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Web Letter

Let's get it out of the way early. I'm very biased in that I bleed green blood when cut. I've been a devout Jets fan since about 1970. I got to see my football idol, Joe Nameth, when I was about 12, play a game at Shea Stadium. What a thrill! I will never forget how Joe walked off the field right below me with a white towel covering his head, perhaps in shame because his Jets lost to the Cardinals something like 37-to-7 and he had thrown several interceptions. I still would do anything to get a chance to talk with Joe Nameth for an hour. He is one of the reasons I got through my childhood. So yes, I'm very biased when it comes to the New York Jets.

Bill Belichick and the Patriots, on the other hand, I've never liked. In fact, I've hated them for years and have, for some unknown reason, felt cheated by their success. But now, as I suspected last year when the Jets complained that they were being spied on, I know why I had that sinking feeling in my stomach after each play.

Last week, I felt like New England had the Jets playbook. I felt like every series, no matter what the down or what the yardage needed, the Pats would find a way to get that first down and eventually a touchdown. Now I know why, or at least my head and heart are hoping that this is why, because "the Patriots cheated!"

The NFL is a coward! They have no guts. They should have forced New England to forfeit that game and suspended Bill for the season. He cheated on football, which in my book is like a coach betting on baseball.

I could care less about steroids and human growth hormone because every one of us would take a pill to increase our failing memory. That's not an unfair advantage, that's common sense. Furthermore, everyone lifts weights, but the results are different for each of us, so those of us who end up benching 450 pounds for 6 reps have an advantage over those who bench 315 for 6 reps--but that's just too bad, it's not unfair. Steroids do not affect everyone the same way. Some people get big and heavy, some get ripped, some see very little gains in size but get much stronger and so forth. What's unfair about that?

Some people who do roids get bad side effects like enlarged hearts while others get a bad case of acne. Is that an unfair advantage to anyone taking roids? Sounds to me like the one not taking them has the real advantage.

Same with things like weight lifting and taking protein bars or caffeine pills. And none of that is considered cheating, but stealing a team's signs so you can place all your players in the right position on every play to stop your opponent is truly an unfair advantage and, according to the NFL, not allowed. And that is why the Patriots, who openly, without a care in the world for the integrity of the game, should see their coach suspended for the year and the game given to the Jets.

Okay, I can hear you all now saying, "What if it were the Jets who did this? How would you feel then?" Believe it or not, the exact same way, only I'd be sick to my stomach and embarrassed knowing that the team I love to get nuts over every Sunday was cheating to win. And it would be very hard to explain to my 7-year-old son. It's all about integrity for me. Hopefully, I'm not all alone on this one.

John LeVan

Thorndale, PA

Sep 15 2007 - 10:40pm