Sunday, September 16, 2007

Patriot Games

Upon being fined by the NFL for using electronic surveillance of opponents' hand signals, Coach Bellichick of the New England Patriots apologized for his "mistake".

I think he needs to try again. A mistake is something you make when you add up a column of numbers incorrectly. A mistake is something a kid makes when he doesn't quite get to the bathroom on time. A mistake is something your waitress makes when she brings you a foo-foo drink with an umbrella in it, instead of that shot and a beer you ordered.

When you are caught filming the hand signals of opposing teams, against NFL regulations, that is not a mistake. The word for which you are grasping, Coach, is "cheating".

A real apology is so rare these days. It consists of three parts:

1. An acknowledgement of wrongdoing.
2. An expression of contrition and humble sorrow. And
3, A promise never to do it again, and to make amends if that's possible.

Acknowledging a mistake is not the same as admitting wrongdoing. Coach, you did it. Own it.

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