One probably would have to have been following sports extremely closely to have even heard the news, but back in the first week of the NFL season, the New England Patriots were caught illegally videotaping the New York Jets' sideline during a game at the Meadowlands. Jets head coach Eric Mangini--a former protege of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick who pretty much owes his entire career to the man, whom he'd already stabbed in the back by taking the job with New York--reported it to the league; as a result, the Patriots were fined $250,000, Belichick was personally fined $500,000, and (now that they've made the playoffs) the team lost a first-round draft pick for next year.
While the Patriots have gone on to be undefeated thus far this season (handily beating the Jets 38-14 in the 'Spygate' game), the scandal has, for many predisposed to be jealous of New England's spectacularity™ and Tom Brady's handsomeness, given fuel to a belief that the franchise's legacy of three Super Bowl victories in six years is tainted, that--should the team go 16-0 (or 19-0, counting the postseason)--the accomplishment should carry an asterisk in the record books. Jets fans--whose team has been something slightly less than perfect since Week 1--have of course been as vocal in this opinion as anyone.
Perhaps they'll quiet down some, now that Newsday is reporting that the Jets were caught illegally videotaping the Patriots' sideline during a game at Gillette Stadium last year.
On Tuesday night, the Jets admitted that such an incident took place last season, and--even better (or worse, if you're a Jets fan)--a team source claims that it was during a playoff game. (Insanely, a Patriots' source is actually disagreeing with that assertion, claiming that it was a regular-season contest.) Perhaps even more telling is the fact that Patriots didn't say a peep about this matter during the investigation into their own misconduct this year...which sort of pokes some holes in the currently popular belief that they are an ethically questionable organization (or at least more of one than any other NFL team).
With the league watching the Patriots like a hawk since Week 1, there can be no question that no impropriety has taken place during New England's quest for a perfect season, currently at 13 weeks and counting. I doubt anyone's been watching the Jets, though...so the question for Eric Mangini is: How can you cheat all the time and still suck that much?