The Bill Belichick Scandal: A $1.7 Million Fraud?
A $1.7 million Fraud?
What did the loss of Super Bowl XXXIX mean to the Eagles, apart from not being able to sport a Super Bowl ring and cash in on lucrative product endorsements? For the 53 members on the team roster, the winners’ bonus was $68,000 per player, while each member of the losing team each took home $36,500—a difference of $31,500. By cheating, it seems to me that the unholy trio of Coach Bill Belichick, defensive coordinator Dean Pees and video guy Matthew Estrella were on track to defraud the losing Super Bowl players out of $1.7 million.
What did the Patriots’ victory in Super Bowl XXXIX mean to Eagles quarterback Donavan McNabb beside the loss of $31,500?
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was the champ, while McNabb was the chump. In the words of late-night Philadelphia sports talk show host Paul Jolovitz, McNabb was “first loser.”
In terms of history, poor old Donovan McNabb is George McGovern to Tom Brady’s Richard Nixon.
As a pissed off Eagles fan, I have serious questions:
* What is the difference between the Estrella-Pees-Belichick conspiracy and that of Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling of Enron? Did not the Patriots’ trio knowingly break league rules just as Lay and Skilling broke accounting rules? (Skilling is in jail. Lay conveniently died before he was sentenced.)
* If this was indeed a conspiracy that defrauds opposing players out of prize money (not to mention the happiness of millions of fans) should not the Justice Department be looking into this, just as it did with Enron, Tyco and Adelphia?
* Isn’t a tax-deductible $500,000 fine for Belichick and no suspension—not even for one game—a slap on the wrist when Super Bowl losers are deprived of $1.7 million?
* What is the message that such light punishment for cheating sends to millions of children across the country, who are starry-eyed over sports and sports heroes?