belichick think that the rest of the world is so dumb as to believe that he knew nothing about this? He can't be allowed to simply say that and then go on and prepare for the game, as if this is no big deal.

What this is is the latest in a long run of allegations, mostly proven, that suggest that the Patriots and especially their head coach and quarterback feel that the rules do not apply to them, that they can do whatever they want to gain advantage.

To TigerBog, that makes everything they've accomplished no longer matter, as every piece of those accomplishments can be called into question. And to those who say that everyone does it, who else has gotten caught? Anyone?

This is the NFL's worst nightmare. It's the one team with the one coach and the one quarterback that the NFL would least want to see in this situation.

Now it's going to be all about this subject for an entire week prior to the game. With a league already dealing with serious issues related to domestic violence and the physical well-being of its current and former players, now all of the sudden comes another Super Bowl that will be wall-to-wall Patriots cheating.

Let's see how much courage the league has now to drop the hammer on Belichick.

Is he a great coach? In the NFL, you can't be a great coach without a great quarterback, and Belichick never started to win like this until he had Brady. Now fans are left to wonder how much of Brady's edge has come outside the rules.

Belichick, if you recall, bolted from the Jets after being hired as their head coach in 1999. How long did he last? One day. Then he fled for the Pats.

Had Belichick stayed with the Jets, would all of this success have come his way? Hah. Hardly. Now with the litany of quarterbacks that the Jets coaches have been saddled with all these years.

So all of this leaves any casual football fan, like TigerBlog, with two choices come Super Sunday. Root for the Seahawks, who themselves are not easy to root for, or don't watch.

There is still a week until the Super Bowl.

There are still a few more exams to be taken at Princeton, but the winter teams will be returning to play soon enough after what will ultimately be a 13-day break.

It begins with men's and women's track and field here Saturday, as well as women's tennis in Alabama this weekend.

When Princeton was last in Alabama, it was for the NCAA tournament last spring. Princeton, if you recall, defeated Arizona State in the first round and then barely lost to Alabama, the No. 2 team in the country.

This came on the heels of a 7-0 Ivy League season, something that isn't easy to do in women's tennis. It also came without a senior in the lineup.

The event in Alabama is something a four-team kickoff tournament, with Princeton, Alabama, Syracuse and Virginia Tech. Alabama is ranked seventh, while Princeton is 35th. Va. Tech and Syracuse are 56th and 57th.

As an aside, TigerBlog is not a fan of the word "respectively" inserted into obvious situations in sentences like the one he just wrote. It's obvious that Virginia Tech is 56 and Syracuse is 57. He doesn't need to add "respectively." In fact, it's among his least favorite words.

Anyway, the women's tennis team is clearly worth keeping an eye on this spring. The Tigers will play one home match in the next two-plus months, and that is in Jadwin Gym on Feb. 17 against Rutgers. The Ivy League schedule doesn't start until the final day of March at Penn, followed by a home weekend April 3 and 4 against Yale and Brown.

In the meantime, there's the matter of the rest of the winter sports season, which eases back into it this weekend and then begins the all-out sprint to the Ivy title finish line next weekend.

And then there's the Super Bowl.

Go Seahawks.

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