The St. Louis Rams and New England Patriots are apparently going to replay the 2002 Superbowl, but this time, the game will be in the courtroom. Accoring to an article in the Birmingham News, former Rams player, Willie Gary, and others have filed a $100 million lawsuit against the Patriots, the team owner, Robert Kraft, and the Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick. The lawsuit stems from the alleged videotaping of Rams practices before the 2002 Superbowl which the Patriots won 20-17.
This is a dangerous road to go down: taking games from the field to the courtroom. This is also going to be an extremely difficult case to prove. Even if the allegations of videotaping are true, who is to say the Patriots would not have won the game anyway. This also raises the specter of cheating in our professional sports.
With these issues in the National Football League (NFL), the controversy over steroids in Major League Baseball (MLB) and the scandal involving the referee in the National basketball Association (NBA), pro sports in the United States are taking a major hit. Notwithstanding these “hits”, the public continues to watch and attend games. As a result, advertisers continue to pay the networks for commercial time, the networks continue to pay billions of dollars to the pro leagues for the rights to televise the games, and the owners continue to pay millions to the players.
Because of all the money involved, there are huge incentives to cheat. Obviously, you make more money when you perform and win. So, we are seeing allegations of cheating at all levels: players, officials, coaches, and maybe even owners. Where will it end? Who knows?