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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Further Evidence Of Spygate Is Being Revealed

I love it. For months and months I've been writing about the Patriots cheating and how every week you should pick the Patriots to win because the NFL wants them too. It angered me that there was a team this good, but I truly believed they were only that good for unfair reasons (just like steroid users in baseball). I could flood this entire website with banners of how the Patriots are such a fake team if I wanted too, but for now since this story is in the early speculation stages, I'll wait until they get nailed before I make any drastic claims. For the record, I believe they have been cheating for years, and the latest story reveals that they've been cheating ever since the beginning of their dynasty in the Super Bowl against the Rams. If this whole story turns out to be true, then the Patriots will have ruined the game of football for me because the lines between fair and unfair will be blurred forever, but if I'm wrong about this whole case, I'll admit it when the time comes. But...for now, I'm just writing about the story as it continues to unfold everyday. Here's the latest in the Spygate situation:

An unnamed source has claimed a New England Patriots employee secretly videotaped the St. Louis Rams' pregame walk-through the day before Super Bowl XXXVI, the Boston Herald reported Saturday.

According to the report, an unnamed source close to the team during the 2001 season said that following the Patriots' walk-through at the Louisiana Superdome, a member of the team's video staff stayed behind and taped the Rams' walk-through
-- a non-contact, no-pads practice at reduced speed in which a team goes through its plays.

The cameraman was not asked to identify himself or produce a press pass and later rode the media shuttle back to the Patriots' hotel, the source told the Herald. It is not known what became of the tape, or whether the cameraman made the tape on his own initiative or at someone else's instruction, according to the report.

Mike Martz, who was St. Louis' head coach during the Super Bowl game in question, spoke to ESPN.com investigative reporter Mike Fish about the allegations.

"I hope that is not true," Martz said. "I have great respect for [Patriots head coach] Bill Belichick. It's hard to believe that is true. It's a serious allegation and I hope it is not true.

"Obviously if there is enough substance to it the league should look into it.''

In responding to the report, Patriots media relations official Stacey James said, "The coaches have no knowledge of it," according to the Herald.

The next day, the Patriots upset the favored Rams 20-17 for their first Super Bowl championship. New England will play the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII on Sunday in a bid to become the first NFL team to finish a season 19-0.

Former Rams quarterback Kurt Warner, currently with the Arizona Cardinals, told Fish that if the league has heard those claims, he is surprised it has not spoken to former Patriots video department employee Matt Walsh. He said if Walsh or any other source has information, it should be investigated.

Walsh, a former Patriots video assistant, has suggested to ESPN.com that he has information that could have exposed the Patriots prior to the NFL catching New England taping the New York Jets' defensive signals during the 2007 season opener. The Patriots were fined $750,000 and lost a first-round draft pick as punishment.

"If I had a reason to want to go public, or tell a story, I could have done it before it even broke," Walsh told ESPN.com. "I could have said everything rather than having [Jets coach Eric] Mangini be the one to bring it out.

"If they're doing a thorough investigation -- they didn't contact me. So draw your own conclusions. Maybe they felt they didn't need to. Maybe the league feels they got satisfactory answers from everything the Patriots sent them."

Told of the newest allegation, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press on Saturday:

"We were aware of the rumor months ago and looked into it. There was no evidence of it on the tapes or in the notes produced by the Patriots, and the Patriots told us it was not true."

James reiterated that sentiment.

"The suggestion that the New England Patriots recorded the St. Louis Rams' walk-through on the day before Super Bowl XXXVI is absolutely false," James said. "Any suggestion to the contrary is untrue."

Rams spokesman Rick Smith, reading a statement from team president John Shaw, said, "At this point, we have no comment."

Walsh, 31, now an assistant golf pro at the Ka'anapli Golf Resort in Lahaina, Hawaii, worked for the Patriots from 1996 until the winter of 2002-03, when he was fired. He has hinted to ESPN.com that he has information that could be damaging to both the league and the Patriots but has declined to make it available, saying it could be seen as stolen property.

Walsh said he is fearful of potential legal action against him by either the league or the Patriots if he details what he knows. He refused to provide evidence of potential wrongdoing unless ESPN agreed to pay his legal fees related to his involvement in the story, as well as to an indemnity that would cover any damages found against him in court. ESPN denied his requests.

On Friday, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said he had written NFL commissioner Roger Goodell seeking an explanation as to why evidence in the NFL's investigation of the Patriots videotaping was destroyed.

"I am very concerned about the underlying facts on the taping, the reasons for the judgment on the limited penalties and, most of all, on the inexplicable destruction of the tapes," Specter wrote.

Specter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the matter could put the league's antitrust exemption at risk. In a phone interview with The New York Times, which first reported Specter's interest in the matter, he said the committee at some point will call Goodell to address the antitrust exemption as well as the destruction of the tapes.

Goodell, in his previously scheduled news conference Friday from Phoenix, said, "I am more than willing to speak with the senator. There are very good explanations why the tapes were destroyed by our staff -- there was no purpose for them."

There were six tapes, according to Goodell -- some from the 2007 preseason and the rest from 2006. He said he had them destroyed because he was confident the Patriots had turned over all of the tapes and notes the NFL had requested in its investigation. He also said they were destroyed in order to prevent leaks to the media -- as some footage from one of the tapes was leaked shortly after the story broke.

"We wanted to take and destroy that information," Goodell said. "They may have collected it within the rules, but we couldn't determine that. So we felt that it should be destroyed."

Belichick had little to add on the subject.

"It's a league matter," he said Friday during his news conference. "I don't know anything about it."

Again, I'm just pleased that the cat is finally out of the bag and everyone who jumped on the Patriots bandwagon this year (not the original fans who always supported them) should learn not to always side with who's popular in the public eyes.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Comment moderation?
Now I'm really laughing . . .

Michael Vinciguerra said...

My partner on this site doesn't allow cursing because this is a clean site. Anyway, there is still no way to prove whether they did or not cheat, but I respect your opinion as you should mine.

Anonymous said...

Don't allow cursing? Fine.
Then stop posting such ridiculous crap.
Sorry if my profanity offended you.
Your post seriously offended me and everyone that loves this team for what they truly are.
Get with the program and stop swallowing all the crap the media has fed into this fiasco.
Sheesh . . .

BS

JRock said...

First off Michael is right, everyone who posts blogs are entitled to there opinions and theroies and there should absolutely be no cursing when writing these posts. Whats the point of cursing while wriitng? To get your point across better? To get arise out of others? Do you think that people are aware of doing it?
Ok, with that out of the way, why is this such a big deal now when everyone in the NL does it. The first 8 minutes of the game supposedvly the camera guy taped and thats it. Thats why I believe that the tapes were destroyed. There is absolutely no excuse for any team to lose that badly. Whether, or not I know what play your calling, its still up to my defense or offense to execute the play. The league wants to pin down the Pats becasue they are undefeated and everyone wants to know how this can be? Get real! They are a great team why can't people just admit that. Any other team could have done the same thing. but didn't. What about the Colts and Pats game? The worst officiating and pumping up crowd noise. Do you think that the Colts new about that? Oh, wait the Colts are not undeafeatd so lets go and try to come up with all we can to distract this team. Its childish and I think that the commisoner of the NFL did the necessary thing to punish BB. In addition to that whole scandal, now you have the 2001 Superbowl. Apprently someone taped a waljk on of the St. Louis Rams practice. What? Where they hell is security? Did he get challenged when he entered? What he do with tapes exactly? He should one being questioned here. Also, the guy at the Jets game should be punished and all those who knew, in wich we will never know. As result, you have a Senator from Washington who we pay to strategize about other issues that are going on(War in Iraq) involved. What does a Senator have to do with football? Abuse of power. I believe so. Do we as Americans question Geroge Bush or Congress for making bad descions? Who they hell are they to question the NFL football league. They made a choice to get rid of the taps, because there wasn't enough on the tapes to penalize and punish the Pats. It was a league descion and they have the authority to punish and to whats right. The spygate issue is over and done with. Tapes were destroyed and you wont ever get them back. The Pats been destroying there opponets every week thereafter. No complaints no nothing. Are we going to allow this one incident affect how we feel about the Pats organization, we shouldnt. Move on and let go. I think that the Pats have proven to the world that they are best team to in the history of the NFL.

JRock said...

I apologize for the last comment of mine being to long. Just had to get that off my chest. Go PATS!!!!

Michael Vinciguerra said...

Don't worry about it. Part of this site is to raise debate and talk about controversial issues when they arise. After the facts are reported, this site becomes totally opinionated.