Bill Cowher Has An… Interesting Take On Patriots Scandals

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Steelers Hall of Famer Bill Cowher refused to dig into the Patriots’ cheating scandal in his latest book Heart and Steel. However, he did speak with The Athletic’s Ed Bouchette as to why he leaves the scandals alone. It’s…interesting.

“It’s only cheating if you get caught,” Cowher said. “Like any player, if you’re going to hold him, don’t get caught. If you get caught, you’re wrong. If you don’t, you’re right. I always thought we never lost the games to New England because of Spygate. If he got the calls because we didn’t do a very good job of making sure we signaled those in, that’s on us. It’s not on him. Because we’re always looking for competitive edges, I think, as any coach. Whether it’s someone’s stance, someone’s split, someone’s formation (that tips off a play). You’re looking at someone’s eyes. How are they coming out of a huddle? You’re always looking for those little things that give you a competitive edge, and that to me is what that was.”

Our takeaway:

They’re all cheating. What better proof do we need that Spygate is just the tip of the iceberg than an opposing coach telling us he couldn’t care less about it? The Steelers were likely doing their fair share of cheating — just not enough to take down Bill Belichick.

Can you argue they’re just better cheaters? Sure, but that’s sports. Athletes in every sport will find ways to win, whether by using steroids or stealing signs.

We’ve witnessed cheating in all sports, and then we attack the champions for finding what Cowher calls a “competitive edge.” “How dare they cheat!” we cry, aghast. Meanwhile, a former Steeler is telling us (without telling us) that they cheated too.

And he brings up a solid point: Teams that don’t do enough to prevent other teams from cheating simply aren’t doing enough. That’s a solid way to look at this whole scandal.

Bill Cowher comes across as a “no excuses” type of guy during this interview, and it’s a solid look.

The Patriots are still massive cheaters, though.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr


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  1. Hey Gary…nice writing…good story, bud!
    For sure all the teams are trying to get an edge, or keep an edge, or rat out somebody else if they can do it anonymously.
    Cowher isn’t gonna open up the Steelers brand (or his legacy in helping to build it) to the people who know where the skeletons are buried lol.

  2. The Patriots aren’t massive cheaters (that’s just subjective nonsense – please look at, before making such a silly statement), but since it’s highly publicized, it appears that they are. Hence the power of the corrupt media.

    For instance, in Burundi, 300k died between 2015-18. Crickets. The deaths in Israel since 1920 from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is, wait for it, 23k. You’d have thought it was the other way around, but that isn’t the case when you add the politicized and dishonest media.

    • I see your point about dishonest media, but not sure comparing Burundi to Israel/Palestine makes sense. The death toll you reference re Israeli/Palestine is actually a better example of dishonest media. Not sure where you got your numbers, but 23k deaths since 1920 is way off. Based on sources I’ve read, 23k seems to be the number of IDF troops killed since 1920. This doesn’t account for Israeli civilians or any Palestinian deaths. The number of Palestinian deaths as a result of the conflict is reportedly around 100k since 1920. However, my guess is that this is much higher, since many Palestinian deaths, especially pre-1948, are not reported by the media. Plus, as mentioned this doesn’t account for Israeli civilians.

      So Burundi probably still almost doubles the death toll in a much shorter span, but this just highlights the difference between the two conflicts. Israel is very patient and strategic about the way it has cleansed the land from Palestinians i.e. it’s not a war. Here’s a great article from Vox (Jewish run media): And this is from 2014, and much has happened since.

  3. If Eric Mangini was better at being a head coach, we would have probably never heard about Spygate. Mangini should have taken a page from Goodfellas: Never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut.

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