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Staff members were caught illegally videotaping opponent's signals, drawing the interest of Congress.
Safety Rodney Harrison was busted for performance-enhancing drugs.
When former Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer mentioned after a game that the Patriots were hampered by injuries (Tedy Bruschi was recovering from a stroke at the time), Tom Brady emerged from his protective casing and barked: "You don't talk about our team." They were the best organization in the league, and in 2007, it became clear they were also the most hypocritical.
For all their policing of opposing players and coaches, it turned out that the Patriots were the ones breaking actual rules.
They threw hip checks like the Red Wings and were as mean as any boxer in Kronk Gym.
Or rather, the Raiders stole a postseason game from the Patriots, the only team to beat them all year, in a memorable 48-17 massacre in October.
The Pats also seemed to have the divisional playoff in hand, leading 21-17 when they forced quarterback Ken (Snake) Stabler to heave a desperation incompletion on fourth down. An official somehow saw defensive end Ray (Sugar Bear) Hamilton roughing Snake. As for everyone else, we had one semi-printable thought: Pride and poise, our ass.
This call was not dubious; it was egregiously bogus. One of the first rules of sports fandom: Don't boo athletes who aren't getting paid.
They were nicknamed by Jack Chevalier and Pete Cafone of the , who wrote in 1973 that "the image of the fightin' Flyers is spreading gradually around the NHL, and people are dreaming up wild nicknames.
They're the Mean Machine, the Bullies of Broad Street and Freddy's Philistines." The Flyers captured back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1974 and '75 and remained one of the league's biggest road draws for years to come, but many traditionalists contend their legacy was corruptive on hockey.
Of all the passions that teams ordinarily inspire, widespread hatred is a pretty notable achievement.