Wednesday, May 14, 2008

SPYGATE RESURRECTED OR LAID TO REST?

Quotable:“There was no bugging of locker rooms. There was no manipulation of communication systems. There was no crowd noise violations anywhere that he was aware of. No miking of players to pick up opposing signals or audibles." Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner

It was only a matter of time before a scandal as infamous as Spygate reared its ugly head again. Come on, can anyone really pass up the chance to further knock the Patriots’ “perfect” season after an embarrassing loss to the New York Giants in Superbowl XLII? If Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania had his way the whole National Football League would go down hook, line and sinker.

Former video assistant, Matt Walsh met with NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell in a three hour plus conference Tuesday to further investigate “new information” presented in the Patriots’ spy games, in which he was caught red handed videotaping defensive signals from the sidelines of the New Jersey Jets’ camp last season. Walsh handed over 8 tapes he had in his possession since January, when he casually hinted at the possibility of being able to shed further light on the scandal. Apparently, Walsh wised up to the fact that the NFL could sue his ass from here to kingdom come for withholding what is technically their property and came to an agreement to relinquish the tapes in exchange for immunity from legal action in the foreseeable future. The penalty came after a short lived investigation and resulted in a $500,000 fine for Patriots’ coach, Bill Belichick and a $250,000 fine for the Patriots organization in addition to the relinquishing of a first round draft pick in the 2008 NFL draft. To this day, coaches, fans and players still scream bloody murder at the leniency of the penalty Goodell dished out against the organization.
All naysayers needed was one more nail to crucify the Patriots with and when the rumor leaked that there was another blemish in the Patriots progressively perfect season, the chickens came home to roost. Word spread like wildfire of a ghost tape of the St.Louis Rams walk through practice prior to Superbowl XXVI and they dying embers of public uproar came roaring back to life. Another log to add to the fire… surprise! surprise! Well guess what? None of the 8 tapes confirmed this allegation and what Walsh revealed corresponded with what has already determined, Belichick cheated and at first refused to even acknowledge the fact, later giving a lame brain excuse to have misinterpreted the rules and vowing that there was no wrong intent being that the tapes weren’t used on game day. Highlights of the 8 tapes were even shown to the media, one of which consisted of tacky close ups of San Diego’s cheerleaders. There was NO tape of the St.Louis Rams walkthrough before Superbowl XXVI! Just like when Spygate began, Goodell was quick to put a kibosh on things before they “got out of hand.” Already notorious for botching the previous investigation by destroying material submitted by Belichick, a mishandling of the latest chapter in the Spygate saga would be just another botched up job by Goodell in a long list of screw-ups that have become the commissioner’s legacy.

“As I stand before you today, having met with 50 other people, I don’t know where else to turn . . . we hope that with Matt’s disclosure, everyone will finally believe what we’ve been saying all along and emphatically stated on the day of the initial report: 'The suggestion that the New England Patriots recorded the St. Louis Rams' walk-through on the day before Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002 is absolutely false. Any suggestion to the contrary is untrue.' "Goodell declared.

One of those witnesses interviewed was Greg Daboll, ex-Patriots receivers’ coach who now ironically is the Jets quarterback coach. Despite Walsh’s revelation that he did provide beneficial information to the Pats, to the tune of relaying signals to an unnamed Patriots’ quarterback for future reference until game day, when the signals were delivered to Charlie Weis to hand down to the field. The Patriots admitted to taping five teams over six games between 2000 and 2002: Buffalo, Miami, Cleveland, San Diego and Pittsburgh in the 2002 AFC Championship game, forever shrouding their 3 Super Bowl wins and nearly perfect 2007 season since then with a black cloak of suspicion. Too bad for Tom Brady, Laurence Maroney,Michael Vrabel, Kevin Faulk and the rest of the gang over in New England. Despite what Specter and his minions would like you to believe, there is the element of sheer talent and will that New England’s roster possesses that even with a Blockbuster Video store full of recorded defensive and or offensive signals no team would be able to execute. Of course one could chalk that up to dumb luck but then again you’d be blowing more smoke than Specter demanding an independent investigation.

Football fans would like further action taken to ensure that cheating to this magnitude doesn’t happen again and I agree but government involvement on any level is seldom if ever necessary and neither is discrediting or “downplaying” the talented Patriots player’s performance(s). All this coming from a man with his own personal interest(s) vested in blackballing the NFL. Specter is well known for being backed by Comcast (Specter’s second largest campaign contributor at $101,750) who are currently involved in a head to head debacle with the NFL network over its distribution. Guess who his number one supporter is? Blank Rome LLP, the law firm that represents Comcast (they are the largest contributors to his campaign at $ 258,550). If that isn’t a V for Vendetta, then I don’t know what is. Just the hard cold facts my friends.

As Goodell has mentioned, the evidence presented by Walsh “is consistent with what we disciplined the Patriots for last fall.” The only other thing previously known offense that was uncovered was ticket scalping (8-12 Super Bowl tickets) for Patriots players over two seasons and the participation of an injured reserve player in practice during the season. Hardly earth shattering news I’d say, another slap on the wrist at best with the penalty being, perhaps one game suspensions of the players involved.

In all fairness, the scandal was quite overhyped, spanning six months or the equivalent of a full season. I have to give it up to Walsh, holding on to the tapes for this long as if he had a Desert Eagle instead of a cap gun built up momentum in his favor to totally exclude himself from legal recourse he might not have been granted had he copped out early. Priceless.

Face it…. Yawngate, I mean Spygate has thankfully run its course. Not because Goodell says so or the Pats administration wants it to be, but because without overwhelming evidence to suggest further disciplinary measures should be taken, there is nothing left to discipline the Pats team for!

“With the war in Iraq raging on, gasoline prices closing in on $4 a gallon, and Americans losing their homes at record rates to foreclosure, the United States Senate should be focusing on the real problems that Americans are struggling with,” Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts said. “I'm looking forward to another great Patriots season where they can let their play on the field speak for itself.”
Amen, Mr. Kennedy. Amen.


Related Patriots Spy Games Articles:
Specter Calls Patriots’ Spying Wider Than Stated
Specter Wants Independent Investigation Into Spygate
Suspending Belichick will bring closure to Spygate
Herald Reporter: Devastating leap of logic led to story
Walsh Dismisses Pats Attempts To Diminish Minimize Illegal Taping

4 comments:

AnthoNorm6 said...

Now it looks like everybody will be questioning everything that the Patriots have done so far..If you are a great team, you do not need to spy to get the upper advantage..Sad thing about this whole situation is that all of this started as soon as they drafted Tom Brady....Also, when Drew Blesdoe got hurt and Brady was doing a good job, Blesdoe never got his position back because you never lose your quarterback spot due to an injury and he did...Hopefully we will see how good the Patriots really are without Spygate because every team they play this year will want to kick them in the mouth especially the Bills, Dolphins, and Jets...

Qiana M said...

Yea I hope so too. My thing is hey it's so easy to take pockshots at the Patriots as a team. The Belichick is the real villain here. If anyone should be continually punished its him and not really for the cheating because he already was penalized for that but for his lack of remorse that he had done anything wrong. Like one analyst said, He's more sorry he got caught at "misinterpreting" the rules and regulations than actually cheating.

I'd like to see the Pats excel with the SAME talent they had last year without the illegal tapings and see just how far they go. Although everyone else

AnthoNorm6 said...

That is so true...Now the players on that team will have a chip on their shoulders because of the whole spygate thing and on their own head coach Bill Belichick....The team is still pretty good...As long as you got Randy Moss on the team, you can score a lot of points...The defense is getting older but they are wiser, but can they continue to take in the hard pounding week in and week out...The offense and defense will be in the top 5 in total offense and defense but I think other team are going to prove that the Patriots success is all a fluke and try to expose them..Regardless of the situation, Tom Brady and Randy Moss are big-time game breakers and they will have that offense going in the right direction...Rodney Harrison and Tedy Buschi are big time game breakers on the defensive side..Never sleep on Wes Welker because he will exposed you on offense and/or special teams....

A Tru Gentleman said...

I personally do not feel sorry for the Patriots. Bill Belichick was given the rules and regulations by the NFL. He was clearly told what he could and could not do. If he felt he was not cheating than why did the Patriots go through so much to keep their activities a secret??? Why is Belichick trying to destroy Matt Walsh's credibility to save his own? Why did they videotape signals from a team that they clearly mandhandle...i.e. The Jets? Also, if it is not consider wrong by the NFL than why has there been at least one major rule change made this year and review for future possible changes in the future as a DIRECT RESULT OF SPYGATE!

Because of the Patriots - One defensive player will be allowed to wear a radio similar to the one worn by the quarterback to communicate with the coaching staff.


I believe that this has been going on for years and it just came to the light. The organization was in the wrong. You cannot excuse the Patriots, and just blame the coach, because the coach is an employee and representative of the organization. Also, Belichick was the mastermind behind the scandal that involved many coaches and staff. He didn't videotape the games himself. Therefore, the organization has to be held accountable as well. Incidents like this cause ppl to question every feat that you have accomplished. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Fab Five in Michigan, McGuire, Sosa, Raphael Palmero, Marion Jones, the list goes on and on. We reserve the right to hold judgement because they put themselves in this position.