In "The DaVinci Code," Dan Brown writes of his protagonist, “Coincidence was a concept he did not entirely trust. As someone who had spent his life exploring the hidden interconnectivity of disparate emblems and ideologies, Langdon viewed the world as a web of profoundly intertwined histories and events. The connections may be invisible, he often preached to his symbology classes at Harvard, but they are always there, buried just beneath the surface.”
And he was just talking about classic painting and ancient texts. To believe in coincidene in a world of unlimited information being communicated at the speed of light is more than just naive; it's irrational. There are no coincidences. Not anymore. The world is a web of profoundly interwined histories and events, playing out in real time in front of us.
Take last night for example. These two news items broke 18 minutes apart:
On the Sunday night in the summer, at the beginning of a holiday week. Two major stories about the same organization dropping at virtually the same time. If that was a coincidence, it would be a huge one. Inexplicable. What Carl Jung invented the term synchronicity to describe.
So no, this was not random chance. It was either the NFL announcing the Spygate 2 punishment to kill the buzz of the Patriots signing Cam Newton, or it was the other way around. The Pats getting the jump on the league to bury the bad news. And my money is on New England. Because if we've learned anything in this millennium, it's that between this organization and this league, a war fought on the battlefield of Public Relations is no fight at all. The organization with all the money and power has no chance, because this is the Patriots territory. It's asymmetric warfare. Like the Ewoks against the Stormtroopers or John Rambo against anybody.
I mean, it's possible that the Patriots informed the NFL they've added Cam Newton and the ignorami on Park Avenue immediately sprung into action and decided on the spot to announce the Spygate punishment, just to ruin their day. Afterall, the "investigation" was supposed to be wrapped up in a few days. What was the point of dragging it out for over six months when the Patriots handed over all the information, the video in question and all the communication between the Kraft Productions dopes who pointed the camera at the back of the Bengals sideline. It's not like they had to wait for CSI to process the lab results and search the fingerprint database.
Why they didn't announce the punishment in December is idiotic. But we've come to expect that from the NFL. And it's not as idiotic as punishing the football operations for something they had nothing to do with. Kraft Productions is an entirely separate wing of the Kraft family empire. Taking a draft pick away for something a videographer did while filming a feature about a team employee makes no more sense than if they did for something going wrong with the Revolution or the cardboard box factory or during CountryFest at Gillette. But my lack of respect for the NFL's ability to handle punishments correctly is so total I can barely get mad about it any more. So instead, I'm focusing on who timed their announcement to fuck with whom.
This non-coincidence is just too Patriots like to not be coming from their side. It's straight up out of their PR playbook. Their modus operandi. Thinking dozens of moves ahead. Not giving out information until it's in their best interest. Outwitting everybody. Only they, Newton's representatives and their God know how long ago they finalized the deal. But you can just hear Belichick saying to let them handle the announcement because there was no rush on that. No corresponding roster move they had to make. It was entirely up to the team to release the news at the most advantageous time. And so they gave it to their go-to guy for breaking stories, Schefter, the moment the league informed them they were getting whacked a draft pick and 1.1 million Kraftbucks.
If the goal was to bury the Spygate 2 story and piss off the Blue Checks who hate this team and resents its success, I think it's safe to call it Mission: Accomplished.