BOSTON — Several years ago, a member of the Patriots entertainment department captured video footage from the football field as he sat in the press box. Several Cincinnati Bengals personnel sat behind him. One of those Cincinnati Bengals staffers made a big deal out of it. The NFL decided to punish the Patriots for this, given…the history. And then, practically everyone in the world forgot about the incident.
Still, the moment some are calling “Spygate 2.0” is enjoying something of a revival, thanks to the Cincinnati Bengals’ social media team.
To celebrate “International Cat Day” (a very real and hugely popular day, no doubt) on Monday, the Bengals have compiled some photos of cats set up in environments that match the cities of the Bengals’ opponents this coming season. The Dallas cat wore a cowboy hat. Adorable. The Jets cat had flight goggles on its hairy face. Classic — cats can’t fly planes!! The Miami Cat was sipping a cold drink by the beach. The New Orleans cat was all dolled up for Mardi Gras. The Tennessee cat was playing live music. The Kansas City cat was cooking from a hot barbecue. The Buffalo cat has been bundled up for the cold. You get it. Cute and fun stuff. Delicious.
The cat representing New England, though? This cat was gnawing on a camera.
Much like the videographer working in the press box to document a day in the life of an advanced NFL scout, the actual team likely had nothing to do with that particular shot through the team forward. by Bill Belichick. Anyway, as a wise man in a press gallery, The damage is done, my friend.
Of course, the existence of this “scandal” itself is a relic from another era – a time when the NFL was gravely concerned about the dominance of the Patriots and when measures to impose different levels of parity were carried out every day. a few years. It was a necessary app, really, for a team that regularly won over a dozen games a year and essentially turned the AFC Championship game into The Belichick/Brady Invitational. That’s why, even though footage showed the Patriots employee simply filming what everyone in the stadium could have seen, the NFL “investigated” the matter for more than half a calendar year. before depriving the team of a third-round pick and a fine. the team $1.1 million.
Alas, the glory days have since faded. Those 2019 Patriots, after dismantling the Bengals following the mounting “scandal”, lost their regular season finale and then their home playoff game in the wildcard round. Then they lost Tom Brady. Since then, they’ve lost quite a few more games – 16 to be exact, two more defeats than the team has suffered in the previous four seasons combined. Suffice it to say that excessive penalties for the most minor offenses are no longer necessary.
At that time, a tweet like Monday’s from the Bengals would almost certainly have sparked a 100-3 victory for the Patriots in the eventual head-to-head meeting this coming season on Christmas Eve – a crushing and demoralizing beatdown that would leave no doubt about the Patriots’ intentions. Now, though, it’s not particularly clear what level the Patriots will be sitting at in Week 16, but it might well be a rung or two below the defending AFC champions.
So, for now, the Patriots and all of New England will just have to put up with the Bengals using felines and SLRs to snap spontaneous photos of the local football team on social media, and no one can do much about it. The damage is well and truly done, my friend.