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Chalk Talk: Cheating in football


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submitted Today, 08:35 PM in Texas Longhorns Football By Coleman Feeley
 

At all levels of competition there are people willing to do anything to win, and at the highest levels of competition, winning is everything. With the recent suspension of NFL superstar Tom Brady, a spotlight has been put on dishonest play of the past and present.

However, this spotlight is nothing new. Players, as well as coaches, have always come under scrutiny for the lengths they are willing to go to win. From deflating game balls to players using steroids, there’s only one word for it: cheating.

Tom Brady and the Patriots just received penalties for the deflate-gate scandal in which New England equipment managers under-inflated game balls, making them easier to squeeze and therefore easier to catch and throw. In the NFL and NCAA every sports related action taken throughout the week is geared towards one end result, winning the game. NFL and college coaches meet with trainers, nutritionists, athletic trainers, doctors, and even psychologists to factor in everything from what the players eat for breakfast two days before a game, to when they should go to bed and wake up while traveling. With such attention to detail, it’s preposterous to think that somehow 11 out of 12 game balls became under-inflated in the Patriots locker room before the game.

The physical condition of a ball is a key factor in not only the throwing process but the kicking and catching processes (catching a softer football is less difficult just as kicking a more rounded football is less difficult). Brad Johnson of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers admitted to taking similar actions by paying equipment managers to remove the slick polish off the game balls before Superbowl XXXVII.

The condition of the ball is not the only aspect of the game teams try to change. In the past, instead of deflating game balls, receivers used a product known as stick’um – an adhesive aerosol glue that receivers spray on their gloves to increase the chance of catching the ball. Recently one of, if not the, all-time greatest wideouts to play the game, Jerry Rice, admitted to using the spray.

Other athletes cheat in different ways by improving their physical skills with steroids or PED’s. In football the only tool a player has is his body; there are no rackets, bats, mitts, or clubs. This puts a greater importance on size, strength, and speed, leading some players to use steroids and/or HGH. The NFL began testing for Performance-Enhancing Drugs or PED’s in 1987, but didn’t begin dishing out punishment until 1989. To no surprise, despite the addition of a punishment there were failed tests throughout that first year. Players have since admitted to using steroids as far back as the 70’s, and make no mistake, players still use them today.

In college football a recent trend in cheating is stealing the opposing team’s signals – most teams call their plays from the sideline with hand signals and, generally speaking, most teams have similar signs or even share signs. Due to this similarity, and the willingness to do whatever it takes to win, coaches ‘pick’ signals to help out their team. For example, if an Offensive Coordinator ‘picks’ the signal for an “All Go†passing play from the opposing team, he’ll tell his Defensive Coordinator so he can adjust accordingly.

Because a majority of this comes from the coaches in the booths, teams began to hide their signals with hand-held signs. While some teams operate solely off of these signs, most just block their signaler from the opposing team’s booth (fig 1, you can see the QB with the headset is still signaling).

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Just as you can be sure there will always be football, you can be sure that someone will cheat. Whether they’re coaches or athletes, equipment managers or trainers, teams will always push the limits of the rulebook in an attempt to gain a competitive edge. This can all be summed up by an revealing piece of information I learned in college from a defensive backs coach, “If you ain’t cheatin…you ain’t tryin’.†

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“If you ain’t cheatin…you ain’t tryin’â€

 

 

Every football player tries to bend the rules a little. As a HS tight end, I'd hook the DE with my arm on sweeps to the outside. Never got caught. If somebody on our O-Line was called for holding, you can bet we'd undress our opponent on the next play.  ;)

 

Did you ever use Vaseline or a silicon spray on your jersey, Coleman? Make it difficult for the DL to grab you?

 

 

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Did you ever use Vaseline or a silicon spray on your jersey, Coleman? Make it difficult for the DL to grab you?

 

In football now they use a double sided tape and actually tape your jersey to your pads which makes it much more difficult to grab any cloth.... and c'mon J.B..... I never cheated

 

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Maybe "generally frowned upon by coaches and officials is more appropriate? ....filming signals certainly is illegal though.

we had navy's defensive signals in the 64 cotton bowl. i've heard two versions. one, we cracked the code. two, someone from army tipped us off. either way, we had 'em. i'm sure bcherry or some others from that era know more than me.

 

cheating or gamesmanship? i dunno. whatever. 28-6. scoreboard.  

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we had navy's defensive signals in the 64 cotton bowl. i've heard two versions. one, we cracked the code. two, someone from army tipped us off. either way, we had 'em. i'm sure bcherry or some others from that era know more than me.

 

cheating or gamesmanship? i dunno. whatever. 28-6. scoreboard.  

 

What happened in the Navy game was Tommy Nobis welcomed Roger Staubach to Texas.

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A signal is there for everyone...if you can decode it, it's yours. No cheating! The deflating of the balls would be considered kinda cute one-upmanship in the old days, but now it means millions of dollars if not billions to the winning team. Brady obviously did this on purpose and cheated GB out of a fair game, which happend to be worth unbelievable amounts of money. How would you feel if you were on the losing side? I'd be PISSED!

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I wouldn't be pissed. Indy got trounced in that game and having one or two less PSI doesn't change that. I'm not really sure why the NFL doesn't have people in charge of providing balls, it seems like an open end to tamper with balls when the teams get to provide them.

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I wouldn't be pissed. Indy got trounced in that game and having one or two less PSI doesn't change that. I'm not really sure why the NFL doesn't have people in charge of providing balls, it seems like an open end to tamper with balls when the teams get to provide them.

We don't even use a pressure gauge to check the footballs prior to kickoff at the high school level. I just give 'em the squeeze test. In the officials' defense, it is very difficult to discern pressure while wearing gloves on a bitterly cold day.

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I'll leave the pros aside in this discussion.  With them, it's all about the money, so of course, there's cheating going on.  Reference college ball, since the NCAA never has grown a pair, a lot of schools look at it like "What have they got to lose by cheating?"  The NCAA will hammer some poor directional school for even a moderate violation, but touch one of the big boys?  Ain't happening.  On the rare occasion that a USC or someone like that gets nailed, they do it to themselves much more than being targeted by the NCAA.  The NCAA is about as useful as a cigarette machine in a lung cancer ward.  Besides that, if they really whiz off the big boy football schools in the P-5 conferences, those schools will just tell the NCAA hasta la vista baby and go out and form a new governing body.  All of this is by way of saying the more things change, the more they stay the same.  In areas where football is next to Godliness, cheating is a way of life, and it ain't gonna change.

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On the rare occasion that a USC or someone like that gets nailed, they do it to themselves much more than being targeted by the NCAA.

 

So you're saying only the brazenly stupid programs unable to, or indifferent to, covering their tracks get slapped by the NCAA?

 

Like SMU in the 80's and A&M in the 90's?

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So you're saying only the brazenly stupid programs unable to, or indifferent to covering their tracks get slapped by the NCAA?

 

Like SMU in the 80's and A&M in the 90's?

I'm saying programs that get nailed by the NCAA are either too small to fight back, or almost WANT to get caught and nailed, and force the NCAA's hand.  Otherwise, the NCAA is a paper tiger. or as we like to say here in Texas, all hat and no cattle.

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I'm saying programs that get nailed by the NCAA are either too small to fight back, or almost WANT to get caught and nailed, and force the NCAA's hand.  Otherwise, the NCAA is a paper tiger. or as we like to say here in Texas, all hat and no cattle.

"Too small" meaning their brands are expendable? TV executives wouldn't miss 'em?

 

Poor aggies

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Is the juice worth the squeeze?

 

Win 100 games in 9 years, conference gets a $250 million tv contract.

 

Get caught, forfeit wins, keep the money, miss a few bowl games. USC will be back in the top 10 soon if not the playoff. The NCAA will never give the death penalty again so any punishment is survivable.

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