November 6, 2007
The Belichick Era: A Revisionist History
December 22, 2001
Lacking all the necessary video equipment in these early days of the dynasty, the Patriots instead use Google to search for "Dolphins defensive signals" and are able to win the game and clinch their first playoff berth under Belichick.
January 19, 2002
While setting up a new video spying system, the Patriots notice that they can also jam the video in the replay booth and replace it with their own video. During the famous tuck rule play, referees overturn the fumble call after viewing an incomplete pass by Drew Bledsoe from the 1999 season. While the referees do think that Tom Brady looks taller than usual and express surprise at the lack of snow on the video, in the end they fall for the ruse, and the Patriots go on to win the game.
February 3, 2002
Original plans to spy on their opponent in the Super Bowl are scrapped when the Patriots realize that they will be playing the Rams and that Mike Martz will probably just call pass plays all the time anyway.
September 7, 2003
The Patriots' new code-breaking computer system accidentally breaks the Enigma code revealing the location of several German U-Boats in World War II rather than breaking down the defensive schemes of the Buffalo Bills, as it was supposed to have done. The Patriots lose badly.
January 18, 2004
By tivoing all 57 of Peyton Manning's commercials, the Patriots are able to break down his mannerisms, key knowledge that helps the Patriots' defense decipher all his audibles and win the AFC Championship.
February 1, 2004
The Patriots use their video advantage to build a lead, only to see the game almost slip away in the fourth quarter, when certain coaches insist on using their video equipment to replay the Super Bowl halftime show instead of studying the signals of the Panther coaches. After careful study, Patriot coaches are able to determine the exact hand signals likely to be used by Janet Jackson if in the future she again asks Justin Timberlake to reveal her breast on national television. However, they aren't so good at figuring out what the Panthers are planning on offense.
October 31, 2004
Due to technical difficulties, the Patriots video surveillance system malfunctions. In a valiant attempt to save the day, Video Assistant Coach Ted Bryer drives to a nearby Circuit City where he watches the game in high definition and reports back to Coach Belichick by cell phone. Tragically, it is not quite enough. The Patriots fall to the Steelers, and their 21-game winning streak comes to an end.
February 6, 2005
The Patriots are helped dramatically by the United States Congress when a new provision of the Patriot Act, inserted into the bill by New England legislators, allows the Patriots to use wiretapping devices during all playoff games without a warrant. "They don't call it the Patriot Act for nothing," Senator John Kerry brags to reporters after voting.
September 17, 2006
By secretly filming Jets head coach Eric Mangini all week, the Patriots are able to pinpoint the exact gestures he uses before all handshakes, important data that allows Bill Belichick to avoid shaking Mangini's hand at the end of the game. As an added bonus, the Patriots also win the game.
January 14, 2007
Video Assistant Coach Matt Taylor is fired after this key playoff game when it is determined that instead of taping Marty Schottenheimer, he spent the entire first half filming Tom Brady's new girlfriend Gisele Bundchen. Taylor is later reinstated when the coaching staff decides that they didn't really want to watch film of Schottenheimer anyway.
January 21, 2007
In a surprise move, the Colts abandon their signaling system for the second half, instead using a complex semaphore and Morse code signaling method that completely baffles the Patriots and leads the Colts onto the Super Bowl. "It is what it is," Belichick says when asked about the Colts' 4th quarter success sending in defensive plays via a wholesome game of charades.
November 4, 2007
The Patriots turn over a new leaf and finally give up spying entirely, opting instead to rely on pure evil. That works out pretty well too.
©2007 Joe Lavin