Tarlin and Mike kick things off by chatting about Tarlin’s recent trip to Barbados, including some turbulent flights thanks to Tropical Storm Tammy. But we quickly segue into a step challenge Tarlin is participating in, where he’s determined to beat his very competitive and fit coworkers. He’s even wondering if there are any tricks to game the step counters. We’re open to suggestions.
We then dive into the main topic – cheating scandals in sports. We discuss famous examples like Spygate with the Patriots taping opponents’ signals, the Astros’ trash can sign-stealing scheme, and MLB’s steroid era. An interesting debate emerges around whether cheating can ever be justified if you can pay the fines and it leads to success, especially with ultra-competitive coaches like Belichick and Harbaugh.
The latest cheating drama in Michigan football takes center stage next. A rogue staffer named Connor Stalions had been illegally filming opponents’ sidelines for years, but the heat is now on head coach Jim Harbaugh about how much he knew. Tarlin runs through Michigan’s futility against rival Ohio State during Stalions’ tenure to question whether the cheating even helped. We joke about the excuses around Stallions “acting alone” when several coaches were likely involved. We consider just how high up it goes as we think through how it relates to Uber, Air BnB, and even OpenAI. There are even connections to our current political landscape along the way.
In the end, we explore how rules in sports often have to catch up to new techniques for gaining an advantage. And many innovative companies follow a similar path – they’re willing to break rules early on if it means gaining market share, and they’ll pay the fine down the road if needed. An interesting perspective heading into the big Michigan vs. Ohio State grudge match in The Game.
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