Were The Patriots Doing Their Job?

December 31, 2019

Signals are a big part of any sport. Whether it’s the coach signaling team members, or teammates signaling to each other, signals can sometimes make or break a game! In fact, signals are at the center of a story about the New England Patriots and a video series called Do Your Job. In 2007, the Patriots were in the news for videotaping signals on the sidelines of the opposing team, the Cincinnati Bengals. The video captured signals from the Bengals’ coaches that were then used to give the Patriots an advantage. At the time, the Patriots were fined $250,000, and it cost the team a draft pick.

Jeffrey Beall [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
The Patriots are in the news again this year because a video crew, who were meant to capture videos about different roles in football, were caught videotaping the sidelines during yet another Cincinnati Bengals game (against the Cleveland Browns). Were the Patriots trying to get valuable clues about the opposing team? Or was it a genuine mistake they made by not asking for permission to videotape the competition? Some fans think that the Patriots should have asked permission before sending a video crew, but others are a little more relaxed and question whether hand signals are even relevant when there is technology like headsets.

What do you think?