clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

SLACKCHAT: Actually, cheating is extremely good

Nebraska’s accusing Indiana football of stealing signs. In this week’s Slackchat, we discuss why that’s good, and why Mark Banker needs a diaper change.

Oregon State v Washington State
diaper status: full
Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

A few days ago, Nebraska defensive coordinator Mark Banker accused Indiana of doing “whatever it can” to steal defensive signs from opponents. We’re not here to debate whether of not the Hoosiers steal signs, because obviously we don’t – is this your first time on the blog? THIS WEEK’S SLACKCHAT: What is your favorite form of sports cheating, and why is it awesome?

Kyle Swick: I'll start off with an opening statement: pretty much all forms of cheating and sport subterfuge are good.

Thomas Wachtel: I agree with that fully.

Kyle Swick: If you aren't desperately guarding program secrets from espionage, you aren't playing at the same speed as everyone else.

I want the dark underbelly of collegiate athletics to be exposed and embraced.

Jacob Rude: Bill Belichick did nothing wrong imo

Ben Raphel: Baseball was awesome during the steroid era. And that McGwire/Sosa HR chase got the game back on track post-strike

Thomas Wachtel: “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.”

Honestly I’ve always loved stealing signs. It’s very old-school spy stuff, I love it. Code breaking and espionage

Kyle Swick: I will say that performance-enhancing drugs is probably where I draw the line because there's a lot of bad science out there and it can really screw you up. Especially for college kids.

But breaking in and taking playbooks / formations / signs that stuff is all awesome.

Ben Raphel: As I said on the now-lost podcast (RIP), Boston sports fans were defiant during Deflategate and Spygate. So if Belichick/McDaniels were accused of this in the pros, Pats fans would love it.

Jacob Rude: I think people who are caught cheating are simply bad at it. I firmly believe everyone in college sports is cheating. Some are just really good at it. Especially in recruiting

Kyle Swick: I like to think Indiana is just arrogant about it. Hopefully we stole Nebraska's signs and then sent them to them in an email.

"Got ur signs, bithc."

Thomas Wachtel: I agree that I can’t fully support PED usage because I’m not smart enough to know if it’ll kill you, and kids definitely shouldn’t do it. But I also think that if you get caught juicing, you should just serve your suspension and move on. You don’t need to get crucified.

Kyle Swick: Agree fully.

@Pirates re-sign barry bonds

You know he could throw up a .450 OBP next year.

Ben Raphel: Barry could still hit 30 HR a year

Jacob Rude: 100% Barry Bonds could have at least a .900 OPS in 2017

Thomas Wachtel: The furor over Melky Cabrera’s contract was embarrassing. And so’s this, honestly. Banker sounds like a whiny babyman.

Kyle Swick: Honestly kind of felt like a comment you'd make when you're preparing to lose. Which is bizarre for a top-10 team to do.

Thomas Wachtel: I want to know whether he was clothed during this press conference

or was he nude and red

Kyle Robbins: If you whine about stolen signs, you’re a Big Baby Boy.

It sounds like you’re making excuses before the game even starts! Why!?


that's why

Kyle Swick: When NE was in the thick of Spygate, the teams that were double-digit underdogs were the ones chirping about cheating in the lead-up to the game.


Thomas Wachtel: That was the worst thing about Deflategate to me – it made the Colts look like sore losers.

Ben Raphel: they lost 45-7!

Thomas Wachtel: That’s not why they lost that game

They lost because they were not as good

Kyle Robbins: Stealing signs is entry-level cheating, anyway. It’s like weed or something. Decriminalize it.

Kyle Swick: Also there is no drawback to making the accusation. He doesn't have to prove Indiana steals signs. He can just say it!

Post-truth America is great!

Thomas Wachtel: Stealing signs is the “doing 55 in a 40” of cheating


Kyle Swick: Stealing signs is due diligence, IMO

Kyle Robbins: AND I’M COMIN'

Ben Raphel: Yeah, I believe he said "words travel around coaching circles" about this

Kyle Robbins: [extremely alex jones voice]

Thomas Wachtel: Are we doing Alex Jones impressions now?

Kyle Robbins: yes

Thomas Wachtel: Awesome.

Kyle Swick: If Kevin Wilson said "we don't attempt to steal signs" I'd be inclined to fire him.

Thomas Wachtel: What if he said it, then lowered his sunglasses to wink at the assembled press?

Kyle Robbins: That’d be fine.

Ben Raphel: just to reveal another set of sunglasses

with reading glasses under those

Thomas Wachtel: “We don’t attempt to steal signs.” [lowers glasses] “We just do it.” [RAP AIR HORN SOUNDS IN BACKGROUND]

Kyle Swick: What the hell is a gaggle of "quality control assistants" for if not to hack Nebraska's intranet and steal secrets?

Kyle Robbins: GO CARDINALS

Kyle Swick: Listen, I hate the St. Louis Cardinals. What they did to the Astros ruled.

Kyle Robbins: Okay wait

That’s different.

That’s hacking.

We need levels of CHEETIN’ here.

Kyle Swick: No we don't.

Jacob Rude: And it's the Cardinals, therefore it is bad

Ben Raphel: RT

Kyle Swick: Stealing is stealing is stealing.

Thomas Wachtel: I think one of my favorite things about sports cheating is the comedy that ensues. Like the fact that the Astros password was just “eckstein123”

and that time Sammy Sosa corked his bat

I think Graig Nettles once had a bat break and like 50 bouncy balls came out and bounced all over the field, that ruled. [EDITOR’S NOTE: not quite, but this is still a Great Moment in Cheating]

Kyle Robbins: Level 0 CHEETIN: stealing signs, flopping, paying college players

Level 1 CHEETIN: steroids, hacking

Kyle Swick: Nah move steroids up and hacking down.


Thomas Wachtel: Is it hacking if you just know the password?

We need an informatics major here

Kyle Swick: Hacking is just a method. It's not any different than swiping a playbook.

If it were the 1960s, you're slipping into the coach's office at night and jimmying open a filing cabinet.

In 2016 you just brute force your way into their OneStart account

Ben Raphel: "lol your hacking is LEVEL 0 on this election, Wikileaks"

OneStart is gone, right?

or is that Oncourse?

Kyle Robbins: Both are gone!

Thomas Wachtel: I’m 28 years old, I have no idea

Kyle Swick: Someone clean up the reference in post [EDITOR’S NOTE: no]


Whatever is most relatable.

Thomas Wachtel: So what’s everyone’s favorite form of sports cheating?

Because mine is 100% spitballs

Kyle Robbins: Paying college players.

Sorry: Fairly compensating indentured servants.

Ben Raphel: spitballs

pine tar close second

Kyle Swick: I think Bagman culture, generally, is my favorite thing to read about.

Thomas Wachtel: If any of you have read Ball Four, Jim Bouton’s description of Whitey Ford’s scuffball is amazing

Jacob Rude: Jason Kidd bumping into a player on the court dumping his drink on the floor to get an extra timeout

Thomas Wachtel: oh my god I forgot about that

Kyle Robbins: I’m gonna be honest.

Ben Raphel: Sidenote: everyone read Ball Four at once, it owns

Kyle Robbins: Lance Armstrong did some good ass cheatin’.

Thomas Wachtel: Yeah I sign off on both opinions there

Ball Four is good

Lance Armstrong is the best at cheating

Kyle Robbins: “he blood doped!"

Kyle Swick: I don't have an opinion on Lance Armstrong because I'm comfortable enough to admit that I find cycling boring

Jacob Rude: Literally every cyclist cheats

Kyle Robbins: Yeah!

Ben Raphel: I mean, it worked and he was able to keep it secret for like 15 years

kinda like tiger's cheating

Jacob Rude: Like the top 15 finishers in the Tour De France each year are disqualified

Kyle Swick: No one likes cycling.

Kyle Robbins: shut up ben

we’ll fight

Thomas Wachtel: Lance was a massive dirtbag about it and ruined some lives, but the cheating was good

Lance is the Tiger of cycling, I only cared about the sport when he was in it

Kyle Swick: I think the cheaters who get caught and try to take others down are dumb.

Thomas Wachtel: Yeah, agreed.

[coughRyan Brauncough]

Kyle Swick: Definitely deny it and try to get away with it but keep it in-house.

Kyle Robbins: If you cheat you should just own it IMO.

Kyle Swick: Definitely host a press conference explaining ideal gas law to the gathered media.

Kyle Robbins: THE DEFLATOR is def something about weight loss, too.

Thomas Wachtel: “You see, I cheated because I wanted to hit more dingers.”

Ben Raphel: Right, but Lance didn't own that until way too late

Kyle Swick: "So I would get paid more money."

Ben Raphel: he was adamant about not cheating forever

Kyle Robbins: Funny thing about CHEETIN’ is we only care about it when it’s people we just don’t like.


Thomas Wachtel: I don’t think you should have to admit cheating until you’re caught and there’s evidence.

Kyle Robbins: I agree.

Kyle Swick: Only own it once cornered.

Thomas Wachtel: Lance turned when they caught him in a corner

Ben Raphel: so this brings us to Lily King

Kyle Swick: Take it to the Supreme Court if you have to.

Thomas Wachtel: yeah my take on athletes’ opinions on Real Cheating is a little different

Ben Raphel: We loved that she called out the Russian swimmer – that was great theater

Jacob Rude: I think it's not a great look if you flat out deny cheating only to be caught years later. Looking at you Rafael Palmeiro

Thomas Wachtel: Lily King was fine to be mad

but fans aren't

Kyle Swick: Those of us who think PEDs are materially different than other forms of cheating can enjoy Lily King's comments and still think sign stealing is good, though.

Get like me.

Jacob Rude: I'm fine with Lily King because she got me RTs on Twitter

Ben Raphel: Agree – I just thought it's important to bring up that distinction

Kyle Swick: I guess I see everything else as more like gamesmanship

Kyle Robbins: GOOD OPINION: if you cheat it’s fine but righteous anger from those that you compete against is just and good

Thomas Wachtel: I also think King came off waaaaaaay less whiny than Banker did here

Kyle Swick: Agree with Kyle.

Thomas Wachtel: if this was a player calling out an opponent I think I’d feel differently

Kyle Swick: Agree with Thomas.

Ben Raphel: I mean the thing was, that swimmer had been banned what like three times then kept cheating, right?

Thomas Wachtel: and I also don’t think juicing and sign stealing are equal

Kyle Swick: I think a football player getting mad about signs is worse, somehow.

Kyle Robbins: also it should be considered how much CHEETIN’ is standard protocol in that environment

ie: cycling, track, SEC football

Ben Raphel: roll tide

Kyle Swick: You can know what play is coming and still be unable to do anything about it.

Kyle Robbins: yeah if indiana’s been stealing signs for years then uh


Thomas Wachtel: That’s Bad

though I think he said it was defensive signs?

I’d say something about our offense here, but I think our guys’ NFL performance speaks for itself

Kyle Swick: Think about where Kevin Wilson came from.

Thomas Wachtel: IU’s Offense: It’s Good

Kyle Swick: Big XII scoring like 50 points per team per game

Because they all know each other's defenses

Ben Raphel: And it's all Not Good

Kyle Swick: Also, I can know that Nick Westbrook is gonna run a double-move on the outside.

He's still gonna be Extremely Open.

Thomas Wachtel: Which is all why this is an extremely diaper-full thing to be mad about

Kyle Swick: Randy Moss used to tell DBs what route he was running. That's top-shelf banter.

Thomas Wachtel: “They know our signs!” “Cool, play better”

Jacob Rude: Randy Moss also threw his hand up signaling he was "open" the minute the ball was snapped

Randy Moss is not the norm

Thomas Wachtel: Randy Moss is my life coach

Ben Raphel: Another recommendation: the 30 for 30 on Randy Moss

Jacob Rude: "Straight cash, homie"

Kyle Swick: Anyway, coaches complaining about cheating without direct evidence do it because they have nothing to lose and that needs to change.

By fans everywhere rising up and calling them nerds.

And to stop snitching.

Thomas Wachtel: What punishment should Banker get, then?

Just a “NERRRRRRRDS!” from fans?

Ben Raphel: a loss to Indiana, ideally

Thomas Wachtel: I think we should dump Gatorade on him if we win

Kyle Swick: Whoever wins the Airport Code game gets to give him a wedgie.

Thomas Wachtel: Can we get him a dunce cap? Is that feasible?

Kyle Swick: I think that's more than fair.

Has to say NERD, though.

Thomas Wachtel: Okay, sounds like our final conclusion is:

1. Actually, most cheating is fine

2. Mark Banker is nude and red, and his diaper is full

3. Read Ball Four as soon as possible

Anyone got anything else?

Kyle Swick: 4. The Kick Was Good

Kyle Robbins:

Thomas Wachtel: Roasted.