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When Does A Cheating Scandal Matter?


Over the past few weeks, Hot Takedown has covered several cheating scandals, from the Astros’ sign stealing to state-sanctioned Russian doping. Now that the Patriots — a team that’s no stranger to scandal — is facing fresh allegations, we thought it was time to apply more evaluation and rigor to how we think about cheating in sports.

On today’s show, we share the rubric we developed for assessing cheating scandals and dissect why our scores are often at odds with league responses.

After a few weeks away from the show, Neil rejoins the crew with a Rabbit Hole on the limits of hockey superstars.

What we’re looking at this week:

  • A recap of the Patriots’ Spygate 2.0 that spurred our deep dive into cheating scandals.
  • FiveThirtyEight’s look at the hockey pair that’s making history.

Grace Lynch is the former producer of Hot Takedown.

Sara Ziegler is the sports editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Neil Paine is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

Chadwick Matlin is a deputy editor at FiveThirtyEight.