Wednesday, February 06, 2008, 2/06/2008 07:26:00 AM

NFL and Trade Secrets

This posting follows up on Todd's from yesterday:

The wheels are coming off the economy and we're in a protracted war in Iraq and so Congress is taking the bull by the horns and investigating . . . possible cheating in the NFL.

Now Sporting News, too, weighs in with an article indicating that the main allegations in "Spygate" -- the contention that the New England Patriots may have improperly taped the defensive sideline signals and practices of their opponents -- may violate the federal Economic Espionage Act.

The idea here is that the items "stolen," i.e. knowledge of an opponents plans in a sporting event, could fit the definition of trade secrets. The EEA, of course, is a criminal statute and the thought of Pats coach Bill Belichik behind bars is undoubtedly attractive to Jets fans.

All of this, of course, seems highly unlikely, but still has the prospect to embarrass the Patriots and the NFL.

What's next? A prosecution of a runner at second base in a baseball game who "steals" the catcher's signals?

Oh well, it's not like we've not got anything more important to worry about.

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