The Younger Harbaugh Brother Throws a Bucket Of Ice on Two Controversial Franchises – This is exactly what the NFL needs more of – coaches unafraid to press buttons and ruffle a few feathers. It has worked well for Rex Ryan of the New York Jets. His twin brother Rob, Defensive Coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys employs similar tactics. It does not necessarily translate to W’s on Sundays. However, it does make for interesting discussions and commentary during the week. Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh was asked his opinion on the New Orleans Saints Bounty Scandal. Instead of tackling the Saints head on, Harbaugh saw it fit to rehash the NFL’s previous biggest scandal, Spygate. The New England Patriots were found to have secretly videotaped the defensive signals of opposing teams. The usefulness of the information that was gathered has been debated. However, the fact that the Patriots have yet to win another Super Bowl title since these revelations is a sticking point to many fans.
“In the end, everything is brought before the light of day. Even the thing in New England, no matter whether those things had any impact on whether they won their championships or not, they got asterisks now, it’s been stained. So to me, it’s never worth it. You’ve got to figure out ways to use the rules to your advantage.” – Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh
Isn’t that pretty much how every fan outside of New England and New Orleans feels? Not to take away from the accomplishments of both of those teams. The fact that they bent and broke the rules does not make them less worthy of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. No one can take that feat from them. However, in the eyes of a majority of the NFL Fan Populace, the titles that those teams won during their periods of shady behavior aren’t looked at as fondly as those of the Pittsburgh Steelers or New York Giants of recent years. Fans of the Saints and Patriots will defend their franchises no matter what, as is their right. A certain segment of those fan bases snarl and spit venom at those who think less of their Super Bowl Title wins.
Mike Silver of Yahoo!Sports summed up the sentiment perfectly & succinctly in a series of tweets. Facing a deluge of tweets from ticked off Patriot fans, Silver responded with:
- “My advice to ANGRY pat fans: don’t be mad at the people who call bill (Belichick) a cheater. Be mad at the guy who cheated.”
- “I believe the pats won three super bowls because they were the best organization with the best coaches and players. But, I hate cheating…”
- “Hi, I’m a fan of ___. They got caught cheating. My reaction: everyone does it, so it’s ok. Stop attacking my team. Waaaaaaaahhh.”
- “[Patriots Owner] Robert Kraft stood up & apologized to his fellow owners for pats’ cheating. He owned it, even though it wasn’t him. Your turn, pats fans”
- “Last word on this for now: there are a LOT of coaches & players in a LOT of NFL organizations who agree with john harbaugh’s original words”